I am considering moving to Canon for the canon mpe 65mm lens. This is the only macro lens that allows 5x magnification without extension tubes, bellows etc.

However this is a big decision and i would like to know if it is worth it.

Would Raynox lenses (placed in front of your lens) or extension tubes give equally good quality?

They certainly can reach beyond 5x magnification if needed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Usually close up filters or extension tubes degrade image quality. Macro lenses are always better, they are designed for better focusing and sharpness at macro distances. \$\endgroup\$
    – Janardan S
    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ What camera are you using? I would suggest waiting and learning more before making such a big purchase. Remember that you'll need ring flashes and other lighting accessories to light the subject, because of the short working distance. \$\endgroup\$
    – Janardan S
    Mar 16, 2017 at 3:40
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Nothing is always better. It depends on the quality of specific lenses and the quality of specific alternatives. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 16, 2017 at 5:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Janardan- True for generic filters, however Raynox is reputable brand. \$\endgroup\$
    – HelloWorld
    Mar 16, 2017 at 8:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelClark- what is your opinion on Raynox clip ons? Super-macro photographers seem to swear by them \$\endgroup\$
    – HelloWorld
    Mar 16, 2017 at 16:42

1 Answer 1


The MP-E 65 is a tricky lens to use. While it does excel at extreme macro it is useless for anything else.

The Canon 100 mm macro goes only to 1:1 (more with the EF25 extension tube). But it has autofocus and is perfectly usable for regular photography.

Extension tubes rob you of some light, but not of image quality. The 25mm extension tube coupled with your f1.8 50mm plastic fantastic (a lens every Canon shooter should have in his bag) produces excellent results.

Closeup lenses such as Raynox tend to rob you of image quality, but with good achromatic design this is manageable. While I have not used the DCR250 personally it has solid reputation and respectable following on flickr.

Stay away from single element closeup lens. +1 diopter is OK, but it is not true macro - it works best when you want a tight portrait with a long lens. Stronger single element lens introduce chromatic aberration that is painful to watch.


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