I recently purchased a set of Movo Extension Tubes for Nikon 1 as I had been experiencing some quality issues with my Vello tubes (plastic flanges cracking and breaking). I’ve been out the past week or so capturing a range of images with these new tubes and I thought I’d share some images with you. If you are wondering about what extension tubes are and what they are used for, check out this detailed article about extension tubes and how they work.
Before I show you some images here is a very quick summary of the Movo Extension Tubes. They come in a set of three tubes (10mm, 16mm and 21mm) and tubes can be used individually or combined in a number of configurations including using all three at once.
I haven’t been using these tubes very long but they do seem to be well constructed and the metal mounts fit snuggly and provide solid couplings between the camera body and lens. I haven’t noticed any kind of compatibility issues with my Nikon 1 gear and auto-focus performance hasn’t been negatively impacted in any way.
Even when all three are mounted together the resulting rig is still small and light and very easy to handle. This makes shooting hand-held a pleasure.
I did some simple testing with my Nikon 1 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 and Nikon 1 CX 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 in terms of minimum focusing distances and subject image size. As a Nikon 1 owner if you have both the 30-110mm and CX 70-300mm lenses the good news is that the lenses perform quite differently in terms of minimum focusing distances. This will give you the potential to use these extension tubes when you need additional magnification effect when focusing on subjects from 13.5″ (34.3cm) to about 49″ (124cm) away.
I’ve been having a lot of fun with the Movo Extension Tubes for Nikon 1…as you’ll be able to see from the sample images…
I visited the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls, Canada and captured a range of usable images. For part of my visit I focused on butterflies feeding by using their coiled tongues to collect nectar from flowers.
The magnification effect of using all three tubes with my 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 and Nikon 1 V2 allowed for some rather alien-like images…
Even though fall is quickly setting in here in Southern Ontario I did manage a few images of the last remaining flowers.
And, wherever you have flowers you tend to have some visitors like the flies and beetle in these images.
Anytime extension tubes are used there is a loss of light. Since the majority of images in this article were captured with all three Movo extension tubes stacked together many of the photos are at high ISO’s. All were taken hand-held in available light. Images were processed from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro 10, CS6 and Nik Suite.
If you’d like to read my full hands-on review of the Movo Extension Tubes for Nikon 1 it is available on my blog. At about $50 US I think these tubes are good value and if any Nikon 1 owner has a 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 in their bag a set of these tubes should be right next to it.
It is always a pleasure to be back here at Photography Life and I’ll do my best to pop back in next month with another article.
Article and all images Copyright Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication of any kind, or adaptation is allowed without written consent.
I bought a set as well. While the lens slides perfectly inside the rings, I have difficulty mounting the rings on the camera. I get a warning on the screen that the lens is missing. If I go any tighter, I feel like the rig is going to gem the camera opening. Is this normal? Is your ring “clicking” in place with the camera body?
The MOVO tubes do fit quite snuggly on the CX lens mount. It does start to feel a bit tight, but I keep turning gently and I do get a discernible ‘click’ when the tube locks in place.
Thank you Tom! I do not get a click. I am able to mount the larger ring, though no click is felt , and I put quite some force to get it past the first stop. The other two rings though, are not fitting at all. I will probably have to contact the seller. Thanks again!
I don’t ‘feel’ a click…I hear a discernable click when both the tube locks on the CX mount and a CX lens locks on the tube.
thank you for taking the time to report to us.
You’re welcome jjciii!
Glad you liked them Waldemar!
Hi Thomas, how are you?
I loved the images, what is your success rate or ratio? I know from my own experience that macro is one of the hardest categories because of the magnified effect on movement, and the reduced light due to tubes & having to stop down to widen the depth of field, I guess one in ten of my shots I am fairly happy with, one in thirty I am very pleased with… what’s your ratio, out of interest?
I am envious of your setup in one way, while looking at the great images you have here, I noticed the one with the camera on the palm of your hand. It looks like a toy compared to my (compact!) D5500 toting a 105mm (and very heavy) macro lens. The positives are, because this gives me a reasonable subject to lens distance of approx 10″ I don’t use or feel I need tubes. In fact I had a set of three and ebayed them not long after the macro lens arrived, but they worked great with my Nikkor 50mm f/1.8. The negatives are, it is a relatively heavy set up. I find a decent monopod, and a tilting head (basic Manfrotto) to adjust angle works well for me. I have to say, the tilting LCD on the camera in live view is a great aid at low level, especially with my back!
Thinking of the rigmarole I go through (despite getting fantastic, unexpectedly good results) with that setup, I dread to think what someone using a D810 and a similar lens has to endure (it would be >= 150mm for the same image size on a full frame).
So to get the results you are getting, with such a light camera, yes, I am very envious! I am tempted!
On a brighter note, I had issues with DXO Optics Pro, to remind you, I was running V 9.x on a Vista machine when I upgraded my D5300 to a D5500.
The cameras shared the same sensor so I was not expecting a problem, but DXO support told me, after I had one, that though the D5300 is supported in version 9.x, the D5500 requires version 10.x and will not be supported under version 9!
For me this not only meant another software purchase, but also, a new computer (had to be a 64 bit). This was a little irksome as both cameras have the SAME sensor – but I was forced to spend the money (there goes that new lens I was after).
Now the dust has settled, it is for sure that version 10 is better. It has ‘clearview’ as you know, and used judiciously, breathes new life into images taken years ago, which have a little airborne haze. Used a bit more enthusiastically on non-hazy images you get a psuedo HDR effect, which is ok for certain things. Most of all though, the new setup is a whole lot faster, I have an Intel 4710 MQ i7 based laptop with 12gb ram and a 2gb Nvida graphics card, on my old Vista, the noise filter used in ‘Prime’ mode was taking a good 30 seconds. On the new machine it is averaging 2.5 seconds. I can’t complain about that!
I was going to go for a desktop, as you get more power for the money, but this laptop with a 17″ screen is plenty fast enough, and has the advantage of coming along with me on overnight shoots, for use back at the hotel etc.
Story with a happy ending then? But I am still envious of your Nikon 1 for macro.
Thanks for a very (as usual) interesting article.
I’m very well and still crazy busy…thanks for asking!
These were the first images that I’ve taken with a 3-tube set of extension tubes all stacked together so there was definitely a learning curve. The success rate with these images was wildly different depending on subject matter. The flowers obviously had a high ratio of keepers. Most of them were shot in bright sunlight at fairly fast shutter speeds so I only needed to take 2 or 3 shots to get something usable.
Of the critter images the beetle was the easiest…nice slow moving target so success was pretty much 100%. I captured these after shooting a lot of flower images which certainly helped with my technique. The flies were the hardest and I doubt I got even 10%. I had very little time to try to grab an image as they were constantly buzzing from flower to flower. Many times the subject was in good focus but the fly’s body position made for boring image. AF on my V2’s is extremely fast which certainly helped a lot. The biggest challenge with the fly images was just finding the pesky little guy in my viewfinder and then having it stay still long enough to even try to grab a shot. Sometimes being stubborn when setting a goal can be helpful when shooting macro-type images!
The keeper rate with the butterflies was also quite variable. Side profiles like image Movo6 were fairly simple to get and success in terms of focus was 75% or more. Slight variations in framing due to VR operation was the deciding factor for many images as my objective is always to get captures that I don’t need to crop at all, as was the case with most of the images in this article. Other angles were much more difficult and had a lower keeper rate. The most difficult were images like Movo3 as positioning a single AF point in the exact spot needed was key to getting the image. Since Nikon 1 bodies allow a single AF point to be placed almost anywhere on the frame it eliminates the need to focus and recompose. Even so I doubt that I was able to get more than 20% keepers.
In terms of aperture setting when shooting these types of images with Nikon 1 gear it’s something that I don’t have to think about very much as f/5.6 is my standard setting and I very rarely change it. As long as I plan subject angle and image framing properly, f/5.6 seems to give me enough depth-of-field for most shots.
When I owned the Nikkor 105mm Micro f/2.8 I tried to use it hand-held with my V2’s and the FT-1 adapter and it was extremely frustrating. The AF would hunt like crazy and not being able to move the single AF out of the centre of the frame was far too restricting for my style of shooting. I tried macro shots with that lens with both DX and FX bodies (both hand-held and with a tripod) and I much prefer shooting this style of image with my Nikon 1 gear and extension tubes hand-held. It allows me to be much more fluid, creative and spontaneous. The 30-110 lens is simply stellar for this application.
As far as DxO OpticsPro 10 goes…sorry to hear that you needed to make investments in new computer gear. I guess at some point that’s something that we all face from time to time. I know that OpticsPro 10 was a more complicated update for DxO as they had to make it Windows 10 compatible. I don’t know if that had anything to do with the camera models covered by the software. Sounds like your new laptop is doing a great job for you and is also a nice, portable solution.
I hope the additional insights on shooting macro with Nikon 1 in this reply were helpful.
Oh, now you’re just showing off! Fantastic images. I always enjoy your insights and skills.
Gotta go find me some tubes! (D7100)
Thanks for the positive comment Steve – much appreciated! Great idea to get yourself some tubes and join in on the fun!
By the way, your photos are incredible!!
Glad you enjoyed them Jonnie!
Do you know if these work with other Nikons? I have a D3100 and D3300, and three lenses: Nikkor AF-S Micro 40mm 1:2.8G, Nikkor 18-55 AF-S, Sigma DG 70-300mm 1:4-5.6. Thank you.
These tubes are made specifically for the Nikon 1 mount. I don’t know if Movo makes any Nikon F-mount extension tubes. There are other brands of extension tubes that will fit Nikon F-mount cameras and lenses.
I’ve played with Kenko extension tubes for my Nikon gear (with the 50 mm f/1.8) and having a lot of fun with them !
I had a Nikon 1 V1 with 10-30mm and 30-110mm lenses. I wasn’t very happy with the results so I ended up selling it quite less than I bought it for so I could get a Canon 7D. I never regretted the decision until I start seeing your results with the Nikon 1 series images. I guess I should have given it a bit more time to get used to it.
Keep up the good work I really like your results.
Thanks for the positive words SelimTheDream – much appreciated! Since the Canon 7D is doing a great job for you just keep on shooting with it and having fun!
I´m using a Vello extention tube set coupled with a 55-200mm on a D7100. I’m got good results as well!
Great to hear Tomas! Sounds like you’re like me and having lots of fun with your extension tubes!
Great feature and excellent shot!!!!!
Glad you enjoyed them Nasrin!