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09-18-2008, 12:31 AM   #1
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Extension Tubes

Okay, I'm sure that this has probably been asked about before. I'm considering getting a set, but I don't want to spend a bunch of money on them.

Has anyone here bought any of the cheap sets that come from China off of E-bay? If you did, did they work out for you?

Thanks
Randy

09-18-2008, 02:57 AM   #2
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First you have to choose between manual and auto focus capable. If you choose the auto focus capable I would personally get one from a established brand.
09-18-2008, 05:46 AM   #3
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Cheap ext. tubes - sure, they work just fine. I've owned a set for over two years and use it often. The one I have came from Fotodiox.com (they also sell on ebay). Light, anodized aluminum construction, good fit, and for under $15 you can't go wrong.

Keep in mind, that inexpensive sets are fully manual, so metering either "your expertise" or stopdown. AF units - at such close focus, it is not accurate to begin with (due to such narrow dof), so if you don't mind doing all manual, well worth it!

Regards,
D
09-18-2008, 09:04 AM   #4
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Any type of extension tubes (even any tele exterder with the glass section removed) will do. But have in mind the following:

1) Autofocus is nonsense. At such close distances, only manual focus works. AF systems will go wild.

2) If shooting with any of the Pentax digital bodies (from *istD to K20D), stop down metering by the use of aperture ring is mandatory, so that means ONLY lenses with aperture rings will be usable. None of the DA series or FA-J series will work unless....

3) You can get "A" type extension tubes. that is, ones that do have the electrical contacts for aperture control and information. With this, you will be able to use any lens, even if it does not have an aperture ring.

Robert B

09-18-2008, 12:16 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rburgoss Quote

3) You can get "A" type extension tubes. that is, ones that do have the electrical contacts for aperture control and information. With this, you will be able to use any lens, even if it does not have an aperture ring.

Robert B
Good luck finding any of these. You'd think some sharp Chinese fellow would've figured out by now that they could sell them like cakes at a children's party and retire early, but as far as I know, nobody has.

I have a set of 3 VIvitar tubes, and apart from the stop-down metering, they're fine.



Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 with extension tube
09-18-2008, 03:41 PM   #6
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I have the Vivitar AT-22 extension tubes, it has the mechanical linkage to do the stop down metering. You can check my blog post. I overpaid the tubes for $86 and it works but I find it overpriced from sucker like me. I later sold it for $70. I would say if you can get it for $50, go for the Vivitar one or something similar. They are built to last and have better quality than others. Otherwise, try the ebay ones but make sure you get at least the aperture control that allow you to do stop-down metering.


Vivitar AT-22 extension tubes



Notice the mechanical aperture control
this is very important to have, the minimum


09-18-2008, 05:54 PM   #7
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Heh-heh. I found a set of Kenko A tubes for $45. Works great.
09-18-2008, 08:06 PM   #8
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I have the all mechanical ones for $10-15 off eBay. The dimming of the viewscreen as you stop down can be limiting, it would be nice to have the connctors but I'm not sure I'd pay $50 more. I really like how they work for macro on atripod. Plus if you get the three ring type, you can use just a little extension to focus in closer with old telephoto lenses. I particularly like my 55mm tubes with an 85mm Vivitar T mount lens that has the preset aperture rinsg way down on the barrel. You can set an aperture with one ring, then open and close with the other. It's not quite 1X, but close.

09-18-2008, 08:13 PM   #9
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For example
09-18-2008, 08:13 PM   #10
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Oh I don't know how to do it right:

User Photo Gallery - Macro
09-18-2008, 08:22 PM   #11
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These photos were shot with the same Vivitar tubes that Hin has in his post, they were thrown in with a Sigma A 35-70 zoom I bought on ebay.





09-18-2008, 09:07 PM   #12
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Awesome! Thanks for the input everyone. I'm thinking about getting a set to try out some macro, but since I haven't done any macro, I don't know if I'll 'take' to it. So, I would rather buy a cheap set and upgrade later, than an expensive set that just sets around.

I'll keep everyone's advise in mind when I finally figure out what set to get.

Thanks again,
Randy
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