One of the subjects I like to photograph are flowers, plants, mushrooms etc. but sometimes those things are very small, and the range of your standard lens or zoom is just not close enough. I use my XF 18-135mm a lot and it can actually close focus pretty well, but to be able to photograph the tiniest flowers I would like to have a set of macro extension tubes.
Fujifilm MCEX-11 & MCEX-16 :
Meike MK-F-AF3 :
I found a set from Meike, the automatic extension tube set MK-F-AF3 that consists of a 10mm and 16mm tube. I found these new on eBay for €30 – with shipping that came to €35. The average price is around €50 in most camera shops. Barely the cost of one Fuji macro tube.
The Meike Extension Tube Set is made of a combination of metal and plastic (body plastic – metal mount), making the set very light and yet strong. You can use them separately or together. Electrical contacts are provided, so communication with the camera is ensured -> AF, lens data, aperture etc, all are transfered.
Below is a quick test with the XF 18-135mm and Meike MK-F-AF3 on the X-H1, unfortunately there was a lot of wind, and they did not come out 100% sharp, but the intention was only to show what magnification you can get with this macro tubes.
Maybe not much to go on, but the Meike tubes have no internal glass, quality difference or loss compared to the Fujifilm tubes or others, you will not have. Every lens reacts differently to the macro tubes, it is best to do the test yourself with the lenses you have which gives the best results. Prime or zoom, it’s all possible. Personally, I think focal lengths between 50mm and 100mm are best, but again, it all depends on lens – subject – distance etc.
The lens used with these tube(s) should have a greater focal length than tube(s) used, for example : both tubes together on one lens = 10+16 = 26mm -> focal length should be minimal 28mm.
Magnification and Field Coverage in mm for a 50mm lens :
|Extension Tube||Lens Distance Setting||Magnification Ratio||Field Coverage (mm)||Exposure Factor|
Here I have the link to the Fujifilm table with their respective lenses in combination with the Fujifilm macro extension tubes, the shortest tube is only one millimeter longer than the Meike, so you will have a pretty good idea on how a certain Fuji lens performs with a certain macro tube from Meike – Magnification of the Macro Extension Tube
Below are some links to online Macro calculators, useful when you need more precise data with your Meike Extension Tubes and/or lenses.
- Extension Tube Calculator – https://monochrome.sutic.nu/2018/05/24/extension-tube-calculator.html
- Macro Depth of Field Calculator – https://www.photopills.com/calculators/dof-macro
- Lens Magnification and Depth of Field Calculator –https://www.kielia.de/photography/calculator/
The Meike Macro Extension Tube Set MK-F-AF3 in short :
- Close fitting without play
- Good build quality
- One set caps included
- The coupling between lens/camera and tube is easy, but not as smooth as a Fujifilm lens does directly on the camera.
Maybe that will improve over time – I don’t know.
I had the Meike Extension Tube set only for a few days now, but for some things you don’t need much time to see if it’s good or not. If I almost exclusively do macro photography, I would probably opt for the Fujifilm set – or, and more likely, I would buy a special dedicated macro lens. In this case however, macro – and the part where I would really need an extension tube – only makes up a small percentage of my photographic subjects, so for the more sporadic use of macro tubes, I can definitely recommend this Meike set.