I’ve added lots of photos taken with the Marumi DHG200 + 5 with the Nikon…
Category: Nikon 1 Nikkor 18.5 mm f/1.8
Since I posted my first batch of photos taken with the brand new Olympus OM-D EM-10, I’ve had more time to study the camera and to take some additional photos. I must say, as much as I enjoy having the IBIS and the flexibility which the larger m4/3 sensor and the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 and Olympus 45mm f/1.8 provide in terms of low light performance and DOF control, almost equally I hate the color rendition, seemingly random auto white balance and “dark” metering of the E-M10. The Nikon V1 with the Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 (you can read my review of the lens here) still have some advantages which make the setup very fun to use. For example, the V1 has extremely precise metering and Auto WB, vastly superior to the both systems the E-M10 employs. I find that with the latter I’m constantly correcting exposure by +0.3-0.7 stops to get the result I’m used to with the V1. And even then, some work in Lightroom is needed to make the highlights “roll off” as smoothly as with the V1. The reason for this is no doubt the fact that the E-M10, while having greater dynamic range overall, has less highlight headroom and a steeper curve in the highlight region (but more shadow headroom) than the V1, thus underexposing constantly to protect those highlights.
For more than a month I’ve been teaching my girlfriend Sani how to take photos consciously by using a “serious” camera, like the Nikon V1. Being someone who wasn’t interested in photography in the past, her experience is limited to taking snapshots with smartphones and full auto compact cameras. Using a camera with manual controls, like aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings, is a totally new experience to her. Nevertheless she enjoyed using the Nikon V1, Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 (check out my Review of the lens here) and 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6. I’m guessing it’s the fast AF, operational speed, accurate metering and WB what she’s liking about it. Lacking experience, she can’t put into words what it is that she finds enjoyable about using the gear. We have undertaken several photo walkabouts since I started teaching her. The first time she wasn’t exactly thrilled (I had to twist her arm a bit…), but once we got home, and I deleted the vast majority of rejects and shown her the strongest photos, some of which you can see below, she was very excited. After that it took some time until I finally got to post processing her shots, which was done under her guidance and to her taste. She doesn’t know how to use Lightroom yet, but knows what she likes and how the shots should look.
If you are a Nikon 1 user from Germany, Switzerland or Austria, you should head…
More than two years after release Nikon still doesn’t offer a native macro lens for its Nikon 1 system. This means that if you intend to take macros, you are left with a few “odd” choices. The most powerful, but also the most expensive and bulky solution is to buy the FT-1 adapter and a DX or FX Micro-Nikkor, like the 40mm f/2.8, 60mm f/2.8G ED, 85mm f/3.5 IF-ED or 105mm f/2.8 IF-ED. These lenses will allow you to achieve even greater image ratios (above 1:1) on N1 cameras than when used on DX or FX Nikon DSLRs. Including the FT-1 adapter these setups will cost you from $530 up to $1000. The other two solutions are intelligent extension tubes for existing Nikon 1 lenses (you can’t buy a “dumb” tube, because AF will not work, and “by wire” MF and aperture control on N1 lenses need power from the camera) or achromatic and close-up lenses. Both are considerably cheaper, but also less powerful. BUT, depending on your expectations, cheap solutions such as extension tubes and achromatic lenses could be just the right thing for you. One of my main reasons for investing in Nikon 1 was low size and weight, which was the reason I wasn’t ready to add so much weight and bulk to my photo bag with the FT-1 and a full grown Nikkor. I ended up buying the Marumi DHG200 +5 achromatic lens with a 52mm filter thread and a 40.5mm to 52mm step-up ring instead, which turned out to be perfect for my needs. At least until Nikon releases a native Micro-Nikkor for Nikon 1, in which case I will get that lens and use it WITH the Marumi. Here is what the Marumi looks like mounted on the Nikon V1 and 10-30mm.
I’ve believed from the start that Nikon 1 cameras are capable of great results. Before I bought the V1 last November, I counted myself lucky when one of my images on flickr was viewed 100 or 200 times. Although I’m perfectly aware that flickr views are meaningless, it’s nice to be able to produce photographs, which interest people. The fact that many of my images taken with the V1 are rather popular (500 views on average) reassures me that I’m not a deluded fanboy praising the camera to the skies. Other people seem to like the output the V1, especially with the 18.5mm f/1.8, is capable of just as much as I do. I now have over a dozen photos with over 1000 views (UPDATE: over a 170 photos as of 12/2013). Here are some of them:
Shortly after I bought my Nikon V1 with the 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 last November, I decided to get a nice, small bag for my Nikon 1 kit. My previous “bag” of choice was a worn out Nike sports rucksack, which I used to carry around my old, analogue Nikon SLRs, Contax G1 and Bronica ETRS. The rucksack was way oversized for a small N1 kit. Since I wanted a small bag, large enough to carry around a medium-sized kit (at that time I only had the V1 and 10-30mm, but was planning to expand my lens collection), I made a decision to get Lowepro Rezo 110 AW.
For a long time I was considering to write a review of the Nikon 18.5mm f/1.8 lens, but wasn’t able to find the time. Busy work schedule and taking photos with the lens, instead of writing about it, kept me from doing it. But now, after more than 8 months of use, I’ve finally managed to sit down and put my thoughts on paper.
What is it about this lens that makes it so special in the Nikon 1 realm? It is a relatively fast standard prime, which comes at a reasonable price point. At the time of writing the price in EU is around €180. I’ve paid €200 in February 2013 and found the price more than justified considering the very fast autofocus action, the very good optical performance at wide open apertures and some unique features of the N1 cameras which increase the usability of this lens greatly in comparison to any other standard prime. I will go into more detail on that later, the point that I’m trying to make is that people who compare the 18.5/1.8 to a much larger and material intensive 35/1.8, and whine about its price, are simply wrong. The 18.5/1.8 is one hell of a lens, which is worth every penny.