Extension Tubes and Portraits

alaiosalaios Registered Users Posts: 668 Major grins
edited January 22, 2014 in Accessories
Hi all,
I wanted to ask if someone played already with extension tubes in the past and if they can be used also for portrait shoots, taking even shallower depth of field and larger bokeh.

How much they influence the optical quality of a lense?
I would like to thank you in advance for your reply



  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,724 moderator
    edited January 21, 2014
    "Extension tubes" are normally used for close-focus and true macro photography.

    One complication of using extension tubes is that they move the lens forward, effectively shifting focus closer to the camera body. While this is a good thing for close-focus and true macro photography, it is very limiting regarding portraiture or even general photography.

    Even a short extension tube may limit the view to only a portion of the subject's face, assuming that you wish to use your crop format body, so it would definitely be a special application effect.

    Most zoom lenses are not designed for use with extension tubes, so extension tubes may, and often do, cause color fringing when used on zoom lenses, due to the shift in focus. I highly recommend using extension tubes only with prime lenses, with best results on true macro prime lenses.
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • alaiosalaios Registered Users Posts: 668 Major grins
    edited January 21, 2014
    As always very nice answer! Thanks
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul Registered Users Posts: 1,621 Major grins
    edited January 22, 2014
    Over the years I've used extension tubes in various situations other than macro - but invariably to get a larger subject in frame, whilst being limited in some way with respect to subject > cam distance.

    I've found them particularly useful when used with long primes (300 / 400 / 500) and ... in my early macro days ... with a 100 - 300 L zoom.

    Attached shot was taken with a tube on a 500 f4 ... as the subject(s) sometimes came closer than the minimum focus distance of the native lens ... and I wanted to increase my chances of getting a shot ...

    I'd suggest messing around / experimenting ...and see what you get :)


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