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Meike MK-N-AF-B Auto Focus AF Macro Extension Tube Set -  Rate Topic 
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Posted by chrisbet: Wed Feb 12th, 2020 16:39 1st Post
Are the Meike extension tubes any good?

Worth adding to the camera bag?



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Posted by Robert: Wed Feb 12th, 2020 17:03 2nd Post
If you are doing close up's you need MF (manual focus).

Using AF for closeups is tricky, getting the focus point in the right place it a lottery and you risk wasting half your (very shallow) depth of focus either inside the subject or in front ol the subject. Hence Graham's focus stacking methodology.



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Posted by jk: Wed Feb 12th, 2020 21:28 3rd Post
I use the AF to get the camera to set focus area that I want then I move to MF for fine control.  
You need to use MF to be able to really get absolute focus.



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Posted by chrisbet: Wed Feb 12th, 2020 21:48 4th Post
Any views on the quality of the Meike tubes?



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Posted by jk: Wed Feb 12th, 2020 22:18 5th Post
Meike make well specified equipment.  Obviously it is lighter made than the Nikon equivalent.



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Posted by Robert: Wed Feb 12th, 2020 22:24 6th Post
They appear to be a basic 'cheap' extension tube set. Video - 

The *quality* of the tubes isn't particularly important in this case because beyond the obvious, like not falling apart too soon, there are no optical components, just empty spacer tubes, so the quality won't generally affect the image.

You can get the same effect by using close up lenses, which are sometimes called filters because they screw onto the front of the lens, instead of spacing the  lens off of the camera.  I would prefer the close up lens in most cases because it doesn't affect the light, when you use extension tubes the light is reduced because the lens is further away from the sensor therefore the finite amount of light available has been reduced per pixel.  With the optical close up lens that does not happen.  If extention tubes are used with a zoom it may be detrimental to the image quality because zoom lenses can be affected by being spaced away from the sensor.  It can get complicated.

I have an old but wonderful 55mm f/2.8 MF Nikkor Micro lens which I use for flowers mostly, I had a Nikon 60mm AF lens which was pretty much rubbish in my opinion, partly due to the CRC (close range correction) which effectively turns the lens into a zoom to shorten the focal length, which is NOT what I wanted.  I also have the 105mm f/4.0 MF Nikkor Micro which is an outstanding lens with beautiful bokeh.  These can both be found for quite reasonable prices on eBay, I got the 55 from Eric a long while ago during one of his clear-outs and is one of my favourite lenses, the 105 came off eBay for a song, it seems nobody wants MF these days. o.O:thumbs:

Perhaps for a brief foray into close up photography they might provide a cheap way of dabbling your toe in the water but there are much better approaches.



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Posted by chrisbet: Thu Feb 13th, 2020 09:05 7th Post
Hmmm... is that the 105 AI / AIS f4?  They seem to be around £150 on fleabay atm.

The AF-S VR are around £500 but as you say, no point in paying for the AF.

There is however a AI f2.8 105 micro going for £80 - is that the best deal? It is well worn paint wise and the rubber is bad but that could be replaced. No fungus, scratches etc.



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Posted by jk: Thu Feb 13th, 2020 09:53 8th Post
The new 105mm f2.8 AFS VR is a great lens optically.  It can be used as a portrait lens and the AF is useful but it can be switched to MF mode as well.  My version is one of my sharpest lenses.

The older prior version 105mm f2.8 AFD is also great. I use this underwater in my underwater housing.

I have a non macro 105mm f2.5 AI that produces superb images. It is bashed and modified but still works well and produces sharp images and is about 50 years old and I have had it 44+years.  

My point is go for the older metal bodied lenses as they are beautifully crafted.  The new plastic bodied lenses are less likely to last so long!

One caveat as well is if you want AF then the AFS lenses work on ALL Nikon cameras unless it is a G series (most modern),  AFD lenses are good but only work on cameras with the built (screwdriver) AF motors in bodies.



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Posted by jk: Thu Feb 13th, 2020 09:56 9th Post
This lens is the one Robert is talking about.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nikon-micro-Nikkor-105mm-1-4-AI-MF/333506568125?_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item4da68a5fbd:



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Posted by chrisbet: Thu Feb 13th, 2020 10:24 10th Post
Well, for the extra cost of a lens over the tubes I decided to try this one - 105 f2.8  

The rubber focusing ring is split and glued by the look of it but a genuine replacement is under £20, so I will tidy the lens up and if I don't get on with it I can always put it back on fleabay - I made profit on the last two lenses I did that with!



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Posted by jk: Thu Feb 13th, 2020 16:49 11th Post
Well done.
Hope that it works well for you.



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Posted by Robert: Fri Feb 14th, 2020 16:52 12th Post
I'm sorry I haven't responded sooner but I am suffering with some grit in my eye, one of the penalties of living so close to the shore, the air is full of sand and salt, driven by the strong winds directly off the estuary, my eyes are bleary with watering, I can scarecly read the text on the screen.

While AF lenses *can* be used as MF, it's not a delightful or enjoyable experience, the focus rings on AF lenses tend to be an afterthought, are frequently stiff or seixed and feel awful, whereas the purpose designed MF lenses are usually a delight to focus wit nice feel and a good grip, like the older 'hill and dale' lenses, a joy to use by comparison and lack the undesirable zoom factor of the modern micro lenses.

I hope you like the 105mm Micro Nikkor f/2.8 which is a really good lens, perfect for flutterbyes, dragonflies and other skittish creatures, I believe the bokeh is every bit as good as the f/4.0 which I have.

The Nikkor 105mm f2.5 is a wonderful lens one of the first I acquired when I started to expand my collection beyond the basic, mine is also modified from pre Ai by a bit of filing, its's a prefect portrait lens, really sharp yet lovely bokeh and a responsive depth of focus deep enough yet with a gradual fall off, unlike the superb and very expensive 85mm f/1.4 which I believe is a very difficult lens to use occasionally.



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Posted by chrisbet: Fri Feb 14th, 2020 18:05 13th Post
Well I have also acquired a lens hood for it and a set of two extension rings, a 21mm & a 31mm which will give me 52mm , much the same as the PN11 and at 20% of the cost!



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Posted by jk: Fri Feb 14th, 2020 18:32 14th Post
I think you should be well set up.  Circadas in Italy photos?



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Posted by Robert: Fri Feb 14th, 2020 18:38 15th Post
The PN11's main claim to fame, or most useful feature, is that it has a tripod mount base.

The micro Nikkor 105mm f2.8 should take you to 1:2 that is the image on the sensor should be ½ the size of the actual object you have focused on. Without checking, I think using the 52mm extension tubes should take you to 1:1, that is the sensor image and the subject should be the same size. 1:1 and greater (higher magnification) qualify as macro.  Close up is not macro, it's only macro when 1:1 or higher magnification is employed, contrary to what many manufacturers may claim.  That is why Nikon  use the term 'micro', not macro for their dedicated close up lenses. True macro is served by Nikon's Multiphot range which can produce up to 20:1 magnification, which is almost getting into the realms of low magnification microscope imaging.



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Posted by Graham Whistler: Fri Feb 14th, 2020 19:29 16th Post
All my stacking pixs were taken with Nikon 105mm f2.8 AF-S VR ED it is very sharp but as stated above I tend to do close-up with it on M but auto focus works very well at normal distances ie 3 feet to Inf. DOF is very narow when shooting close and more so when shooting 1:1.(max possible with this lens without ext tubes) Stacking is only a part advantage as camera must be on a firm tripod locked down and subject must also not move so OK indoors but wind is major problem outside.  Higher than 1:1 as Robert states you are then in the field of micro photography (not my field) Camera then need special very short focal length lenses and bellows or ext tubes.



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Nikon DSLR Forums > Camera and Lens Forums > Specialised Photography - Macro, UV, IR, Underwater > Meike MK-N-AF-B Auto Focus AF Macro Extension Tube Set Top

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