Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
DaveOl
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to nigelht, 11 months ago

I really like the bird with the out spread wings.  It's fake isn't it, like stuffed?

I think Nikon really made a mistake by taking away the aperture ring on their new G lenses.  This makes them hard to use on extension tubes.  I don't know how it works on the 1.4 and 1.7 telextenders.  Maybe they do.

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Sonyshine
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It is a brilliant combination.
In reply to LifeIsOnTheWire, 11 months ago

Don't be put off by the idea of using the FT1 adapter on the Nikon V1 or V2

It works brilliantly and I thoroughly enjoy using mine along with my Nikon AFS lenses.

It really is remarkably good and the reach is amazing.

A selection of shots using various lenses . Nikon V1 and FT1 adapter.

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D Cox
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to John Sheehy, 11 months ago

John Sheehy wrote:

LifeIsOnTheWire wrote:

Are there any other cameras that use a common lens mount, with a small sensor? I'm a Nikon fan, but I don't want to have to use a lens mount adapter, and the Nikon V1/V2 don't have good enough manual controls for my taste.

There is also the Pentax Q series, with much smaller sensors (and pixels) than the Nikon 1 series. There are Q adapters for just about every lens format. No control of aperture or focus, of course.

So long as the camera has live view, you can control them with rings on the lens.

Obviously a recent lens that has no good controls and expects electronic signals from a camera is not suitable.

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D Cox
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to John Sheehy, 11 months ago

John Sheehy wrote:

frank-in-toronto wrote:

i use the v1 along with my d600. the difference in iq is HUGE. however, for small web posts, the v1 is fine. for anything large, printed or cropped, it's junk.

You know what's really junk? A v1-size crop from a DSLR, compared to the same lens using a v1.

The pixel pitch of the v1 is 3.4 microns, while that of the NEX-7 (which has 24 Megapixels on APS-C) is 3.9 microns.

So a given image of a bird, using the same lens on both cameras, will have about 32% more pixels on the v1. The advantage of the bigger sensor is that you get a wider angle of view, so aiming is easier.

Pixel pitch is what matters with very long lenses. A FF sensor with the same pitch as the v1 would be ideal.

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D Cox
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to frank-in-toronto, 11 months ago

frank-in-toronto wrote:

i use the v1 along with my d600. the difference in iq is HUGE. however, for small web posts, the v1 is fine. for anything large, printed or cropped, it's junk.

To look at it another way, the image is already heavily cropped out of camera. It won't take any more cropping.

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Sonyshine
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to D Cox, 11 months ago

I have A3 prints from my V1 that are excellent.

I have recently sold some commercial work I do ( technical macro ) using the V1 and 40mm AFS micro lens

I also use the V1 for stock photography and have good sales  (I am a well established member with a long history in stock photography which does help a lot.)

So I refute the implication that V1 or V2 images are not good enough -  they are good and commercial if thats your thing.

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D Cox
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to Greg A A, 11 months ago

Greg A A wrote:

John Sheehy wrote:

frank-in-toronto wrote:

i use the v1 along with my d600. the difference in iq is HUGE. however, for small web posts, the v1 is fine. for anything large, printed or cropped, it's junk.

You know what's really junk? A v1-size crop from a DSLR, compared to the same lens using a v1.

Huh? In no circumstance is a Nikon 1 comparable to a D4, D800, D600, D7100, D3S ...

If you crop down to the same sensor area (13.2x8.8mm) it should be. That is a savage crop.

You would have to compare raw files. The examples shown (Sun Bittern etc) do look soft, but some of that could be caused by excessive noise reduction for JPG.

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D Cox
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to Sonyshine, 11 months ago

Sonyshine wrote:

I have A3 prints from my V1 that are excellent.

I have some excellent A3 prints from a Panasonic DMC-TZ7 (which I use as a notebook camera), but I wouldn't claim that the average output from that camera is as good as from an APS-C or FF one. Certainly you can get good results from small sensors under favourable conditions.

And a camera with a small sensor and high pixel pitch is "pre-cropped" when used with a long lens such as a 400mm. Good for birds and insects, and some macro work.

Conversely, a big sensor with low pixel pitch is good for street photography at night.

I have recently sold some commercial work I do ( technical macro ) using the V1 and 40mm AFS micro lens

I also use the V1 for stock photography and have good sales (I am a well established member with a long history in stock photography which does help a lot.)

So I refute the implication that V1 or V2 images are not good enough - they are good and commercial if thats your thing.

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D Cox
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to DaveOl, 11 months ago

DaveOl wrote:

I really like the bird with the out spread wings. It's fake isn't it, like stuffed?

It's a Sun Bittern. That's what they do.

I think Nikon really made a mistake by taking away the aperture ring on their new G lenses. This makes them hard to use on extension tubes. I don't know how it works on the 1.4 and 1.7 telextenders. Maybe they do.

I would not buy a lens with no aperture ring. It would work only on a limited range of cameras. No future-proofing.

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D Cox
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to nigelht, 11 months ago

nigelht wrote:

What? No. The V1 isn't bad in good light but in low light a larger sensor does get more signal (number of photons) than a smaller one because generally each pixel is individually larger.

And that is why. Give the two sensors the same pixel pitch, and the pixels get the same number of photons.

There are diagrams and articles all over the place to illustrate this even in a crop situation since your scenario doesn't describe the lighting level. A D4, D800, etc x2.7 crop in low light is generally better than a V1 shot especially given the noise our sensor has at higher ISO.

The advantage of low pixel pitch is seen in low light. In bright light it largely disappears.

In terms of whether a V1 is better than a D4, D800, etc crop goes in good light depends on the lens.

To compare, you should use the same lens on both cameras.

This chart here:

from this thread by rob_b illustrates the pixel density difference and potential advantages of the V1/V2 for very long shots.

As for the OP, the Nikon 85mm f1.8 reportedly has slow but accurate AF since it's not meant for sports but portraits. The 70-200 f2.8 is reported to be "verra nice" which is to be expected from such a classic lens.

Shooting a 50mm f1.8 G as a 135mm focal length equivalent works reasonably well for when lighting is really bad too. Given that this is a $220 lens and the 105mm f2.8 is a $900 range lens the FT-1 is an economical and effective way to make use of any existing Nikon glass since you are already a Nikon fan (which implies you might have a Nikon already…).

The FT-1 probably impacts the handling of the camera more with the 50mm than any of the bigger lenses which generally would dominate the size equation.

The system does lack for fast native telephotos and zooms. A native 300mm f2.8 would be killer for the N1 birders although it would be expensive. Not as expensive as a 810mm lens would be though...

A native 70-200 f2.8 would be great for indoor sports as would a native 85mm f1.8 with a fast AF.

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LifeIsOnTheWire
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to nigelht, 11 months ago

nigelht wrote:

As an addendum…I don't think that a CX camera with a native f-mount would be significantly smaller than a V1 with FT-1. It doesn't strike me that Nikon went out of its way to go "Hey, how fat and heavy can we make the FT-1 to annoy N1 owners?" but made it tough enough to not break while connected to some big lenses. Plus you need a bit of standoff for the lens to work.

The FT-1 (and originally the EN-EL15 with the V1) was a way for a Nikon owner to be able to pick up the V1 + kit lenses (which are IMHO more decent than most DSLR kit lenses in quality) and have a wide array of glass and spare batteries to use from his or her collection of AF-S lenses.

The CX mount also allows for native lenses to be a bit smaller than their larger counterparts.

The V1 with the grip installed does improve the feel of the camera with the FT-1.

You're right, a CX body, with an F-mount wouldnt be any smaller than a V1 + FT1.  I wouldn't expect it to.  In fact I would prefer if it were larger, because that would leave room for manual controls.

If nikon made something about the size of an OM-D E-M5 (it might be a bit longer in the front), and gave it front and rear dials (shutter/aperture), and enough buttons to allow changing ISO and other things without having to go into a menu.

Maybe a brand better suited to this purpose would be Sony.  The E-mount is designed for mirrorless, so perhaps wouldn't suffer the need to have a large gap between the lens rear element, and the sensor.  There seems to be a sufficient amount of E-mount lenses to serve this purpose.

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John Sheehy
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to DaveOl, 11 months ago

DaveOl wrote:

I really like the bird with the out spread wings. It's fake isn't it, like stuffed?

I think Nikon really made a mistake by taking away the aperture ring on their new G lenses. This makes them hard to use on extension tubes. I don't know how it works on the 1.4 and 1.7 telextenders. Maybe they do.

I'm sure that there are extension tubes that pass the signals through. I have 3 Kenko extension tubes for my EOS system, and an accordion-like one with adjustable extension, and only the latter cuts the communication. I really hate the fact that lens apertures have become completely camera-controlled, though, as there are many things to do with a lens besides attaching it to a compatible camera body. For people using Canon DSLRs, for example, Canon does not provide exposure compensation (IOW, ISO bias) in auto-ISO Manual mode. Setting the camera to Tv-priority and auto-ISO, and setting the aperture on the lens emulates the functionality.

When I use my Pentax Q with my Canon lenses, I need to dial in the f-stop with a Canon body attached and then, in DOF preview mode, quickly disconnect the lens.

Then, there are also things like the "Lens2Scope" which puts an objective on a DSLR lens to make it a telescope. Sometimes just stopping down 2/3 stop from open can greatly increase sharpness.

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unknown member
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to John1940, 11 months ago

John1940 wrote:

Greg A A wrote:

John Sheehy wrote:

frank-in-toronto wrote:

i use the v1 along with my d600. the difference in iq is HUGE. however, for small web posts, the v1 is fine. for anything large, printed or cropped, it's junk.

You know what's really junk? A v1-size crop from a DSLR, compared to the same lens using a v1.

Huh? In no circumstance is a Nikon 1 comparable to a D4, D800, D600, D7100, D3S ...

John Sheehy is right. What really matters is the number of pixels you get on the subject, for example a small bird or squirrel. You can do the proof using arithmetic. No advanced mathematics required.

John1940

For more reach and a quality image most photographers that own a DSLR will get a longer telephoto, not crop to V1 size.

Pixels on the subject isn't the sole measure of image quality. Many pixels don't help if you are demanding too much of a lens. When you have already cropped the lens with a smaller sensor you are more heavily relying on lens resolution. A picture taken with a 2.7x lens crop wouldn't leave much latitude for further cropping. For a superlative lens like the 300 2.8 ($5800) there might not be much of an issue at full frame, but for lesser lenses I suspect there would be a more noticeable difference. A DSLR kit lens probably wouldn't hold up well with a V1 crop.

To your point there was an outstanding example several months ago with a 300 2.8 with TC20 III that is impressive: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51683700 . The 300 2.8 is up to the challenge to cleanly resolving the Nikon V1 crop.

If you already have a 300 2.8 VRII + TC20 III then adding a Nikon V2 + FH1 might be an interesting accessory to experiment with a 1620mm reach. Someone with expensive long telephoto lenses would probably want the greater flexibility of a high end DSLR. AF speed, dynamic range and lower light capability factor into camera choice. I'd get the 300 2.8 first then decide if the Nikon V2 would be a fun addition to experiment with.

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Lumixdude
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to Greg A A, 11 months ago

You have to wonder whether spending all that money on a Nikon 1 body and long lens is worth it when you can just buy a Sony RX10 now...

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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to Lumixdude, 11 months ago

Lumixdude wrote:

You have to wonder whether spending all that money on a Nikon 1 body and long lens is worth it when you can just buy a Sony RX10 now...

Of course there is no option to go beyond 200 equiv with the RX10 so it's really not an alternative for the OP.

I considered the RX10 for a walk around camera but for my uses it was inferior to the D7100.

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joejack951
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to DaveOl, 11 months ago

I really like the bird with the out spread wings.  It's fake isn't it, like stuffed?

I think Nikon really made a mistake by taking away the aperture ring on their new G lenses.  This makes them hard to use on extension tubes.  I don't know how it works on the 1.4 and 1.7 telextenders.  Maybe they do.

With a Nikon or Kenko teleconverter you still have full control of the aperture. The teleconverter has a pass-thru linkage to adjust the aperture of the lens. Kenko's F-mount extension tubes have all the same functionality, as would a Nikon TC with all the glass removed.

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John1940
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to Greg A A, 11 months ago

Greg A A wrote:

John1940 wrote:

Greg A A wrote:

John Sheehy wrote:

frank-in-toronto wrote:

i use the v1 along with my d600. the difference in iq is HUGE. however, for small web posts, the v1 is fine. for anything large, printed or cropped, it's junk.

You know what's really junk? A v1-size crop from a DSLR, compared to the same lens using a v1.

Huh? In no circumstance is a Nikon 1 comparable to a D4, D800, D600, D7100, D3S ...

John Sheehy is right. What really matters is the number of pixels you get on the subject, for example a small bird or squirrel. You can do the proof using arithmetic. No advanced mathematics required.

John1940

For more reach and a quality image most photographers that own a DSLR will get a longer telephoto, not crop to V1 size.

Pixels on the subject isn't the sole measure of image quality. Many pixels don't help if you are demanding too much of a lens. When you have already cropped the lens with a smaller sensor you are more heavily relying on lens resolution. A picture taken with a 2.7x lens crop wouldn't leave much latitude for further cropping. For a superlative lens like the 300 2.8 ($5800) there might not be much of an issue at full frame, but for lesser lenses I suspect there would be a more noticeable difference. A DSLR kit lens probably wouldn't hold up well with a V1 crop.

To your point there was an outstanding example several months ago with a 300 2.8 with TC20 III that is impressive: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51683700 . The 300 2.8 is up to the challenge to cleanly resolving the Nikon V1 crop.

If you already have a 300 2.8 VRII + TC20 III then adding a Nikon V2 + FH1 might be an interesting accessory to experiment with a 1620mm reach. Someone with expensive long telephoto lenses would probably want the greater flexibility of a high end DSLR. AF speed, dynamic range and lower light capability factor into camera choice. I'd get the 300 2.8 first then decide if the Nikon V2 would be a fun addition to experiment with.

If you start with a 200mm 2.8 or a Nikon 70-200 2.8 (which many people have) the Nikon 1 series body will do a great job (with the same lens) at a low price. It will put 14 MP on some bird image, for example, and the D800 crop will only leave 5 MP on it (if I calculated correctly).

I agree with you if you are a pro wild life photographer. But even then a Nikon 1 is useful for great reach when you need it.

John1940

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David A. Hamments
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Re: Small-sensor + Long lens combo, is the Nikon 1 the best choice?
In reply to Greg A A, 11 months ago

Greg A A wrote:

You give up a great deal in IQ with a Nikon 1 with any lens. The 18-140 is almost twice as sharp on the D7100 than any prime you could put on a Nikon 1. Put a Nikon 1 zoom on the camera and you are not even one third as sharp as the above mentioned D7100 kit zoom combo.

Nikon 1 looks to be small and handy, but not a choice for good image quality.

I disagree.... this was taken with the V2, Nikon AFS 300mm f4 with a 1.4x TC (1134mm FF equivalent). The FT-1 adapter adds a world of functionality to Nikon long glass users IMO.

The TC-14EIII doesn't degrade the image much IMO...  Check out the original image to see the best detail.

Cheers, D. Hamments
My Flickr Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhamments2013/

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TrapperJohn
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I use this
In reply to LifeIsOnTheWire, 11 months ago

Olympus EM5 + Nikkor 400 3.5 + TCON301 2x TC. 800mm focal length, for the AOV of 1600mm on FF.

Using my C8 as an autoguider for night sky shots here. Fortunately, the C8's motor drive can handle the weight of that lens, which is around seven pounds.

This doesn't have quite the reach of the same combo on the One, but it has plenty of manual controls. I set magnified view to turn on with the otherwise unused video button. Magnified view in the EVF (or on the rear screen) is priceless for getting focus right. At that focal length, DOF is going to be very thin, regardless of the system you use it on.

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John1940
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Re: I use this
In reply to TrapperJohn, 11 months ago

TrapperJohn wrote:

Olympus EM5 + Nikkor 400 3.5 + TCON301 2x TC. 800mm focal length, for the AOV of 1600mm on FF.

Using my C8 as an autoguider for night sky shots here. Fortunately, the C8's motor drive can handle the weight of that lens, which is around seven pounds.

This doesn't have quite the reach of the same combo on the One, but it has plenty of manual controls. I set magnified view to turn on with the otherwise unused video button. Magnified view in the EVF (or on the rear screen) is priceless for getting focus right. At that focal length, DOF is going to be very thin, regardless of the system you use it on.

Very impressive! Thanks.

John1940

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