I discovered the magic of macro photography a few years ago when I was visiting the Pacific Northwest. I had just gotten the Canon SD1000 point-and-shoot, and decided to learn as much about the different features as I could. I was so pleased with this picture of a passion flower that I took on that trip that I had it made into notecards.
Since then, I’ve taken bunches of pictures using the macro lens of the SD1000, the S90, and now the 60mm lens that I’ve got for the Rebel. Because of the current Flickr EOS Projects challenge, I spent all day yesterday taking shots of everything small that I could think of. In the end, the only shot that I really liked was the one of this flame. (Stupidly, it didn’t occur to me until I had taken about 20 shots from above the flame that I was probably getting smoke all over the lens.)
Even though I’m happy with the results of these shots, I wondered – how is it that people get shots like this one of a fly with that very same 60mm lens?
Somewhere, I had heard something or read something about extension tubes. So this morning, I googled macro extension tube and came up with a plethora of great matches. Some of them talked about the physics of needing to move the lens away from the camera to get a better focal length (or something like that, don’t quote me); other, more helpful sites like this blog entry had a nice long list of pros and cons about using extenders. (The pros appear to outweigh the cons). Finally, this forum post asked my very same question – and even though the conversation got into a lot of detail about why to buy brand x instead of brand y, and why certain extension tubes did or didn’t work with certain cameras, I gleaned enough information to understand that yes, extension tubes would get me those really, really detailed shots. And they’re not even wildly expensive. So – ka-ching! – I’ve placed another Amazon order. Stay tuned…