Canon 60mm f/2.8 Macro on Canon 6D With an Extension Tube

Right from the point when I discovered that the small flower icon on my then point-and-shoot camera meant macro photography I loved going as close as possible to my subjects. So the first new and thought through lens I ever bought was the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM. The photos below were taken with that lens on my Canon 40D during sakura week in Copenhagen a couple of years ago.

bokeh and macro photography

The lens is an EF-S lens that works well with the Canon 40D which is a crop-frame camera body. That will also be the case with for exmple the Canon 1300D, Canon 800D, Canon 80D or Canon 7D - basically all the cameras with crop-frame.

However, at some point I replaced my Canon 40D with the Canon 6D, which is a full frame camera. There aren't a lot, but the Canon 60mm Macro lens is one of the lenses that doesn't work on full frame bodies. It simply doesn't fit physically which rendered it useless.

If you're in doubt whether your lens will fit on a full frame body, check whether the lens has small red dot (yes, it does) or a white square (no, it doesn't) at the edge of the lens mount.

How to Use The Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM on a Full Frame Camera

The good news: there is a way to use the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM on a full frame camera body!
Even more good news: this lens is more suited for that than other EF-S lenses!

The way to do it is by using an extension tube.


An extension tube is nothing fancy, but simply what the name implies: a tube that's used for extension. The goal of the extension tube is to increase the distance between camera and lens to be able to focus closer to and thus magnifying a subject - similar to a macro lens.


They exist in varying thicknesses depending on the amount of magnification you want. They don't contain any optical parts and can be stacked as wished.

But Judith, why would you want to make a macro lens go even more macro?

Good question! The answer is: I'm not using the extension tube to be able to focus closer (even though that's a nice side effect). I use it because it can be mounted on both full frame and crop-frame cameras, and both EF and EF-S lenses can be mounted on it! I'm abusing it as an adapter so to speak!



I picked the 12mm extension tube as it is cheaper than the 25mm and I didn't care about the magnification which wasn't my main reason for the purchase.

What to Remember When Using an Extension Tube as an Adapter

There are some things you need to be aware of when you're considering this neat little trick.

  1. In terms of Canon's extension tubes, you can only use the Mark II versions - the first generation of extension tubes can't mount on EF-S lenses which means that the whole purpose for this trick goes down the drain.
  2. Other brands sell extension tubes as well, you don't need to buy Canon. However, you might loose the ability for autofocus as they aren't able to talk with the camera.
  3. Find out whether you want 12mm or 25mm (or more?). Maybe you want to use the extension tube with other lenses as well, maybe even for their original purpose. In that case, do some research about which focal lengths get affected in which way by the different lengths. Also, a few lenses don't work with both extension tubes!
  4. I write very specifically about the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM as other EF-S lenses might react differently to being attached to an extension tubes. Some focal lengths for example might produce a pretty heavy vignette.
  5. You will lose infinity focus.


Example Photos of a Canon 6D With The Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

These are some of the very first photos I've taken with the combination Canon EOS 6D + Canon Extension Tube EF12 II + Canon 6D With The Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM. They show our small apartment fern that's slowly dying (we really aren't good with plants!) and were taken in the evning when it was already dark so they're a bit grainy.

All of them are with f/2.8





So prepare for a whole lot more macro photos in the future! :D

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Written by: Judith tagged with blog, review, gear