I would like to know if any of you are using (or have used) extension tubes for bird photography. I'm thinking of getting one to use with my 80-400 lens. Sometimes I photograph in public parks and need to be closer to my birds than my 80-400's minimum focusing distance will allow. (I don't want to get in the way of other park users, especially if I am on a pathway.) Which extension tube did you use and why? How did it work out for you?
I have used an extension tube on my 300 prime to focus closer for a bird shot. The 300 AI only focuses down to 13 feet, with a 27mm extension tube I can get down to about 6.5 feet. I have an inexpensive Vivitar tube set that works just fine for my uses.I would post a picture that I shot with this setup, if I could only find one. Have a lousy filing system. I think they came out just fine using the tube in that way.
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I use them quite a bit. I have a set of Kenko tubes that work pretty well for me. Do realise that in lenses that focus off the body's motor (which I think the 80-400 does) will have their autofocus performance effected dramatically.
I often use Nikon PN-13 or PK-11 rings with an AF-I 500mm f4. As these rings are older than the beginning of the AF era, I have to work in MF. As Nikon hasn't thought about the idea of using a 500mm for bird photography at close range (3-4m) they haven't any AF ring (yet ???). Fellow Nikonians do recommend the Kenko rings, but I haven't found, tried or bought them yet.
Indeed the Kenko set is very good for it's price, but you will loose all automatic features of lens and camera. I had a client who modified a TC20E, took all the glass out and used it as a tube with all the automatics still working. There is only one problem, this will be the most expensive tube you'll ever had
Other features....not quite sure what you are referring to. I have Kenko tubes and as far as I can tell all of the automatic features pass through them flawlessly. VR is the one feature I don't know about. Nikon tubes on the otherhand are a whole other nightmare. I will say again that autofocus performance though is an issue especially with the F80 instead of the F100.
>Indeed the Kenko set is very good for it's price, but you >will loose all automatic features of lens and camera.
Sorry Wim, but that isn't true. The Kenko ET lets all automatic features pass through. It's the Nikon ET that doesn't. I also use the Kenko ET and they work very well although they are made of plastic and feel "cheap". Anyhow, that doesn't bother me because there is no glass involved. It is just a hollow tube.
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