This is just a short story about my one year experience with the Nikon 1 series which is the company's first mirrorless interchangeable-lens compact camera. In the classic and controversial film "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" Randle McMurphy played by Jack Nicholson entered the mental institution and challenged the controlling and rigid order of the day. Similarly the Nikon 1 offered a refreshing new take on spontaneous photography but alas as in the film the rebellious star ended up losing his mind quite literally after being cut down to size by the head nurse Ratched. The film scooped an amazing five Oscars but unfortunately the Nikon 1 while not exactly a box office flop didn't quite do the same.
I received a Nikon J1 with 10mm lens as a birthday gift from my brother and was over the moon. It felt solid and well built yet compact and within minutes of opening my gift I was shooting away. I had recommended the camera to my brother who was looking for a camera for his daughter and she was delighted with her pink J1. Ironically I never personally considered the 1 series as most of the internet reviews including DPREVIEW weren't favourable especially regarding the small 1 inch sensor.
|My two slightly used Nikon 1 cameras|
|Myself and son Jude Nikon J1 1/125 s at f/4.5 ISO 100 Aperture Priority 10mm lens|
|Bethlehem Nikon J1 1/50 s at f/8.0 ISO 400 Shutterspeed Priority 10mm lens|
|Bethlehem Nikon J1 1/800 s at f/3.5 ISO 100 Exposure mode Auto High Speed 10mm lens|
|Theatre Sisters Nikon J1 1/60 s at f/5.6 ISO 100 Aperture priority 18,5mm lens Nik Processing|
After a few months with the Nikon J1 it had become a constant companion but the the Nikon V1 with it's higher flash sync of 1/250th plus the fact it uses a much bigger battery the same size as my Nikon D600 made the V1 more enticing. The Nikon 1 series was launched late 2011 and two years later it did not appear to be a commercial success in South Africa and it seems in many parts of the world. I managed to pick up a secondhand Nikon V1 with 10-30mm, 30-110mm and SBN5 flash for a much lower than original launch price and the fun continued. The small SBN5 flash with its swivelling head was a great idea and although Nikon's amazing wireless CLS flash system is not utilised in the 1 series it was possible to use the fully tiltable flash to trigger other flashes.
|Ronnie Recovered Nikon V1 1/160 s at f/5.0 ISO 100 Manual mode 30-110mm lens at 80mm equivalent|
|Danie and Johan Nikon V1 1/40 s at f/5.3 ISO 3200 Shutter Speed Priority 30-110mm @ 90mm equivalent|
Fellow photographers are not always the easiest or most willing to be photographed and that is the convenience of a small compact camera where one can steal a shot or three without being too intrusive! Here I photographed Glen Green in his green Landy the day I received the J1, Lawrance Brennon whilst visiting him in Underberg and Bill Burger outside his home in Bethlehem. These photographs are probably cheeky and maybe even sneaky but great keepsakes.
|Glen Green Nikon J1 1/125 s at f/4.5 ISO 100 Aperture priority 10mm lens cropped|
|Lawrance Brennon Nikon J1 1/50 s at f/2.8 ISO 400 Aperture Priority 10mm lens|
|Bill Burger Nikon V1 1/160 s at f/4.0 ISO 500 30-110mm lens @123mm equivalent|
|Beautiful niece Sanchia Nikon V1 ISO 100 1/1000 s at f/2.0 18,5mm lens|
While recently visiting in Rosendal a street parade ended up in the township and there were images everywhere. The speedy and fairly unobtrusive V1 allowed for some interesting shots like these two ladies with a cat above them.
|Rosendal Nikon V1 1/50 s at f/3.8 ISO 720 30-110mm lens 81mm equivalent|
My father in law Mike and mechanic friend Les in his workshop in Johannesburg and an impromptu photograph of two great characters.
|Mike and Les Nikon V1 1/100 s at f/2.0 ISO 800 18,5mm lens|
Driving in the centre of Johannesburg as a passenger I was able to photograph freely and when I saw this lady crossing I had the V1 on its high frame rate and out of nine frames this image emerged.
|Johannesburg Central Nikon V1 1/500 s at f/2.8 ISO 110 18,5mm lens|
As an anaesthetist witnessing numerous babies being born by Caesarean section in theatre I have been able to photograph and experiment with a few camera setups. Recently I had the J1 and V1 placed on small table top tripods in theatre were they weren't that obvious nor able to capture any inappropriate images. I was using the Nikon D600 as my primary camera and had a helpful nurse press the Nikon ML3 infrared remote to trigger the J1 and V1 as I asked her too. The delivery happens so quickly and it worked out quite well to have more than one angle. This facility on the J1 and V1, which has an infra red sensor on the back too is most useful as is the quiet shutter of the 1 series in this setting. Below are three closely taken images of the birth with two from the J1/V1 captured at the same moment.
|Caesarean birth J1 1/125 s at f/3.5 ISO 200 10mm lens|
V1 1/200 s at f/3.5 ISO 400 18,5mm lens
D600 1/160 s at f/5.6 ISO 800 16-35mm lens @ 16mm cropped
|Dear Nikon - We are not the crazy ones!|