by ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq

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Do you suggest using a teleconverter with a dedicated macro lens? I have tried out using a Kenko TC with canon macro lens - however I am not 100% satisfied with the "extra" magnification that I got on the cost of loosing some of the available light and the quality of the image. I have read that using an TC will work wonders if you're shooting under ample light. Any suggestions? Is this a cheaper solution for magnification ratios more than 1X?

Thank you

Here is an example of what I got with the extender (sorry I did not have a chance to get the same shot without extender)

Click on the image for a larger version in flickr

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

One or more extension tubes (or a bellows) will get you greater magnifications without introducing extra optical elements that may degrade image quality. You will always pay for magnification with light loss, though. Whether you use a teleconverter or simply increase the lens extension, you are reducing the effective aperture of the lens, while at the same time reducing the apparent depth of field, which necessitates further reducing the real aperture.

That's one of the reasons why macro photography often involves flash mounted on the lens, either as independent light sources or as a ring. Often, the "available light" would require shutter speeds that are either too long for the subject (especially when shooting living things) or that are long enough to result in significant sensor noise.

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