Since, at the present time, there are no native Nikon 1 macro lenses available, many owners of Nikon 1 gear use extension tubes instead. For many folks their decision comes down to using extension tubes with either the Nikon 1 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 or the Nikon 1 CX 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 lenses.
I recently purchased a set of Movo Extension Tubes for Nikon 1 and I thought it may be interesting to compare the ‘magnification effect’ of the various Movo Extension Tubes with these two lenses when mounted on my Nikon 1 V2’s. The basic question is, “When using Movo Extension Tubes with Nikon 1, which set up works best?”
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
I set up a rather crude experiment to try to measure the minimum focusing distance of these two zoom lenses when using various combinations of the Movo Extension Tubes. To assess the relative macro ability of each set-up I then took images of a tape measure, then approximated the width of the resulting subject image.
Please remember that my measurements are only rough approximations and my testing certainly was not conducted under laboratory conditions! Never-the-less the results are instructive and many be helpful for Nikon 1 owners to decide when to use extension tubes with these two lenses.
In terms of the ‘minimum focusing distance’ I measured the distance between the subject tape measure and the flange on the body of my V2. I put together a small chart of my findings which you will find below. Please note that many of the figures in the chart were subject to rounding up/down and they are only intended as approximations.
The Nikon 1 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 provided more ‘magnification effect’ than did the Nikon 1 CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6.
I was able to get the lens to auto-focus on the tape measure with all 3 Movo Extension Tubes attached (i.e. 10 mm, 16 mm, 21 mm) at a minimum focusing distance of only 13.5 inches (34.3 cm).
The resulting image of the subject tape measure was 0.75 inches (19 mm) in width. I compared this to the width of the subject image when the Nikon 1 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 was shot at its minimum focusing distance when fully extended to its longest focal length, and without any extension tubes (33.5 inches, 85 cm). The resulting image without extension tubes was about 4.2 inches (106.7 mm) in width, for a ‘magnification effect’ of approximately 562% when using all of the Movo extension tubes combined.
The Nikon 1 CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 operated completely differently than its 30-110 mm cousin.
First, the minimum auto-focusing distance of the lens when fully extended and without the use of extension tubes was 59.5″ (151 cm). With all three Movo Extension Tubes attached the minimum auto-focusing distance was 35″ (89 cm).
In terms of the resulting subject images, the fully extended lens without extension tubes produced a subject image 3.2 inches (81.3 mm) in width. With all three Movo Extension Tubes attached the resulting image was 1.19″ (30.2 mm) for a ‘magnification effect’ of 269%.
These two Nikon 1 zoom lenses work within different camera-to-subject minimum focusing distances. The 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 was able to auto-focus between 22 inches (85 cm) and 13.5 inches (34.5 cm) depending on which extension tube, or combination of tubes was used. The Nikon 1 CX 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 was able to auto-focus at between 35 to 48.75 inches (89 cm to 124 cm).
This is actually good news for owners of Nikon 1 gear if they happen to have both of these lenses. They can use extension tubes to get additional ‘magnification effect’ if there is a subject-to-camera distance of between 13.5 to 48.75 inches (34.2 cm to 124 cm). Of course they will need to choose the correct combination of lens and extension tube(s).
My hands-on review of the Movo Extension Tubes for Nikon 1 gear will be available soon for any readers who are interested in this style of photography.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about the Nikon 1 system, you may want to have a look at our eBook, The Little Camera That Could. It illustrates the capability of the Nikon 1 system through hundreds of original photographs. There is also commentary and tips about the Nikon 1 system. The cost is $9.99 Canadian.
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