vello-efm-extension-tubes
I am always looking for ways to get more out of my EOS-M than just for video, which is what I normally use them for. While looking for some fun accessories to try on the M, I came across this Vello branded set of extension tubes. I figured macro photography could be a fun way to play with these little cameras, so I put in an order to B&H and below is the resulting review for these Vello EXT-CME AF Extension Tubes.

02-performance-3-stars

I was honestly a little disappointed with the performance of these extension tubes. The advantage to these over my other set (which is a standard Canon EF mount) is that these have the metal contacts so that any lens I stick on the front of these will retain their ability to auto focus and communicate with the camera (for things like aperture control and metering).

The AF on the EOS-M is already not the best, but AF with these extension tubes, at least on the lens I tested these with, seems pointless. Specifically with the Canon 22mm F/2. Due to the lens being so wide, it requires being stupid close to your subject (so much so that I wouldn’t recommend that lens for use with extension tubes of any kind) that the AF is extremely slow and finicky.

Unfortunately, this is also the only EF-M lens with auto focus that I have available to me. It is possible that this tube set pairs better with one of the other, longer, AF EF-M lenses, but I was unable to test that.

As far as the macro ability possible with these tubes, that also depends greatly on the lens you pair them with, but I was very happy with the level of macro ability when paired with the 22mm F/2 and the Handevision 40mm F/.85 that I am also reviewing.  Here are a few examples below…

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Canon EOS-MEF-M 22mm F/2 @ F/4 – ISO 1600 Shutter 1/80th – 10mm & 16mm tubes

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Canon EOS-MEF-M 22mm F/2 @ F/2 – ISO 1600 Shutter 1/80th – 10mm & 16mm tubesIMG_4373

Canon EOS-MEF-M 22mm F/2 @ F/8 – ISO 1600 Shutter 1/50th – 10mm tube

As you can see, at F/2, the depth of field is VERY narrow, to the point I would say that unless you are focus stacking, it is pointless to shoot that wide open. That said, at F/4 things looked better, and at F/8 things were good. You will definitely want to be lighting subjects while using these tubes (which is true of any macro extension tube set).

08-features-4-starsThe features of this extension tube set are great, not only are you able to turn any of your EF-M lenses into a macro lens, but you are also able to still control the lens with the camera for AF and aperture control. This is incredibly useful for EF-M lenses, most of which do not have aperture rings.

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You could, if you wanted, also pair these extension tubes with the Canon EF-M to EF adapter and use these with your standard EF/EF-S glass. I am unsure of how that would perform, but it is a possibility available to you.

12-design-3-starsAs far as the design of these extension tubes goes, it is pretty basic. They match the black color of most EOS-M bodies, which is nice, and the text is in white.

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17-quality-3-starsThe build quality on these tubes is, well, not very good. They are made out of a cheap plastic, which is nice for the weight savings (especially on a small camera like the EOS-M), but they feel like they could break at any time.

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I certainly wouldn’t trust these to hold up a heavy lens without help either. I did test these with the Handevision Ibelux 40mm F/.85, which is an extremely heavy lens, and you could see the strain it put on the plastic parts. That said, for most EF-M lenses which are pretty light on their own, these should be fine. I wouldn’t expect them to hold up to much, if any, abuse though, so be careful with them.

23-value-4-starsThe value here is hard to deny though, pricing in at just under $50 these offer EOS-M shooters the ability to shoot macro on a budget. The build quality may not be the best, but it is sufficient. The AF performance may not be the best, but it is useable. Overall, I would say that these are a great value for anyone wanting to get some very close macro images out of the EOS-M.

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30-overall-score-3-stars
In the end, while this is not the best built product, nor the highest performing, it does get the job done for a great value. Most of you with EOS-M bodies are probably getting them on the cheap, so spending a lot on accessories would be silly. These fit that nice sweet spot of performing decently well, while still being a great value.

I am happy to give this product an overall “Worth Trying Out” 3 out of 5 stars on the SLR Lounge rating scale. If you have an EOS-M and are interested in using it for any sort of macro work, these would be a fun accessory to play around with.  If you are interested in trying them out, you can find them over on B&H here.