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wildlife with nikon 1

Discussion in 'Nikon 1 Forum' started by kevwilfoto, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto SC Rookie

    15
    Feb 10, 2013
    Frederick, CO
    Kevin
    I'm curious about doing some wildlife photography, but I don't have $20k in my pocket for an 800mm lens and full-frame camera. And while I love my compact mirrorless bodies, their native lens options are not stellar for super-telephoto stuff. I have the OMD and the Pany 100-300, and it's nice, but not enough to satisfy me. A tad soft @ 300mm, too slow, not long enough.

    So ... Nikon 1 system. The small sensor has lots of drawbacks, but the 2.7 crop factor helps for super-telephoto work. I've seen some images from this system and they're pretty sharp with nice colors & contrast, so maybe it would work ok?

    I'd like some feedback on using a Nikon 1 camera with adapted Nikkor lenses. For example, 70-300G VR, 80-200/2.8D, 300/4. Any issues? Any surprising successes? How is the IQ? Is VR good enough or should I look at a tripod + lens collar setup?

    Thanks.

    ( something along these lines, but maybe a bit less $$ )
    13006_14_V2_FT1_70_200.
     
  2. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
  3. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    I enjoy shooting wildlife
    I have a D300 and Nikon V1
    I have used the V1 with the Nikon 300mm f4, the Nikon 70 200mm f2.8VR and the Nikon 70 300mm VR f4.5/5.6
    The first two lenses I have used mainly on a tripod
    I have had mixed results, but feel that the 70 300mm VR suits the V1 body better than the other two.
    I now take this combo with me most of the time as a "walk" around combo ........ it is good, easy to manage and has VR, for hand held use. If the light is good the IQ can be.
    The small sensor will never match the DX D300, (my main camera), and if you are into serious wildlife and/or bird photography you will always yearn for mega £/$ set ups.

    The V1 and 70 300mm certainly has it's place and for the money is very worthwhile ........ I will use mine a lot in the coming months........ I do not see any alternatives for what it offers ...... 2.7 x 300mm ...... I also have a Fuji HS30EXR and, IMHO, the IQ is not as good as the V1 + Nikon lens.

    Search flickr, there are images from the V1 plus the 70 300mm VR
     
  4. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto SC Rookie

    15
    Feb 10, 2013
    Frederick, CO
    Kevin
  5. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto SC Rookie

    15
    Feb 10, 2013
    Frederick, CO
    Kevin
    Thanks Bill. Yeah, I'm sure the 70-300VR is a better walk-around combo. It doesn't have a tripod collar, so it kinda has to be.

    As far as getting into serious wildlife photography, it's funny how there's a serious divide between the casual telephoto and the serious. Casual being any 70-300, 80-400, 100-400, Bigma, Tamron 200-500, 300/4, 400/5.6 - it's hard to spend more than $1500. But ... jump to any 400/4 or 300/2.8 and you'll quadruple your costs. This is why I'm thinking the Nikon 1 cameras + FT1 mount adapter brings the faster & shorter lenses into play. Various medium telephoto f/2.8 or f/4 lenses, zoom or prime, become long enough for less than serious money.
     
  6. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Kev,

    I suppose one of the questions to ask is: "What is the intended end-use of your photos?" If you are intending to get published, you probably have one set of parameters for image quality. I you are just doing this for your own amazement, you might have a different set of parameters.

    As the old hot-rodder said, "Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?"

    Another thing to think about is: "How much gear/weight are you willing to tote around with you?"

    I have done the experiment a couple of times and have found that ultimately the heavy stuff stays at home.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  7. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto SC Rookie

    15
    Feb 10, 2013
    Frederick, CO
    Kevin
    Jock,

    Intended use is probably small prints (less than 20") and posting on the web. It's not that I can't do that now with my OM-D and 100-300, but I'd like to get results that are a bit sharper with better subject separation. It seems like I want to shoot in the 400-800mm equivalent focal lengths, based on the shooting I've done so far. This is what's all leading me to the idea of a Nikon 1 camera body, FT1 adapter, ??-200mm f/2.8 zoom and a 300mm f/4. Another possibility is the Sigma 100-300 f/4, a one-lens solution that's cheaper than the two lenses, but I'd lose f/2.8 on the shorter lengths.

    Exactly. That's one of the main reasons I'm loving these compact mirrorless cameras, and why the idea of a 70-200 or 100-300 is much more appealing than carrying a 600mm lens around.

    Cheers,

    Kevin
     
  8. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    Kevin

    a couple of comments, from my use of the V1 so far
    with the 70 200mm f2.8 VR Nikon - to get a reasonable IQ from a big PS crop ...... f8 needs to be used
    both the 300mm f4 and 70 200mm f2.8 VR are really a little unwieldy on the V1 body, hand held. ................. they are OK when used with a tripod
    the 70 300mm VR f4.5/f5.6 is much better hand held

    Cropping and viewing on your computer screen - The IQ from the V1 when used with the above lens is somewhat inferior to that of the D300.

    Being small is really not much of a (carrying equipment), benefit when used with the longer Nikon "pro" lens ....... you may as well take a full DSLR body

    I find the V1 useful as a carry around with the 70 300mm VR - as a two piece carry around

    As you can probably tell, I am 'luke warm" - wildlife and (bird) photography is really about using a best DSLR body that you can afford - (the DX D7100 has just been announced with 24MP. a new engine and an additional x 1.3 crop factor mode, which allows a 18 x 12 image to be taken in camera, which is effectively half the conventional film 36 x 24, 35mm standard, (so you effective can move up to a x 2 "in camera" crop ..... i.e x (the DX 1.5) then an additional x 1.3 ....... so x 2 FOV) = a 300mm lens will give 600mm in conventional 35mm terms ...... obviously MP's will be down but when focusing on small birds you will get more reach and effective "crop in the camera" .............. so what I am saying, versus the V1 10MP and x 2.7 is that you can now get x 2 from a D7100 with far more pixels on the image - not explained it well ....... )
    There is some debate, wether an image cropped in photoshop from say a D600 or the 34MP D800 has better IQ than the same FOV image cropped effectively in camera using a D7100 ........ what the D7100 will do however is restrict the MP size of the image you want when taking the original shot versus having loads of 34MP images on your hard disk that you effectively then crop down to say 10MP or less ....... but still have to save as full, 34MP images
     
  9. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto SC Rookie

    15
    Feb 10, 2013
    Frederick, CO
    Kevin
    Thanks for the feedback, Bill.

    I have no doubt that for *serious* wildlife (birds are wildlife, right?) photography, a high-dollar full-frame DSLR and $18K lens would make significantly better images. And I understand that in the context of how small and light and easy to carry our compact cameras are, the prospect of a DSLR (non-super) telephoto lens sounds daunting and unweildy. But look at it from the perspective of carrying (and paying for) a D4 and 800mm lens - that's a truly painful proposition!

    The D7100 with it's 1.3 crop and a (for example) 70-300 only gives me the same reach I already have. A 300mm f/4 on a Nikon 1 body gives me 810mm f/4, which sounds like the better reach and faster aperture that I'm looking for, and I don't see a way to get that reach & speed with any DSLR at a reasonable price.

    This is what I'm looking for, thank you! Although I'm surprised that you would need f/8 to get a sharp image from the 70-200. Very surprised. Perhaps it's the crop? I wouldn't be cropping in post, I'm letting the camera do it for me with the smaller sensor.

    Perhaps a rent/borrow situation is in my future.
     
  10. threebees

    threebees New to SC

    2
    Mar 13, 2013
  11. MargaretSchwarz

    MargaretSchwarz  

    10
    May 6, 2013
    Nice wildlife photography........Looks great!!
     
  12. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    Kevin - I have just bought a D7100, to upgrade my D300 - to upgrade to the new 24meg sensor, new engine, better low light performance and a x 1.3 in camera crop, (i.e. to get more pixel on mu images) - but only time will tell.

    so with the D7100 + Nikon 300mm f4 plus Nikon TC x1.4 I get 1.5 x 1.3 x 1.4 x 300mm = 819mm at f5.6 and 12 meg plus on the in camera crop image
    I need to get out "early" morning with the set up on my tripod to give it a chance so I will have to report back in a week or so once my little "feathered" friends have co-operated a little.

    My conclusions are, (I have been attempting serious (amateur) bird photography for over a year now and have tried the Nikon V1 set up, a Fuji HS30 EXR which goes up to 800mm and the Nikon DX DSLRs).
    1). There is no substitute for good Nikon glass = ££££'s
    2). The better the Nikon DX DSLR body the happier I am = ££££'s
    3). Bridge cameras are really a waste of time for anything other that bringing "big" birds a little closer - IMHO just no good for anything in the distance.
    4). Once you put long Nikon glass, say 300mm on a V1 body it does get a little unwieldy.
    5). The V1 with the 70 300mm Nikon VR zoom is OK/good and certainly works as a carry around plus the "zoom" allows you to find the subject and focus reasonably quickly on it.
    6). If you want consistent results, with good IQ and speed of focus, just accept the fact that you need to spend money on a DSLR, good glass and a (heavy-ish) tripod.

    Conclusion_2 - if you do not want to spend loads of money on a DSLR plus good Nikon glass and have no intention of moving from a "compact" to a DSLR - just stop at the V1/2 and the very good Nikon f4.5/5.6 70mm 300mm VR zoom, (i.e.no point in sticking expensive Nikon primes and the 70/200mm f2.8 zoom on the end of the V1)............. the next step up, (£££'s), would be the Panasonic 100mm - 300mm on a M43 - (never used this set up but I have read that it is good)

    If you are serious about bird photography the only way is to speak to your bank manager/wife .........
     
  13. While not magazine quality, it is still pretty good and nothing to be upset about.

    I bought a 500mm for the NEX line and got a few descent shots handheld, but it is much more reliable on a tripod with long shutter shots.
     
  14. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 SC Regular

    44
    Aug 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Anybody try the new 80-400 VR II with the V1/V2? I'm thinking of picking the V1 specifically for this lens setup?