You can turn the metal and cardboard packaging from a crisps tube into a ‘super’ extension tube.

You can turn the metal and cardboard packaging from a crisps tube into a ‘super’ extension tube.

The conversion starts with a spare body cap that will need its centre removed to create a crude lens mount. Use your modified cap to mark a circle on the metal base of your crisp can and (carefully) cut this out using a Dremel or other cutting tool.

The conversion starts with a spare body cap that will need its centre removed to create a crude lens mount. Use your modified cap to mark a circle on the metal base of your crisp can and (carefully) cut this out using a Dremel or other cutting tool.

 

Line up the holes in the body cap and the crisp can, and glue the two parts together with a glue gun or epoxy resin.

Line up the holes in the body cap and the crisp can, and glue the two parts together with a glue gun or epoxy resin.

Once the glue has dried, cut your crisp can to length. The longer the tube, the greater the magnification, but the more light will be lost (requiring a longer shutter speed or higher ISO).

With your tube cut to size, it’s time to mount your lens.

A 50mm prime lens is ideal, and as you aren’t actually ‘mounting’ the lens it doesn’t need to match your camera mount – a manual-focus lens with a manual aperture is ideal – the same lens can also be used for freelensing (see page the Christmas project #1).

To fit the lens, wrap it in cloth (I chose an old black sock) and wedge it in the end of your tube to create a light-tight seal.

To fit the lens, wrap it in cloth (I chose an old black sock) and wedge it in the end of your tube to create a light-tight seal.

Your exposures will have to be set manually and you will have to focus by moving the camera backwards and forwards, but despite these limitations it’s still possible to produce some striking results – you can even turn the lens slightly to create a ‘tilt’ effect.

For the price of a body cap, you can create an extreme extension tube: this shot is of the filament in a standard (tungsten) domestic light bulb.

For the price of a body cap, you can create an extreme extension tube: this shot is of the filament in a standard (tungsten) domestic light bulb.