This past Sunday I spent the afternoon with a friend, Chris Watts, shooting at a local park. Chris and I used to work together. After learning of our common enjoyment of photography we started taking a few photography trips together. I spend most of my photography outings alone. A lot of times this works out best for me. However, other times I enjoy shooting with other fellow photographers. Beside the fellowship, often times this is a great way to learn new tips.
Earlier this summer I received several new toys as gifts. One of these was a set of extension tubes. I have attempted to use them with my automatic lenses knowing that I would have to focus it manually. The problem I had was the aperture was totally closed, which caused the subject to be so dark that it made it very hard to focus. So during our outing, I had the opportunity to use my old 35mm manual lens from my film days. It worked perfectly with the extension tubes and allowed me to vary the aperture when needed.
The extension tubes, are sometimes called extension rings, and can be found on e-bay any day of the week for less than five dollars a set. If you are interested, a set that contains electrical contacts for automatic lenses can be purchased for less than an hundred dollars. The set comes with different sized rings labeled 1, 2, and 3. The rings can be used separately or in combination with each other varying the magnification. The rings contain no optical elements. Their purpose is only to move the lens farther away from the camera magnifying the subject.
My second little toy is wireless flash trigger (MK-RC7). It basically uses UV light to trigger a flash source. This also can be found on e-bay for less than thirty dollars. Then I purchased a Neewer TT560 speed light. I was able to pick it up for around forty dollars. I’m still learning the manual process, which requires a bit of trial and error.
After all, the goal is enjoying the hobby without breaking the bank. In the end, I was fairly pleased with the results.