Budget super macro + flower test shots

I ordered two sets of Pixco extension tubes, they are around $35AU per set which consists of 10mm and 16mm tubes. These contain no glass or lens but do have contacts so the attached lens works normally with auto focus and aperture control.

They fit between the camera body and the lens, making the lens focus much closer, enlarging the macro subject substantially. Because there is no extra glass, reduction in light to the sensor is minimal and image quality is still sharp subject to focus, but the area in focus is reduced.

Below shows the full setup of the photos below which include the match.

While the printing quality on these tubes isn’t great, the build quality and fit to the camera feels pretty good but I would recommend treating them gently. They are light weight, plastic and aluminum construction.

The shot below is with just the 60mm lens and no extension tubes at 1:1 – closest focus distance. All shots below are 15 images with a differential of 3 stacked in the camera. notice the area in focus reduces as tubes are added.

The next shot is with one set of tubes – 10mm + 16mm + 60mm lens at 1:1.

The following photo is with two sets of tubes – 16mm + 16mm + 10mm +10mm +60mm lens at 1:1. I’m not sure what the final magnification is – other than pretty impressive! Yep, that red thing is a match head.

The images above have been reduced in size, but not cropped. The image below is the same but cropped 1:1 pixels. Still 15 images stacked and some lessons learnt.

This test wasn’t done in the best lighting conditions and though I did use a remote shutter release, this was an 8 second exposure, f6.3, ISO800 – not exactly the best settings for sharp results and any tiny movement would introduce blur.

Compared to the straight 60mm lens image, the macro zoom achieved with these relatively cheap tubes is amazing. However, the depth of field is so shallow, even with 15 images stacked.

Below are a selection of super-macro flower images taken under LED light with all the tubes – just for a bit of a play and some fun (click to zoom in on any image).

In future I will try 150 images focus bracketed and stack them in Photoshop. I also want to try this with the EM1 II’s sensor shift high res 80MP mode – though I’m not sure if that will work with photo bracketing also.

6 thoughts on “Budget super macro + flower test shots

    1. They’re a good budget way to extend the use of an existing lens. Different to a teleconverter though, these won’t extend your zoom, though they can be used together to increase macro even further 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for the review and images.
    You mention not having any light loss from glass effects. But you may want to clarify that there always is an increase in effective aperture with moving the lens further away from the sensor (or film plane).
    My guess is you probably have lost a couple stops when you add both tubes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Allan, I probably did lose about half a stop with all the tubes on, it wasn’t much. I’ll check properly next time and make a note. Extra light would have helped in this trial, I did it on a coffee table in my lounge room with dim ceiling lights, not ideal 🙂


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