Back in April, I posted a tip about cheap macro photography. Well, I broke down and had to try it myself. Not owning a Macro lens, I purchased a series of extension tubes and some close-up filters for my 24-105mm Nikkor lens. The results? Mixed.
This particular post is about the macro extension tubes I purchased: Vello Auto Extension Tube Set for Nikon cameras. You can purchase them at B&H Photo for $79.95 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/787224-REG/vello_ext_nd_auto_focus_ext_tube.html)
I am posting here a series of photographs that I took using my Nikon D800 DSLR camera and a variety of lenses. I used a 50mm, a 70-200mm, a 24-105mm (all Nikkor) and a Tamron 28-75mm. And for the most part, I tried to photographs flowers in the garden, which posed numerous challenges such as lighting and wind. Over the course of the 3 days I tried to photograph, I could not get the wind to cooperate–it would just not stop blowing. That is until I put everything away. Another challenge that I had was the precise aiming of the camera and lens while on the tripod. You see, my tripod is just not designed to fine tune height and direction. And of course, I had to do this with all the extension tubes on the camera.
The next test was to remove two of the tubes and use just the 50mm Nikkor lens. These results were much more satisfactory, although I could not get the zoom I want. Exact focus is an issue that must be dealt with too. Of course, read any text on macro photography and focus and Depth-of-Field will always be an issue. The answer: focus stacking, that is taking multiple exposures with different focal points and then combining those photographs in Photoshop or another program (that subject is out of scope for this blog).
Now, keep in mind that I did not try just one of the elements on any of my other lenses, just the 50mm.
Light is another issue that must be considered. Even though I was shooting in full daylight, I had to pump up my ISO to 800. And even though Vello claims that the lens info will be passed onto the camera thus being able to I found that my camera’s metering got somewhat out-of-whack and I had to make adjustments to exposure.
I was pleased with the results-I mean what more could I ask for for $80. I would still like to try a true macro lens, but I think that I will wait a while before shelling out the bucks to buy one and just make use of these tubes.
So the photographs posted below, the flower photographs are with the combined use of the 3 tubes, while the remainder are with just the 12mm tube. The only adjustments I made to these photo’s are exposure, contrast, a bit of sharpening and noise reduction. I did not crop any of these so you can get a sense of the magnification.
Next blog post will be about the close-up filters.
P.S. The photograph of the dogs eye has the camera reflection of Lynette digging in the garden. Awesome!