Anyone tried extension tubes in conjunction with a PL45?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by speltrong, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    338
    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    I've been very happy with the quality of my PL45, but as they say in Inception... We must go deeper! Anyone have any experience pairing a PL45 with extension tubes? Does it even work like that?

    I'm guessing the other option is to get a Canon adapter and pick up the MP-E 65mm, but I'm kind of liking having both kidneys right now and I'm not quite ready to part with one yet. Thanks!
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Problem with native Micro Four-Thirds extension tubes that I know of is that they don't have the contacts to control aperture and fly-by-wire focus. You'd have to manually set focus to closest before putting the adapter on (set focus to minimum without adapter, then dismount without turning the camera off or after turning Lens Reset off so it doesn't reset to infinity), then sway back and forth or use a focusing rail to get focus... but shooting wide open for macro is far from ideal.

    I think you're much better off with a manual lens, and your options for manual macro lenses is quite large... and many of them include full systems of extension tubes, bellows, etc.

    If you're thinking of the Canon MP-E, it is a manual focus lens but it does not have an aperture ring. That means that you will have focus control but not aperture control unless you buy the $400 EOS-to-m4/3 adapters from Redrock or Berger. Better than using the Micro Four-Thirds extension tubes, but still far from ideal, unless you were thinking of using the expensive adapter.

    However, there is a much better AND more economic solution for a 5x macro just like the Canon MP-E, and that is the Nanoha ultra-macro lens by Yasuhara, which is made directly for Micro Four-Thirds mount and even has a handy lens-mounted LED light array (something the MP-E could use, as the effective apertures are small and the viewfinder gets VERY dark on these lenses without a flood of light): YASUHARA/NANOHA

    NANOHA02_2.

    Chris-Gampat-The-Phoblographer-Yasuhara-Nanohax5-hands-on-review-4-of-16-563x595.

    Unlike the Canon MP-E, this one has a physical aperture ring, making it more cross compatible and also compatible with dead accessories like extension tubes (though I can't imagine you would want to use one, when the lens is already 4:1 to 5:1!).

    The advantage the MP-E has over the Nanoha is that it can back out to 1:1 macro (the Nanoha can only back out to 4:1) although they both focus in to 5:1. The Canon has an aperture range of f/2.8-16, while the Yasuhara has an aperture of f/11-32. The f/11-32 sounds more appropriate for macro work but I'm not sure if these aperture values are truly comparable because the Canon lens is said to have an "effective aperture" of f/16.8 to f/96 at 5x magnification, which according to Canon is calculated with this formula: "Effective Aperture = (Aperture Setting) + (Aperture Setting x Magnification)" The Yasuhara has the same close focus magnification, so I would assume this formula could also be used to calculate the same effective aperture, assuming the apertures listed on the aperture ring are real apertures and not "effective". If that's correct, the effective aperture of the Yasuhara lens at 5x would be f/66 to f/192. o_O I think I would be shooting the lens wide open at all times, lol... which I guess means that the Canon MP-E would probably work well enough even if you have to shoot it wide open all the time (due to lack of aperture ring).

    And one last picture, the Yasuhara Nanoha lens without the light block...
    Chris-Gampat-The-Phoblographer-Yasuhara-Nanohax5-hands-on-review-8-of-16-680x510.

    Besides getting these exotic lens though, I bet you could put together a similar legacy macro kit with extension tubes and bellows. With manual legacy lenses you will be able to stack extension tubes, and you will still have full use of both focus and aperture. There are some really killer legacy macros which would be worthy of such an endeavor.
     
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  3. artsifrtsy

    artsifrtsy Mu-43 Regular

    165
    Jul 2, 2011
    Ozarks
    I picked up a OM 50mm Macro a couple of years ago and play around with extension tubes. Just found an original bellows in the box last fall and have been trying it out.
     
  4. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    338
    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    @Ned: Thanks for the info... Yeah, looks like my dream of magically transforming my lens into a 5x for $5 isn't going to pan out. :frown: Oh well, was worth a shot, I guess.

    Kenko looks like they're planning on releasing rings with contacts soon: 43 Rumors | Blog | Supernews! Kenko extensions tube with full electronic control!, so that may be a cheaper option than a new lens. F/11 max sounds a little scary, too.


    That's pretty cool - I might check into that as well.
     
  5. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    470
    Aug 12, 2010
    NY
    You could try reverse lens stacking, especially if you had some legacy lenses.
    I should be able to get it by stacking Nikkor 28/2.8 on Canon 135/2.8,
    m = 135/28 = 4.8
    Now if I add some extension tubes... I need to shop for 52/52 reverse adapter...
     
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  6. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    338
    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    Nope, I sold all my Nikon gear to get started with m4/3. Stacking is certainly an interesting concept - I'll have to look into that more if I come across some really cheap legacy glass.
     
  7. chlau

    chlau Mu-43 Regular

    65
    May 13, 2011
    I've recently gotten hold of a set of Kenko extension tubes 10+16mm for MFT and mated them to my PL45. It works perfectly when I use the 10mm or 16mm singly but stack them together and connections become very unstable. Has anyone tried them with their PL45 and had a similar experience?
     
  8. chlau

    chlau Mu-43 Regular

    65
    May 13, 2011
    That would be Kenko's 10+16mm tubes for MFT. They offer full electronic control over aperture and focus by wire. Problem with my set is that they seem to be unreliable connections when stacked together :(
     
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Wow! Another interesting specialty lens. I wonder how the quality compares to the MP-E? The USB-powered LED is a very nice touch.

    DH
     
  10. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    338
    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    Where did you buy them? I haven't been able to find them online...
     
  11. chlau

    chlau Mu-43 Regular

    65
    May 13, 2011
    Found them in a store in Singapore.
     
  12. ckrueger

    ckrueger Mu-43 Veteran

    304
    Jul 16, 2011
    Wow, I had no idea they were released already! I'm very interested in picking these tubes up. It should get my 45 macro a bit past 1.5x, which is plenty for my needs on M43. I rarely wanted anything more than 3x on FF.

    Is your unreliable connection due to looseness in the bayonet mount? Like a rotation or wobble problem?
     
  13. chlau

    chlau Mu-43 Regular

    65
    May 13, 2011
    No.. the tubes work fine when I use just one of them. Either the 10mm or the 16mm. I have this problem only when I stack the tubes together. Somehow the 10mm doesn't talk to the 16mm tubes.

    I don't feel any looseness or wobbling between the 10 and 16mm tubes either.
     
  14. ckrueger

    ckrueger Mu-43 Veteran

    304
    Jul 16, 2011
    Interesting, so they're nice and tight but the lens won't communicate? Have you tried a fully-charged battery and cleaning the contacts?

    I might be mis-remembering, but I think Four Thirds had a similar problem, where you couldn't stack two tubes or a tube and a TC. Not sure what the problem was there, though.
     
  15. pharaviel

    pharaviel Mu-43 Veteran

    313
    Jun 20, 2011
    Reggio Emilia, Italy
    Daniele Frizzi
    i remember the same. Maybe the 43 standard does non support more than one accessory between body and lens.
     
  16. chlau

    chlau Mu-43 Regular

    65
    May 13, 2011
    I've just tried them on three lenses. On the PL45... nothing. On the 45-200... nothing. On the 20/1.7 pancake... they work!!

    Curiouser and curiouser.
     
  17. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    the 4/3 extension tube and tc's communicated with the camera. The cameras wouldn't allow stacking. If the Kenko tubes have "dumb" electrical contacts they should work ok. it may be that there's too much resistance in the circuit with the tubes stacked causing unreliable communication.

    Fred
     
  18. ckrueger

    ckrueger Mu-43 Veteran

    304
    Jul 16, 2011
    Wow, that's really interesting! It's unfortunate your 20/1.7 is the one that works... 26mm extension on a 20mm prime is pretty extreme!

    Resistance is why I was thinking a freshly-charged battery and contact cleaning might help.

    Maybe if you drop Kenko a line they can tell you what's going on. This is a brand new product, and I saw they just recently posted a lens compatibility chart, so you might have found an issue they don't even know about.
     
  19. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Any link to the specs or docs. for the extension tubes? Curious to know a bit more about them, and google seems bereft of details. Thanks,

    DH
     
  20. ckrueger

    ckrueger Mu-43 Veteran

    304
    Jul 16, 2011
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