Nikon 1 V3 Walkabout Kit

My Nikon 1 V3 Walkabout Kit has changed a bit since upgrading to the V3.  What’s in your bag; is it still small?  Well, yes it still is.  The bag has been changed to a very small Lowepro camera backpack.  As you’ll see below, I’m carrying a few more items in the bag.  On my walkabouts, I usually just carry the camera and one lens.  By adding the 30-110mm lens, I don’t carry the big lens as much.  Still, if the lens is the 70-300mm, I usually attach the sun sniper strap to the FT-1 and use it to carry the rig.

Air Show Reenactor

Air Show Reenactor

 
My Nikon 1 V3 walkabout kit contains:
 
1. Nikon 1 V3 Body
2. Nikon FT-1 Adapter
3. 1 VR 10-30mm f3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom
4. 1 VR 30-110mm f3.8-5.6
5. AFS 50mm f1.4G
6. AFS 70-300mm f4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR
7. Nikon Speedlight SB-N5 Flash
8. LitePanels MicroPro Hybrid
9. Sennheiser MKE 400 Directional Mic
10. Sun Sniper Shoulder Strap
11. Extra Nikon EN-EL15 Battery
12. Nikon MH-25 Charger
13. Extra SD Cards
14. Lens Cleaning Supplies
15. Headlamp with red & white light

 

 

The kit generally stays in my vehicle and rides almost everywhere with me.  If I go on foot or for some other reason can not take the entire kit, I either carry the camera and lens or put it into my briefcase.  Sure, my iPhone is much easier to carry and the image quality continues to get better.  It just doesn’t capture images like the V3 and the 2.7 crop factor really increases the effective reach.  Find more Nikon 1 V1 and V3 experiences posted under IMHO.

Nikon 1 V1 Walkabout Kit

A number of folks have asked me about my Nikon 1 V1 Walkabout Kit.  What’s in your bag; is it small?  Well, yes it is.  In fact, the bag isn’t even a camera bag; it’s a small, free shoulder bag from a Sandhill Crane convention.  On my walkabouts, I usually just carry the camera and one lens.  If lens is the 70-300mm, I usually attach the sun sniper strap to the FT-1 and use it to carry the rig.   The rest of the kit stays in my vehicle and rides almost everywhere with me.  If I go on foot or for some other reason can not take the entire kit, I either carry the camera and lens or put it into my briefcase.  Sure, my iPhone is much easier to carry.  It just doesn’t capture images like the V1.

6/16/2013 Great Blue HeronMy Nikon 1 V1 walkabout kit contains:

1. Nikon 1 V1 Body
2. Nikon FT-1 Adapter
3. 1 VR 10-30mm f3.5-5.6
4. AFS 50mm f1.4G
5. AFS 70-300mm f4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR
6. Nikon Speedlight SB-N5 Flash
7. Sennheiser MKE 400 Directional Microphone
8. Sun Sniper Shoulder Strap
9. Extra Nikon EN-EL15 Battery & Nikon MH-25 Charger
10. Extra SD Cards
11. Lens Cleaning Supplies
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Note:  In one of my posts, I said I would not buy the special Speedlight for the V1.  Well, I found one on sale, so I broke down and bought it.  It’s handy for just a little light at a family gathering.  Find more Nikon 1 V1 and V3 experiences posted under IMHO.

Nikon 1 V1 for Aviation

Nikon 1 V1 for Aviation  For me, the Nikon 1 V1 has become, after the firmware upgrade to the FT-1 adapter, a reasonably nice camera for capturing aviation images.  Thus far, I’ve captured a variety of props, jets, sailplanes, floatplanes, helicopters, and even a blimp.  And, those images included statics both on land and water as well as ground to air while panning handheld.  Unfortunately, there haven’t been any air to air images yet.

8/07/2013 Blackhawk Helicopter

What has the experience been like?  For the most part, it’s been a pleasant journey learning how to capture aviation images with the Nikon 1 V1.  Before the firmware upgrade for the FT-1, panning and obtaining a clear image was a real challenge.  It kind of reminded me of the film days using a mostly manual camera.  But, now, with the upgrade, capturing nice ground to air images has become much easier; assuming the use of reasonable panning skills.  The V1 shoots much like a DSLR in continuous mode.

 

 

 

In a nutshell, what specifically do I like and dislike about the Nikon 1 V1 for aviation:

Likes:

1. The Nikon 1 V1 is relatively small and  light to carry.  It has become my favorite carry camera.

2. It’s easy for me to carry even with a telephoto lens, like the AFS 70-300mm, attached.

3. Image quality seems quite good unless a 30×45 print is required.

4. With a little practice, it can be handheld and panned with slower shutter speeds to capture prop planes and helicopters with their props blurred.

0506 Floatplane Weekend 2013Dislikes:

1. The Nikon 1 V1 requires more camera discipline than a my DSLRs.  The controls move during normal handling so the photog must often check whether the settings are correct.

2. Panning in low light can be demanding for me since a high ISO generates a good bit of noise.

3. With a telephoto lens attached, handling can become a bit tricky.  The small camera frame attached to the telephoto does not seem balanced to me.

 

Yeah, I still like the Nikon 1 V1. Would I only take it to an air show or fly-in and leave my DSLRs in the hangar?  Well no, but I would take it as my specialty and backup camera every time.  Again; what it does well, it does very well, for me.

Find more Nikon 1 V1 and V3 experiences posted under IMHO.

To Crop or Not to Crop


0010 # 007623 Snow Vortices from a Cessna 185 on skis STD_7623
 To crop or not to crop: that is the question:  Whether  ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.  Or…  Sorry, I got carried away. 

My view: if you make the click, you have the privilege of finishing the image any way you like.  Now, currently, I try to get the image right in the camera and do not crop the master image.

Still, sometimes I crop a copy of the master to one of my favorite print scales.   Prior to 2007, I shot slides and never cropped. After converting to digital, I started cropping indiscriminately, but after a while, found too many shortcomings to continue cropping.

Today, it depends mostly upon the destination of the image.  If the image will be used in the editorial market, I’ll finish it without cropping.  (Photo editors do not like cropped images.)  Then, sometimes, I’ll make a copy and crop the image to one of my favorite scales to make a print.  I really like 4×5 scale for portraits, both people and animals; sometimes even trees.   For many grand landscapes, I like the 9×16, sometimes called HD, scale.  And, for aircraft, particularly head on ground shots, the 9×16 scale looks great.  An occasional image looks good; square.

 

Framing the Issue

This question has been around the photography community for many years.  Back in the film and slide days, people even cropped slides by putting tape over the edges of a transparency.  And, of course, cropping in the darkroom was relatively easy. In the digital world, it’s even easier.  Now, it’s sort of a subset of the “do you PhotoShop” question.  Although if done well, it’s difficult to tell in the images; the metadata will easily show the reduced file size.

If it’s your image, you can finish it any way you want, right?  Well, right.

Still, cropping can have an impact on how you may be able to use that image.  You may have heard from a pro; move your feet to get the image right in the camera.  That’s easy to say.  Most amateurs know that sometimes you cannot move to get the shot you want.  Things get in your way; mountains, rivers, vacation with other people, enough time, the right lens, etc. Sometimes, you just didn’t have the vision or foresight to get a different lens or move to a better place and you can’t go back to try again.  Vacation is over.

Sometimes you just did not notice distracting elements at the edges of the frame or did notice but could not capture the images without them.  Sometimes, you might like a certain scale like 4×5 for portraits of people and animals.  And, sometimes, you may really like 9×16 HD scale for landscapes and airplanes. So, do you pitch the image or crop it?

There are several  downside impacts of cropping.  Photo editors do not like cropped images and most of the time will not accept them, which many times means they will discard your entire submission. Aggressive cropping can reduce image quality.  Over time, cropping can make the photographer lazy. Sometimes, it reduces the maximum size of acceptable print quality.  And, certainly there are many more.

And, perhaps you are a purest and will not accept a cropped image.

You made the click, finish your image as you will.

 

1st Impressions; Nikon 1 V1

1st Impressions; Nikon 1 V1  The Nikon 1 V1 camera has been available for quite some time.  In fact, its successor, the Nikon 1 V2, is already available.  Recently, the V1 has been on deep discount sales which is when I purchased mine.  And, I really like the camera.  It’s not a DSLR and it has some drawbacks, but what it does well, it does really well.  To me, it has two big advantages; it’s smaller, lighter than a DSLR and it has a 2.7 crop factor.

So, the V1 has become my go to camera for my daily walkabouts.  Most of the time, the AF-S 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR lens gets attached through the FT-1 adapter.  Although it’s f4.5-5.6, as long as there’s enough light, depth of field  has not been a 4/02/2013 Suburban Robinproblem.  With an effective focal length of 189-810mm,  the backgrounds are adequately blurred and the bokeh seems nice to me.   The 70-300mm is known for it’s sharpness; image quality has been quite good.  Good handholding technique is a must at the long telephoto focal lengths, but with some practice, I have been able to get sharp images.  On my walkabouts, good local wildlife shots have become a bit easier.  Did I mention how light it is to carry?

Occasionally, the AF-S 50mm f1.4 G gets attached, via Ft-1 adapter, for a portrait or a landscape.  After the crop factor, it becomes a very sharp f1.4 135mm lens.

Then for family snaps and an occasional landscape, the kits lens CX 10-30mm f3.5-5.6 VR has produced  some nice images.

A third, rather unexpected, advantage becomes obvious as soon as you begin to use the camera; fast and accurate auto-focus.  Yes, it’s noticeable.  Oh, when a long telephoto is attached, it can hunt if it starts way out of focus.  It’s particularly handy when using a telephoto lens, since the electronic viewfinder isn’t as clear as a DSLR viewfinder.  The autofocus only works on the CX lens and Nikkor AF-S lens through the FT-1.  I tried manually focusing the AF 80-400 f4.5-5.6D ED VR lens.  It works just fine with a tripod, but handheld, it’s a bit awkward and difficult for me to get a sharp focus.  And, as you might expect, mated to the AF-S 70-200mm f2.8 ED VRII, with an effective focal length of 189-540mm, it works beautifully.

There are many features and functions that I have not used yet.  I’ll post more impressions after I have used them enough to comment.

For me, the only negative to the Nikon 1 V1, so far, is the unique flash shoe and flash system.  It seems like a silly design for a first class company like Nikon just to make a few more bucks on new flash units. So, I did not buy a flash.

Bottom line; the Nikon 1 V1 has become a nice accessory camera for me.  It will not replace any of my DSLRs and will not even replace my P7000 point & shoot, because of the non-standard flash.  After reading the specs for the V2, it does not change anything.  Hopefully, as the Nikon 1 series evolves, it will become a viable backup camera.

But for now, again; what it does well, it does very well, for me.

4/15/2013 Canada Goose

Find more Nikon 1 V1 and V3 experiences posted under IMHO.