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Using Canon Lens Extension Tubes on Your Camera

One of the accessories for a Canon camera is a telephoto lens. When you are outdoors and see that elusive deer on the edge of a clearing, a telephoto lens can bring it closer for a better picture. If you need more magnification, however, one of the different kinds of lens extension tubes can be used to bring the object into focus.

What does a lens extension tube do?

The Canon camera lens extension tubes are light-tight tubes that fit between your lens and your camera body. It is just an empty space with no optics. It increases the focal length of your lens. This increased extension moves the lens closer to the subject, so you can achieve greater magnification in your photography.

How do you use extension tubes?

You attach them to the front of your camera between the camera body and the lens. You can use one extender or stack two or more extension tubes to achieve even greater magnification. It is recommended to attach them to the lens first, then attach the whole stack of extension tubes to the camera mount.

What differences can be found in Canon lens extension tubes?

There are three things to consider when choosing extension tubes. These are:

  • Electrical contacts: Without electrical contact, your lens will have no electrical connection to the camera. This means you don't have autofocus or aperture control. Your camera will only work in AV or M mode. With electrical contact, you will have access to all electrical features of the camera.
  • Thickness: The thicker the tube, the closer the focal plane will be. However, the thicker it is, the harder it might be to bring the camera into focus.
  • Build quality: You want your extension tubes to be strong enough to hold your expensive camera lens without breaking.
Do lens extension tubes affect image quality?

There is no one size fits all type of answer to this question. An extender has no optics included, so often it doesn't have any effect at all except to increase the magnification factor. Lenses are built to correct for potential problems in their intended use. So, an extension will intensify any potential imperfections of the lens it is used with. It is best to test your extension with the lenses you have so you will know which lenses it works best with. Another possible complication with extending your lens is a loss of light. This is not detected by the camera itself but will show up on the image once the picture is taken.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Canon.
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