Best macro alternative: 5 clever options for photographers on a budget

Best macro alternative: 04 Macro Extension Bellows

Best macro alternative: 04 Macro Extension Bellows

Best macro alternative: 04 Macro Extension Bellows

Web:  Price: £50
Looking like something out of Frankenstein’s laboratory, these Macro Extension Bellows work by physically moving your lens closer to the subject, therefore increasing the  focal length.

Neither aperture control nor autofocus are possible, so a good grasp of manual focusing is key.

With a minimum focusing distance of just 3cm, the results you’ll be able to achieve are ultra-macro, with a ratio of 3:1. However there is a big drop-off of light when using the bellows, with exposures increased by up to 4 stops.

We found using the Macro Extension Bellows to be a little fiddly – after fitting the body mount end to the camera body and the lens mount end to the lens, we then had to adjust the focus ring on the lens and pull the bellows out at the same time in order to find the sweet spot of sharpness.

The windy weather on location made this even more difficult as the flowers kept moving around, so shooting handheld was definitely not an option!

Good macro capabilities; sturdy and strong; easy to fit, works with any lens
Must be used with a tripod; no auto options; no aperture control; 4-stop underexposure

PAGE 1 – Things to consider when seeking a macro alternative
PAGE 2 – Best macro alternative: 01 Coupling Ring (52-58mm)
PAGE 3 – Best macro alternative: 02 Reversing Ring (EF-58mm)
PAGE 4 – Best macro alternative: 03 Kood Close-Up Set (58mm)
PAGE 5 – Best macro alternative: 04 Macro Extension Bellows
PAGE 6 – Best macro alternative: 05 Kenko Automatic Extension Tube Set DG
PAGE 7 – Best macro alternative: the final verdict


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