I usually test my own gear and I normally need quite a lot of time to form my opinion about a specific piece of kit. It’s different this time around. I’m testing out a sample of the mighty Nikon 1 Nikkor 32mm f1.2 lent to me by my friend Jan H. Maaso.
The 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 needs no introduction. Being an f/1.2 lens and one of the most expensive ones the Nikon 1 system has to offer, it’s the most prominent lens in the system. Many people who know next to nothing about the Nikon 1 system are aware of its existence. Due to it being out of my reach financially, I wouldn’t have been able to try it out if it weren’t for Jan agreeing to part with it for a couple of months.
The Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 is the shorter and more affordable of the two telephoto zoom lenses available for the Nikon 1 system. It has a complex optical design consisting of 18 elements (with two ED glass elements) in 12 groups and features a collapsible barrel, mechanically coupled zoom ring, image stabilization (Vibration Reduction in Nikon speak) and an aperture with seven rounded blades. In full frame terms it offers a focal length range of 80-300mm. This is a versatile range, which is useful for portraiture, close-ups (and even serious macro with extension tubes or achromatic close-up lenses) and less active or skittish animals. Due to its compact size and low weight the 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 is even useful for travel photography and the occasional landscape. It is, however, too short for serious bird and wildlife photography. Its bigger and more expensive cousin, the 1 Nikkor VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, is far better suited for these kinds of subjects.
Yesterday night I recorded a short video of a slug – I believe it’s a Limax flavus – eating grass. The video was recorded handheld with a Nikon 1 V1, a Nikon 1 Nikkor 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 and Raynox DCR-250 achromatic close up lens. I held the camera with my right hand, while illuminating the slug with my phone’s built in LED with my left. You can even hear a rooster crowing in the background. 🙂
Two weekends ago Sani and I were visiting Sani’s cousin in Veliko Gradiste, a small town on the banks of Danube in eastern Serbia. We were attending the birthday of her twin daughters. Before the other guests arrived and the party started on Saturday, I snuck out and went on a stroll along the Danube. For me this was the perfect opportunity to shoot pictures of waterbirds that can’t be found along the small river Mlava in my hometown of Petrovac na Mlavi. Admittedly the Nikon 1 Nikkor 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 – being too short – is not the best suited lens for these kinds of subjects. It was a fun exercise nonetheless.
I’ve been shooting a lot of macro photos since my last post on this topic. Most of the time – almost exclusively, actually – I’ve used my Nikon 1 V1 and 1 Nikkor 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6, with or without achromatic close-up lenses. You don’t really need a close-up lens or a real macro lens for larger insects like damselflies or dragonflies. The following photos were captured without a close-up lens and show how close you can get to your macro subject with just the 30-110mm.
Note: Click on any of the following photos to view it large.
Nikon 1 V1 and 1 Nikkor 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 — 110mm, f/5.6, 1/200s and ISO100
Sadly the Nikon EN-EL15 battery in my Nikon 1 V1 has reached the end of its working life. It happened without there being any sign whatsoever that it would die. I took some photos one day, depleting the battery in the process, and recharged it afterwards. The next day I was greeted with the following message on the camera display.
I’ve been meaning to post some of my recent macros, which I’ve taken with the trusty old V1, 10-30mm, Marumi DHG200 (check out my review of the Marumi here) and Raynox DCR-250, but unfortunately I’ve had bronchitis the past couple of weeks. I wasn’t really in the mood for blogging.
I’ve added lots of photos taken with the Marumi DHG200 + 5 with the Nikon 1 V1 and 10-30mm and 18.5mm f/1.8 as well as Olympus OM-D E-M10 and 45mm f/1.8. There are now more photos of the said cameras and lenses with and without the Marumi attached to them. And last but not least there are also full resolution comparison images taken with the Nikon and Olympus gear, so that you can get a better idea of the boost to magnification ratio it provides. You can check out the review here.
Unlike with my previous photos I’ve developed the photos you see below in Lightroom 5.4 and used the fringing and CA tools to reduce color artefacts on edges with strong contrast. Not that it did much good, considering just how flawed the 25mm f/1.4 C-Mount lens is in this regard. 😉 You can find my previous posts about the C-Mount lens here. I will be posting the review of the lens tomorrow. In the meanwhile you can view all my photos taken with the 25/1.4 C-Mount in my Flickr set.
After a pause lasting two months, over the course of which I’ve been shooting with my Micro Four Thirds gear, I took the Nikon V1 with the 25mm f/1.4 C-Mount lens for a spin. Unlike the 50mm f/1.4 C-Mount, the 25/1.4 is not a lens I enjoy shooting a lot, which is why I still haven’t gotten to writing a review. I simply haven’t taken enough photos with it to be confident enough to pass a final verdict. I hope that it won’t take 8 months, like it did with the 18.5mm f/1.8, until I’m ready to sit down and write a proper review. Btw. you can read my long term review of the 18.5mm here.