Nikon J1 two lens kit for $199 (refurb)

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They don't seem to come up on eBay too often...
Given that this thread has referenced several different products and given that you have not quoted another post, "they" is ambiguous. If you are referring to the J1 + 10-30 + 30-110 kit, then they are still available on ebay last time I checked. If you are referring to the Gfoto adapters that provide auto exposure and focus assist, then they too are available on ebay, last time I checked.
 
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BTW, I was pleasantly surprised at the bag as well - 3 Velcro dividers but very compact. I should be able to fit my DMC-GM1 in that bag with a lens or two. Incidentally, the DMC-GM1 is smaller in size than the J1 despite having a much bigger sensor. As I read up on the J1, it seems quite clear that Nikon deliberately crippled the camera to prevent it from providing any competition to its APS-C cameras.
 

madmaxmedia

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So I found a silver 18.5mm, actually looks good on the black body. I love the size of the entire kit, though a E-PM2/Oly 25mm/Pana 45-150mm would not be much bigger. The Nikon kit is definitely cheaper though, and I prefer the silent electronic shutter. Some impressions-

1. AF is very good, in the auto mode it sometimes misses my subject and picks the background instead. I noticed this with the 18.5mm, probably doesn't happen as much with say the 30-110mm where the subject is larger in the frame. So I need to play around with the different AF options.

2. Even with recent firmware, Aperture Priority mode is picking relatively slow shutter speeds (slower than 1/50) at moderate ISO (400). In low light I guess I will menu dive and pick Shutter Priority mode.

3. Background separation with the 18.5mm is okay but not great. You just need to be a bit closer to your subject. I wish it was f/1.4, but that's only half a stop difference and the lens is good value as is. It seems easier to isolate with the 30-110mm, if you have the space and light. It's such a small lens it doesn't feel like you're shooting with a long telephoto. If I wasn't such a lazy shooter (and need the camera to 'take care' of the background for me), this wouldn't matter as much. ;)

4. Image quality is pretty good, comparisons to first gen Micro 4/3 are probably around right. AWB is good, definitely much better than Panasonic, not quite as good as Fuji in my shooting so far. But no complaints.

5. The blowout pricing makes it a great value, the original MSRP seems like a real mismatch. The build quality of the body and lenses is excellent and figures into the cost, but also goes to show how schizophrenic Nikon's vision was for the system IMO. A simplified but CUSTOMIZABLE interface would have helped a lot (that could have been added with firmware!), with also a more mid-level price point.
 

yakky

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I keep mine in single spot focus mode, AFC, with tracking enabled. I can focus and re-compose for quick shots or enable tracking with one click. The tracking is pretty reliable for me. You are right about them fixing the firmware, they could have spent a little bit on development and sold the cameras for a lot more money. Nikon is so hard headed though.
 

Biro

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I keep mine in single spot focus mode, AFC, with tracking enabled. I can focus and re-compose for quick shots or enable tracking with one click. The tracking is pretty reliable for me. You are right about them fixing the firmware, they could have spent a little bit on development and sold the cameras for a lot more money. Nikon is so hard headed though.
Yakky, is it worth trying to find a J3 at a good price versus a J1? Also, I'm thinking the J1 with 10mm prime plus 10-30mm kit would be generally more useful than the 10-30mm plus 30-100mm kit. Any thoughts?
 

yakky

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I don't have any experience with the J3, but I haven't seen any really great prices on them either. No significant improvements in specs or performance.

The 10mm is a great lens if you need to tuck the J into a small pocket, otherwise, IMO, you are better served by the 10-30mm which is still very sharp at 10mm and only marginally slower. It also adds IS.
 

Biro

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I don't have any experience with the J3, but I haven't seen any really great prices on them either. No significant improvements in specs or performance.

The 10mm is a great lens if you need to tuck the J into a small pocket, otherwise, IMO, you are better served by the 10-30mm which is still very sharp at 10mm and only marginally slower. It also adds IS.
Great. Do you use the 30-100 zoom much? I'm trying to decide on the 10mm + 10-30mm kit versus the 10-30mm + 30-100mm kit.
 

yakky

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Great. Do you use the 30-100 zoom much? I'm trying to decide on the 10mm + 10-30mm kit versus the 10-30mm + 30-100mm kit.
No, lol. I always THINK I need longer zooms but never use them. My 45-150 is still in the box. :eek:
 

yakky

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Man, I'm still blown away by how fast this camera focuses and how well it tracks. It is the only camera I own that can nail a large majority of shots of a child swinging. Even my D7000 can't seem to do that.
 

John M Flores

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Great. Do you use the 30-100 zoom much? I'm trying to decide on the 10mm + 10-30mm kit versus the 10-30mm + 30-100mm kit.
FWIW Steve, I barely use the 10mm. The 10-30mm is a touch slower at 10mm but it has the benefit of image stabilization built into the lens. And it zooms. And it's not much bigger than the 10mm. It's a shame, really, as the 10mm is a solid little pancake thing and I wish that I liked it more. Maybe if it had been F1.4 or F1.8, less for the DOF and more for the low light.

The 30-110 on the other hand really starts to show off the size benefits of the 1" sensor. The 30-110 is tiny-smaller than 3x kit lenses for M43 or APS-C. And it has IS. It's cool to have something in your fist that reaches nearly 300mm.
 

John M Flores

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The crop factor is something like 2.7, so a 300mm lens becomes 810mm or so. That's LONG!!! All that with Nikon PDAF for tracking moving subjects.

I'm not one of the BIF shooters that only does birds. I'd get a D7100 for that. BUT I do think it could be fun to get casual BIF shots on a budget when I'm at the park or lake or whatever. And when you're not able to get any closer physically, a supertele could be pretty useful.

Even with the E-M1, I don't think m4/3 is really there yet in terms of focus speed and tracking. So that's where Nikon 1 + long glass could fill a niche.

Hopefully before too long, I'll pick up a V1 or J1 and pair it with my Nikon 70-300 4.5-5.6 VR which isn't the cheapest consumer telezoom but also isn't an expensive 2.8 telephoto lens. I've read from users that it pairs fine with Nikon 1. I'm kind of leaning towards a multi-body idea, since it would save me from changing lens too frequently with only the extra weight of the V1/J1 + FT1.
We tried pairing the V1 with the Nikon 70-300 4.5-5.6 VR and weren't loving the results. They were ok. Just ok. So we returned the lens and FT1 and are hoping that Nikon comes out with a longer native zoom eventually. The V1 is pretty good for BIF, but a good DSLR is still better in terms of usability. With the V1 there'll be longer pauses between taking a sequence of shots and being ready for the next sequence.

For anyone curious about the Nikon 1 system, I've written about my experiences with the V1 on my blog, including plenty of comparisons to M43 (GH2 + 100-300mm in particular)
http://whatblogisthis.blogspot.com/p/nikon-v1-compendium.html

I also used the V1 as my main camera for a recent RoadRUNNER Magazine story:
http://whatblogisthis.blogspot.com/2013/12/nikon-1-v1-good-enough-to-be-a-cam.html
 

BigMike

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Man, I'm still blown away by how fast this camera focuses and how well it tracks. It is the only camera I own that can nail a large majority of shots of a child swinging. Even my D7000 can't seem to do that.
For the tracking, do you use the "subject tracking" under AF mode? Cheers
 
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In case anyone is interested, seller nycphotogear is selling a used Nikon 1 18.5mm (50mm equivalent) f1.8 for $159 on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0099XHCOG/ref=sr_1_2_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1393334283&sr=8-2&keywords=nikon+18.5mm&condition=used

I just picked up a used one from Adorama for around the same price. If you are going for a prime lens, the 18.5mm is a much better bet than the 10mm f2.8. First, the 10mm prime isn't any sharper than the 10-30mm zoom. Second, the 10mm is faster than the 10-30mm zoom but not fast enough at f2.8. I think the only real advantage of the 10mm is its size.
 

dlew

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darn. looks like i missed this deal... any chance that this will come back again?
 

Biro

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FWIW Steve, I barely use the 10mm. The 10-30mm is a touch slower at 10mm but it has the benefit of image stabilization built into the lens. And it zooms. And it's not much bigger than the 10mm. It's a shame, really, as the 10mm is a solid little pancake thing and I wish that I liked it more. Maybe if it had been F1.4 or F1.8, less for the DOF and more for the low light.

The 30-110 on the other hand really starts to show off the size benefits of the 1" sensor. The 30-110 is tiny-smaller than 3x kit lenses for M43 or APS-C. And it has IS. It's cool to have something in your fist that reaches nearly 300mm.
I'm glad I spotted your post, John, even if a couple of days later. You've got me thinking. Maybe the J1 with 10-30 and 30-110 zooms is the way to go. And add the 18.5mm f/1.8 later if I decide I like the kit. The eBay deal for $199 may be gone but B&H still has the kits for $299 and maybe there'll be other deals soon.
 
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