• dj

    very interesting. i will have to try this. i love macrophotography. i don’t have a lot of money to spend on expensive lenses. even if I did, I have not digital slr to put expensive lenses on.

    i have a couple of cameras with lens mounts and extension tubes. I’ll try this method of enhancing their macro ability.

    thanks for the detailed tip, and for the pros and cons of this method.

    November 11, 2007
  • Wow Neil, you’ve really put together a great resource on the subject! I’m a big fan of the extension tube as an introductory method of macro photography. But even after you “graduate” to more sophisticated equipment, they’re still worth hanging onto. On several occasions, I’ve coupled my extension tube to my macro lens — great for those really small subjects.

    November 11, 2007
  • My Canon Extension tube EF25 has electric contacts and is transmitting all lens functions.

    November 12, 2007
  • Neil Creek

    Thanks for the comments folks, I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I love it when you can spend a little bit of money and get a lot of results, so I wanted to get the word out about the fun I’ve had with these :)

    November 13, 2007
  • Crozzier

    Hi, thanks for the article I love it.., anyway I am beginner in photography, never have experience about it. Recently I bought DSLR camera and I also bought this extension tube, and I think I just wasting my money because I don’t know how to set my camera to use this stuff..Last time I had tried to adjust my camera to manual setting but it didn’t work ..My camera caught nothing…just darkness..too bad.
    Would you please to assists me to use this stuff? Please..My camera is Nikon DSLR D40X..Thanks

    April 12, 2008
  • Chris

    Great article! I’m convinced, I just ordered a set of those tubes off ebay!

    May 16, 2008
  • Matt

    I just got my set in the mail, which i ordered off of ebay after reading this post. All I can say is these are great fun and if you use the whole stack and set your lens to the widest aperture you great a tiny depth of field (as seen Here

    May 19, 2008
  • @Crozzier – It’s a bit hard to help with such a general query. My suggestions would be to make sure everything is connected properly, then make sure you’re not just missing the focus point. The DOF is VERY narrow with macro. Zoom yout lens all the way out then go thru your full focus range. If you can’t find focus there, pull back the zoom a bit, and do the same. Repeat till you find focus.

    @Chris, @Matt – Have fun with your tubes! I love mine :) Thanks for sharing your photos Matt, some very nice ones there!

    May 20, 2008
  • marke

    im using d300 and 105vr micro and this kind of extension tube. why am i getting and aperture of 0? is there any settings im missing?

    May 28, 2008
  • @marke: The reason for that is that the extension tubes do not have data connections between the lens and the camera. The aperture is set in the lens, but because the camera cannot communicate with the lens, it displays an aperture of f0. The lens, by default will be open at its widest aperture. If you want to change the lens’ aperture, you need to put it back on the camera and use the DOF preview trick described in the article above. Good luck!

    May 29, 2008
  • alfred

    can i use two sets of extension for example two sets of kenko extension tube, a total of 136mm. can i use it at the same time?

    June 19, 2008
  • nycko

    hello, I have a nikon D40x, but this camera dosn’t have the DOF button, so, what should I do to keep the aperture at a desired

    June 23, 2008
  • nycko

    but, I think it won’t be a problem, with my Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.8 lens, because on this it can be adjusted the aperture manualy, Thanks anyway…

    June 25, 2008
  • Robbie

    i’ve just got the exact same tubes as yours but don’t know how to use them. as you mentioned, it is very dark through the viewfinder, and i can’t seem to get focus, even manually. As nycko, i too am using the 50mm f1.8 so can i adjust aperture directly from the ring?

    July 04, 2008
  • nycko

    YES, robbie, you can, I`m using this extension tube since monday this week, it’s working very well, you’ll need a lot of light, set the aperture to f1.8, the focus at min. 0,45 m and you’l have move very close to the subject, good luck, if you have further problems don’t hesitate to ask on

    July 05, 2008
  • Robbie

    Thanks, nycko. gonna try it out tomorrow in the garden. will probably be contacting you again if i run into trouble. :)

    July 07, 2008
  • Robbie

    tried and it works. i just gotta master my shake or get a better tripod. thanks.

    July 09, 2008
  • Robbie

    if you’re curious, this is the most successful shot with the tubes.

    (pls don’t flame me for posting the link. just sharing that the tubes DO work, and works very well)


    July 10, 2008
  • nycko

    I’m glad you managed to work with it, it was my pleasure helping you, I wish you nice shots with it…

    July 10, 2008
  • nycko

    very nice shot robbie, I like your gallery, keep up the good work…

    July 10, 2008
  • Thanks a lot nycko for helping Robbie with their query. I’ve been unable to reply to all the blog comments recently, so I really appreciate you helping out :) I hope you’re having fun with your extension tubes Robbie!

    July 17, 2008
  • nycko

    No problem at all, Thank you, to sharing with us your experience and for your wonderful macro shots, recently I updated my D40x to a D80, so I have a new “toy” to play with, take care…

    July 18, 2008
  • IainMac

    I’m looking for some help – I bought a set of these tubes on ebay for my Oly E-510 and tried them out today, but I can’t separate the tube from the lens! Has anyone got any suggestions? it seems jammed and I don’t want to break the lens

    July 22, 2008
  • nycko

    so, it’s very easy, there is a metal button on the tube set, you need to pull, or push it backwards and, than the tube will release the lens, but do it very gently… I hope you’ll be able to separate them, good luck…

    July 22, 2008
  • IainMac

    Thanks nycko – now I feel so dumb, the button didn’t seem to do anything, but it turns out it was really stiff and just needed more pressure, the lens is now free – phew!!
    Thanks again for your help

    July 23, 2008
  • Just to follow-up to IainMac’s question re the lens being stuck to the ring – THANKS to nycko for the answer! I’ve always used my extension tubes with my Holga lens which just twist off. Today I wanted a different effect and put on my usual autofocus lens. As soon as it went on I thought, oh bugger, how will I get it off again?? I didn’t realise the screw was a LEVER to release it. I spent an age screwing with it (literally) and had convinced myself it would have to be hacked off. Maybe this could be mentioned in the body of the text above, because the gizmo came with no instructions?

    August 11, 2008
  • Help! I bought a set of extension tubes for my D200 nikon. Same problem as Robert and Iain- no instructions and cannot get the damn adaptor off of the Lens. I emailed the seller but he knows less than nothing! the adaptor ring is fitted to the lens itself so do I have to depress or pull [out] the small chrome button to release it? and just to make sure- which way does it then unscrew if I hold the lens pointing away from my body [as if attached to the camera to shoot] I am loosing sleep over my lens being damaged! By the way, great pics!

    August 29, 2008
  • IainMac

    with the lens pointing away from your body use your thumb to slide or pull the button towards you, hold it there and twist off the lens.
    I hope this explains it and you can release your lens.
    Good luck

    August 30, 2008
  • IainMac

    The pressure you apply with your thumb should be away from the lens and parallel to the side of the tube.
    Is this making sense? It is difficult to describe.

    August 30, 2008
  • Hi Iain, Thank you for the advice. The ring seems to be firmly stuck! This may well be due to the excessive pulling and pushing I have carried out over the last few days….I am going to take to a repair shop just in case. I can’t afford to mess up the lens as couldn’t afford to replace it. Many thanks for input much appreciated. Best regards Denis

    August 30, 2008
  • Ajai


    Bought a cheap extension tube from ebay. when the tube and lens is connected to the D80, the f– keeps blinking as if no lens has been attached to the camera. Appreciate if somebody could help how to get this working.
    Many thanks & regards,

    September 24, 2008
  • Hi Neil,
    thank you for the explanation about extension tubes, now I have a question which is that I’m going to buy a canon EF 100mm 2.8 macro lens and i’m wondering if buying the extension tube Ef 25mm II with it is a good idea or ot..thank you very much :)

    October 12, 2008
  • Raúl

    Great article

    January 21, 2009
  • Michael

    Nocturnus, a 25mm tube will be a good addition to that lens.

    I wish to take some time to clarify some of the points made by Neil, if I may.

    Almost all of the disadvantages claimed by Neil can be remedied by buying more expensive tubes. Kenko, for example, make tubes that pass through the aperture data so all the pre-aperture and dark screen focus screen stuff can be ignored. They are also far cheaper than the Canon ones. Most macro focusing is done manually anyway, so AF is not really needed.

    So in short, don’t buy the cheapest you can find and your entry into the world of macro will be a lot more fun. And the good news? Extension tubes can be used on your macro lens for even better results!

    February 20, 2009
  • Newlearner

    Hi Neil Creek and Guys,

    I have one Nikon D50 and I am going to buy one set tube. I just don’t understand “No aperture control means that in order to change it, the lens has to be set to the desired aperture while on the camera body, then with the camera on, removed from the body while holding the depth of field preview button to keep the iris at the desired aperture.” Could you tell me more detail how to do this? Give one example maybe more helpful.I am new learner on my DSLR.


    May 09, 2009
    • What i wsa describing was a hack to have control over the aperture setting when using “dumb” extension tubes that don’t connect electronically to the camera. The only way to set the aperture of the lens is with this trick. First, with the lens you want to use with the extension tubes mounted on the camera, you set your desired aperture. Then, with the camera turned on, you press and hold the depth of field preview button while removing the lens from the camera body. This should leave the iris in the lens set to the desired aperture. You can then mount the lens to the tubes and the tubes to the camera, and shoot with your desired aperture. I hope this answers your question!

      June 01, 2009
  • Tim

    Hi – nice article. I just got these today and was looking for some sort of instruction / hints / tips webiste. What do the 3 rigns do etc what lens is best to use with them etc.

    Do you have any further info on this?

    I have e the same kit as you have and I have 18-55 kit lens, 50mm prime and 200mm zoom. really looking for some help in getting the best out of this amazing cheap piece of kit.


    July 13, 2009
  • Newlearner

    Hi Tim,

    So far, I only used extension tube with my 50mm/f1.8. What I did is set lens manually at biggest aperture,and then installed tube set. It looks work on unmoving subject but not work very well with moving subject.I still want to learn how to use it in different way on other lens.


    July 23, 2009
  • Ewa

    great web site. very helpful. I’ve been thinking about the macro extension tube for a long time… I’ve always dreamed about macro photography… Right now I use my wide angle lens to get some macro… but it’s not enought :/
    I think, the macrto extension tube is a great way to start!

    September 29, 2009
  • Ben

    Mine has got stuck too… Grr, I think I have to go to the repair centre now. Expensive and annoying! Any thoughts on how to avoid/fix this?

    January 06, 2010
    • Once when my threaded macro tubes became overtightened, I managed to get them apart using a tool my wife uses for beading. She has a pair of plyers with teflon pads. I was able to put a good amount of force through the plyers to unscrew the thread without damaging the tubes themselves.

      January 08, 2010
  • I’ve made a DIY extension tube and installed it with the EF 18-55mm IS kit lens..You can check the detail of how I made it and the results here:

    January 07, 2010
    • Nice work, and great images you captured with your homebrew tube. Well done :)

      January 08, 2010
  • Ian

    The last days i could not sleep because my lens was stucked… until i found this tread (google).

    Thanks so much !

    Bye from Belgium,


    February 25, 2010
  • I just have to say, I posted a comment almost 2 years ago (May 19th, 2008) with a link to a photo I took using these extension tubes and while I don’t get much traffic to my flickr page, almost everyday I get a referral through your site on the photo. That’s pretty cool!

    March 14, 2010
  • majka

    Thanks for the post – and for all the advice on stuck macro tube. Somehow the feeling I am not alone who had the same scare helps! It wasn’t the first time I used the macro extension tube, but it happened anyway – I tightened it too much …

    March 22, 2010
  • vicky

    Panic Panic Panic mine too got stuck, read your fantastic email and my lens is free now. What a fright I got, we would all be lost with-out you cleaver guys. Thanks again
    PS I take it that you can only use the tubes with large aperture lens such as 50mm 1.8 lens. Thanks again v

    April 10, 2010
  • Alan

    Help! I have an extension tube adapter stuck on my camera body – Nikon D300. It will turn left and right (clockwise and counter clockwise, but will not come off of the camera body. I’ve pressed the lens release to no avail! If anyone can help, I’d greatly appreciate it! Thanks – Alan

    April 22, 2010
  • Purk

    Same problem than Alan!!!! Macro tube stuck on my Nikon D80 body… Don’t know what to do… Any help please????

    June 08, 2010
  • rex

    same problem with my d40x.. help please?

    June 25, 2010
  • Purk

    Hi rex, I finally solve my problem. It seems that one of the metal pieces that attach the tube to the camera body is too big. Solution: force a little bit the tube to get off. I was not so brave to do that, but in Nikon technical service they do without any problem, and for a cheap price.

    June 25, 2010
  • Greg Chamberlain

    I am trying to get larger Photos of Gemstones. I have a 100mm Macro on my Canon Reble XTI But When Shooting 5mm stones it is hard to get a stone to fill the frame. What might you recamendation be? Extension Tubs, Etc. Please Respond. Greg Chamberlain.

    August 10, 2010
  • brandon

    Hey guys I got a macro fish eye extention for my canon rebel and it won’t come off, could u guys help me? Im scared I might break my lens or the extention

    August 24, 2010

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