Bellows vs Extension Tubes: Comparison and Benefits

Professional cameras are used to take pictures at various angles and distances using macro and micro lenses. You need precision to move and adjust the lens else the pictures can be shaky and blurred. For this reason, bellows or extension tubes are required. Typically, bellows are covers used for various industrial equipment and machines. They are designed to be flexible and can be compressed and expanded per the need. Aside from industrial machines, bellows are widely used for professional cameras for fine adjustment of the lens. Sometimes, these cameras have extension tubes instead of bellows. These tubes also serve the same purpose as bellows and are fitted to the camera and moved back and forth to adjust the lens. This post sheds light on the pros and cons of both bellows and extension tubes to decide which one is better based on your needs.

Bellows vs Extension Tubes

More About Camera Bellows

Camera bellows are flexible extensions fixed on a camera interfacing with its lens. For most outdoor photography projects, these bellows offer many benefits. Bellows have been efficiently used for ages in large, mechanical cameras, and have evolved over time. Now, cameras have an electronic
sensor and bellows to create the required distance between the sensor and the lens to get the right focus range.

Bellows offer fine adjustment and precision when moving the lens, which helps with improved image clarity and the exact shot as required. They also offer better stability when the camera is placed on a tripod to keep the hands free. This is because most camera bellows have built-in focus rails. While bellows may be a tad more expensive, they are definitely more reliable and beneficial in many ways, when compared to extension tubes. Although heavier when compared to extension tubes, camera bellows can be balanced well on a tripod stand. This allows fine adjustment and precision. Also, their weight reduces vibrations. With bellows, it is much easier to change the magnification ratio. They offer the kind of flexibility tubes cannot. These collapsible and flexible objects are extremely versatile and definitely worth investing in.

More About Extension Tubes

Extension tubes are fixed to the camera, just before the lens. They facilitate the movement of the lens in terms of zooming in or out and fine adjustment to take a picture. They are economical compared to bellows and lightweight as well. Their weight and compact size makes it easy to transport the camera from one location to another. So, weight, size, and price are the three main beneficial factors when it comes to using extension tubes. However, if extended beyond a point, these tubes can actually put pressure on the camera even if they are lightweight. So, the extension capacity of these tubes is limited based on their length. You may be able to use them without a tripod stand but they are vulnerable to vibrations which directly affects the quality of the photographic image.

Bellows outweigh extension tubes in many aspects, so they are definitely recommended for most camera applications. Nabell USA Corp is a well-known manufacturer and supplier of way covers and bellows, and is totally committed to quality. Their excellent engineering team can repair and refurbish all sorts of bellows including the ones for cameras. With over 40 years of market experience to their credit, they are experts at customization as well.

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