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.