Using Extension Tubes at Belvedere House

Planning for a less hectic schedule towards the end of an extended photographic field trip is always a good idea. Being able to slow down and relax a bit helps to recharge one’s creative battery. This article shares a selection of fifteen macro images captured using extension tubes at Belvedere House, Ireland.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 41 mm, efov 110.7 mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-3200, extension tube used

Whenever my wife and I travel with our Nikon 1 kit I always pack a set of extension tubes. Depending on our planned itinerary I sometimes don’t have the opportunity to use them very often. It is always good to have them on hand just in case.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 43 mm, efov 116.1 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-3200, extension tube used

During our recent trip to Ireland we purposely left our last full day open. We decided to spent it at Belvedere House Gardens & Park.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 48 mm, efov 129.6 mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO-1600, extension tube used

After touring Belvedere House we spent quite a bit of time in the extensive gardens. It was a pleasant Irish day… a mix of sun and clouds, with variable wind gusts thrown in for good measure. As a result I had to monitor my shutter speeds continuously.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 77 mm, efov 207.9 mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-1600, extension tube used

The Nikon 1 system is great to use with extension tubes. Being small and light makes it easy to get in and around plants and find good shooting angles.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 49 mm, efov 132.3 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-1600, extension tube used

The auto focusing system is fast and accurate which is always a key consideration when using a camera for hand-held macro-type photography.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 32 mm, efov 86.4 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-800, extension tube used

I enjoyed being able to leisurely find subject blossoms and consider various composition options. It was a nice change of pace from the previous few weeks we had spent touring the Emerald Isle. Using extension tubes at Belvedere House was a great way to spend our last day in Ireland.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 48 mm, efov 129.6 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-800, extension tube used

I noticed a spider wrapping up a future meal that it had just caught in its web. If you look closely at the image below you’ll see that one of the spider’s fangs is visible.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 44 mm, efov 118.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-3200, extension tube used

The details that become clearly visible when using extension tubes or a macro lens to photograph a tiny flower always fascinate me.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 46 mm, efov 124.2 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-3200, extension tube used

I often like to put the main subject in a macro composition angled off to one side as it can help accentuate the shape and textures of a blossom.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 43 mm, efov 116.1 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-3200, extension tube used

Depending on the size of the subject flower and the focusing distance required for my compositions, I will often change out extension tubes.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 38 mm, efov 102.6 mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-3200, extension tube used

My most frequently used extension tube tends to be a 16 mm. I almost always use a 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 zoom lens with a Nikon 1 J5 when utilizing my Nikon 1 kit for this type of photography.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 43 mm, efov 116.1 mm, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO-1600, extension tube used

I very seldom stack extension tubes as that causes a loss of more light. When shooting macro-type images outdoors, it is critical to use a fast enough shutter speed to ensure in-focus image captures. This often requires choosing a higher ISO… especially in breezy conditions.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 48 mm, efov 129.6 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-3200, extension tube used

Sometimes if the wind is quite strong, there’s no option but to photograph a flower bud using a fast shutter speed and a higher ISO. As long as I don’t go over ISO-3200 with my Nikon 1 gear I don’t worry about it. It is seldom an issue working in post with Nikon 1 images captured up to ISO-3200. At times using extension tubes at Belvedere House fell into the windy category!

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 37 mm, efov 99.9 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-3200, extension tube used

If you would like to find out more about the Nikon 1 system, you may find our eBook The Little Camera That Could of interest. The eBook is available for purchase and download. It is priced at $9.99 Canadian. Readers interested in purchasing a copy can use the link below.

 

Technical Note:
All photographs were captured hand-held in available light using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

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Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 48 mm, efov 129.6 mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-1600, extension tube used

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