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09-01-2012, 09:05 PM   #1
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Extension Tubes - Recommendations?

They seem pretty inexpensive but don't come with very good reviews. Can't seem to find anything but 3rd party sets. Where's the best place to get them?

I shoot a K5.

thanks,

Ken

09-01-2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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Pentax did make some but they would be collectors items now and rather rare (and expensive). And they do not have contacts in them anyway. I have a 50mm and 100mm that I got by accident, I see them go for over $200 now.

You basically have three choices, first is get a set of ebay ones, I would pay a little more and get a name brand if you can, the cheap ones are really cheap. They have no contacts and everything will be manual.
Second there was someone who made a set with contacts, I forget the same, if you do a search on the forum you might find it, but they are very rare and expensive, only source would be ebay or maybe KEH.
Third, you can buy a 2x teleconvertor with the contacts and take the glass out.
09-01-2012, 09:47 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Second there was someone who made a set with contacts, I forget the same, if you do a search on the forum you might find it, but they are very rare and expensive, only source would be ebay or maybe KEH.
At the very least you have two variations with contacts - the ones made by Kenko (and sold under it or a related brand) and a different, somewhat flimsy (but good enough) set like I have. Mine is branded as "PANAGOR" - I believe it was also sold as Jessop's house brand, and possibly under other labels as well. It has 31, 21, and 13mm "PKA/AF" tubes. They're actually MF, but the contacts work. IMO you should take whatever brand you can find, as long as it's in good condition.


I also have the Pentax tubes ("ASAHI PENTAX JAPAN") which are better made. They have no contacts, but they do have an aperture lever, and they work well within this limitation. I much prefer their construction, but ultimately, I think the contacts matter more. However, for a while I couldn't find ones with contacts, so I bought them. They're much better than the cheap no-names on eBay with no contacts.

These two look like they're identical to my ASAHI PENTAX set:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Asahi-Pentax-Auto-Extension-Tubes-Set-of-3-Tubes-P-K...item3f1ace45ff
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PENTAX-AUTO-EXTENSION-TUBE-K-SET-MINT-IN-BOX-/400318...item5d34d3666d

Last edited by DSims; 09-01-2012 at 10:03 PM.
09-01-2012, 09:48 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Jessop's house brand, and possibly others
That's what I was trying to remember, someone was buying a set and posted it here maybe a month ago.

09-02-2012, 05:06 AM   #5
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If there's anyone here that might be going to Photokina - could you please tactfully pass along from me... Add my name to that list - even though Pentax already know both the issue and me... That there are a fair number of people on here that would really like Pentax extension tubes; to have them re-issued, or preferably updated with contacts. Instead I'm stuck varrying around a large gadget bag full of lens; with basically every Pentax macro lens that is currently being marketed.

...And I'm also forced into making the quality Pentax optics into a shade of their former selves by adding items like close up filters onto the lens'; which means even more room in the gadget bag because of varying filter sizes.

I do however like the idea of removing the optical part from a teleconverter; and I'm actually going to be trying it on at least two teleconveters this week. Now where'd I place that Snap-On sledge??
09-02-2012, 09:09 AM   #6
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I bought 2 sets of off ebay for about $16 USD total from China. Surprisingly good but they are full manual. The only glitch is the camera mount is painted and metering doesn't work. I need to sand some of the paint off but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Rodger
09-02-2012, 09:25 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
preferably updated with contacts.
Amen to that.

The DA 70, for example, would really be a good fit with a set of those.
09-02-2012, 10:35 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
I'm actually going to be trying it on at least two teleconveters this week. Now where'd I place that Snap-On sledge??
A number of teleconverters (depending on brand) simply allow the glass to be threaded out, leaving the metal shell. Simple, and non-destructive (no sledge required). I have one that the lens elements are all in a central assembly and and this quickly threads out and in. So carrying it allows use both as TC and extension tube, one less thing to carry about.

09-02-2012, 11:49 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
A number of teleconverters (depending on brand) simply allow the glass to be threaded out, leaving the metal shell.
Many different brands of 4-element 2x converters allow this. I haven't found any other TCs that do.
09-02-2012, 02:35 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
A number of teleconverters (depending on brand) simply allow the glass to be threaded out, leaving the metal shell. Simple, and non-destructive (no sledge required). I have one that the lens elements are all in a central assembly and and this quickly threads out and in. So carrying it allows use both as TC and extension tube, one less thing to carry about.
On my Vivitar 2x-22 I removed the optics as an assembly, through the camera side of the teleconverter. When I started using it as an extension tube I noticed a problem, at certain apertures there would be some weird fuzzy line through the shot. The spring for the aperture sensing lever needs to be held back by the tube that the optics are contained in or it will get in the way. Might not happen on other teleconverters, but something to watch out for. I could have just removed this sensing lever, since it is useless on our crippled K mount digitals, but I just removed the glass and screwed the empty tube back in. It was useless as a teleconverter anyway.
09-04-2012, 08:36 AM   #11
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So there are none of the extension tube sets I've seen on Amazon that anyone would recommend? Or aldorama?
09-04-2012, 08:40 AM   #12
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You haven't said whether or not you need the A contacts -- makes a big difference. What lens(es) do you want to use with this?
09-04-2012, 09:59 AM   #13
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I guess not.. that allows for autofocus? I have a manual macro lens so I assume I don't need the A contacts? I'm a rookie...
09-04-2012, 10:56 AM - 1 Like   #14
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The very cheapest extension tubes don't even have a diaphragm actuator. I'd avoid those. One step up are what are often called "auto" tubes, meaning they have the actuator. This allows you to use a manual lens in the same way you would use it without the tubes. (By "manual" I mean not just manual focus, but also manual aperture control, with no "A" setting on the aperture ring. For Pentax-branded lenses this would be the so-called K series, e.g. SMC Pentax 1:4 100mm, or the M series, e.g. SMC Pentax-M 1:4 100mm.) After that comes the A series, which is still manual focus, but has the "A" setting on the aperture ring that allows you to control the aperture through the camera. A-type extension tubes are rare, although some cheap teleconverters are easy to turn into extension tubes by removing the optics.
09-04-2012, 01:13 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Ok, then lets say K series... where can I find these? Only Ebay?
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