Extension tubes Kenko or Canon

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by sunnyindy, May 23, 2009.

  1. Hi. I've been staying in Wrangell - St. Elias Park, Alaska until late September. I'd like to photograph wildflowers in this area in addition to landscape and wildlife. Since I don't have any macro lenses, I'd like to add an extension tube. I use Canon 5D Mark II + 24-105mm, 17-40mm, 70-300mm, 100-400mm. I've never used any extension tubes before... I looked at Canon's extention tubes and Kenko's set (12, 20 & 36mm). It seems like the Kenko's set is a good value. Does any one of you used either Canon's or Kenko's? Do you recommend one over another? Please share your opinion.
  2. I have a set of th Kenko's and they work just fine. Since there is no glass, there really isnt an image quality issue. I rarely use them though because I have found that most of the time my Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens is good enough. It was a bit pricey, but for how well it does, I think it was worth every penny.
  3. Canon's extension tubes are better constructed than the Kenko tubes.
    I agree with Thomas, if you can afford it purchase the Conon 100 f/2.8 macro. I love the IQ that I get with it though I don't need to shoot greater than 1:1 when shooting macro.
  4. If you are going to be doing a LOT of macro work then spring for the Canon tubes, but if you're an occasional macro guy like myself the Kenko works fine.
  5. A review from the-digital-picture.com - he found very little difference between Kenko and Canon:
  6. I use a 25mm Canon tube and a 36mm Kenko tube. Both are made from metal bellow with plastic parts. They are very simular in material and construction. The only different is the Canon one has extra valvet light baffle in the form of a inner bellow while the Kenko tube does not have that. See pictures. I use the 36mm Kenko for its 11mm extra length. I don't stack tube. Either Canon nor Kenko seems stable when stacked. Have to say, the Kenko tube works just fine.
  7. I'd get the Kenko, since there isn't any glass in extension tubes I doubt that there's any difference in Canon air and Kenko air
  8. A follow up question - Will the Kenko Tubes work with a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 ? The lens is for crop cameras only, but the mount is a standard EF.
  9. I just checked the 5DII + EF25 + 24~105 combination. It's not useable below about 50mm, and even there (with the lens focus set at infinity) you are far too close to the subject for comfort. By the time you have set a longer focal length you are not getting the sort of macro capability you are likely to want. So why do I have an EF25? Well, it is a really good combination with the 135/2L for medium to large butterflies – extension tubes do have their uses!
    Of course, the 100/2.8USM would be ideal for you, but it's yet another fairly bulky and not-lightweight lens to carry. If you are only going to do occasional close-up shots, why not consider the 50/2.5, which you might well be able to find s/h at a pretty modest price, and is much cheaper than the 100/2.8 new? For the sort of botanical work you describe, you don't actually need the longer focal length (although it may be nice-to-have), and there will be plenty of material to work on before you feel the need to go beyond x0.5 in the field. The 50/2.5 is light and compact, and although the AFD motor is an old design, you'll be using MF much of the time anyhow. Optically it is an outstanding lens.
  10. "Will the Kenko Tubes work with a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8?"
    The Tamron 17-50 Yes. It does not use the EF-S mechanical. My Kenko tube doesn't fit Canon's EF-s lens (ie: 18-55 kit). If you look the image above, you will also notices that the Canon MK-II tube on the right has a wider opening which open all the way to the edge of the AF contact pins. This allow the AF-S lens to fit in. I don't know if the newer Kenko tube will do that all not. This is one thing you should check if you plan to use EF-S lens on the tube.
  11. BTW: If I were you, I most likely would have put on a 58mm 500D filter on the 70-300 even If I have tubes at hand. I do that because the magnification adjustment and CA correction in photoshop are easier with a 500D on a 70-300 zoom. For example, you can set the focus distant to infinity ( the least CA and most optically corrected with most non-macro lens) and use the zoom to adjust magnification. Focus is also simpler, you just place the filter ring to about 0.5 meter from the subject and fine adjust focus with you body and adjust framing with the zoom ring if needed. Verse with an extension tube, both magnification and focus change as you touch the zoom or focus ring. Plus, IMHO, good glass work better than plain air. If not, we all will be using pin hole camera :)
  12. According to most of the sources I've seen, the newest Kenko extension tubes do fit EF-S lenses. Some older Kenko tubes do not. So, be wary buying used if EF-S matters to you. Obviously it's all academic for Sunny's 5D.
  13. Tommy's photo of the Kinko tube shows exposed reflective metal. That has apparently been fixed in the current design. My Kinko's set (about 1 year old) has no reflective metal on the inside and has flat black machined plastic baffle. Construction is solid and appears to be quite durable. Although I don't have the Canon extension tube the only significant difference I see is the price. I don't have an APS-C camera or EF-S lenses so I cannot tell you if it will work with with them.
    I have found that the 36mm tube works well on the Canon 100-400mm lens giving a working distance of 3 feet to about 15 feet at 400mm. However at 100mm you cannot focus at all. On my 70-200F4 IS lens I have used 12mm +20mm +36mm together plus the Canon 500D closup to achieve close to 1 to 1 macro with a decent working distance. On the 24-105mm and 17-40mm the working distance is very low but I wouldn't call it unusable. However that said the bokeh on the 24-105 was a little strange and not the smooth effect most people like (including myself).
  14. I just noticed that the-digital-picture review said the Canon tubes have a white alignment mark for EFS lenses while they said the Kinko's do not. However on my set of Kinko tubes, they do have the white mark in the same place as the Canon. So it does look like the current Kinko set will work with EF-S lenses.
  15. It is worth getting some tubes even if you have a macro lens for more extension or use with long tele lenses. If you are serious about macro get a real macro lens in the 100mm range, the Canon is an excellent choice, it is miles better than messing around with tubes.
    On the subject of Canon vs Kenko tubes, I have a set of Kenko tubes but was very unhappy with them, they did not lock tight and the release levers required very little force to undo, after dropping my 100mm lens twice and my 300mm f4 IS once I order two 25mm and one 12mm Canon.
    The quality of the lock is miles better with no movement in the mount and the lock lever release pressure is 3X that of the Kenko, accidental release of the Canon's is almost impossible.
    It may be I was unlucky with the Kenko, but for me it was a case of pay cheap, pay twice.
  16. It's a tube of air. Kenko's air is just as good as Canon's air IMHO. I don't do a ton of macro work but Kenko's tubes have always worked just fine for me.

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