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Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 45 of 58

Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes


Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 45 of 58

Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes


Lesson Info

Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes

And so next up, we have extension tubes, so extension tubes are a great way to dabble in the world of macro photography. So if you're interested not fully set on macro photography, but you're interested in macro photography. The extension tubes, I think, are the best way to dabble in close up photography. There's a number of different tubes out there, and what's interesting is these are tubes. They're not lenses. There's no glass elements in here at all. They're just hollow tubes designed to move the camera away from the lens. So here we have a camera and a 72 200 lands. We're gonna add a 12 millimeter extension tube in between the body and the lands, and that's gonna enable us to focus up a little bit closer. We can add in a bigger tube, which will enable us to focus even closer. And because there's no glass elements, we can add multiple tubes at the same time and continue to keep our sharpness all the while getting closer and closer on our subjects. So I wanted to do a little test on...

what is the difference. And so this is what you see with a standard 72 200 F four at its closest focusing. And then when we add a 12 millimeter then the two tubes together it is reducing, are focusing distance between the camera and are subject, which means our magnification is increasing. So if you want to get a little bit closer, these do a great job because they're cheap. They're small, they're lightweight and they don't change the image quality because there's no glass elements in there. However, as nice as they are, they are still no comparison for an actual macro lens for getting pure close up really close up. So if you know you really need to get up close, the macro lens, which we're gonna get into in a later section, is the best way to do it. But this is a nice way to increase your ability to get close up. One of the other things that's really nice about this is that you can add these tubes to any lens that you own. All right now, it doesn't work real well on wide angle lenses, but it does work very well on normal the telephoto lenses. And so if you have a te 400 millimeter lands that has a minimum focusing distance of, let's say, eight feet. You could bring that down to three feet if you want a really tight shot. And so there's a number of cases where I've used it on one of these big white lenses because the minimum distance on this 800 millimeter lens let me just take a look at it is six meters. That's pretty far away. And so if you wanted to cut that in half, you could do so. Let's say you had a hummingbird feeder just outside the window that was only eight feet away. You could add extension tubes and get that lends to focus closer. And so, as I say, you can use that with any lenses. They typically don't do real well on white angle lenses because it brings the focus point somewhere inside the lens. So you see nothing in focus and so normal to telephoto lenses works very, very well on that. Now, when you do use these, when you move the lens further away from the camera body, you are letting in less light to your camera cause it needs to travel further from your lens through your lens. And so there is an exposure adjustment, so you can't just figure out what the exposure is. Add in a bunch of extension tubes and then take the picture. You better figure out that exposure after the fact and these extension tubes, and I think I got at least one of them over here. These extension tubes have electron ICS on them, and so they pass forward all the exposure information and all the focusing information. And so these newest ones are auto focus. That stays the same, and it passes through all the electron ICS on there. Now I bring upon the keynote the next life. The there is a number of options. The one that I have here in my hand is a cannon extension tube. And there are aftermarket once and for image quality. They're the same because there's no glass in there. Okay, but why did I get the cannon ones? Well, I felt that these were a little bit better quality made, and I knew they had a little bit better resell value, so it was a small investment. I'll get that investment back when I end up selling this to somebody else somewhere down the road. And so these air really good values because they give you three of them in a package for about 100 50 bucks. And so if you want to dabble into it, by all means, I highly recommend it.

Class Description

Working with interchangeable lenses can be both exciting and daunting to all levels of photographers. Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will prepare you to select the right lens and get the most out of all of your lens investments.

John Greengo is the master of making complex photography concepts easy to understand and in this class, he’ll bring all of your Canon EOS DSLR lens options and operations into focus. 

You’ll learn about: 

  • Focal length and aperture
  • Canon zoom lenses
  • Which lens accessories to buy
  • Third-party lenses
  • Maintaining a lens system

John will cover the full range of Canon lenses, from ultra-wide to super-telephoto, zooms to primes, fisheye to perspective control. You’ll learn how to match the right lens to your needs and get insights on the best ways to use it.

Whether you are thinking about buying a new lens or just want to get the most out of what you already have, Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will help you out.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Canon Lens Basics

    John Greengo gets you up-to-speed on the basics of working with interchangeable Canon® lenses.

  3. Focal Length: Angle of View
  4. Focal Length: Normal Lenses
  5. Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses
  6. Focal Length: Telephoto Lens
  7. Focal Length Rule of Thumb
  8. Field of View
  9. Aperture Basics
  10. Aperture: Maximum Aperture
  11. Aperture: Equivalent Focal Length
  12. Aperture: Depth of Field
  13. Aperture: Maximum Sharpness
  14. Aperture: Starburst Effect
  15. Aperture: Flare
  16. Aperture: Hyperfocal Distance
  17. Camera Mount System
  18. Canon Lens Compatibility
  19. Canon Lens Design
  20. Canon Lens Composition
  21. Canon Lens Shape
  22. Canon Lens Coating
  23. Canon Lens Focusing
  24. Lens Autofocus
  25. Canon Lens Image Stabilization
  26. Canon L Lenses
  27. Image Quality
  28. Canon Zoom Lenses: Standard
  29. Canon Super Zooms
  30. Canon Wide Zooms
  31. Canon Telephoto Zooms
  32. Prime Lens: Normal Lenses
  33. Prime Lens: Moderate Wide
  34. Prime Lens: Wide Angle
  35. Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide
  36. Prime Lens: Short Telephoto
  37. Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto
  38. Prime Lens: Super Telephoto
  39. 3rd Party Lenses Overview
  40. 3rd Party Prime Lenses
  41. 3rd Party Zoom Lenses
  42. Lens Accessories: Filters
  43. Lens Accessories: Lens Hoods
  44. Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount
  45. Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes
  46. Lens Accessories: Extenders
  47. Macro Lens: Reproduction Ratio
  48. Macro Lens: Technique and Choices
  49. Fisheye: Technique and Choices
  50. Tilt Shift: Techniques and Choices
  51. Make a Lens System Choice
  52. Choosing A Portrait Lens
  53. Choosing A Sports Lens
  54. Choosing A Landscape Lens
  55. Best Lenses for You
  56. Lens Maintenance
  57. Buying and Selling Lens
  58. What is John Greengo's Favorite Lens?



I so appreciate what a good teacher John is. I wish I would have known this much about lenses when I first started out buying my lenses. It was hard finding information about lenses. I didn't want to spend money on a lens I wouldn't use. The better understanding we have about our gear the better photographers we will be. I have never seen a class like this. Invaluable...yes I bought the class! I am really impressed with the high quality photography classes available on Creative Live!

a Creativelive Student

Have loved the other John Greengo classes I've watched & purchased - and this is another winner! Having been a high school/college science teacher, it is refreshing to take a course with someone who not only is extremely experienced, seems to be a computer having stored so much knowledge, but is equally concerned about making the information truly understandable to different levels. And he shares the information using every tool he can: slides, video, interactive presentations, and great quizzes. I learned so much about my Canon lenses - and lenses in general with their many components. I am excited about testing each of mine to see what macro ratio they handle, and especially appreciated the tutorial on testing each for their specific quirk that affects super sharpness. This class is great whether you own Canon lenses or not. Thanks John Greengo!


This was a great class not just about the lenses that Canon offers but also how each lens works. As usual, John's slides are alway informative and entertaining. There is a phrase: John has a slide for that! I am not even a Canon user and found this class to have great information for the use of each specific lens. Great work John! Thank you Creative Live for another great class!