skip to Main Content

Supernews! Kenko extensions tube with full electronic control!


Image courtesy:

What a great news! Kenko just announced two new 10mm and 16mm extension tube that will transform any current Micro Four Thirds lens in a macro lens! You can also use both extensions tube combined….like you can see on the picture below:

Image courtesy:

The next good news is that for the first time a third party manufacturer made an accessory that can handle the electronic contacts of a m43 cameras. This means you can still autofocus and control the aperture electronically!

Both tubes will be available in April. They will cost 216 Euro each. I guess you will find that stuff soon on eBay where you can already find a long list of Kenko products.

  • Good news! However, they aren’t the first third party manufacturer to provide an adapter to handle m43 contacts. Viltrox have been selling their version of the MMF-1 for a while now.

    • zf

      Are you talking about m43-43 adapter like MMF-1? This isn’t for 43 lenses.

      BTW, with this we can use manual focus too since we can’t do that in a normal non-electronic extension.

      • Mundstrøm

        It’s true the Viltrox is not for m43 lenses, but it DOES have electronic contacts. So – These are not the first time a third party manufacturer made an accessory that can handle the electronic contacts of m43 cameras.

        • zf

          Adapters and extension tube might look exactly the same, but the functions are totally different.

          • kc

            that’s right the extension tube is to make your focus closer like micro.
            I have the canon version by Kenko and they work like a charm.
            save me a lot of money not having to buy original micro lens.
            there is a down side and that is you will not be able to focus to infinity.

          • Andrew

            He understands that, he’s refuting a point made at the end of the post.

  • JF

    Great news !
    From recently, the pictures are not displayed on 43rumors. What’s the problem ? I use a PC with windows and neither firefox or internet explorer display the pictures…

    • @JF
      use Opera browser to get round Canikon censoring the pictures :D

    • GreyOwl

      Google’s Chrome browser also works fine with 43rumors.

      • JimD

        The Seamonkey I use is fine. Mozilla works fine also.

  • Ojojo

    At last! Micro 43 is becoming a real camera system! A number of us have been looking for these tubes for some time.

  • Yun

    Does this mean 10mm + 16mm + 25mm ( Summilux ) = 51mm Summilux ? If yes , I going to get it .
    I more on tele prime lens shooting , such as the Mzd 45mm & the incoming 75mm suit my shooting style .

    • Bob

      No. These don’t change the focal length of the lens, they simply let you focus closer. Much closer.

    • Ernest.orf

      Yeap , same as me ^^

  • And what about classic 4/3?

  • Camaman

    Hopefully those wont be $100…

    • Chris K

      They’ll almost certainly be $100 or more. The set of three Canon tubes is $170.

  • Chris K

    AWESOME! Instant buy. I have Kenko tubes for my Canon kit and they’re great.

    Now all I need is a macro flash for M43 (like the Canon MT-24EX or Nikon R1C1) and I can dump all my Canon macro gear. Hopefully Olympus will get serious about macro on M43 soon, cause Panasonic sure doesn’t care about flash. (Which is strange when they’re trying to promote M43 as a camera SYSTEM.)

    • Michael Meissner

      If a ring flash will do for your macro flash, the Metz MS-1 will work with Olympus Pens and OM-D’s that support the remote flash system. Unfortunately it won’t work with Panasonic or E-P1/E-P2.

      In terms of twin flash, two FL-36R’s on an Olympus FL-BK03 flash bracket would probably do the trick for the Olympus cameras.

    • Look into LED panels and rings lights. Given increasingly capable EVF’s and high ISO performance, I suspect that strobes will be a thing of the past.

    • Vivek

      +1 Chris K!

    • If you are taking macro pix of inanimate subjects (not likely to fly away) then have a look at some of the LED lights that can be used or buy a string of them, wrap them round a large tube and buy a battery (and a resistor and switch) The good thing is they can be switched on and the resulting lighting seen, prior to shooting. Google search will find several DIY projects. The cost is cents. Buy some coloured LEDs and experiment! so cheap you can play a lot. Buy High power leds (or just add more) and make a movie light!

  • mabris

    That should bring the 14-42 MKI up to about 0.87x if you were to couple the two. I hope these are affordable…

  • Atle

    What does this mean “in real life” when it comes to macro? Lets say i buy a 10mm estension to the 45mm lens, how close can i focus?

    • Atle, The 45mm closest focus is 50 cm between the object and the sensor plane, which gives you a magnification around 0.1. If you buy the 10mm extension tube, you’ll be able to focus down to 30cm with the lens set at infinity, with a magnification of around 0.22 and down to 24 cm with the lens set at its closest distance, with a magnification of around 0.33. If you buy the 16mm extension tube, you’ll be able to focus at 23 cm with a magnification around 0.35 (with lens set at infinity) and at 20.7 cm with magnification around 0.47 when the lens is set at its closest distance.

      • CedricL

        Damn! You’re good in math! I was looking for that anwser.

  • Me
    • Justin

      Which I think kills them economically. I just picked up a Canon 500D close up filter which works on both my DSLR and m43 systems. I like the idea of extension tubes but as someone who is invested in more than one system, close up filters I can put on either has an advantage. Also being $186 cheaper than these tubes is a plus as well …

      • Reading the original press release, Kenko are offering the extension ring SET for 216 Euros. The “each” refers to the fact that there is a M4/3 set and an E set being prepared for sale. That translates to 183 pounds sterling.


    • Mabris

      At that price, you’re better off just buying legacy glass and “dumb” extension tubes. It’s not as if you would be using AF much anyways. All you would be missing is aperture info in exif.

      • Bob

        That was my reaction, too. These are way too pricey. I got a 50mm Canon FD Macro in excellent condition for about $90. No way I’d pay $285 for one (just one?!) of these.

        • Ken R

          Bob there is a much cheaper solution then. There should still be available Canon FD extension rings on the internet or certainly M43 externsion tubes from china without electrical contacs which (the latter) you absolutely do not need with manual FD lens where you can set the aperture and focus manually.
          I use cheap M42 extension rings with my M42 lenses and it works perfectly on the GH2.

    • flash

      Hopefully, that is a “list” price, not the selling price.

    • Chris K

      216 Euro would be WAY, WAY more than any extension tubes on the market. I really doubt they’d try to market them at that cost.

      • From the article, that’s the price for the set of two.

      • Alan Wolf

        I don’t remember what I paid for Hassy tubes, but they cost quite a bit more than that. No electrical contacts either, just a rotating rod to cock the shutter.

        But you’re right, that is too much for a consumer (or even pro-sumer) tube that has no glass in it. I’ve been using Leica screw mount tubes (something like $35 for a full set on eBay); for macro you want manual focus and aperture anyway.

      • NPrincen

        +1 Tubes with electrical contacts! How hard can that be to manufacture. These are WAY overpriced.

        At this price, I expect them to have glass inside and to be teleconverters. By the way, where are the micro4/3 teleconverters? That would be even more useful than extension tubes. I already have the Panasonic 45mm macro that gets as close as I care to get. I want a teleconverter for the 100-300mm zoom lens!

    • Nathan

      That price is ridiculous. It’s a tube with wires in it and two machined mating surfaces. It’s not made by Leica or Hasselblad, so there’s no reason to believe you’re paying for the name.
      216 Euros is about twice what it ought to be.

  • Bob B.

    AWESOME!!!!!! I was amazed that these had not appeared sooner…I have a Kenko set for my Canon and I will be buying at least the 10mm tube for my MFT!!! MFT just keeps getting betterer and betterer!!!!!! (oh…Chris K already said that…LOL..).

  • Miroslav

    Great! I’m not interested in this adapter, but I hope this opens the door for third party teleconverters, Tokina m4/3 lenses and many more native stuff…

  • matt

    200€ is way too much , i think it´s only a matter of time when a cheap macro lenses will be available fot a simmilar price.. i would pay max 50€ for an adapter

    • beavis

      Macro Extension Tube Ring Set for Micro M4/3
      US $12.55

  • Hi admin,
    I think you have been miss-informed regarding the prices.

    According to the following link, you get a set of both extension tubes for €199.

    • Bob

      Still awfully expensive at $265 US.

      Prices like this, and products like Sigma’s oddball m43 lenses, make you wonder if these vendors want their m43 products to fail.

      • @Bob
        I think €199 / $265 is a reasonable price, anyway the market will decide…

        • Good Romanian small enterprises for electronic devices would make them for less than 50 euros per piece (not necessarily by to quality materials but let’s be serious).

        • Vivek

          If you think the price is “reasonable”, you should get them. They may become collectors items! ;)

      • Bob B.

        Bob…this Bob agrees…that is a REALLY steep price for 2 hollow rings with some internal electronic..jeez….there isn’t any glass in there or anything….
        My Canon tubes ..(3 of them, electronically coupled) were only $179??????????

        • Vivek

          No glass but filled with special air. ;)

    • Nathan

      265 for both is fair. It’s not a good deal by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s available, and that price isn’t a “grab the torches and pitchforks” abomination against Dog Almighty.

  • Fan

    The press release contains errors. It first says that AF is fully functional, but further down they copy&pasted something from older products saying that menual focusing is required. I would guess that AF is indeed fully functional.

  • Jul

    autofocus is not working, only focus confirmation. As written here: …muss die Fokussierung manuell am Objektiv eingestellt werden… / Wenn das Objektiv richtig scharf gestellt ist, leuchtet bei leichtem Druck des Fotografen auf den Auslöseknopf wie gewohnt das AF-Licht im Sucher der Kamera, was die manuelle Scharfstellung ganz erheblich erleichtert.

    • Henrik

      Fully agreed. The lens will not snap to focus. You just get the green focus confirmation. That’s a big difference to actually optically focussing – sad, sad.

      The relevant passage from Photoscala in original German:
      “Technisch sind die neuen Kenko-Zwischenringe natürlich voll auf der Höhe der Zeit, denn es wurde ein sogenannter Fokusindikator-Chip verbaut. Da keine direkte elektronische Verbindung zwischen dem Objektiv und der Kamera besteht, muss die Fokussierung manuell am Objektiv eingestellt werden. Der Chip simuliert der Kamera ein angeschlossenes Objektiv, sodass die AF-Bestätigung der Kamera trotzdem aktiv ist. Die Elektrokontakte der Zwischenringe reichen dabei die elektrischen Signale von der Kamera zum Objektiv durch. Wenn das Objektiv richtig scharf gestellt ist, leuchtet bei leichtem Druck des Fotografen auf den Auslöseknopf wie gewohnt das AF-Licht im Sucher der Kamera, was die manuelle Scharfstellung ganz erheblich erleichtert.”

      • There is not af confirm with cdaf akaik.

    • autofocus is not working, only focus confirmation. As written here: …muss die Fokussierung manuell am Objektiv eingestellt werden… / Wenn das Objektiv richtig scharf gestellt ist, leuchtet bei leichtem Druck des Fotografen auf den Auslöseknopf wie gewohnt das AF-Licht im Sucher der Kamera, was die manuelle Scharfstellung ganz erheblich erleichtert.


      As Fan wrote, this must be a copy and paste error.
      At the beginning of the page it says:

      machen Standardobjektive makrofähig
      Funktionalität von Autofokus und Belichtungssteuerung bleibt voll erhalten
      einzeln und kombiniert einsetzbar

      Furthermore you can seen the contacts. So how can thy claim that there won’t be an electronic connection?

  • Agent00soul


  • Those of us who have used manual M43 extension tubes can tell you that there will be several problems that will NOT be solved by electronic coupling.

    Even 10mm of extension is a lot on the M43 format, so with most lenses adding the extension tube will jump you abruptly from “normal distance range” to “closer than you really want”, with no way to bridge the gap between.

    Also, the optical construction of many wide and zoom lenses puts the bulk of the barrel out in front of the optical center. That means that you can add an extension to reduce the minimum focusing distance — but you won’t be able actually to focus at that distance, because the front of the lens will run into the subject first!

    So, these extension tubes will be very useful for a limited range of applications, but to say they will “transform any current Micro Four Thirds lens into a macro lens” is promising a bit too much…

    • Chris K

      Of course you’ll lose infinity focus, that’s a normal deal with tubes. The key for shooting with tubes is to not use more than you need.

      For example, like you said, too much extension can make a lens unusable by setting the focus point INSIDE the lens. My old Sigma 20/1.8, for example, would focus AT the front element with (I think it was) my 36mm tube. But using my 12mm tube it focused REALLY close when the lens itself was racked to its nearest focus, and could still be racked out to a decent macro distance. 20mm macro on my 5D was a pretty cool look.

      Using tubes with a nice portrait lens can make some really nice-looking macros. CA can be a problem for some subjects, but you can make some really nice-looking ultra-smooth short DOF macros. The 45/1.8 or upcoming Oly portrait prime should be great with a tube.

      Most 50’s work very well with tubes. The 25/1.4 with these tubes should make a nice short macro lens.

      Short telephotos can benefit a bit from tubes. You’d want a diopter normally, but tubes are easy to use when hunting butterflies and such. You lose infinity but gain a decent amount on the close end.

      Finally, macro lenses work very well with tubes. The 45/2.8 with an extra 26mm extension should get close to 2:1. Considering the 2x crop factor, that’s pretty darn tiny. 1:1 is about 17mm wide. If the magnification is about 1.7x with both tubes that’s about an 11mm wide subject. That would take 3.2x magnification to match on my 5D.

      Micro Four Thirds can be the best macro system on the market, given its smaller sensor and EVF/movable LCDs. Now that we have tubes we have all the pieces in place except for the macro flash.

  • avds

    216 euros (US$ 290) for each? Ha ha ha :)

    I’m sure it’s a misprint. Maybe Kenko was about to write “$150 for both” but all their computers were struck by a virus. They should wipe out the virus and correct the price. It looks really ridiculous otherwise.

  • This is highway robbery! What the hell would cost so much in a device which does nothing but extends some electric contacts.

    Better waiting for a low cost macro lens. Shame!

  • Vivek

    Very very very very expensive! Good luck to Kenko!!!!!

  • nobody

    I would like to know what those Kenko guys are smoking.

    “Both tubes will be available in April. They will cost 216 Euro each.”

    I paid 90 Euro for my Olympus OM 50mm macro lens, and AFAIK you can get that for even less on ebay. 216 Euro for an extension tube is just madness.

  • Mr. Reeee

    It’s nice to see accessories like this appear for the M4/3 system, but for that price, why not buy a manual macro lens? For a couple hundred bucks you can get a very good lens. Manual focus is preferable for macro shooting anyway.

    • Jason

      Yep, I prefer a dedicated macro.

  • Maley

    Thats really a ripoff. U can get af-confirm adaptors for less than 20 bucks. AF confirm for macro is Not so usefull anyway.

  • laurent

    Why should I pay 216€ just for one (432€ for 2!) when in the same time Kenko sell the set of 3 Canon ext tubes for 175€!

  • great news, it’s a shame the price they ask though :(

  • Camaman

    m43 is going Leica on the accessory prices…

  • Great news from Kenko (love the Zeta filters).
    Does this mean, with a small progression, that 1.4x and 2x adapters are coming soon? Once the contact transfer systems and flanges are tooled the addition of glass should not be difficult for such as Kenko.
    The price seems to need a bit (read lot) of downward adjustment though.
    Funny how marketing people jump on a success and ride it for all its worth (to them).

  • Woot! Finally something useful!

  • jon

    Cant believe I missed this product thread! I was so disappointed to realize I could not control aperture with my cheapo 13$ extension tubes with native m43 lenses. I picked up the set on Adorama for $179. Playing around with a few lenses I was amazed how good it works, once you put the tube on the lens doesnt really autofocus, but you do get focus confirm.. I cant wait to try it out on the 12-35 lens and compare the results to my 35mm canon FD prime with extension tube.

Back To Top

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

What are Cookies?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is stored in a temporary location on your computer to allow our website to distinguish you from other users of the website. If you don't want to accept cookies, you'll still be able to browse the site and use it for research purposes. Most web browsers have cookies enabled, but at the bottom of this page you can see how to disable cookies. Please note that cookies can't harm your computer. We don't store personally identifiable information in the cookies, but we do use encrypted information gathered from them to help provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allow us to improve our site. You can watch a simple video from Google to find more information about cookies.

Cookies used by our Website
The 43rumors website,, uses the following cookies for the collection of website usage statistics and to ensure that we can . These are anonymous and temporary. By using our website, you agree that we may place these types of cookies on your device.
Read how Google uses data when you use our partners' sites or apps:
Google Analytics Cookie Usage on Websites: Addthis cookies:
Disqus cookies:
Vimeo cookies:
Youtube cookies:

Disabling/Enabling Cookies
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying the settings in your browser. Please note however that by deleting our cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our site. For information about how to disable cookies in your browser please visit the About Cookies website.