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This review is from: Fotodiox Nikon Macro Extension Tube Kit for Nikon Cameras, Extreme Close-ups (Camera)
I was a bit skeptical when similar extension tubes sell anywhere from $80-170. For only $10 I figured it was worth a chance and would not hold my expectations too high. I am an amateur photographer and wanted to experiment in some super macro setups. When I tested these tubes I used a Nikon D90 and an old rikoh 55mm f1.4. This lens is from my older 35mm collection and has manual aperture ring (reasons whey below).
I find extension tubes to be in a very specific niche in the world of photography. If you want to give macro photography a try, extension tubes, or bellows would be good start. From there a decent 1:1 dedicated macro lens would be the next step. It should be mentioned that the farther away the lens is mounted from the camera's sensor, the minimal focusing distance is also changed. This is a factor that sets an extension tube apart from a dedicated macro lens. Using my 55mm lens, and all three extension tubes, I guess the minimum focusing distance was around 1" with a 1:1.32 ratio. You can use a 100mm dedicated macro lens and have a working distance around 11" from your subject, get 1:1 ratios with AF and metering. If you want to try a bellows, you will needed to use an extension tube because the bellows rail will hit the grip on a D90. The smallest rings were enough to clear the grip.
If you are still considering these, then you know what they are used for and the price is probably the most attractive attribute. If you don't want to read the rest, they do what they are advertised to do.
All metal construction.
Three interchangeable sections can be mixed and matched to you preferences.
Solid. The all metal construction felt strong and no flexing between the joints or the bayonet mounts. Tested with my Nikon 18-200mm. Felt solid, but I would still support the lens.
Flexible. You can mix and match the three sections to get the focal range you are looking for. With all three sections, and the mounts attached you can get 1:1.32 ratio (larger than life size with super sharp results since there is only air in between).
Price. This is the items selling factor in my opinion. There are others and the closest alternative model is $80.
I have a few gripes, but should be expected from a set at this price.
The sections connect with very fine threads and are very easy to cross-thread if you are not careful. I have used similar products before, and over time I suspect they threads will wear down if they are repeatedly used.
When sections are mixed and matched the lens mounts do not stay in the same position. The higher-end tubes keep the lens mount in the same place so that the aperture ring will stay on the top of the lens (They separate the sections with individual bayonet mounts with lens contacts. Much nicer in my opinion compared to threads.). With these tubes it will depend on the tubes used. Forget about using bellows with these tubes. My D90 ended upside down, crooked and it was just not worth the operation.
Manual operation. This is not a real gripe, but a con for any extension tube. If you have one of the newer Nikon lenses then you will have trouble with these tubes. Focusing is not an issue since you can move either your subject closer, or the setup closer. Setting the aperture is another problem. I have a newer 35mm f1.8 and the aperture is controlled internally by the camera. It is set by default for f22. This is not an issue for most people since f22 will give you the greatest depth of field, especially when dealing with macro this is important. It will make focusing much more difficult it poor light situations. On the older lenses, I just set the aperture to 1.4, get the focus point exactly where I want it, then stop down to the desired aperture. You will also need to use "Manual" mode because the camera cannot detect the lens's aperture and adjust exposure accordingly.
Overall worth a try for $10, but be aware of the lack of automatic features and cross threading the sections.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 31, 2011 11:54:32 AM PDT
Linda Jeffries says:
Posted on Oct 6, 2011 5:39:53 PM PDT
Excellent, well thought out, detailed review. 8-) I'd been wanting to pick up some extension tubes, but kept "finding" gear without having to order it, but was given an Amazon gift card recently, ordered this set. Quite used to "manual everything", and shooting non-metering lenses for everything else. Thanks for the clear details, looking forward to posting some samples when mine arrive! 8-)
Posted on Feb 17, 2012 6:39:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2012 6:40:16 PM PST
well I have extension tube for canon no problem so far, when pair it w 100mm f/2.8macro. I bought this for nikon N80, feel its too tighten when I have tried it screw in AF-S nikkor 50mm 1.4G, and worst my D40X Lcd shows no lens attached and remains on. I will tried other camera like D2Xs, D300 tomorrow or going to return it if NOT going well.
Posted on Jan 16, 2013 12:54:05 PM PST
N. Baird says:
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2013 5:36:17 PM PDT
Sounds like trolling.... However I'll bite.
I very very seldom write reviews (from my profile: 9 reviews in 6 years) because most products are straight forward, or have already been extensively reviewed. Assuming I was paid for this review is foolish, and at the same time it should have helped you make a really informed decision before buying/not buying this item. Somehow in your mind the value of information depends if there is a monetary value tied to it.
I will make an assumption that you are the lone person that found my review UN-helpful. I can't see why only that you are a troll.
I wrote THE very first review for this item and took care to write it at a level other fellow photographers could appreciate and use. The length of the review was necessary to cover what I saw as this product's limits and the many specific pitfalls for even the seasoned pro that I encountered. However the lazy photographer would not read, "assume" this product could work on their camera and finally be easy to use! It turns out 3 years later I was right! Most 1-star reviews are from people who did not make sure their camera could shoot with a non-cpu lens or who had difficulty attaching removing the lens or who tried to use Nikon's "G" series lens. These topics were (by your short story observation) covered in my review 3 years ago.
Stay skeptical and be ignorant. Either way it is still a good product.
Posted on Mar 13, 2014 6:58:26 PM PDT
larry mayer says:
I have an old Nikon-F film camera with a wide selection of lenses. Is there anything on the market ( ie. attachment or....?) that will adapt these lenses to a Nikon D5100 body, any help will b
appreciated. Thanks Larry
PS: my email-"email@example.com"
Posted on Mar 16, 2014 6:31:46 AM PDT
Barbara A. Whipple says:
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