Review: 25mm f/1.4 C-Mount lens

I’ve bought the 25mm f/1.4 C-Mount lens last August with its larger sibling, the 50mm f/1.4 C-Mount, which I’ve reviewed here. This is a new record even for me in regard to long term usage of a lens, before writing a review. It took me four months to review the 50/1.4 C-Mount and a whopping eight to do a review of the Nikon 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8. Despite having the 25/1.4 and using it for such a long time, I don’t have that many photos to show for it. One reason is that it is a specialized lens, which I only use when I feel that its characteristic look adds something to the photo opportunity at hand. Otherwise I go with the 18.5mm f/1.8, which is similar in terms of focal length and DOF control, and doesn’t have the swirly bokeh I don’t like that much. The other reason is that I have the afore-mentioned 50/1.4 C-Mount. Unlike the 25/1.4 it cannot be substituted with the 18.5mm, because it is an entirely different beast in regard to focal length and bokeh. Having smoother focus and aperture rings, whereby the former is further away from the body (25/1.4’s focus ring is next to the body), makes it easier to use. I will go into more detail on that later. This is what the 25/1.4 C-Mount lens looks like mounted on the Nikon V1 and in the hand.

Nikon V1 & C-Mount 25mm f/1.4 Continue reading

Additional photos with the Olympus OM-D E-M10, PL 25mm f1.4 and Oly 45mm f1.8

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.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 & Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 Continue reading

Meet me and my family

For a long time I wanted to introduce myself and my family with pictures. Not just any pictures, but those taken with the Nikon V1, 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8, 50m f/1.4 C-Mount and 25mm f/1.4 C-Mount. Let’s begin with me, the admin of this blog. My name is Ivan.

Nikon V1 & Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 Continue reading

More photos with the 25mm f1.4 C-Mount lens and the V1

It’s been more than a month since the last time I’ve posted some photos taken with the cheap 25mm f/1.4 C-Mount lens on the V1. I was quite busy shooting with the 18.5mm f/1.8 (my review) and reporting on all the new 1” releases, like the Nikon V3 and Samsung NX mini. But finally here are half a dozen photos I’ve shot since last time. I hope you like them. 🙂

Nikon V1 & C-Mount 25mm f/1.4 Continue reading

C-Mount 25mm f1.4 & Nikon V1

After a long break due to holidays, bad weather and poor health (sinusitis) I’ve finally managed to take some photos with my cheapo C-Mount 25mm f/1.4 lens. It will take a while until I’ve taken enough images and until I’m confident enough to write a review, but many things I have written about its “big brother”, the C-Mount 50mm f/1.4 (link to my Review), also apply to the 25mm f/1.4. Click on the photos to view them in Full HD resolution on Flickr. The image quality is not very good, so don’t be shocked if there are CAs and if the resolution/sharpness is vastly inferior to the 1 Nikkors. 🙂

Nikon V1 & C-Mount 25mm f/1.4 Continue reading

Review: 50mm f1.4 C-Mount Lens

More than a month ago I have posted some of my images taken with the 50mm f/1.4 C-Mount and my initial thoughts regarding the no-name lens. In the meantime I have taken some additional photos with the “Plastilux” (which is what I like to call it) and my Nikon V1, but not nearly as many as I would have liked to. Nevertheless I feel confident that I have learned all there is to know about the 50/1.4 C-Mount since I’ve bought it in August 2013.

(UPDATE 02.06.2016: I’ve been using the 50/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens on my Olympus OM-D E-M10 and have written a micro 4/3 centric review. If you are a M4/3 shooter and would like to see how this lens performs on the larger sensor, you can read the review here.)

Nikon V1 & C-Mount 50mm f/1.4

So why call it “Plastilux”? Well, at $47/£32/€38 this lens is cheap but capable of some great results, if you put in the time. Read on to find out what I think about the build quality, image quality, depth of field control, usability and price vs. performance of this lens.

Continue reading

It’s time for some dogs again

Folks who visit my blog on a regular basis know that I like to shoot dogs, cats, macro and portraits. This time around I’m posting some of my latest dog photos taken with the Nikon V1, 18.5mm f/1.8 and “Plastilux” 50mm f/1.4 C-Mount lens. Let’s begin with the shots taken with the 18.5mm f/1.8.

Nikon V1 & Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 Continue reading

Review: Macro on the cheap – Marumi DHG200 +5 achromatic lens

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.

Nikon-1-V1-Marumi-DHG200-+-5-macroNikon V1 & Nikkor 10-30 f/3.5-5.6 & Marumi +5 Continue reading

My first Nikon V1 images with over 1000 views

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:

Nikon V1 & Nikkor 10-30 f/3.5-5.6 & Marumi +5 Continue reading