January 13, 2015

Learn How to Build Your Own Macro Extension Tube for Less Than $10

We all want to get a little closer to our subjects. However, the closer we get the more money we have to spend on a lens that can do the job.

And maybe you don't have $700 just lying around to drop on a quality macro lens, but surely you've got a few bucks to put toward building your own extension tube. This tutorial by Makify shows you how to build your own out of ABS (or PVC) pipe, a camera body cap, and a rear lens cap, which will end up costing you somewhere in the ballpark of $5 to $10 ($3 if you've got caps to spare).

Here's the link to the Macro Extension Tube Calculator mentioned in the video.

Of course, if you're not really handy with saws and drills, you don't have to go the DIY route. You can buy an extension tube for roughly $75 to $150. Remember that a well-made extension tube won't degrade your image quality remotely as much as a poorly-made one, since it's less likely to cause light leakage. That's a good thing to keep in mind, too, if you do decide to build your own.

Here's Todd Wolfe of FroKnowsPhotos to give you a primer on (non-DIY) extension tubes.

Do you use extension tubes? If you've ever made your own, what materials did you use? Let us know in the comments below.     

Your Comment


You can buy extension tubes from companies like Fotodiox for the same price. And they have the benefit of being easily adaptable (mine comes with 7mm, 14mm, and 25mm tubes, so I can get extension from 7mm to 49mm). If I bought two sets, I'd have what he just built for <$30, and I'd have way more flexibility

January 13, 2015 at 9:52AM


gotta love those DIY builds... anyone serious enough about film but can afford the latest and greatest can at least attempt to do some of these. Not for nothing but when you spend time creating something it makes it that much better when you actually put it to use...

January 13, 2015 at 1:03PM

Luis Garcia

What are some of the applications to a DSLR filmmaker?

January 14, 2015 at 1:50AM, Edited January 14, 1:50AM


Another cheap extension tube is to buy the cheapest, ugliest tele-extender you can find and remove/unscrew the glass elements. Then you might even be able to get a signal from the lens to camera if the extender has that functionality.

January 16, 2015 at 2:00PM