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NOTE: Consider any comments I make here, as “just my opinion”; but they are based on actual experience, not second hand information. ___ Enjoy . . .
Extension tubes are an inexpensive way to shoot close-ups. They are simply hollow tubes that mount between a camera body and a lens. They contain no optics to degrade an image, but they normally have electrical contacts that permit the camera and lens to communicate . . . set aperture and focus.
A set of tubes, usually three of varying lengths, weigh far less than a macro lens, and cost FAR less.
I use longer lenses with them, around 200 mm or more. All my lenses are zooms, and I find them suitable.
Lens to subject distances are far greater than when using macro lenses which is good for shooting critters that would not hang around if you had to place your camera within a couple inches of them. Extensions tubes allow shooting distances of 2 feet or more, which means many critters will ignore the camera, and you won’t be bumping into plants and waiting for them to settle down before taking a shot.
It also allows panning about a bush full of flowers from a single camera position.
This is a photo of the mural I painted on the gallery exterior.
Each value was painted with a single gray color, yet a gradation is perceived in their values that does not truly exist?
While hovering your mouse over the image, a dark mask appears that helps reveal that the gradations are not there.
Notice that the border is perceived lighter when the mouse darkens the image, although its value is unchanged.
Explanation: When different values adjoin, our perception of their values near their border is altered.
The dark foreground makes the adjoining gray value appear lighter along their border.
Conversely, that same gray area appears darker where it borders the lighter gray above.
Neither our vision or photography can be trusted to reveal reality.