What are Extension Tubes and How to Use Them for Close Up Photography

Extension tubes

Extension tubes are hollow cylinders that fit between the lens and camera body. They allow you to increase the minimum focusing distance of your lens, which means that you can take photos of subjects that are farther away than usual.

Extension tubes come in different lengths, so it’s important to get the right one for your lens. For example, if you have a 50mm lens and want to shoot at f/1.8, then you’ll need an extension tube that is at least 10mm long — otherwise you won’t be able to focus on anything farther than about 6 feet away from your camera.

Extension tubes are a great way to get closer to your subject. They are essentially hollow tubes that you can attach between your lens and camera body. The main advantage of using them is the magnification factor; they increase the minimum focusing distance, which allows you to get closer to your subject. The downside is that they don’t produce an image with a large depth of field, so you’ll have to be careful about what parts of the image are in focus and what isn’t.

There are two kinds of extension tubes: “front” and “rear”. A front extension tube will move the lens further away from the sensor, while a rear extension tube will move it closer. Both types can be used on any lens, but not all lenses work well with both types of extension tube.

When you’ve got a macro lens, you can get really close to your subjects. However, there are times when you might want to go even closer, and that’s where extension tubes come in handy.

An extension tube allows you to move the lens farther from the sensor or film plane, which in turn allows you to focus on objects that are much closer than the minimum distance of your lens. It does this by reducing the minimum focusing distance of your lens by a factor of 1:8 for Canon lenses and 1:4 for Nikon lenses — so if your lens’ minimum focusing distance is 10 inches (25 cm), with an extension tube it will be able to focus down to 0.5 inches (1 cm).

Extension tubes are typically used for macro photography and close-up portraits, but they can also be used as a creative tool for landscape photography and other kinds of photography where perspective is important.

Tips to Use Extension Tubes

Here are some tips for using extension tubes:

Turn off autofocus on your camera (you’ll have to use manual focus).

Depending on where you purchase them, they may come with a small adapter ring that screws into the filter thread on your lens (it’s there so you can screw on other accessories like filters or hoods). If so, remove this adapter ring before using the extension tubes because it will block too much light from reaching your sensor (the same goes for any filters you might have attached to your lens).

Do not use wide-angle lenses or zoom lenses when using extension tubes; otherwise, you’ll end up with distorted images.

Use manual focus only when using extension tubes because autofocus will not work at close distances; the subject will appear blurry in the viewfinder if you try to use autofocus at close distances.

Use live view mode to focus when using extension tubes; this will allow you to see what you’re doing through your viewfinder while using manual focus.

Make sure your lens has an aperture ring so that you can set it manually if necessary (many older lenses don’t have this feature). If your lens doesn’t have an aperture ring, then you’ll need to use a different type of extension tube called a ‘close-up filter’ which screws into the front of your lens instead of attaching behind it with an adapter ring. A close-up filter basically performs the same job as an extension tube, except it doesn’t allow you to adjust your aperture setting.