30-110mm Plant Macro Images

A friend of mine recently took delivery of a new Nikon 1 J5 with two kit lenses, the 10-30mm PD zoom and 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 zoom. We visited the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory this morning to help him get some practice time with his new gear. I’ll be posting a few articles based on the images I took this morning. This one features a selection of 30-110mm plant macro images.

Many users of Nikon 1 gear own the 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 zoom lens. I’ve always liked this particular lens, especially when used with extension tubes.

Rather than focus my articles on images captured with higher priced Nikon 1 lenses like the CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, I think it is beneficial to showcase images captured with 30-110mm from time to time. At about $280 CDN, this lens is quite affordable for most folks, and does a very nice job.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-900
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-900

I did start the day shooting the 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 without the use of extension tubes.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-320
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-320

This lens is always a joy to use. It is so small and light, making it very easy to handle.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-320
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-320

Focusing is fast and accurate, and using single point auto-focus with the Nikon 1 J5 allows for very precise AF control.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 55mm, efov 148mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-1600, MOVO extension tubes
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 55mm, efov 148mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-1600, MOVO extension tubes

After the first 45 minutes or so I switched to using the 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 with a 21mm MOVO extension tube. Then towards the end of our visit I added a 10mm tube onto the assembly.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 83mm, efov 224mm, f/5, 1/400, ISO-800
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 83mm, efov 224mm, f/5, 1/400, ISO-800

When using the MOVO extension tubes I typically use Manual camera settings along with Auto-ISO 160-3200. This allows me to adjust my aperture and shutter speed as needed, while allowing the ISO to ‘float’ and create the right exposure.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 55mm, efov 148mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-1600, MOVO extension tubes
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 55mm, efov 148mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-1600, MOVO extension tubes

As I noted in earlier articles, the Nikon 1 J5 meters differently than do my V2s in terms of measured ISO and manufacturer-stated ISO. There is about 2/5 of a stop difference between the two camera models.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 48mm, efov 128mm, f/4.5, 1/200, ISO-160
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 48mm, efov 128mm, f/4.5, 1/200, ISO-160

At a camera setting of ISO-3200 the J5 is actually shooting at ISO-1853. At this ISO level I have every confidence that the PRIME noise reduction function in OpticsPro 11 will do a good job with my files.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 66mm, efov 179mm, f/8, 1/80, ISO-1250, MOVO extension tubes
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 66mm, efov 179mm, f/8, 1/80, ISO-1250, MOVO extension tubes

Depending on the subject matter I often will stop the 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 down to f/8 to get more depth-of-field when shooting with extension tubes.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 49mm, efov 133mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-1000, MOVO extension tubes
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 49mm, efov 133mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-1000, MOVO extension tubes

I try to keep my shutter speeds at 1/80 or higher when using extension tubes. This is especially when shooting with the J5 as it does not have an EVF.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 44mm, efov 119mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO-2500, MOVO extension tubes
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 44mm, efov 119mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO-2500, MOVO extension tubes

I have noticed that the Nikon 1 J5’s 20.8MP BSI sensor is more forgiving dealing with underexposures than are the Aptina sensors in my V2s.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 55mm, efov 148mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-2800, MOVO extension tubes
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 55mm, efov 148mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-2800, MOVO extension tubes

At times I will purposely underexpose a J5 image in order to get the aperture and shutter speed I want, while keeping the ISO setting to a maximum of ISO-3200. Underexposures of a stop or a bit more doesn’t seem to be an issue with the J5.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 55mm, efov 148mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-1600, MOVO extension tubes
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 55mm, efov 148mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-1600, MOVO extension tubes

Overall, we had a very enjoyable morning at the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory, photographing butterflies and some plants.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 53mm, efov 143mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO640, MOVO extension tubes
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 53mm, efov 143mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO640, MOVO extension tubes

An article featuring some butterfly images captured with the 30-110mm should be forthcoming soon.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 40mm, efov 107mm, f/4.5, 1/250, ISO-900, MOVO extension tubes
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 40mm, efov 107mm, f/4.5, 1/250, ISO-900, MOVO extension tubes

The 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 is one of the earlier lenses introduced for the Nikon 1 system. Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves that this cost affordable zoom lens is a little gem!

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 38mm, efov 103mm, f/4.5, 1/250, ISO-640, MOVO extension tubes
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 38mm, efov 103mm, f/4.5, 1/250, ISO-640, MOVO extension tubes

Technical Note:
All of the images in this article were captured hand-held in available light using a Nikon 1 J5 and a 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 zoom lens. MOVO extension tubes were used for some of the images as noted. All photographs in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard post process of DxO OpticsPro 11, CS6 and Nik Suite.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 62mm, efov 166mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-2500, MOVO extension tubes
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 62mm, efov 166mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-2500, MOVO extension tubes

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3 thoughts on “30-110mm Plant Macro Images”

  1. Amazing lens and at around 60-80mm it has almost no detectable longitudal abberation (thats the green behind focus and purple in front). I only have one other lens as good and its an el-nikkor apo. Its even better than my 180mm lecia telyt in this regard.

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