How to Use a Macro Extension Tube

by Tycho Smith September 11, 2019 3 min read

How to Use a Macro Extension Tube

When it comes to photography, there seems to be a nearly endless number of camera accessories that you can test out and use to create unique new effects for your photos. Wide-angle lenses are a very popular choice for photographers who are interested in capturing landscape images and vast spaces. And, technology has even expanded into testing out multi-lens cameras for new, interesting results.

However, if you want to try photographing very small objects in a vivid and meaningful way, you should learn more about macro photography. While many people misinterpret what macro photography is, because “macro” means “large,” it actually refers to a style that makes small things appear big. In order to do this effectively, you need to employ the right types of lenses, techniques and other equipment like a macro extension tube set. For anyone interested in experimenting with macro photography, we’ve pulled together a guide on how to use this piece of equipment and master this unique technique.

What Is Macro Photography?

close up picture of dragonfly

As mentioned, macro photography focuses on very small objects and how to make them look large or even life-sized. Typically insects, flowers, jewelry, water and items with interesting textures, like feathers, are common subjects for macro photography, but if you feel inspired by a specific object, feel free to experiment. This style of photography can be very enticing as it allows people to appreciate minuscule, everyday items that can easily be overlooked and reveals their greater beauty.

What Is a Macro Extension Tube?

A macro extension tube set is a very important accessory in macro photography. These tubes can help you focus in on small objects that your camera’s normal lens is unable to focus on. You need to create a clear, crisp image if you want your macro photography to be beautiful and moving. Without the ability to focus on your subject, it’s nearly impossible to create successful photography. Macro extension tubes attach to your lens and allow you to change the focus distance, making it easy to target the subject. With a macro extension tube set, you can add multiple tubes to your lens depending on howmuch space you need to put between the camera and your subject.

How to Use a Macro Extension Tube Set

Now that you understand the purpose of a macro extension tube set, you can learn how to use different macro lenses to obtain the right appearance in each of your photographs. When you purchase a macro extension tube set, you’ll receive several lenses of varying sizes. In order to know when to utilize each lens, you’ll need to master basic macro photography fundamentals and have a concrete understanding of focal distances. The better you understand this, the easier it will be to identify which length lens you need for each different subject.

The macro extension tube lenses do not actually alter the image in any way like other effect lenses. Instead, these tubes merely attach to your camera and the actual focus lens to add distance and allow the photographer to get close to an object while still being able to focus on it. The distance between a subject and the point from where the photographer can focus on the subject is known as the minimum focus distance.

ring macro extension isolated

Selecting a Macro Extension Tube Set

Though you can purchase single macro extension lenses, most sets will include at least three tubes of varying lengths. As you continue to practice macro photography, you’ll realize that every subject has a slightly different minimum focus distance, meaning you’ll continually be readjusting the length of your extension tubes. This is why owning a variety of macro extension tubes is useful. Usually, these sets range in price from $20 to $100 depending on the number of lenses in the set and the quality of the accessory.

Invest in Top-Notch Accessories

The better your camera and assorted accessories are, the higher quality photography you’re going to produce. And if you’re just starting to experiment with macro photography, it’s essential that you purchase the right macro extension tube set to create the most vivid and moving photographs of up-close subjects. Movo’s wide range of camera accessories can help you master all the techniques you’re learning and capture stunning photos you’ll be proud of for years to come.


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