Extension Tubes


Choosing the Right Camera Lens


Lesson Info

Extension Tubes

Next up are extension tubes. And this is for anyone who would like to do close-up photography, but they're not quite ready to dive into a full Macro Lens. So the extension tubes are these small tubes, they're hollow tubes that have no glass in them. And so there's no glass to degrade the image quality at all. I have a couple of them right here with me. And these are kind of nice, they're, I've got a small one, I've got a 12 millimeter one, which is the thickness of it. And then I've got another 25 millimeter one. There's no glass in there. They have the electronics, so they pass all the information from the lens back to the camera. I can use a small one if I want a little bit of close-up. I can use the big one if I need more close-up. And then I can take 'em, mount 'em together and then I have even more close-up. And because they have no glass in them, they are using the original quality of the lens that you are actually shooting with. And so they provide you the opportunity to shoot c...

lose-up with any lens that you have. They tend to do best with normal and telephoto lenses, not so well on wide angle lenses. But you can mount 'em on any lens which is nice. So let's go ahead and take a look what it looks like when you put it on your camera. So here's your standard 70-200 lens. Let's add a 12 millimeter extension tube. Let's add a 25 millimeter and you see how the body is getting further away from the lens in this case. And let's add on both then, and so now we have a total of 37 millimeters. And so you can keep adding these on, you can add as many of 'em as you want on there. So let's look at what it does as far as what you can shoot. And so we have our 70-200 at it's minimum distance and then we have the 12, the 25 millimeter, then we had both and you can see how much closer it gets you. And so if you want to play around with close-up photography, these are relatively inexpensive. Partly because there's no glass in 'em, they're just a housing. Now, they are not as good as a Macro Lens in sharpness or in close-up capability. Let's pull out a real Macro Lens. And you can see that we can get much closer to our subject. But the nice thing is, is that you can start with extension tubes. And then you can get a Macro Lens. And if you want, you can add extension tubes onto your Macro Lens. You can add 'em onto your telephoto lens. And so they will work with all of your different lenses. And so they're very very valuable no matter what type of lenses, whether they're zoom or prime lenses. As I said before, they're not real good with wide angle lenses, but they do tend to work very well with normal and telephoto lenses. And these things are relatively cheap. You can pick up a single one for less than a hundred bucks or around a hundred bucks. You can get sets of three of 'em for very little money. They do change the exposure ever so slightly. And so if you figure out your exposure and then you add an extension tube, you're gonna need to let in just a little bit more light because they body is, the sensor is a little bit further away from the lens. A couple of the best deals when it comes to extension tubes are these three packs that are available anywhere from 80 to about 120 dollars and they can be added to a variety of different lenses. Just make sure that you get 'em set, or manufactured for the type of camera and lenses that you are using.

Class Description

Once you’ve chosen the camera of your dreams, how do you know which lens will maximize your camera’s capabilities? Join camera expert John Greengo as he explains what the best lenses are to add to your camera bag. He’ll explain:

  • Which lens is best for specific areas of photography
  • The technology behind lenses
  • How to use specialty lenses including macro and fisheye
  • Tips on operating and maintaining your lenses

John will also talk about lens accessories including hoods, mounts, filters, and teleconverters. By the end of this class, you’ll understand exactly what lens you’ll need to take your best photos!


Boris Dimitrov

Excellent class packed with incredibly useful knowledge. John is an amazing lecturer. He has also developed really great materials to help explain all the concepts and technologies that are explored in the class. Looking forward to my next class with him!

a Creativelive Student

Great class. So informative. John Greengo is such a fantastic tutor and explains everything in such and easy-to-understand way. I would highly recommend this class. Prior to doing this class, I was so confused about which lenses are best for various photography. Now I understand lenses completely. Thanks John!

Lettie Turner

Another great JG class, my 4th. He gives a lot of individual attention to several popular lens brands. I really think after seeing this video series you could pick out three lenses that would fit your needs and your pocketbook. The class handout is spot on for what is covered in the video. Great job!! Thank you