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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old April 9th, 2011, 11:28 AM   #1
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Extension tubes or close-up filters?

I'm looking to explore macro filming with my 7D and I was wondering what would be best an extension tubes or close-up filters? (I don't want to buy a true macro lens) I have a Canon 17-55mm 2.8 and a Zeiss 50mm 1.4. For close-up filters I found this Hoya 77mm Close-up Kit (+1,+2,+4) Lens B77CUS B&H Photo Video and for extension tube I found this Canon Extension Tube EF 25 II 9199A001 B&H Photo Video
Some people are not a big fan of close-up filters because they degrade the sharpness of the lens but is it really noticeable for film? What combination extension tube should I get for my focal length lens?
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Old April 9th, 2011, 12:01 PM   #2
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Re: Extension tubes or close-up filters?

Get an inverter ring for your 50 mm. That'll give you a cheap and sharp macro lens.

You can try holding it backwards so you can see the result. :-)
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Old April 9th, 2011, 01:51 PM   #3
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Re: Extension tubes or close-up filters?

Hi Kajito,

Diopter lenses are OK if you only need a small amount of enlargement. Never use more than one on the lens at a time. They don't change the aperture and are easy to use. The +4 will get you a reasonably tight image, but there will be some added softness.

I prefer extension tubes because there is no extra glass. A very little extension will get you quite close with your 50 or 55 mm. If you use the wider focal lengths you will be very close to the subject. The 25mm you referred to will be ample with your zoom for very tight close-ups. The main issue will be that you will be very close to your subject. If you have a longer lens, extension tubes allow close focus while being a bit further away -- important if the subjects are alive and the least bit uneasy with your close approach.

It may be possible to find a kit for the same or less money (around $50 -- $70) that has multiple rings, but they may not be fully automatic. I have seen some metal cheapies for $15 - $20 that are fully manual and can be stacked from 9mm up to 55mm.

When filming up close you really can't use the autofocus anyway, you need to get approximately right by moving the entire camera, then make final adjustments by hand focussing. Same with exposure, probably best to use the zebras at 100% and manually judge your exposure from that.

I know not everyone likes the extension rings because they do reduce the eposure the closer you get, whereas the diopter lenses do not.

Hope that helps,
Alan
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Old April 10th, 2011, 01:08 AM   #4
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Re: Extension tubes or close-up filters?

ok i'll have a look at extension tubes tomorrow at B&H but is there one cheaper that I could get than the canon EF25? Sorry I'm a little lost is a extension ring just another name for extension tube?
Podcast Episode 008: How to Get Macro Shots With Any Lens ? DSLR Video Shooter
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Old April 10th, 2011, 07:49 AM   #5
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Re: Extension tubes or close-up filters?

Hi Kajito,

Yes. Extension rings and extension tubes are essentially the same thing. Check out the on-line information. The prices range widely from one at $10, to Bolo Canon EOS Macro Extension at $15 for a set of 5 rings and Pro Optic for a set of three at $80, all the way up to the fully automatic Kenko and Canon at $180 or more if you get all the tubes.

Try one of the cheap ones at B&H (if they the less expensive ones) on your camera to see how it operates.

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Old April 10th, 2011, 11:23 AM   #6
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Re: Extension tubes or close-up filters?

the Kenko tube set looks to be of good value but looks like its non-EF-S compatible i'll find out at B&H.
i've been looking at the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens it's kind of tempting:-)
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Old April 10th, 2011, 12:24 PM   #7
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Re: Extension tubes or close-up filters?

Get the Canon tubes. I ordered the Kenko set and while they mount the lens they do not transfer the electronics signals. After a few minutes of fiddling I contacted B&H and arranged for them to send me the Canon EF25 and EF12 tubes, the Kenko set went back for credit.

There are some things it's just best not to skimp on. The few times I've used Canon tubes the projects went well, exposure was simple and right on. Focusing was "fun" but that would be the case with any macro setup.
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