What is it? An extension tube – also called an extension ring – is an accessory that ﬁts between your camera body and lens. Tubes are hollow – containing no glass elements at all – and are designed to move the lens further away from the image plane, and the front element closer to the subject. They come in different sizes, and can be ‘stacked’ to move the lens even further from the camera.
Who is it for? Macro photographers, or anyone who wants to focus closer than normal to magnify their subjects. Moving the lens further away produces a closer focus, which in turn allows a greater magniﬁcation. It means photographers who don’t own a macro lens can take close-up shots for a relatively small outlay.
Fotodiox Canon EOS Macro Extension Tube
What are the benefits? It’s a very affordable way of experimenting with macro photography, and is great for achieving close-ups of subjects and arty abstracts. Prices start at around $15 for simple, non-electrical third party offerings, but the most advanced models with electrical and AF contacts built in cost from $150. Extension tubes can be ‘stacked’ to increase magniﬁcation even further.
What are the downsides? There is some light loss when using extension tubes as the effective aperture is increased. You’ll need to adjust either your ISO or shutter speed, and as camera shake is magniﬁed – as well as the image – you’ll get better results if you use a tripod. Unless your lens has a physical aperture ring, you’ll be forced to shoot wide open – meaning your depth-of-field is ﬁxed.
What is it? Lens camouﬂage is a neoprene sleeve that ﬁts over your lens barrel. It comes in a variety of different types of camouﬂage patterns, but has a clear ﬂexible window over the Autofocus and Image Stabilization controls, as well as the distance-scale window.
Who is it for? It’s primarily designed for wildlife photographers, intending to help them blend into the surrounding environment, allowing them to get closer to animals without spooking them. It’s also for anyone who wishes to maintain the resale value of their lens by protecting it from bumps and scratches.
[RolanPro] Lens Cover for Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD [Real Tree Camouflage#3]
What are the benefits? By disguising your equipment it’ll potentially allow you to get closer to the wildlife, resulting in better, more intimate images. Also it offers a good level of protection to your gear, especially if you’re exposed in the great outdoors for long periods of time. This reduces the risk of expensive repair bills and keeps your lens free from scrapes.
What are the downsides? While it’s intended to help you to get closer to nature, there’s no guarantee your presence won’t spook the animals. The noise from your shutter along with your own movement and scent is still likely to scare off any timid wildlife, so disguising your lens may have limited impact.