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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Dangerspouse's Avatar

    Extension Tubes vs. Reversing Rings

    I purchased my Nikon because my wife needed high quality macro shots of her products for inclusion in magazines, catalogs, and sales sheets, and neither her phone nor her little point-n-hope were cutting it. Because we were (are) on a budget, I got a used D3300 body, a used Nikkor 40mm micro lens, and an inexpensive light tent, table tripod, and a few other gadgets to get her up to speed.

    The setup has worked very well for the last year or so, but there have been times where I wish I had a longer focal length lens so I could pull the camera body back a bit. The Nikkor 105mm Micro is really well out of reach at the moment, even used, so I'm looking to either pop one of my longer lenses on an extension tube (or 3), or try a reverse mount ring.

    Does anyone have an opinion as to which produces better results? Any concerns about either one extant of actual picture quality? Neither option is particularly expensive, so whichever one produces the best photo - if indeed there is a clear winner - is the one I'll go for.

    Thanks very much!


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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    480sparky's Avatar

    Re: Extension Tubes vs. Reversing Rings

    Controlling the aperture might be an issue with a reversing ring.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Dangerspouse's Avatar

    Re: Extension Tubes vs. Reversing Rings

    As in the physical act of adjusting the aperature? Or do you mean that a lens mounted that way might give different depth of field results than expected?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: Extension Tubes vs. Reversing Rings

    What he means is, with the reversing ring, the aperture is non-functional... There is no aperture... With some extension tubes, the light meter in the camera can function as well as the aperture...

    I wouldn't consider a reversing ring in today's photography world a real Macro solution anymore... certainly not in a commercial venture where time and quality are commodities...

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    480sparky's Avatar

    Re: Extension Tubes vs. Reversing Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by Dangerspouse View Post
    As in the physical act of adjusting the aperature? Or do you mean that a lens mounted that way might give different depth of field results than expected?
    If it's a Nikkor lens, it will always be at minimum aperture. Focusing and composing might be a tad difficult at f/22 or f/32.

    The DOF scale would not apply if you reversed the lens.
    Don't mind me... I'm out roaming around somewhere between Zone III and VII.


    Go forth and actuate!


    My Website.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Dangerspouse's Avatar

    Re: Extension Tubes vs. Reversing Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by FredKingston View Post
    What he means is, with the reversing ring, the aperture is non-functional... There is no aperture... With some extension tubes, the light meter in the camera can function as well as the aperture...

    I wouldn't consider a reversing ring in today's photography world a real Macro solution anymore... certainly not in a commercial venture where time and quality are commodities...
    Ah, I see what you're saying. Thanks for that, Fred. I appreciate your thoughts on this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Dangerspouse's Avatar

    Re: Extension Tubes vs. Reversing Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
    If it's a Nikkor lens, it will always be at minimum aperture. Focusing and composing might be a tad difficult at f/22 or f/32.

    The DOF scale would not apply if you reversed the lens.

    Oh ok, I've got it now. Thanks for the clarification, that helped quite a bit!

  8. #8
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Extension Tubes vs. Reversing Rings

    Extension Tubes vs. Reversing Rings
    This is the video I watched which gives an idea of how extension tubes work. Both Kenko and Vello are supposed to allow the AF to work. Some extension tubes will only work with manual focus. Just something to consider.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Dangerspouse's Avatar

    Re: Extension Tubes vs. Reversing Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by hark View Post
    This is the video I watched which gives an idea of how extension tubes work. Both Kenko and Vello are supposed to allow the AF to work. Some extension tubes will only work with manual focus. Just something to consider
    Oh, Matt Granger! When I first got my camera I watched tons of videos from both him and the Northrups. He and they are excellent teachers. (One thing I just picked up from this vid that I didn't know: the sensor has a charge, which attracts dust, so turn the camera off when changing lenses.)

    Thanks so much for passing this along, along with the brand recommendations. Seems like it's unanimous, so I guess it's off to B&H for some extension tubes now....

    Thanks again, I really appreciate it!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    480sparky's Avatar

    Re: Extension Tubes vs. Reversing Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by hark View Post
    ...... Both Kenko and Vello are supposed to allow the AF to work. ......

    Typically, there's two factors here to consider. One is how good your camera's focus module is. Entry-level and low-end bodies have less sophisticated modules and may not work with tubes.

    Another factor is the amount of light on the subject. Poorly-lit or dark subjects may prevent AF from operating properly.
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    Don't mind me... I'm out roaming around somewhere between Zone III and VII.


    Go forth and actuate!


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