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John M Flores

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I played around with the Nikon 1 V1 back in 2012 or so. I got a two lens kit used and built up a modest system for modest cost. I loved the size and the AF speed and did some motorcycle stories with it. Image quality was good but not great - good enough for full page but not quite enough for two-page spreads. I hoped that the system would evolve into a great tool for my motorcycle travels but it never really did. The V1 was succeeded by the V2 and V3, each with more megapickles but without improvements in dynamic range or ISO performance. And, to be frank, they cost more than they should have. So after a couple of years, I left the system behind.

Recently, I saw a need for good AF + long reach. The sensible answer would have been the Panny Leica 100-400 to pair with my G9, but I'm not always sensible. Instead, for about half the price, I sourced a used Nikon V J5 with a kit zoom and the zoomier 75-100 CX telezoom, which is about the size of the Panny 35-100 F2.8 but with 810mm equivalent zoominess. Yowza. The J5 has a 1" 20 megapickle backside illuminated Sony sensor, which DXO mark says is on par with the GM1/GM5.

I've been walking around and playing with this kit. This thread will contain photos and thoughts.

10-30 kit zoom
IQ seems a bit behind my GX85 and G9 but it could be the kit glass. Fine grain at 100%.


Love Over Hate
by John Flores, on Flickr


Drinking beer in a cordoned-off parking lot is the new normal
by John Flores, on Flickr


Drink Coca-Cola
by John Flores, on Flickr


Happy passenger
by John Flores, on Flickr

First shots with the 75-100 CX

Death in the Garden
by John Flores, on Flickr


Death in the Garden
by John Flores, on Flickr

I didn't get it to shoot birds, but what the hell

Birds on a wire
by John Flores, on Flickr

Noticed some minor chromatic aberration in some of these shots.

Birds on a wire
by John Flores, on Flickr


So far, so good. The J5 has full manual controls but buttons and knobs are small. I've been shooting it more like a P&S. My hope is to be able to catch some fast action of motorcycles at a racetrack with this small setup. It is kind of weird investing in a dead-end system but it's not new territory for my; I've got four Pentax Q cameras! If I can keep buying used J5 bodies (and maybe a V2 or V3 although the sensor isn't as good) I can keep using this system for the next 10 years or so. We'll see.
 

Holoholo55

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Hi @John M Flores, you might be interested in Tom Stirr's website. He was a prominent user of the Nikon 1 system, but now divides his time between Olympus MFT and Nikon 1. https://smallsensorphotography.com

You may want to stock up on batteries if you're going to hang onto the system. The bodies and lenses might last long, but the supply of batteries may not. :)
 

John M Flores

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Hi @John M Flores, you might be interested in Tom Stirr's website. He was a prominent user of the Nikon 1 system, but now divides his time between Olympus MFT and Nikon 1. https://smallsensorphotography.com

You may want to stock up on batteries if you're going to hang onto the system. The bodies and lenses might last long, but the supply of batteries may not. :)
Thanks. I bumped into Stirr's website while checking my sanity. His site helped push me over the edge.

I've got three batteries so far. And my other 10 year old cameras seem to be doing ok on their older batteries, so I hope that's not a long-term constraint.
 

demiro

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@John M Flores Nice pick-up and good images. I never got past the original V1 body, which was a bit lacking in terms of IQ unless you were in decent sunlight, but that AF was ridiculously good. I've always wondered why Nikon didn't turn that into a sports-shooting camera for the masses. More compact than the small DSLR kits that always sold well, and way better in performance. I'm sure it was a business decision.
 

John M Flores

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@John M Flores Nice pick-up and good images. I never got past the original V1 body, which was a bit lacking in terms of IQ unless you were in decent sunlight, but that AF was ridiculously good. I've always wondered why Nikon didn't turn that into a sports-shooting camera for the masses. More compact than the small DSLR kits that always sold well, and way better in performance. I'm sure it was a business decision.
Yeah, I recommended the system to a number of folks, including youth sports mom. I still contend that Nikon shot themselves in the foot by pricing the 1 higher than entry level dSLR kits.

In any case, here's the 75-300...

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PakkyT

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still contend that Nikon shot themselves in the foot by pricing the 1 higher than entry level dSLR kits.
Ya a couple of years ago, when mirrorless FF was hitting the market, I commented that Nikon may have been ahead of its time and now might be a good time to introduce a 1" sensor interchangeable lens camera system. Unfortunately back then they were pricing the Nikon 1 system about the same as other systems with bigger sensors just like Oly has been doing lately with much the same outcome.

Reference (see last paragraph): https://www.mu-43.com/threads/so-wh...us-m43-in-general.100111/page-25#post-1198364
 

John M Flores

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I would go for a V2.
I much prefer an EVF to using the back screen of a P&S.
I'm thinking about adding a V2 to the kit but everything's a compromise. I wonder if the V2 @ ISO1600 would have gotten these photos of the Red-Tailed Hawk...

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Red-Tailed Hawk
by John Flores, on Flickr

50234665698_5db0a1039c_o.jpg
Red-Tailed Hawk at Finderne Wetlands
by John Flores, on Flickr

I was astride my bicycle when I spotted the hawk. I stopped, swung my sling bag around, and pulled ut the camera. One of these was shot handheld with me elbows braced against my torso. For the other, I managed to pull out my monopod for a little extra stability.

In either case, it's kind of cool to be able to fit 810 mm EQ focal length in a fanny pack.

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Deer at Finderne Wetlands
by John Flores, on Flickr

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Wildflowers at Finderne Wetlands
by John Flores, on Flickr
 
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Biro

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The way they priced it almost made it seem like they didn't really want to sell them.
I think you hit the nail on the head. One of the things that got Nikon into trouble was the company's almost-mindless adherence to its prime directive: Protect the traditional DSLRs - particularly the full-frame DSLRs - at all costs.

Which is why, until only very recently, every other camera or lens brought out by Nikon was crippled in some way. It could have been sub-standard autofocus, a lack of direct controls on a camera body or an incomplete line of lenses. It was always something.

If you wanted all of those features, Nikon would happily point you to its top line of expensive and heavy full-framers. Until the company began posting major losses and its independence - and possibly its survival - was threatened. Then the single-minded marketing types had to begin listening to the engineers. The jury is still out on whether they changed strategy in time.
 
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John M Flores

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While 810mm EQ focal length seems like a lot, there are times where it doesn't seem like enough. This house finch was on a tree about 20 yards/meters away.

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House Finch
by John Flores, on Flickr
 

stratokaster

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Hi John,

nice shots here and on your Flickr page.

I really enjoyed my small Nikon 1 system while I had it. The AF and exposure were always spot on, the camera was impressively fast, and its battery life was great. I used to hike with it since it was so small and unobtrusive.

I think I need to buy a Nikon 1 V1 again - I know its sensor is not as good as the J5 but I really want an EVF.
 
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