Although my plan is to see if it's possible to earn £250 from photography, I never said I couldn't invest some money too!
So, a couple of weeks ago, on eBay, I ordered a 'Kenko DG Auto Extension Tube Set'. They look a little something like:
What are they? Well, they are basically a tube, with air in the middle! All they do is move your lens further away from the sensor than normal, allowing you to have a MUCH closer minimum focusing distance, i.e. a cheap way into macro photography. And with three combinations of tubes, there's loads of variability in composition of a shot, as they can be stacked in any combination (the three sizes are 12mm, 20mm and 36mm).
The official manufacturer's website (at least I think it is!), is pretty appalling, but there is a link to a .pdf file. Here, as on most places on the internet, it suggests the tubes don't work with EF-S lenses, but they actually do now - just make sure you get the newer ones.
They cost £91 including delivery from Hong Kong, which is much more reasonable than UK high-street prices here and as there's no glass in them, I wasn't too bothered about international couriers. To contrast this, Canon sell one tube for about the same price - you get the same pass-through of focusing/exposure info from lens to camera body and it's the same air inside the tube.
Are they any good? er...nope. They are amazing! I'm genuinely impressed about how effective they work. I've tried them successfully with my 70-200 f/4 L, 24-105 f/4 L and the 50mm II f1.8. So far, the latter lens seems to be the best for me.
I've uploaded a couple of shots to some microstock sites to see if they'll be accepted... hopefully they will and I can start getting some of my investment back!