I noticed in the new issue of Digital Photo Magazine (Feb 2013) that Pro-Optic has a product called a "Pro-Optic Macro Zoomer". This is essentially an extension tube 'set' all in one unit that can be zoomed in and out for a continuous range of magnification. It supports auto-focus and auto-exposure. Has anyone used this product or one like it? If so is it useful for you?
For my true macro/micro work I use a Raynox 250 mounted on my 105VR with the R1 Flash system and a 4-way macro focusing rail and am wondering is this zoomer will make things better/worse and or easier.
Dan (Nikon D800,V2,Sony HX400V,Lumix ZS40) "I don't read, I just look at pictures" - Andy Warhol
#1. "RE: Using Zooming X-tension Tubes??" In response to Reply # 0
I'll have to look at that - this is, essentially, a bellows unit with full electronic pass through. In theory this is better than a bellows in that it could have a much less delicate build - zoom helicoids with no glass seem like they could be made far more durable than the bellows.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#5. "RE: Using Zooming X-tension Tubes??" In response to Reply # 0
There are some advantages of the zoom over individual tubes but also areas where the tubes have an advantage.
As I see it these are the advantages.
1. Price - The zoom is $128 at Adorama while the set of 3 Kenko tubes is now $199. I got my set for about $160 a couple of years ago.
2. Stability- Maybe. The more tubes you stack the more joints you have which can wobble or sag. I don't know how much play there is in the helicoid on the zoom but it could be more stable.
3. Flexibility - With the zoom you can vary the extension to any length between the two end points, whereas the tubes limit you to distinct extension lengths of the individual tube lengths or stack combinations.
4. Convenience - You don't have to fumble with tubes to change extension.
The potential disadvantages as I see it.
1. Min extension - The zoom range is 46-68mm. The min extension of 46mm is a fairly long min extension. The Kenko tubes are 12mm, 20mm and 36mm so you have 12, 20, 32(12+20) and 36 mm that can be achieved before you reach 46mm. Extension costs light so you may not want to start at 46mm of extension.
2. Focal length - Also regarding zoom range, depending on the lens you're using, you may want a shorter extension. Shorter focal lengths need less extension to achieve the same magnification.
3. Flexibility - While the Kenko tubes don't offer continuous extension they do allow a greater range, from 12mm to 68mm. While there are extension lengths that the zoom can achieve that the tubes can't, the tubes in combination can achieve 12, 20, 32, 36, 48, 56, and 68mm. The zoom has the same 68mm max extension so it doesn't seem to offer that much more flexibility beyond the convenience of the zoom.
#6. "RE: Using Zooming X-tension Tubes??" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 14-Jan-13 05:46 PM by nkcllewis
I'm definately interested; I haven't used my PK-11 in years because of the fumbling about of it all. So, I'm not a big user of extension tubes but was wondering if this could be a kind-of poor man's 70-180 micro nikkor or replacement for a focusing rail for for high mag work.
#7. "RE: Using Zooming X-tension Tubes??" In response to Reply # 0
Boston Area, US
I'm interested as well, but I'm a bit concerned about vignetting. I've yet to see any data on the inside diameter of the tube.
With the current 60mm "G" lens, this extender would allow about 2:1 magnification at 46mm and almost 2.5:1 at 68mm.
With the 105mm VR, it would allow about 1.6:1 at 46mm and almost 1.9:1 at 68mm. For comparison, using a Nikon 6T with a 105mm VR allows just under 1.5:1, and with the Raynox DCR-250 you can get to 2.25:1. A combination of extension and close-up accessory lenses allow even higher magnifications.
(Right now, I'm having fun playing with a Nikon V1 and low-power microscope combination).
"There is no real magic in photography, just the sloppy intersection of physics and art." — Kirk Tuck