Tag: samples

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.

Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8

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.

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. 😉
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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. 🙂Unbenannt

 

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. 🙂 Unbenannt

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.
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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. 😉

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