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Macro extension ring

A macro extension ring is an affordable alternative to a macro lens and reduces the distance to a subject, in order to photograph or film animals and plants in full size.

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What is a macro extension ring?

A macro extension ring is a hollow ring that is placed between the body of the camera and the lens. Thus, the magnification factor of the lens is further increased and the focus distance is reduced. It allows objects to be brought closer to even above the full size on screen. The extension rings contain contact points to communicate with your camera, so changing the aperture and focusing is still possible. Often, multiple extension rings are placed to bring the object even closer. Caruba or Kenko offer excellent rings for this purpose.

Focussing on an object

When using a single extension ring on a camera, it is still possible to focus perfectly on the object. However, the more millimetres are added between the body and the lens, the smaller the focus range becomes. Several stops of brightness are lost with more extension rings, so you have to work with a longer shutter speed. Because the focus decreases, it is useful when using extension rings to take a step back or move the tripod. This will allow the camera to focus on the object again and improve the results of the shoot. Autofocus is less suitable in this way of shooting, because in order to achieve the best results, it makes sense to focus manually.

Magnification factor

When using a macro extension ring between a camera and lens, the magnification factor is doubled. For example, you can bring an object 50 cm away, forward to only 25 cm. The different types of extension rings and associated thickness determine the final factor by which the object is brought closer. This makes it possible to visualize minute details, although the depth of field with an extension ring becomes more limited. The best results are therefore achieved by combining the intermediate ring with a macro- or telephoto lens. You can easily calculate the magnification factor yourself by dividing the length of the intermediate ring by the focal length of the lens used.

Image stabilisation

With extension rings, it is necessary to shoot from a tripod to stabilise the image of the camera as well as possible. When used with a camera and heavy lens, it becomes increasingly difficult to generate a still image. Fortunately, today's cameras and lenses have multiple image stabilisers, so beautiful photos can also be taken in macro photography.