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Ring flash and Extension Tubes

Desh_M 13 398
19 Mar 2013 5:11PM
Hi all,

I am trying to get over 1:1 magnification with my Tamron 90mm. Thought extension tubes is the way to go. Question is, what extension tube should I buy. My camera is Canon 60D.

Also, will I need a ring flash with this kit now that my F value will have to go high with the extra length added?

Please advise me on this.


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justin c 14 5.0k 36 England
19 Mar 2013 5:22PM
Kenko used to do (probably still do) a decent set of three tubes (12mm, 20mm, 36mm) that would work well with the kit you're using.

A ring flash isn't essential, no. A sturdy tripod and a remote release is though.

Another option for more magnification is a 1.4X or 2X extender. Or, reversing a 50mm lens on the front of the macro lens is another option, used with or without extension tubes/extenders, for even more magnification.
Desh_M 13 398
19 Mar 2013 5:29PM
Hi Justin,

I have researched this subject before but never had the time to really get into it. From the little I have gathered so far, I think I will like extension tubes than reverse lens (too cumbersome + need another lens) or extender (too expensive). So I will look into Kenko tubes. Thanks so much for the recommendation.

As for the ring flash, I really don't know. If it isn't too expensive I might as well get one. Would go handy with some portraits and food shots I might end up doing. Smile
Pete Plus
17 18.8k 97 England
19 Mar 2013 5:36PM
You can also attach close up lens (like a filter) on the front.
I like using ringflash for fungi and close ups, but the small ones aren't great for portraits. You have to be careful with food too as the shape of the flash is the catchlight which looks odd on reflective stuff like fruit skin.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2013 5:40PM
Polaroid do a set of auto tubes that are about half the price of the Kenko tubes. The difference is that the Kenko tubes are metal, the Polaroid tubes are plastic - it should not make a real world difference but some people prefer the idea of metal (I would have bought the Polaroid if I did not already own the Kenko).
Desh_M 13 398
19 Mar 2013 5:46PM
Thanks Pete. Guess the ring flash is especially for macro then... I just checked their prices. Seem affordable. Do you have better lighting recommendations for closeups please? I have the feeling I am going to need one with apertures like F36 for example.
NikLG 12 1.7k England
19 Mar 2013 5:55PM
I know you are a Canon person, but I guess the same stuff I applies here.... I use an old Nikon SB21 macro flash, not a ring flash, but a flash that fits on the end of the lens, and has 2 elements. You can have both on, or one on etc. It's pretty useful for macro, so if you can find the Canon equivalent that would work OK. One other advantage is that you can use it off the front of the lens so you could hold it to get different lighting, or to bounce it even...
I also use Auto tubes ( Kenko ), but the vast majority of anything I do macro-wise is all manual due to the narrow tolerances re. focus and blurriness and wotnot. Much easier to do everything manual I think.
Pete Plus
17 18.8k 97 England
19 Mar 2013 5:56PM
The small ones you see are. You really need a larger ring for portraits to give it the desirable effect. Normal flash can be adapted using something like the rayflash or orbis, or you can buy studio style ring flash but they're really expensive many of the cheap ring flash have small guide numbers so 1 meter at f/8. Another option is to use off camera flash with brackets which a lot of nature photographers prefer because you can control the light better. Your rig just gets a bit messier and bulky, and clumsy, but you can position lights and set balance so you have a more natural result.
justin c 14 5.0k 36 England
19 Mar 2013 6:07PM

Quote:I think I will like extension tubes than reverse lens (too cumbersome + need another lens)

It can be a little cumbersome for field work, but in controlled conditions it needn't pose a problem. Another lens may sound like an expensive option, but it's not. Any old 50mm manual focus lens will work fine and they can be picked up from secondhand shops and boot sales for next to nothing, i.e. under a tenner. It doesn't have to be a Canon lens either. All that is needed is an inexpensive filter adapter to connect the lenses together.
Desh_M 13 398
20 Mar 2013 2:36PM
I have given up on the ring flash. Seems they produce pretty flat results. Sad
Desh_M 13 398
20 Mar 2013 2:57PM
Any recommendation of a cheap off-camera flash with a cable that is not too bulky to carry around in the garden pls?
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
20 Mar 2013 4:04PM
I have just bought a Yongnuo flash from Am#zon after being recommended on this site - it is said to be similar to the Canon 580EXII but at a fraction of the price (it is also available for Nikon).

This will work wirelessly using the on-camera flash as a trigger. I will be trying it out this weekend.
Desh_M 13 398
20 Mar 2013 4:53PM
Cool. I just read some reviews of the same flash, which is said to be a 'clone' of 580EXII. I was about to buy 430EXII but was hesitant because of the price.
Desh_M 13 398
22 Mar 2013 6:00PM
Hi Mike,

Please keep us posted on the performance of the new flash.
StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
22 Mar 2013 6:14PM
I don't know if anyone has recommended a good quality dioptre lens. It's like a filter and screws on just as a filter does. Not the cheap ones, I would go for a multi element Canon or Raynox. This solution will give you the least amount of light loss.

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