Nikon 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8

Birthday hairdo

Tiitus wanted to have some punk attitude for his birthday party.

Tiitus 7 years old - in SuperCorner sports park
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I am pleased every time I shoot with Nikon 1 V1

Nikon 1 V1 is already quite old camera but it is clearly the fastest focusing camera I own. And that is a big asset in many situations, especially with lively children. Another asset is the wider DoF the 1” sensor offers. That combined with a nice (and inexpensive) 18.5mm/1.8 lens (50mm equivalent) gives a perfect DoF/background blur compromise. Actually that lens produces quite nice bokeh and is very sharp wide open.

I think I would have sold my V1 if I had not got the 18.5mm prime. It is so good lens that I think everyone having Nikon 1 series camera should buy it. I promise it will open a new world for your Nikon 1 photography.

Here are two latest shots with my Nikon 1 V1 equipped with the 18.5mm prime. Both shot wide open (f/1.8).

Clover flowers Summer fun

Old fire truck

I am posting this shot because it showed me once again the power of shooting in RAW. This capture was shot with Nikon 1 V1 equipped with Nikkor 1 18.5mm/1.8 prime lens (50mm equiv.). The truck was situated in a quite dark place which had brightly lid windows behind the truck. I was shooting from outside of that building standing in a bright sunshine using evaluative matrix metering. So quite tricky exposure conditions. The RAW result what I got was bright lid windows and a very dark truck. But because I shot in RAW I was able to open up the shadow area where the truck was located and got the result below. I know there is some grain but otherwise it is a nice capture after some quite easy post-processing in LR. Colors are very nice and the exposure just great, especially at those windows.

This kind of situations prove the power of RAW and may help you to get a decent shot even if the situation seems to be hopeless in the beginning.

Old fire truck at Outokumpu mine

Few ISO 1600 shots with Nikon 1 V1 and 18.5mm/1.8 lens

Here are three shots taken with V1 plus 18.5/1.8 combo. All are ISO 1600 and I have done only very mild noise reduction in Lightroom 5. I found all these quite acceptable. What do you think about the amount and nature of the noise? Please, click the photos so they will open larger in Flickr.

Sock pins Sock factory Angry Bisquits

Number 1 is nice outdoors

I took my Nikon 1 V1 and 18.5/1.8 lens with me when we drove Kaapo to his guitar class. I had only 15 mins to shoot (the guitar class is so short) but I was very pleased to the results. The portrait of Tiitus turned out so nice! I love how the background is rendered at f/2.2. I used auto AF point selection with face detection in all of these and had no problems with AF. Nikon 1 V1 is very easy camera to use if you just use it outdoors in good light. With f/4-5.6 you will get lots of DoF and with f/1.8-2.2 you’ll get some blur and bokeh if you are near of your subject. More headache in choosing the vacation camera! 🙂

Tiitus Kaapo the guitarist Reflected pine

1 prime

Yesterday I bought a prime lens for my Nikon 1 V1. That was a little bit of a surprise even to myself because I have not written very positively about V1 here in my blog. I would like to give a chance for that camera though. I looked through Ivan Radic’s Flickr stream which is full of great shots with V1 and Nikon 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8 prime. Superb stuff and lots of high ISO shots too. So, I went to a local camera store and bought the 18.5/1.8 prime.

The lens is solidly build (plastic with a metal bajonet), light-weighted, and just right in size. It is not any pancake lens which I find good because you can get grip from lens barrel easily and stabilize the camera better in that way. This lens has no image stabilization which I find a pity because it is 50mm equivalent and IS would have been nice for a “normal” lens. I have to say this lens is very sharp wide open. This is very nice because f/1.8 lets lots of light in and provides just nice DoF. And you can get quite nice background blur and bokeh with it too. I think I am going to use it mainly wide open. This will be possible with Nikon 1 V1 also in outdoor use in good lighting because V1 has an electronic shutter option which allows you to use shutter speeds of 1/16 000 s.

In my earlier posts here I complained about the poor ISO performance of Nikon 1 V1. Now I shot many photos with the 18.5/1.8 prime lens wide open with ISO 800 and was very pleased actually. So, what happened? I think the answer is that I was able to use shutter speeds in the range of 1/125 – 1/250 s indoors which provide sharper shots much easier than slower shutter speeds (with same ISOs) with my 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom. The noise grain is (at least with ISO 800) quite pleasing looking actually. If there is even a slight camera shake (because of too slow shutter speed), it tends to exaggerate the noise and make the noise grain “mushy” looking. Indoor shooting was one of the reasons I decided to get this prime lens and it seems it performs well. Next I will test it at ISO 1600 (and even 3200).

Now that I have V1 with the two lenses (18.5mm and 10-30mm) it seems more possible that I will take this combo with me for our forthcoming vacation. I have no problems with 10-30mm zoom outdoors in good light and 18.5mm will cover indoor shooting (and of course it will be used outdoors too).

Here are few test shots from yesterday. All at ISO 800, wide open, and shutter speeds 1/125 – 1/250 s.

Ivy Thinker Headphones on a stand