If you are a Nikon 1 user from Germany, Switzerland or Austria, you should head…
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:
I tried to photograph some of these stray cats with a DSLR, but as soon as the mirror claps most of them run away. This doesn’t happen with the Nikon V1 and Nikon 18.5mm f/1.8. As soon as the electronic shutter is enabled, the camera is silent. If you close the aperture, there is a faint noise of aperture blades closing, right before the images is being captured. If you stay at f/1.8 however, the camera makes no noise whatsoever. The loudest sound is the finger tipping the shutter release button. 😉
The Nikon V1 with the Nikon 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 or 18.5mm f/1.8 is such a small package that you can take it anywhere. I sometimes even take it with me when I’m BBQing or going out with the fellas. Some of my friends don’t like to be stalked with a camera, they however are far less likely to make a fuss when I’m using my V1. The smaller camera doesn’t seem to intimidate people and make them go into defensive mode nearly as much as the big guns do. I, on the other hand, am far more likely to shoot motifs which I usually don’t consider interesting, like food, when not having to lug a heavy camera for long periods of time. 🙂
I really like the Nikon 18.5mm f/1.8 for portraiture. It gives me a nice balance of DoF and sharpness. With some lenses for the larger formats, I have the feeling that I constantly need to think about how much I should close the aperture, to obtain sufficient DoF for human faces. The 18.5mm has enough DoF at wiede open, f/1.8. When shooting people I never close the aperture with this lens. IMO bokeh is nice, and the colors are what you expect from a Nikon. Awesome skin tones. But look for yourself. 🙂
It seems to me that the Nikon 18.5mm f/1.8 is one of the most discussed lenses for the Nikon 1 system. Oddly though, reviews and video material regarding the lens is really hard to find. That’s why I have gathered all the info and made this humble link collection. 🙂
The Nikon V1, with its small size and thanks to the electronic shutter silent operation, is a perfect cat capturing machine. Which lens you end up using for cat pictures is up to you. I use the Nikon 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 and the Nikon 18.5mm f/1.8. If you get close, you can achieve nice bokeh with both of them. The 18.5mm is best used at full aperture at f/1.8 and the 10-30mm at the long end, also wide open, if bokeh is what you are after. Here are some cat samples with the V1 and both the Nikkors.
The Nikon 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 has an exceptional image ratio. Without any additional close-up or achromatic lenses you can fill the frame with larger insects, like some butterflies. I’m expecting that with a close-up lens you can come pretty close to a 1:1 macro lens. That’s the reason I’ve bought a Marumi DHG200 (+5), but didn’t have the time to test it so far. The Nikon 18.5mm f/1.8 on the other hand is no macro wonder, but still pretty good for a “nifty fifty”. The problem with this lens is that because of the shorter focal length (I use the 10-30 at 30mm for macro), you get more spacial distortion the closer you get. Don’t get too close, or features of various insects will get distorted. In the following you will see what these two lenses can do without the use of close-up lenses. As I’ve said, the 10-30mm is pretty impressive for a lowly kit zoom. 😉