For almost a year I’ve been using Kenko extension tubes as a replacement for my Canon 100mm Macro. I’ve been very happy with the results and the convenience of using extensions and will probably not use my 100mm anymore. An extension tube is not a full replacement for a macro lens for many reasons, but for my wedding photography, it’s perfect.
The purpose of an extension tube is to convert any existing lens (EF-mount for Canon) into a macro lens only. This means the lens cannot focus more than a few inches past macro, so it only has one purpose. It is fast and easy to attach and remove, but can’t replace the convenience of a regular macro lens to focus at any distance. If you don’t already own a macro lens, this could be a great add-on for a fraction of the cost.
The kit comes with three tube sizes, the longer the focal length (mm) the higher the magnification. I only carry the 20mm for weddings. You can attach multiple tubes together to get even greater magnification. Why buy Kenko versus Canon extension tubes? As one review mentioned, would you rather pay more for Canon air, or Kenko air? The only major difference is Canon’s might feel more sturdy, but I don’t plan on attaching a heavy telephoto lens to it so I am happy. Another complaint from reviews is the release latch might be prone to accidental pushing, but that has never happened to me.
I usually do my wedding ring macro shots with a Canon 50mm 1.4 and a 20mm extension tube, and having a macro with 1.8 f-stop is an incredible advantage while my Canon 100mm 2.8 macro would require much higher ISO to get the same shot. Getting very tight shots produces some distortion almost like a Lens Baby, but it also adds artistic flare to a close up ring shot, it draws your attention toward your focus point. I keep the tube attached to the 50mm in the bag, which saves room and weight of not having to carry another macro lens.
I highly recommend anyone looking to play around with macro but does not have the budget for $600+ lens to buy this kit. Perhaps you can even just buy one tube rather than the whole kit.
Canon 50mm with all 3 extension tubes attached.
Canon 50mm 1.4 (minimum distance)
Canon 50mm 1.4 + 12mm Extension Tube
Canon 50mm 1.4 + 20mm Extension Tube
Canon 50mm 1.4 + 36mm Extension Tube
Canon 50mm 1.4 + 12+20+36mm Extension Tube
Real world shots
Hershey Kisses without extension tube
Hershey Kisses with extension tube