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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 28 November 2007
I got these because I wanted to dabble with macro photography and couldn't justify the expense of one of Canons better macro lenses. Canons tubes are unreasonably costly given that you're only buying extra air between the lens and the sensor, so these are a good compromise.

The Kenko tubes are solidly built and fit together tightly with the Canon 400D body and EF lenses I've used them with. In fact the body fit is *very* tight, almost too much so, though in practice I've not seen any damage or marks on the Canon body mount.

All the usual lens auto-focus and auto exposure stuff continues to work, though as you'd expect with macro photography it's better to rely on manual focus and use a tripod.

The three tubes can be combined, and with a 50mm lens can give a magnification factor of up to 1.47 which is more than adequate for most circumstances. Combined with the cheap but effective 50mm F1.8 lens it makes a pretty good setup. Of course you can use other lenses, the limiting factor will be how close you have to get to the subject, and the available light. Of course this is where a specialised macro lens comes in...

There's an instruction leaflet which, while it's only a single sheet of paper, does manage to convey all the information you'll need to be able to make effective use of the tube set.
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on 27 May 2013
These rings are excellent Canon alternatives, plus you get a set of three (12mm, 20mm and 36mm) for the nearly the same price as a single canon 25mm ring. The build quality is excellent (made in Japan); they are robust and have the same quality feel as canon's own equipment and they give the reassuring clicking sound when being fitted. The 36mm ring has a comfortable grip at the base, meaning you can grip the tubes firmly when attaching/removing the lens (assuming you are using the 36mm tube). The release buttons are solid and feel like they will stand up to rigorous usage.

All three rings are marked with the Canon EF red and EF-S white dots to enable correct mounting with both types of lens. It also has the Canon 35mm wet film red dot for those with compatible cameras. These rings enable the autofocus feature on compatible lenses to be used, another bonus, and the rings can be fitted in any combination. Even with my EOS 700D 18-55mm `kit lens' I was able to focus using all 3 rings, the area in focus was about 2cm (approx. 0.75") and the lens was about 4cm (approx. 1.5") from the subject but the clarity and level of detail was unbelievable. I also have a SIGMA 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro lens and using the 3 rings enabled me to use the macro function without having to be nearly a meter away for the first time, although that is not what I bought the lens for!

The rings come with comprehensive instructions and advice on how best to setup the camera when using the rings and provides a table of magnification ratios, field coverage, distance from lens to subject and exposure factor increase for each combination of ring when using a standard 50mm lens and a good explanation of how to manually calculate for other than standard lenses, e.g. using a 50mm standard lens and the 12mm tube magnification, field coverage (cm) distance from lens front to subject (cm) and exposure factor are 0.35, 6.9 x 10.3, about 16 and 1.8 while using all three tubes (68mm) gives 1.47, 1.6 x 2.4, about 4.2 and 6.1 respectively (as provided by the supplied table)

If you intend shooting macro then you will need a heavy duty tripod. The 12mm ring adds 60g the 20mm 80g and the 36mm 125g to the front of the camera. If all three are to be used that is an additional 265g. A light-weight tripod will not cope as any small movement at macro distances will make shooting impossible. I personally use a Velbon PH-175Q and this copes perfectly even with all 3 rings plus the SIGMA lens (approx. 815g). You will also need either tethered or cable release capability to prevent camera movement. I personally use a canon alternative Remote Release Switch Cable RS-60E3 for Canon EOS Digital Rebel 300D, 500D, 350D, 400D, 1000D, 450D which gives excellent results for a fraction of the cost of a genuine Canon RS-60E3 cable.

For anyone wanting to try macro photography and who already have suitable lenses then extension tubes are a cheaper alternative to dedicated macro lenses, albeit with an obvious reduction in quality. However the results you will get against the price you will pay mean that it is a viable alternative for those who are not sure if macro is for them and do not want to spend a fortune on a single lens that they may not use in the future. There are cheaper rings out there but why risk potentially damaging your camera by using an inferior product; I believe these are a solid product and worth the money.
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on 6 December 2008
I love these tubes. I used them with my 400d and have had great fun with them. I confess I haven't used the Canon version, but you get three Kenko tubes for the price of one Canon so for the money these are far more flexible, especially when you consider that you're not limited to using 1 at a time, but have 7 possible combinations.

I use them mainly with my fixed 50mm lens, but they are compatable with the other lenses I have.

Edit: 2 years on and I still love these. I now use them with my EOS 7D , but still the same lens. Great combination.
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on 16 October 2012
I haven't bought other brands of extension tubes for my Sony/Minolta kit. I am aware that 'simple' tubes do not carry electronics contacts through the extension.

These tubes carry electronics and focus drive through. With closeup I tend to use manual focus as depth of field is so small.

I like the latches for the locking of lens and tube. The button is large and robust without getting in the way. The tubes are of a good wall thickness and have metal locking rings. These seem to be quality units.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 June 2014
These tubes feel fairly light, but are quite solid, with metal connectors for each part. Presumably they feel light in comparison to lenses as they have no glass inside, just the connectors for the camera. I tried these with my Nikon D7100 and a couple of lenses - 50mm prime and 70mm Macro. Macro lenses can be expensive, (a Nikon 105mm is over six hundred pounds) so these tubes are often promoted as a slightly cheaper way to get into macro photography.

At this price, the set is not the cheapest, but they do have everything you need in terms of electrical connections and the tight fit, gives you confidence that these are going to stay put and deliver decent shots.Cheaper extension tubes tend to lack the electrical connections and you may say that this doesn't matter, as you will always be using manual focus at the macro level, to get optimum sharpness - but you still need metering and TTL is most convenient and accurate - especially given that you will lose some light by adding extensions.

In use the, connectors are quite stiff, but this is not a bad thing and it all feels very solid and tough enough to hold whatever you connect with. The first noticable difference is that suddenly you can't focus on "normal" shots and whereas before, my 50mm and 70mm lenses were good all-rounders - useful for all sorts of shot - once the extensions are on, you can only really focus within a few inches of the lens. So these are very specialist, but if you want to get closer and get more magnification - they certainly do that. The 50mm prime can now get to 1:1 ratios and beyond, while the 70mm macro is revealing details that I've only seen in microscopes before.

The other big difference is that it is now much harder to avoid "camera shake", as small movements are magnified. So, while these tubes are light and very easy to use handheld, results inevitably show up the slightest movement and a tripod is going to be necessary, as you lose light and cannot compensate enough with ISO to get a fast shutter speed. Overall though this is a useful set, with the three components enabling you to vary the focal length in many combinations, to get the distance you want. Initially, I thought I would be going for the longest addition, but found by trial and error that the shortest, often gave the most useful results.

I would recommend this set to anybody who wants to experiment with close up, macro photography - it's a decent compromise, as long as you are able to get close to your subject and can use a tripod. I have seen the Kenko set recommended by several photography magazines/websites and I find my experience confirms their preference.
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on 21 September 2010
These are absolutely fantastic, and open up a whole new realm of possibilities for photography.

As an enthusiastic amateur photographer, I was interested in developing new areas of understanding, and looked in to macro photography. You have three choices - spend a lot of money on a dedicated macro lens, buy some magnification lenses, or buy some extension tubes. After ruling the first out on cost alone, and the second on quality, I was left investigating tubes. Again, you have options - plain, cheap tubes, or tubes with electric contacts. Since the former don't allow operation of different apertures, I looked into electric contact tubes. Canon OEM tubes are about same price for 1 tube, and this gives you three. A no-brainer as far as I was concerned.

The tubes are well constructed. They are instantly recognisable as Canon fit, and fit to camera and lens very easily an intuitively. They store together very conveniently.

Taking very close up pictures with an almost impossibly small depth of field is then simply a question of positioning your camera closer than you have ever been able to do before and hey presto, you've entered the world of macro photography.

I am really pleased that I purchased these for two reasons.
1. you maintain full functionality of the camera. I was a little nervous about this point, as there are older reviews on websites saying these don't work for Canon. These are the up to date version that certainly worked with my Canon 400D.
2. you get three rather for the same money that just one Canon would cost you.
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on 4 March 2012
Having previously used a Canon 100mm Macro lens I looked to buy one. But as I only would use it on a maximum of 5% of time, I also reviewed both add on lenses and extension tubes. Even the Canon add on lens has optical limitations, so in the end I choose to go with extension tubes. They are not as easy to use as a proper macro lens but using a combination of the three tubes with my 24-105 L series lens and a Canon 550D I obtain some really good images of insects and close ups of various small objects. It took a bit of getting used with three variables to set, ie. physical distance from object, zoom and focus, but the results were worth while. As with most macro images it is if possible best to use a tripod and use manual focus, plus either an RC remote control or a remote control lead. I am pleased with the quality of the extesion tubes and would recommend them to anyone wishing to dabble in Macro photography. The big disadvantage is that the lens front to subject distance is very small and if insects are what you are after photographing then it is probable the subject will be distrubed as you try to get the largest recorded image.
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on 16 August 2013
I am occasionally bemused by on-line reviews. You can read opinions that are so diametrically opposite that they just serve to confuse as I found on some sites whilst trying to decide whether a set of Kenko tubes were for me or not.

Let me offer my humble opinion. They are well engineered, sturdy and the mounting rings are engineered to a high standard. All three rings mounted between my A77 and 55-300mm lens (an unlikely but fairly hefty combination) gave me no cause for concern whatsoever. Mounted behind a Sony DT50mm F1.8 SAM prime. Autofocus was fast and accurate although, for macro work manual is probably better.

I despair of the equipment 'snobs' (check the photography forums, there's dozens of 'em, snobs, I mean) who dismiss equipment like this out of hand with comments like "You need the (insert your own brand) xxmm macro Lens to do that sort of work". Well if you have a bottomless wallet they're probably right. If like me, however, you don't. A set of these, a reasonable kit lens and a sturdy tripod can deliver some pretty startling results. As stated in an earlier review, a very useful addition to your camera bag.
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on 24 September 2013
I was looking for alternatives for macro work and like most I first priced up a macro lens and dismissed that option due to cost. I tried a screw on macro filter and had limited success with that, but could never seem to get the magnification I needed. After discussing with friends it appeared that extension tubes were the answer. I was shocked to find a wide variance in quality and cost between cheap Chinese versions and the Genuine Canon originals. The answer after much online research was these, the Kenco extension tube set DG. With three rings, 12mm, 20mm and 36mm which can be used in any combination to achieve image magnifications from 0.24 to 1.47 with a standard 50mm lens the options are immense. I counted 14 different options! Auto exposure and focusing all work but I tend to use manual focusing for final adjustment, I suggest you do too for critical adjustment. I noticed on the box that the manufacturer is Kenco Tokina Co Ltd a respected manufacturer of third party lenses, something that wasn't mentioned in the Amazon advertising. All in all I can wholeheartedly recommend this product, delivery was not quick as I believe the order was fulfilled from Japan but as they say sometimes in life the best things are wort waiting for!
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on 3 September 2014
First off if anyone is considering purchasing these Kenko extension tubes I would strongly recommend purchasing from anyone other that Amazon themselves. My tubes took an age to arrive and upon opening I found the sheet of instructions to be in German! No use to me.

Right, on with my review.

In my quest to improve my photomicrography skills using a Canon 1100D and Meiji EMZ 13TR microscope I decided to learn more basic techniques, in particular macro photography to more familiarise myself with the camera and its various functions. My first purchase was a set of four dioptre filters (also known as close up lenses) of the type that simply screw onto the end of a lens as per a normal filter. These were great fun and a great way to play around with macro in its most basic form. It was during this time that I started to be bitten by the macro bug and wanted more!

I had read about reverse lens macro where one attaches (via a ring adapter specific to one's camera and lens chosen) a lens, any lens, backwards to the camera. I have a set of old Practika Pentacon lenses that were waiting to be dropped off to Oxfam as I had no use for them....or so I thought.

Once I had acquired a reverse lens adapter (£2:99 via Ebay) I gave it a go.....WOW! I found the 28mm wide angle lens gave the best results and was extremely pleased with my pictures. It was at this Point I wanted yet more so started looking into extension tubes.

Having trawled the offerings on Amazon and read many horror stories regards the cheapo sets of tubes I thought I really didn't need the hassle of having tubes that worked when they pleased due to poor workmanship/quality control (read made in China). Enter the Kenko set of tubes.

Not a great deal to say other than repeat what others on here have said. That is they fit very snugly to the camera/lens and are very stable indeed even when all three tubes are stacked together.

By using these tubes in various combinations and the reversed lenses that I have I have taken some really great shots. I have no idea what magnification I am getting but I can say that with all three tubes together and the right lens some amazingly detailed shots are possible.

Due to the (expected) lack of depth of field I generally like to take images for stacking using both Helicon Focus and Zerene Stacker. I have posted a few pictures on here so please do take a look.

My next purchase (not for quite a while) will be a dedicated Canon macro lens but for anyone wishing to get some very reasonable macro shots then you could do a lot worse than get a set of Kenko tubes....you won't be disappointed.
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