Macro Photography Using Extension Tubes and Kit Lense




I would like to start by saying that i'm in no way a professional photographer! I started taking pictures with a DSLR about 2 years ago after buying one for the main purpose of shooting videos in my wood shop. But one thing lead to another and before I knew it I was out and about taking pictures and researching on the subject. I own a Canon T5I and it came in a kit with case and 2 lens the 75-300mm and the 18-55mm. I had a lot of fun with those 2 lens but I came across some gorgeous pictures of tiny subjects, sometimes flowers, sometimes insects ... And I got the itch for Macro... Now lots of you probably already know the price tag for a Macro lens, but I didn't... When I realized that the lens would cost more than my camera kit I had to find a alternative...After a bit of research I found that the Macro can be done with Extension tubes.

Step 1: Finding the Extension Tubes.

Again, I researched for the best price and found them online at DealeExtreme for less than $20. Order came in quickly and I was able to start to experiment. Now Extension tubes can be used with different lens and can be use separately or all together. For Macro you'll need a telephoto and all the tubes. I did tested the 2 kit lens with all the tube combination possible to figure this out.

Now the auto focus of your lens will not work therefore I would recommend to go out and try your skill out on static subjects first to get the hang of it. I would also like to mention that it is a lot of weight on your camera and when you zoom and extend the lens it is a good idea to carry the weight of the lens instead of letting the whole weight on the camera.

Step 2: Be Patient...

Since the focus will not work you should be aware that you will probably, most likely, take over a 100 to 200 pictures. And they will not all going be good.. So go out there will a lot of patience and enjoy the time. If you don't get the bee picture on the first time, don't worry, the'll come back all day long.. I even had a very nice conversation with my neighbor all the while taking those pictures.

Step 3: Editing Your Pictures

I'll reinstate that i'm no pro... I used the editing program included in my kit to adjust the colors to my liking, Mostly contrast and the yellow..

I hope this gives you the chance to try Macro If like me your budget don't allow for a Macro lens..

Thanks for reading this through..



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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I got some extension rings for my camera (Canon 500D) with the electronics in them allowing auto focus. They were a little more expensive but work well when you get used to them. Around $A30

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks for letting me know... I really appreciate!


    2 years ago

    Extension tubes are handy but as you have found out do have some shortfalls. There is another possibility you might want to look into and that is simply getting a large magnifying glass. I discovered a number of years ago that if you get one big enough to fit over your lens the cameras auto focus will accommodate it and work with little trouble. They do make screw on lenses that screw onto the front of the lens just like a filter does. I have a set of those but for speed and versatility a simple magnifying glass works great. You can keep it in your pocket and have it available in an instant, just hold it to the lens.

    Almost all of the closeup's in this instructable use a lens.

    I don't have a current picture of the lenses or the magnifying lens. I will try to get some if you are interested in seeing them.

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    I do have a 4X lens but I found that I got better shots with the tubes.. I will try it again though, you did get gorgeous pictures...


    Reply 2 years ago

    By the way, if you download that first picture of the cats eye and blow it up you will see my hand and the camera with the lens in the reflecting. Sort of a self portrait.