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07-05-2014, 11:00 AM   #1
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Cheap extension tubes on eBay.... ever tried them?

I'm a real newcomer to macro photography and I was thinking of giving it a whirl using extension tubes. Have any of you ever tried the inexpensive tubes offered on eBay, like these? Macro Extension Tube Ring for Pentax K Mount K10D K20D K100D K200D K110D K M K R | eBay

Made of metal, it says. So.... do you have any experience with them? I have several "close focusing" lenses and a couple of "focusing macro" lenses, but I've never tried anything else.

What would you recommend in the way of lens reversal adapters?

Thanks for any replies or suggestions,
Dewman
Idaho

07-05-2014, 11:05 AM   #2
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Yep. They work, but they're crap - they somehow wobble and are also loose simultaneously...
07-05-2014, 11:36 AM   #3
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They are HORRIBLE, seriously. Their only purpose might be for people like yourself who just want to dabble before really jumping in...
07-05-2014, 11:48 AM   #4
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So what are the decent low cost extension tubes?

07-05-2014, 12:17 PM   #5
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Here's a good set. These are not AF, you don't need AF for macro anyway, but they do have the aperture control, the cheap ebay tubes do not. These are much better.


http://www.keh.com/camera/Pentax-Manual-Focus-Close-up-and-Bellow-Accessorie...990922410?r=FE
07-05-2014, 12:46 PM   #6
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I can't comment on the fit and tolerances of those cheap ones, but if you are using a non-A MF lens(es) then these or similar are really quite appropriate. I would qualify that slightly by pointing out the black painted mount is non -connective and that can have certain effects depending on your camera model see my review here:

Jessops Auto Extension Tubes PK-A reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

and numerous threads commenting on lack of green button function.

These jessop and similar pka ones are quite ideal, but they are difficult to find, esp at a decent price (I got lucky). Browse the auction sites for non pka ones they crop up much more regularly. Another trick is to opportunistically buy a basic/optically flawed eg fungus 2x tc that is pka, and take out the optics leaving just the body. These are typically around 3-4cm of extension so give a good increase in macro with eg a 50mm.
Finally also consider a cheap lens reversal filter mount.
More macro info:
http://extreme-macro.co.uk/
07-05-2014, 01:52 PM   #7
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I wasn't impressed with the cheap ones either, though they are somewhat usable (and are quite cheap). One big issue is that the there is only one k-mount for the entire set of tubes (they connect via a threaded mount with each other), so that if you use the 2 tube, and find it not the right size you have to screw the K-mounts off from either end and screw them on to the number 3 tube to use the tube. It can thus be quite a hassle changing/adjusting the tubes. Internal blackening/baffling is not the greatest either, and, worst of all, they do not incorporate the aperture lever control, meaning your lens will always be stopped down to the value set on the aperture ring, making it for a very dark focusing screen and a very hard time focusing. My recommendation is to get a pair of Vivitar extension tubes in K mount (AT-22), with a little patience they can be found very affordably on ebay (~$20-40; cheeper than the other options suggested), and they are of very high quality (though they are not PK-A). Here's what they look like: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/36-sold-items/167714-sale-sold-vivitar-22...es-pentax.html

Last edited by macTak; 07-05-2014 at 01:58 PM.
07-05-2014, 02:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
I can't comment on the fit and tolerances of those cheap ones, but if you are using a non-A MF lens(es) then these or similar are really quite appropriate. I would qualify that slightly by pointing out the black painted mount is non -connective and that can have certain effects depending on your camera model see my review here:

Jessops Auto Extension Tubes PK-A reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

and numerous threads commenting on lack of green button function.

These jessop and similar pka ones are quite ideal, but they are difficult to find, esp at a decent price (I got lucky). Browse the auction sites for non pka ones they crop up much more regularly. Another trick is to opportunistically buy a basic/optically flawed eg fungus 2x tc that is pka, and take out the optics leaving just the body. These are typically around 3-4cm of extension so give a good increase in macro with eg a 50mm.
Finally also consider a cheap lens reversal filter mount.
More macro info:
Extreme Macro Photography
I failed to mention, I'm using a K2000 and have no problem with using a manual focus, non-"A" lens. I don't have any ambition of doing much macro work, just "dabbling" in it a little, just for S&G's. Being on a fixed income, I can't afford to spend very much on this aspect of photography, only wanting to go the cheapest way I can to give it a minimal whirl.

Assuming these cheapos will work, within limits, what focal length lens would you suggest? I have a SMC Pentax f:1.4, a SMC Pentax f:2.0 and a Sears f:2.8, 28mm macro at my disposal. I also have a Takumar (Bayonet) f:2.5, 135mm lens, but I have on idea if it would be appropriate or not.
I also have a host of other zoom lenses, but if my assumptions are correct, a fixed lens would be much better.

Just a thought.... what would happen if one was to use a reversed lens AND extention tubes? Perhaps a goofy question, but you never know unless you ask the experts!

Thanks again for the comments and suggestions,
Dewman
Idaho

07-05-2014, 02:16 PM   #9
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The idea of using an old telecoverter appeals to me, but I'm hesitant to strip the Vivitar 2x I now own. It seems to give acceptable results. Certainly NOT earth-shattering, but with a Sears 60-300mm zoom, it gave me these results. Both shots were about 100+ yards distant. I'll give the cheapo tubes a try and keep my eyes out for an appropriate teleconverter.

Thanks for the excellent response and suggestions.
Dewman,
Idaho

Last edited by Dewman; 12-16-2014 at 02:46 AM.
07-05-2014, 03:53 PM   #10
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Reversed on tubes will give you very high magnification. The formulae are complex. You would probably do better with WIKI to get some tables. I have used an M 28/3.5 reversed using a Reversing ring. This is just a K mount on one side and a filter thread on the other side (both male). In my case, I used it originally on a K55/1.8 which gives about 1:1. To use it on the 28, which had 49mm front threads, I added a step up/down filter ring 58 > 49. The combination gave my 2.1X on film. It would obvously give the same on sensor, but I haven't used it for years. For 1:1 I use an single 50mm extension tube on my M 100/4 macro to give me 1:1.
07-05-2014, 04:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
Just a thought.... what would happen if one was to use a reversed lens AND extention tubes? Perhaps a goofy question, but you never know unless you ask the experts!
The more you extend the lens away from the camera the greater the mag ratio, whether reversed or not.
All the lens you suggest can be used to get decent - good macro results. Get into macro and a big art of the art is not the lens etc but the lighting; in any case you should browse the threads here, and google online and do some reading. And get out there and play.
postscript: once I started doing that I soon got myself a cheap macro rail and extra QR plate, I already had a remote shutter release. But I haven't yet got elaborate with a lighting /flash set up.

Re TC's: the more I have used them ( in my case vintage tc's with mf lenses like adaptall), the less convinced I become that they are worth it
07-05-2014, 06:56 PM   #12
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That set from KEH will work fine. You don't need an A setting or AF, just aperture control. You want to be shooting in manual anyway. As mentioned you will need light, as the working distance will be close with tubes. Don't worry about green button, you don't need it when using a flash. It's all about experimenting with the X speed and aperture needed to get the light you need. If you do use the green button or catch in focus , all you need to do is scrape a little of the paint off the camera side of the tubes, works great. This was shot with a 50mm macro on 48mm tubes, working distance about 3 inches, bug was about 4-5mm long.

Last edited by bluestringer; 09-09-2014 at 10:35 AM.
07-05-2014, 09:10 PM   #13
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I have a set of these, but bought even cheaper directly from China. I figured, for that price, what the heck.

They work well, once you get out your tiny screwdriver set and tighten the screws they leave quite loose when shipping. Provided toy do that, then there's no wobble or fit problems whatsoever.
My only advice is to not mount to your camera without checking the screws first. Even then, I first suggest you stick it on a old body first to test.

I'm getting myself a second set because I want to get even closer.
07-08-2014, 11:53 PM   #14
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Yes , I have tried them !
They work , and my only complaint with the ones I have is the lack of aperture control ..
I would suggest you look for some with aperture levers built in .. ( will take a quick peek on ebay )
Holly smoke batman they are expensive ATM , I will take a look and see what I can find and post on Curmudgeons ...

Matt
07-09-2014, 01:23 AM   #15
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You may wish to look away :



Now I didnt know what I had in the cupboard , now I know ..
I had no idea I had 4 sets of tubes , now that was a surprise .

More to dewmans dilemma , I would suggest a Macro adapter , my Fav ATM is the Ricoh 2x Macro adapter , I liked mine so much I got a 2nd one ..
They work really well with a 50mm lens , the Saitex has a Pentax F1.4 50mm up front .
There are so many ways to set up for Macro photography , the cheapest and easiest is just buy a Macro Filter ( +4 or higher )
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/244609-macro-pentax-kit-lens-k200d.html
Here are some shots with a kit lens and +4 filter ( $5 or less off ebay )
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