Telephoto Setup with Nikon 1 V2, FT-1 and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G

Grimsby Ontario is on the raptor migration route and every year the town holds an indoor “RaptorFest” event at the local hockey arena during which various presentations of live birds, and educational initiatives are conducted. A fast, mid-range telephoto like the Nikkor 200mm f/2G VR would be the perfect lens to photograph birds during this indoor event. Like most people, I don’t have the $6,000 or so it would take to own the 200mm Nikkor…but I thought I might have a reasonable solution in my camera bag.

Nikon 1 V2 FT1 Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G

Knowing that the lighting in the venue is less than ideal, I thought it would be a great opportunity to test out how well the Nikon 1 V2 would work with the FT-1 adapter and my Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G to create a ‘fast telephoto’ combination. So I put the components together, creating an equivalent field-of-view of 229mm @ f/1.8, and headed off to the event.

RaptorFest (1)

NIKON 1 V2 + 85mm f/1.8G @ 85mm, ISO 400, 10/1000, f/1.8

In order to keep the ISO as low as possible with the Nikon 1 V2, I shot everything at f/1.8. This allowed me to shoot at either ISO 400 or ISO 800 depending on the lighting in various parts of the arena and keep my shutter speeds at decent levels.

RaptorFest (2)

NIKON 1 V2 + 85mm f/1.8G @ 85mm, ISO 400, 10/600, f/1.8

Overall, I was very happy with how this combination performed. Focus was very fast and accurate and the set-up was very light and easy to handle. It would have been even better if my 85mm f/1.8G had VR, but I was able to keep most of my shutter speeds at 1/200 or higher. There were a few instances where I did have to shoot as low as 1/60th and 1/100th, but the results were still quite acceptable.

RaptorFest (3)

NIKON 1 V2 + 85mm f/1.8G @ 85mm, ISO 800, 10/2000, f/1.8

If you would like to see more images taken at the event with the Nikon 1 V2, FT-1 and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 G, click on this YouTube link.

RaptorFest (4)

NIKON 1 V2 + 85mm f/1.8G @ 85mm, ISO 800, 1/250, f/1.8

The next time you need a fast, mid-range telephoto lens to capture an indoor event…and you don’t have $6,000 laying around to buy the Nikkor 200mm f/2…think about using your Nikon 1 V-series camera along with the FT-1 adapter and one of your F-mount prime lenses like the 85mm f/1.8G. It can be a great solution. Obviously the image quality isn’t going to match a Nikkor 200mm f/2, but it doesn’t cost $6,000 either.

RaptorFest (5)

NIKON 1 V2 + 85mm f/1.8G @ 85mm, ISO 800, 10/3200, f/1.8

If any readers have examples of how you’ve used your Nikon 1 with the FT-1 adapter with your F-mount lenses, please share your experiences with us!

Article and all images Copyright 2014, Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, reproduction or duplication including electronic is allowed without written consent.


    • 1.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 28, 2014 at 3:46 am

      Hi Don,

      Glad you enjoyed the article, and thanks for your comment!


  1. 2) Will
    April 28, 2014 at 12:14 am

    I had a V1 for a few months and always thought about getting the FT-1 adapter to use with my 50 1.4, but I never got around to it. The quality of images taken with the V2 in this article is making me wish I had.

    • 2.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 28, 2014 at 3:50 am

      Hi Will,

      I have been mainly using my 70-200 f4 with the V2 and FT-1 in a more traditional long telephoto application….and it works very well indeed. This little experiment was a preliminary test for something I want to work into my upcoming Nikon 1 V3 review. I’m supposed to be getting my camera in mid-May.

      Thanks for your comment….much appreciated.


  2. 3) Alan Spink
    April 28, 2014 at 2:33 am

    Thomas, Great stuff! makes you wonder how far you could take this idea.

    Always wanted the old 200 1.8 (a friend of mine has the Canon version). Has anyone tried this idea with
    other longer Nikon glass for sports or wildlife?



    • 3.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 28, 2014 at 4:06 am

      Hi Alan,

      In the past I’ve used the Nikon 1 V2 with the Nikkor 70-200 f/4, with and without the TC-17E II teleconverter, as well as with my Nikkor 105 Micro VR f/2.8….again with and without the TC-17e II teleconverter. The 105 tends to hunt a bit with the V2…but since it is for really close macro manual focusing works just fine.

      The 70-200 f/4 focuses extremely fast with the V2 and the images are nice and crisp (efov of 540mm). Focusing in good light is still fast even with the TC-17E II teleconverter. This combination has an equivalent field-of-view of 918mm at f/6.7. If you want to see some sample images there are some in my Nikon 1 V2 Review here on Photography Life. The set-up is good for more stationary wildlife….birds in flight are tricky, but possible with the 70-200 f/4 as long as the TC-17E II isn’t used with it.

      I may be a bit crazy to even try this….but I’ll be doing a review on the Tamrom 150-600 VC F-mount lens in late May, and I’m planning on testing the Nikon 1 V3 on it. Mounted to a Nikon 1 the Tamrom 150-600 will have an efov of 405mm to 1620mm at a maximum of f/6.3. The new Nikon 1 V3 has an 18.4 MP CX sensor with no loss pass filter so it will be interesting to see how this combination performs and whether I’ll be able to use it handheld with such a tiny camera body. Time will tell!

      Glad you enjoyed the article Alan, and thanks for your comment!


      • 3.1.1) Alan Spink
        April 28, 2014 at 5:38 am

        Hi Tom,

        Looking forward to seeing how you get on with the 150-600 for fast sports!

        Keep us all posted.



        • Thomas Stirr
          April 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

          Hi Alan,

          Latest news is that I won’t be able to start my review until the last week in May. If I can get it done for month end I certainly will.


  3. 4) greg
    April 28, 2014 at 5:27 am

    Great job on the images – I’m now sold on that setup of yours

    • 4.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 28, 2014 at 5:36 am

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the images


  4. 5) Jay Noe
    April 28, 2014 at 5:37 am

    Love my 1V1 and use it with many Nikkors including an AIS 85mm f/2. Sending you some examples by email.

    • 5.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 28, 2014 at 7:01 am

      Hi Jay,

      Thanks for sharing some of your pics with me. Nice stuff! Not sure you can load them on Flicker or something so other folks can see them.


  5. 6) Alexander Dela Cruz Jr
    April 28, 2014 at 6:15 am

    “The next time you need a fast, mid-range telephoto lens to capture an indoor event…and you don’t have $6,000 laying around to buy the Nikkor 200mm f/2…”

    This made my day…>_< had a great laugh or two!

    Great article! Great set-up too!

    • 6.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 28, 2014 at 7:02 am

      Hi Alexander,

      Thanks very much for your kind words….and glad I was able to give you a laugh or two!


  6. 7) FrancoisR
    April 28, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Congrats Thomas, superb photos and thanks for the review!

    It happens that I have the 200 (and the 85G 1.8) and it’s exactly whant I want to do with it (them). I would love to get a mirrorless with a non DX or worse the ridicule sensor of the V1. I hope Nikon comes up with a breakthrough like Fuji’s sensor. A friend of mine has one. He sold his 5D2 and never looked back. Canon at least has gone the 1.6 crop way on their EF-M (and their 3rd gen is coming also) but my 200 is a F mount (sigh)…

    Again I’m quite impressed by your pics and I will keep a keen eye on Nikon’s V1 next iteration.

    You sure are in line with the high level standards of the Mansurov’s!

    p.s. I’m just back from a trip to Curaçao with our bulky DSLR’s. I was shocked and we felt like dinausors compared to the multitude of mirrorless (mostly Fuji’s BTW) cams we saw. Because of marketting considerations both Canon and Nikon missed the boat. IMHO mirrorless is really the way to go outside the studio or professional use (for now). But then the new medium formats really beat the sh… out of them (DSLR) indoors! Ah ah ah…

    • 7.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 28, 2014 at 7:42 am

      Hi FrancoisR,

      Thank you for the compliment…much appreciated! It can be a challenge to keep up with the rest of the talented team here at Photography Life! :-)

      I’m supposed to be getting my Nikon 1 V3 in mid-May and I’ll be doing a review on it here at Photography Life. I’m intrigued to see how the new 18.4MP sensor with no low pass filter performs.

      I quite like the Nikon 1 format and I actually see a lot of advantages with the CX sensor….especially for client video work.

      For still photography, especially landscapes, the somewhat limited dynamic range of the CX sensor is a bit of an issue, and that is where the larger format sensors definitely have an advantage. And, the low light performance of a small sensor is always something of which one needs to conscious when shooting.

      I’ve been doing some tests recently with a friend’s V2 (I recently sold mine so I could upgrade to the V3…and I miss the V2 already!) using the 1 Nikon 10-100 PD zoom with a Nikon polarizing filter to see how much impact the filter has when using the Nikon 1 for landscape work.

      As Nasim’s article on the 1 Nikon 10-100 PD zoom points out, the optics of that lens are actually quite good. And, since the lens is quite large it is actually very practical for me to fit my 77 mm polarizing filter on it with a 72-77 step up ring. So far I have been pleased with the initial results I’ve been getting. Using a polarizing filter helps to remove some of the exposure spikes that are common with the Nikon 1 in bright sunlight conditions (this is noticeable on the histograms), saturates colour, and thus helps to compensate for the limited dynamic range of the CX sensor.


      • 7.1.1) FrancoisR
        April 28, 2014 at 8:16 am

        Thanks for your comments Thomas! I will be looking forward to read that review and enjoy more of your pics. I do have the 200 drop in CPL (to shoot airplanes ah ah ah). Would’nt that be fun to try the V3 on “big moma”? I still have a sore harm from my last trip with it. Where are you located?

        Again I say good work!

        • Thomas Stirr
          April 28, 2014 at 1:45 pm

          Hi FrancoisR,

          In Canada…about 60 miles (100 km) from Toronto.


  7. 8) Mikko
    April 28, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I have been using FT-1 with all kind of lenses. Best are 60/2.8 and 70-200/4. They are really good.
    Mostly I have used ft-1 with 70-200/4 in bird photography.
    Here some examples:
    I have also 80-400 but I haven’t had time to really test it.

    • 8.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 28, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Hi Mikko,

      Thanks for sharing your images! I especially like the black headed bird landing with wings spread…nice capture! Also…the tern looking down and approaching the camera….another nice moment.

      I don’t have the 80-400 but did have the chance to try a few test shots with the Nikon 1 V2 and found that the focusing was very fast and the VR was also very good.


  8. 9) OceanOak
    April 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Great images and really this is all that matters.

    I have already crossed the event horizon of the mirrorless camera system and think this will be my next buy. As I say just a few t’s to dot and i’s to cross :).

    There are a few questions on the speed of the electronic viewfinder (pros and cons) and my confidence has taken a slight knock by the fact that Nikon has not included a built-in EVF with the Nikon 1 V3. Perhaps this is to allow an upgrade of the viewfinder as the technology improves.

    Part of my thinking was the fact that I could use my existing DSLR lenses with the lens mount converter.

    I get a little worried when I hear a something for nothing story as this appears to be. Having said that the idea is a good one and I like it. The problem at the moment is the size of the camera sensor. With a 2.7 crop factor increasing the effective focal length of the 85mm lens to 85×2.7 (229.5mm) excluding the effect of the mount converter FT-1. This apparent increase of focal length is in fact a cropping of the image from 14.2 mega pixels to just under 2 mega pixels. (14.2 divided by the crop factor squared) since we are dealing with areas when talking image size.

    2 mega pixels is fine, many early digital images were this size and it works well with on-screen displays. This idea does appeal to me and will reach its full potential when sensor size increases in terms of mega pixels and low noise.

    Recent full frame DSLRs can sense when a lens designed for a crop factor camera is fitted and they effectively switch off the extra pixels thus converting the full frame sensor to a smaller crop factor sensor. I believe that this is why we are now seeing 24 MP cameras. 12MP full frame cameras give good results but a cropped factor lens reduces the image size to about 5MP. With a 24 MP full frame the cropped image is still about 10.7MP which is still good for printed images.

    I have to try out this combination when I am finally pulled into the mirrorless world. I have the 85mm lens already. :)

    Again, great results.

    • 9.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 28, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      Hi OceanOak,

      Thanks very much for your comments!

      Sorry….I’m not sure that I understand your post in terms of the size of the images that the Nikon 1 V2 produces when using the FT-1 adapter and an F-mount lens. All of the images used in this article are much larger than the 2 MP you noted in your post.

      One of the things I love about using a camera like the V2 is that it allows me to put more megapixels directly on the subject that I am trying to capture. The FT-1 has no glass in it whatsoever and does not affect image clarity. It simply allows a person to use their F-mount lenses and creates an equivalent field-of-view 2.7x closer.

      All of the images in this article were downsized to 1024 pixel width for web use, but the actual crop sizes of the images were all a very good size. Here are some details for you:

      The original size V2 images for the 5 shots in this article were all 4608 x 3072 (14.15 MP).

      The actual crop sizes for each of the images (before they were downsized for this article) were as follows:
      Green parakeet: 3704 x 2632 = 9.75 MP
      Owlet: 3495 x 2840 = 9.93 MP
      Falcon: 2792 x 2312 = 6.46 MP
      Bald Eagle: 3848 x 3072 = 11.82 MP
      Red Parrot: 3456 x 2792 = 9.65 MP

      For anyone wanting to put more megapixels on a distant subject using their Nikkor glass, the Nikon 1 V-series is an outstanding choice. The small size of the CX sensor is a huge advantage in this regard. That is one of the reasons that Nikon pros like Moose Peterson and Thom Hogan have V-series cameras as a part of their wildlife photography kits.

      I’m very much looking forward to getting my Nikon 1 V3 as it has an 18.4 MP sensor with no low pass filter which should generate even more detailed images, and give me additional cropping latitude if needed.


      • 9.1.1) Davin
        April 28, 2014 at 9:43 pm

        Wouldn’t the crop factor also apply to the aperture as well? Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought with the crop factor that 1.8 would actually be more like a 4.8 on full frame. Is that correct?

        • Thomas Stirr
          April 28, 2014 at 10:13 pm

          Hi Davin,

          You bring up a very interesting point…and one that I also thought was the case….but now I’m not so sure. I’m actually doing some testing on that exact issue right now to bring some clarity about it in my own mind.

          In my review of the Nikon 1 V2 I did point out that the depth of field characteristics of the FX and CX sensors are quite different when using efov lenses on each system. I showed some shots taken with the 1 Nikon 18.5 f/1.8 @ f/1.8 and they had roughly the same depth-of-field as when shooting with a 50mm f/1.8 FX lens @ f/5.6 on a D800. So, my initial assumption was that the sensor was causing the difference in depth-of-field since both lenses have an efov of 50mm.

          But….the big thing that I’m wrestling with at the moment…is that in that comparison I wasn’t really shooting with two 50mm lenses….I was shooting with an 18.5mm lens that has an equivalent field-0f-view that is about the same as an FX 50mm. But the 1 Nikon lens is still an 18.5mm lens…..not a 50mm.

          We all know that an 18.5mm wide angle lens has more depth-of-field at any given aperture than a 50mm at the same aperture. So….the difference in depth-of-field may be caused more by the focal length of the lens…than the properties of the CX sensor.

          I have some preliminary images done right now that I’ve taken with my 50mm f/1.8 FX lens on a Nikon 1 V2 and my D800. In this test I’m filling the frame with an image in the foreground and trying to assess what kind of depth-of-field difference there is with items in the background between the D800 and the V2 when using the exact same 50mm FX f/1.8 lens.

          I need to do a bit more work on this before I can put all of this into an article here on Photography Life.

          Stay tuned….I’m noodling with this as we speak….and hope to have a piece on this issue fairly soon.

          Thanks for bringing up the point Davin!


          • Davin
            April 28, 2014 at 10:40 pm

            Tony Northrup actually made a very informative quick video on YouTube discussing the crop factor of smaller sensors and also the need for multiplying the aperture by the crop factor as well: (sorry, I could only get the link for mobile since this is on my iPad). Can also be found by searching: ‘Crop Factor: Why you multiply the aperture by the crop factor when comparing lenses’ on YouTube. He shows a few examples. Something to take into consideration.

            • Thomas Stirr
              April 28, 2014 at 10:46 pm

              Hi Davin,

              Yup…..I’ve seen Tony’s video….but I’m not sure that I agree with his conclusions. I guess I’m the kind of guy that likes to test things out for myself…. :-)

              Guess I should have been born in Missouri….


            • Thomas Stirr
              April 29, 2014 at 12:24 pm

              Hi Davin,

              I’ve completed my little test of FX/CX dof comparsion. When shooting with 1 Nikon lenses with efov to FX lenses the 2.7x difference in aperture appears accurate.

              It is a bit hard to tell because of the compression of the images shooting at an efov of 135mm….but when shooting an FX lens (i.e. 50mm f/1.8G) using the Nikon 1 with the FT-1 adapter it may be a bit less than that….something in the 1.8X to 2x range…? When the new article goes up on Photography Life you can check it out and see what you think.

              From what I’ve read Tony is definitely not a Nikon 1 fan….and I’m not sure if he’s actually ever shot with one or not. I do know that some Nikon pros like Thom Hogan and Moose Peterson both include Nikon 1 V-series cameras as part of their wildlife kits when they go on safari….and most of the people that go on their safari tours all have V-series cameras as part of their kits as well.


            • Davin
              April 29, 2014 at 1:53 pm

              Great, thanks for the update! I can totally understand the use of the Nikon 1 for wildlife and it seems like a fantastic option with that crop factor. That and if you already and a stockpile of Nikon glass its a no brainer to have one around. I’ve been wanting one for some time for just that. Looking forward to the review.

      • 9.1.2) OceanOak
        April 29, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        Hi Thomas,

        Yes, you are absolutely right and thanks for the numbers for the image sizes. My thinking was about using a lens for a DX camera on an FX body, for example the D700 with about 12.1MP full frame produces a cropped image of about 5.4MP. This does not apply to the V series because although the sensor is smaller than FX with a crop factor of 2.7 for the V2 it still has 14.2MP within that size so this is good.

        I only mentioned the FT-1 mount adapter because I do not know how much it affects the size of the image. I know that it has no glass but if it changes the position of the lens it will act to some degree like an extension tube but with possibly little overall effect.

        Again thanks for clearing up my thinking on this arrangement of lens and camera. Look forward to you opinion on the V3 particularly the missing electronic viewfinder. Would also value your opinion on the EVF on the V2 compared to the optical viewfinders on the DSLR. I have read that in shots with a moving subject there is a small lag but I am not sure if this is a significant problem.

        The one thing that I hate about compacts without a viewfinder is trying to see anything on the screen in reflected sunlight.


        • Thomas Stirr
          April 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm

          Hi OceanOak,

          The FT-1 has no impact on image size at all…the Nikon 1 images still come out their native size. The viewfinder on my D800 is vastly superior to the EVF on the V2. But, then again we’re talking about a camera that costs 3X more.

          I won’t have my V3 for another couple of weeks but I understand the resolution is much higher so the EVF it should be better than on the V2.

          In terms of a ‘lag’…this does happen with the V2. The default viewing is on the rear screen and when you move your face to the EVF the camera automatically switches and there is a bit of a lag which can cause one to miss a fast-breaking shot. When I’m out shooting birds etc. I always keep my thumb over the EVF sensor so the camera doesn’t have to switch from the rear panel.

          I’m in total agreement with you….I love the V-series cameras because of their EVFs….it is much like shooting with a DSLR.

          Hope this has answered your questions….


          • OceanOak
            April 29, 2014 at 6:15 pm

            Thanks Tom. I am sold on a V series but will wait to see how the V3 pans out especially with the separate EVF. The low cost telephoto, since I already have the lens, looks good. Will have to use the D800 for now.

  9. 10) William Harasym
    April 28, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Although I don’t have a Nikon, I did enjoy the article, and it showing how you can use work-arounds with cameras and lenses, when needed for a specific shoot or event, with whatever specific camera gear you may have.
    I love the bird pictures, and they have really beautiful and rich colors.
    Thanks for sharing all the info, as who knows, someday to, I’ll also own Nikon Cameras, lens and gear.

    • 10.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 28, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Hi William,

      Thanks very much for you comments…very much appreciated. I’m very glad you enjoyed the images.


  10. 11) Francois
    April 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Thomas,
    Another great article. Completely agree with you, this combination is great, I use the 58mm as you know and they are very similar in size and the fit with the Nikon 1 is perfect, very light, comfortable, fast.
    I also used the 70-300 but it was disproportionate and impacted the experience of taking the photo. It is like holding the lens alone :) another advantage of using primes withe Nikon 1
    I also ordered the 200 macro and will send you photos when I have it, it is not balanced like the 58 but is OK and the macro should be terrific :)
    Kind regards and looking forward to the V3 review

    • 11.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 28, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      Hi Francois,

      Thanks for your comments….always appreciated!

      I also found that using my 70-200 f/4 on the V2 I had, it did feel a bit strange….just as you described it….was like holding the lens only. After shooting with it for a while I did get used to it and I didn’t mind it at all.


  11. 12) Ertan
    April 29, 2014 at 5:56 am

    That’s why I love my V1 and FT1 :)

    • 12.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 29, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      Hi Ertan,

      Just like I loved my V2 and FT-1!!!


  12. 13) Greg Ward
    April 29, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Hi Tom,

    Nice photos – think you might be underestimating the importance of the Photographer here. From looking at your pictures on this site I get the impression I could send you an old bottle and you’d get beautiful pictures out of it!

    On the crop factor/dof point (and when you test that). Obviously one factor to be considered on most lenses is the importance of stopping down to avoid softness at the edges. Even if the DOF is greater when using a crop sensor – to what extent might this be compensated for being able to shoot wider with less compromise on quality?


  13. 14) Thomas Stirr
    April 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Greg,

    I am humbled by your very kind comment….thank you so much.

    In terms of stopping down with any lens to help avoid edge softness and achieve maximum sharpness across the frame….you make an excellent point. Most lenses are at their sharpest 2-3 stops down from their maximum aperture….often in the f/5.6 to f/8 range.

    When I was in New Zealand last year shooting some landscapes with my 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 VR I knew that the lens had to be shot at f/8 to get decent edge performance….and I also knew that pushing my D800 into f/11 territory and above would run the risk of diffraction. So, the simple solution was to set my D800 for aperture priority and shoot everything with that lens at f/8, adjusting shutter speed or ISO as needed to maintain that aperture.

    Shooting with cropped sensor cameras with FX lenses does allow us to use the sharpest part of the lens, and that can help avoid soft corners.

    The more we understand the strengths and limitations of our gear, the more adept we become at squeezing the best performance we can out of whatever we own.

    Modern high pixel density sensors can sometime limit us from shooting at the ‘ideal’ sweet spots with our lenses. For example, when I shoot with a Nikon 1 V2 I never purposely go any higher than f/5.6 with any lens….since diffraction sets in quite early with the CX sensor….noticeable to a certain extend at f/8 and absolutely there at f/11. I remember inadvertently shooting a turkey vulture in flight at f/16…talk about a soft mess….yuk!

    Many decisions we have to make as photographers involve compromises….that trade-off triangle of ISO, shutter speed and aperture that we all have to deal with daily. One of the reasons that I really like shooting with an FX/CX combination is that is opens up more shooting options for me…especially when I’m doing video work and I don’t have the luxury of changing my shutter speed and I’m limited in terms of ISO choices as well.

    BTW….I have finished my crop factor/dof test…(FX/CX comparison) hopefully something will be up on Photography Life fairly soon on that.

    Thanks again Greg….I really appreciate your kind words.


  14. 15) Chai
    April 29, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Thomas,
    a Big “HELLO” from Regina, Saskatchewan! It’s great to read a review from a Canadian photographer!
    Thanks for a wonderful article and awesome photos! I too love using the Nikon V1 with FT-1 Adapter and that was the reason I got the V1. Also, when the price dropped so low last year I decided to get the V1 both in Black and white version and also the J1. I’ve been using the FT-1 with my 50mm f1.8G, 35mm f1.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4, and Nikon 50mm F1.2.

    There are a lot of negative reviews about these small cameras but, for me I love to LEARN how to make it works for me and having fun using it! I like the small size, fast autofocus and ability to add prime lenses when I need to. We are truly blessed with all these amazing technology today!
    Thanks for a great write up and photos!

    Here are samples from my blog:

    • 15.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 30, 2014 at 5:29 am

      Hi Chai,

      Thanks for your comment…much appreciated. It’s always great to hear from a fellow Canadian! Thanks for sharing the images on your blog. I enjoyed how you use a wide variety of backgrounds etc. with your people shots…lots of creativity! I haven’t been to Regina for quite a while….I see you do some work at Wascana Park…..I haven’t been there for years. Wascana Lake used to be a good place to capture some water birds.

      Watching for deals with the V-series cameras can yield some great buys! I’ve been planning to add the 10mm f/2.8 1 Nikon lens to my kit for a while now as it will be great for my video business, and I noticed that it was included in a 2 lens package if I bought it with the J1 and the 10-30mm zoom. I was able to get the package for $269….$10 less than the 10mm usually costs by itself! I’m picking it up today. I’ll likely sell the J1 with the 10-30 as I really don’t need the camera or another 10-30….so whoever buys it from me will get a great deal on a brand new camera and lens….and I’ll have the 10mm f/2.8 I need at a very low cost.


  15. 16) oeriies
    April 30, 2014 at 3:17 am

    I occasionally use a V1/FT-1 with my Siggy F/2.8 120-300 OS. I’ve also tried it with my 500mm F/4 VR. It works well on the Sigma IF the subject is stationary — with only center-point autofocus using the FT-1 and with the EVF lag on the V1 you’re not going to get birds in flight or be able to shoot action sports. On the 500mm the effective field of view is so small that it is difficult to find and hold the subject in the viewfinder. In all cases I keep the ISO very low, which means this is a setup for good light applications. All in all the D7100 is, for me, a much more versatile body and yields images that, when cropped to the field of view of the V!/FT-1, are as good or better than those from the V1.

    • 16.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 30, 2014 at 4:50 am

      Hi oeriies,

      Thanks for your posting! I agree that the V-series works best with stationary subjects. I’ve found the V-series very useful to photograph small, perched birds. As far as birds in flight, the lens that I have found seems to be the best to use for this is the 70-200 f/4, especially if I can get at a 90-degree angle to the flight path.

      I’ve never shot with a D7100, but when I owned a D7000 I did really enjoy the camera. Given the relative sizes of the DX 24mp sensor in the D7100 and the 14mp sensor in the V2…the cameras are very close in overall resolution potential (D7100: 24 x 1.5 = 36, V2: 14 x 2.7 = 37.8) …..but the absence of a low pass filter should make the D7100 sharper. The larger DX sensor would also have much better dynamic range, colour depth and low light performance so I can certainly understand why you would find the D7100 a better all-round camera.

      It will be interesting to see how the V3 performs with its new, 18.4mp sensor with no low pass filter. It will not be able to provide as good dynamic range, colour depth or low light performance as the D7100….but since it has the potential to put 38% more pixels on a subject at the same efov (D7100 = 24 x 1.5 = 36, V3 = 18.4 x 2.7 = 49.7) I’m intrigued to see how much resolving power it can actually deliver and if the lenses I have can actually keep up with it.


      • 16.1.1) Ethan Olson
        January 14, 2015 at 2:06 pm

        Your math is off. Since the D7100 has 24MP and the sensor size is 24mm x 16mm, the resolution is 6000×4000 pixels, which means that you have 250 Bayer quads (pixels) per mm. In full frame (FX) that would be 9000×6000 or 54MP, which translates to 130 lp/mm. The V3 needs such an insane amount that you need 200 lp/mm resolving power to nail a perfect score on the MTF50 chart because it has the equivalent resolution demands of a 136MP chip in full frame! To put it in a different perspective, the D810 has a pixel pitch of 4.9 µm. The D7100 has a pitch of 3.9 µm. The V3 has a pitch of 2.5 µm.

  16. 17) ioannis stamatogiannis
    April 30, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I own an v1 and v2 too.
    I try them with te big sigma, 50-500 OS but the autofocus doesn’t work at all,
    Do you thing the new tamron will work ?

    • 17.1) Thomas Stirr
      June 13, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Hello ioannis,

      I had a chance to try the new Tamron 150-600 VC on a V2 with an FT-1 adapter at a recent Henry’s Photography event in Toronto. The V2 does not recognize the Tamron lens at all.


  17. 18) Thomas Stirr
    April 30, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Hi Ioannis,

    I don’t know if the V-series cameras will work on the Tamron 150-600 or not…but that is one thing that I intend on investigating when I do my review.


  18. Profile photo of rajesh 19) rajesh
    April 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Beautiful pictures, Thomas. Nice article.

    • 19.1) Thomas Stirr
      April 30, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks Rajesh….glad you liked it.


  19. 20) QHaim Mamann
    May 2, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    I have a D800 camera. Can I use it instead of the I V2 camera with FT-1 adapter

    • 20.1) Thomas Stirr
      May 3, 2014 at 5:39 am

      Hello QHaim,

      The FT-1 adapter is made for use with the Nikon 1 series of cameras only.


  20. 21) Haim
    May 3, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Thank you Tom

    • 21.1) Thomas Stirr
      May 8, 2014 at 4:45 am

      You’re welcome. :-)

  21. 22) alwin
    May 23, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks a lot for the article and the replies as well; very inspiring pictures. I had a V1 + 10 mm but I sold it because I bought into the Fuji X system APS-C sensor system and I liked the looks and all in one approach of the Fuji X10.

    But in the end I missed the handling, excellent quick viewfinder, and directness of operation of the V1. It does have life view and exposure compensation and program shift work swiftly contrary to what so many reviews suggest.

    So I bought another V1 and 10mm, now with a bigger belief in its powers than before. So I added the FT1 adapter. I want to share a ‘portait’ lens with a Nikon DX system. So a 50 mm is logic choice, I thought.

    BUT, what is the best 50mm FOR use on the V1, the 50mm 1.8 G or the 50mm 1.4 G. I remember to have read somewhere that the 1.4 performs much better on the CX sensor, but I can’t find the article anymore nor did I see this confirmed in other articles.

    Thanks a lot for your help

  22. 23) Thomas Stirr
    May 23, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Alwin,

    I have never shot with the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G so I cannot give you an educated opinion on that lens. I do know that Nasim did a comprehensive review of the 50mm f/1.8 G vs the 50mm f/1.4 G and he found that overall, the f/1.8 outperformed the more expensive f/1.4 on the high resolution sensor in the D800 . Here is a link to his review:

    Hope this has helped.

    • 23.1) alwinvrm
      May 28, 2014 at 10:49 am

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for the link. Nasim clearly favours the 50 f/1.8G over the f/1.4. Interestingly is not crazy about the f/1.4 but the resolution figures are not bad. Like others I also liked the shots in the f/1.4 review. But that may be a matter of different subjects / light.

      I solved the issue by buying the 35 f/1.8 G :-) I am obsessed with traveling light and it made sense to have a portrait lens (95mm on the V1) and a standard lens for an APS-C camera in one buy.

      I will use the V1 for street and the APS-C for other work. I bought Fuji X but it doesn fill a gap for me. I rather have one camera that is good at working fast (V1) and one that has better IQ and can do it all. That is better than one camera with nice IQ but otherwise not excelling nor in studio portraits nor in street photography. Coming from 6×6 film one lens is fine.

      The resolution of the 35 f/1.8 G seems a bit less than the native Nikon 1 10mm in some preliminary tests. The 35 is very useable , though.

      • 23.1.1) Thomas Stirr
        May 29, 2014 at 7:33 pm

        Hi alwinvrm,

        Sounds like you’ve made a good decision for your needs. When I had DX equipment I had the 35 f/1.8 G and thought it was quite a good lens for a very modest price.


  23. 24) Petra de Bruin
    September 29, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    ” think about using your Nikon 1 V-series camera along with the FT-1 adapter and one of your F-mount prime lenses like the 85mm f/1.8G”

    And that was just what I was thinking and how I ended up here:-) Great photos! Do you perhaps know of any fast zoom lenses for this purpose as well?

    • 24.1) Thomas Stirr
      October 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Hi Petra,

      As far as I know you should be able to use any F-mount Nikkor lens that has an internal focusing motor in it. I often use my 70-200 f/4 with the FT-1 adapter and I’ve found it works very well.


  24. February 26, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Check out the note about apertures greater than 1.8 (1.6, 1.4 etc.):

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