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How to Create a DIY Macro Tube That Actually Works

Caleb Ward

Get incredible macro photography shots with this DIY tutorial.

Macro photography is a photographic term for shooting extreme close-ups. To shoot macro images or video you need to have either a macro lens or an extension tube that can help you shoot up close.

With cheap macro lenses going for around $299 and an extension tube going for $150 online, it can be expensive to shoot. Instead of buying an expensive macro tube you can make your own using this very helpful technique from the Makify YouTube channel.

Things You’ll Need:

1-1/2-in ABS Pipe: $2.95 at Lowes

Camera Body Cap: $3.95 from B&H

Camera Lens Back Cap: $2.99 from B&H

J-B Weld: $5.70 from Amazon

You will also need a few tools to get the job done including a table saw, drill, and work area.

As the video states, anytime you use a macro extender tube you are going to have some light loss. In this particular instance you will be losing 3 stops of light. However, this number can shrink or grow depending on how long your extension tube is. If you want to know the exact number of stops you will be losing check out this awesome Macro Extension Tube Calculator from FlyBacon.

It should also be noted that while this video does focus on using a Micro 4/3 camera, the same technique can be applied to other popular camera mounts.

Examples of Macro Photography

Here are a few great examples from the video that demonstrate the type of image you can create with a macro tube.

Christmas Needles

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 10.31.24 AM


This video was first shared by Makify1 on their YouTube channel. Thanks for sharing!

Have any tips for shooting macro photography? Share in the comments below.