We’re finishing up our online cabin fever macro class, and today we are discussing getting really close. As in closer than your macro lens can get. While we will be discussing extreme close up lenses, we will also look at getting your standard macro lens even closer for 1.5x or 2x magnification.
Extension tubes are great. They are relatively inexpensive, lightweight and fully automatic with exposure and autofocus on macro lenses. And plus….they don’t contain any glass elements so image quality isn’t going to be affected. These tubes go between your lens and camera body, so there is some light loss as you use more extension tubes.
Just how much do extension tubes magnify an image? Take a look at the diagram above. This simple formula will explain it all. Using a 105mm macro lens that reproduces 1 to 1 life size, using all three of my extension tubes together at once give me 1.65x reproduction, really close for most subjects. If you want to photograph fly eyes, then you will need even more magnification.
The hardest part about extreme closeup is focusing, focus stacking and rail use. The process is slow and methodical, but the results are very satisfying. If you have any interest in macro, we still have space on our February online macro class. Join us and get really close to your next subject! Happy shooting this weekend!