First Try!

On Tuesday when I got home from work, there was a notice from the post office on my door saying that they had tried to deliver a parcel earlier in the day.  I was very excited because I knew it was my Kenko DG Auto Extension Tube Set that I ordered at the camera show last weekend.  Testing my patience I had to wait until Wednesday morning to pick it up at the post office and then a whole day at work before I could test it out.

When I got home Wednesday afternoon, I ignored everything but my new toy.  Extension tubes are a great way to get macro results with a regular lens.  As explained on, “an extension tube is simply a hollow cylinder that fits in between your camera and lens, causing the lens to move further from the sensor. This additional distance allows your lens to focus more closely, which in turn provides more magnification capability.”

Now, I have to ask a favour.  Don’t be too critical about the following photos ok because this was only my first try, and I know I have a great deal to learn.  I figure I’m doing pretty well figuring out to put the extender tubes in between the camera body and the lens LOL!!  If you have any hints though, I would be glad to hear them :).   Although I know the really close shots are still a little blurry, I am absolutely amazed at how much closer I could get to the subject.  I love taking close-up shots, and I was very often frustrated by my camera beeping at me to tell me that I was too close for the camera to properly focus.  I think the extender tubes are going to greatly improve my macro photography without the expense of a macro lens :).

1st photo – 18-55mm lens, no extender tubes, 5 inches from figurine, which is the closest I could get and still focus properly

2nd photo – 18-55mm lens + 12mm extender tube, 2.5 inches from figurine

3rd photo – 18-55mm lens + 12mm and 20mm extender tubes, 1 inch from figurine

4th photo – 18-55mm lens + 12mm, 20mm and 36mm extender tubes, 1/2 inch from figurine

These were all taken sitting at my dining room table under a bright chandelier, which wasn’t the best for lighting conditions.  I would have loved to try the tubes outside in natural light the first time, but it’s just not that kind of weather anymore :(.  They were all taken at F13 and a shutter speed anywhere from 0″6 to 1″, and my camera was stabilized on my Gorillapod.  The last two photos are a little blurry, but the one thing I did find with the tubes is that when I used two or three tubes, I had to switch to manual focus which I have never used before.  I am still pretty pleased with my first attempts though.  What do you think?

This entry was posted in Blogging, Camera Settings, Focus, Macro Photography, Photographic Challenges, Photography, Photography Equipment, Photography Experiments, Photography Techniques and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to First Try!

  1. I think your first attempts are fantastic – but this is coming from someone who was a journalist and forced to become a photographer because when you work for a small paper, you become a jack of all trades. People were placing bets as to when I would start taking recognizable pictures (no joke–these people in a small town need more to do!) Needless to say I am just a journalist and columnist now–and whenever I am called on to take a pic I get very anxious.

  2. Which means–in conclusion–that I am very impressed by your pics, even when you are experimenting as I know how hard it is.

  3. I think you did a great job for a first attempt.

  4. bulldogsturf says:

    interesting … never heard of this item or tube… love what it can do….

    • Yes, me too :). I can’t wait to experiment more with them. Too bad the summer is over here though because I know I will use it a lot outside for flower and bug shots. Maybe I can get some close-up snowflake shots this year :).

  5. zannyro says:

    I think you are learning SO much…you are really knowledgeable and I love the results you got…keep showing us more!!

    • Awww, thanks Suzanne! Sometimes I get frustrated because I don’t have as much time to learn as I would like. For instance, I would love to take some photography courses, but I would have to drive an hour one way to take a class. So, I just read when I have a chance and experiment as much as I can. And, I have received so much help from my fellow bloggers :). Thank you for being so supportive :).

  6. benzeknees says:

    I know nothing about cameras & I am not a photographer, but the first thing that struck me was how much this doll’s hair looked like plasticene! Do you remember plasticene?

  7. zelmare says:

    Way to go Cindy!!! Nice first try! 🙂

  8. Dor says:

    No idea what you are talking about in this post but I am impressed, both with the post and the photos for their utter clarity. Feels like I can pick up that doll and run with it. 🙂

  9. Jeff Sinon says:

    Nice first effort Cindy! One thing to try, live view and manual focus. You’ll get much better results as far as sharpness goes. With Live-view on, zoom in all the way on the point you want in focus and then manually focus to get the sharpest focus where YOU want it, not where the camera thinks you want it.

    Extension tubes are a lot of fun, enjoy!

    • I’ve been waiting for you to comment because I knew you would have awesome suggestions :). I did try manual focus but it’s hard to get the focus right through the viewfinder. I never thought of trying live view!! Thanks Jeff :). And yes, they are a lot of fun!!

  10. When taking macro photographs, I typically use auto mode to quickly get the lens to focus in approximately the right place, and then I fine tune by moving the camera forwards or backwards, or manually turning the lens’s focusing ring. With tricky subjects, where the auto focus moves in and out but can’t find a place to settle, I turn auto off entirely. I find that manual mode is ultimately the best way to get the focus I want, and it also seems completely natural to me, thanks to at least two decades of using cameras before there was any such thing as auto focus.

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