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Old Sunday 23rd October 2011, 06:05   #1
Neil
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Digiscoping with the Nikon V1

I've been waiting a long time for Nikon to go "mirrorless" so when one of my local stores had one one V1 in stock ( they only got 2 a couple of days ago) I had to have a play with it - and I was hooked.
Price was US$1,100 with the two kit lenses (10-30 and 30-100 zooms ).
I did a quick digiscoping test on the Swarovski 25-50 zoom eyepiece with the 10 - 30/3.5-5.6 zoom. At 25x vignetting disappears around 16 mm and stays away and at 50x it disappears at 14 mm ( using the Swarovski UCA adapter ).
I did a quick test of the 30 - 100 zoom v the Nikon P7000 too.
This lens doesn't give a lot more than from the P7000 as can be seen here at iso 100.
I love the speed and the Electronic Viewfinder. Shame no rotatable screen.
Live testing from the field shortly.
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Old Sunday 23rd October 2011, 09:13   #2
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Thanks Neil

Really looking forward to seeing your digiscoping samples. Sounds from what you're saying that the 10-30 is potentially usable at almost all focal lengths without vignetting? That would make this an excellent tool with fixed eyepieces like the 21mm on my Kowa 823. I'd been looking at the Fuji X100 as a general go anywhere/digiscoping camera, but want to see how well the Nikon performs before I pull the trigger.

The samples you posted show that, although only a modest improvement over the 7000, the V1 seems to suck more subtle detail out of the image. Reviews I've seen also suggest that its performance pulls away from other compacts at higher ISOs and that ISO 400 and even 800 still yield decent performance.

If the dynamic range is better too, and the capture and autofocus speed is everything Nikon says, this could be an idea digiscoping tool. But image quality is key, so very keen to see your pictures!

Last edited by Malcolm Farrow : Sunday 23rd October 2011 at 09:17.
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Old Monday 24th October 2011, 13:20   #3
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Malcolm,
A camera cannot create a better digiscoping image than it can produce by itself. Compare the J1 still life image on the IR Comp. to the LX5. Note, the LX3 image was a bit better than the LX5 when it was available. Gene
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Old Monday 24th October 2011, 13:39   #4
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Neil,

Thanks for the info. i just saw the Nikon V1 and J1 at a local Nikon store in Malaysia. Although it says that it has has the fastest AF, my concern is the noise for higher ISO and lack of rotating LCD screen.

Although I am eager to get my hands on the camera, I'm still waiting for further reviews and results from fellow digiscopers.

Thanks!
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Old Monday 24th October 2011, 21:22   #5
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Newbie Alert. First post.

Thanks Neil for all your posts in the digiscoping forum - very helpful.

Doesn't this camera have a 2.7x crop factor - making the 10-30mm lens a 27-81mm in 35mm terms?

More details on ISO and AF performance, shutter speeds compared to say the P6000 (different sensor sizes) and sample images as soon as you can please Neil.
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Old Tuesday 25th October 2011, 10:05   #6
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F
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Originally Posted by Weekend Birder View Post
Newbie Alert. First post.

Thanks Neil for all your posts in the digiscoping forum - very helpful.

Doesn't this camera have a 2.7x crop factor - making the 10-30mm lens a 27-81mm in 35mm terms?

More details on ISO and AF performance, shutter speeds compared to say the P6000 (different sensor sizes) and sample images as soon as you can please Neil.
Yes it does. I suspect that this might make it a better matched with Nikon AFS lenses.
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Old Tuesday 25th October 2011, 16:02   #7
Malcolm Farrow
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Quote:
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Malcolm,
A camera cannot create a better digiscoping image than it can produce by itself. Gene
Thanks, although surprising as it might seem, I know that.

My impression from the reviews/samples I've seen so far is that low ISO performance appears similar or, at best, fractionally better than premium compacts. The V1/J1 appear to be inferior to M4/3 cameras at all ISO settings. However, at medium ISOs (e.g. 200-800) they seem better than premium compacts and pull away still further as ISOs get higher. This is just what you would expect given the sensor size, though no doubt more reviews/feedback will allow us to come to a definite view on this.

However, my interest in these cameras is around how they will fair for digiscoping, so today I took my Kowa TSN 823 with 21x eyepiece into the local camera store and persuaded them to let me point the V1+10-30mm lens into the scope.

It looks a great combination. Very slight vignetting at 10mm and none at all other zoom settings. I took a couple of pics and was able to review the results on the screen - very difficult to judge sharpeness/detail but looked pretty good with even illumination and the set up seemed to have real synergy. What immediately struck me was how much better the handling was compared to compacts I've tried previously, especially zooming. Add the capture speed and this looks a potent digiscoping rig - but obviously at a very high price.

Can't wait to see more samples...

Last edited by Malcolm Farrow : Tuesday 25th October 2011 at 16:20.
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Old Tuesday 25th October 2011, 23:11   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Farrow View Post
... What immediately struck me was how much better the handling was compared to compacts I've tried previously, especially zooming...
Why do you feel a V1 manual zoom lens will be easier to digiscope with than a powered zoom on a traditional compact?
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Old Tuesday 25th October 2011, 23:31   #9
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Quote:
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Why do you feel a V1 manual zoom lens will be easier to digiscope with than a powered zoom on a traditional compact?
Because the manual zoom offers more subtle control, at least compared to the compacts I've tried, allowing more precise framing when composing the shot.

For example, I remember that the Canon S90 which I used to use at work only offered five or six different zoom settings, something like 28, 35,50,75,90,105 (35mm equivalent). Perhaps its just that I'm more used to the manual zoom ring on my DSLRs, but I much preferred the one on the J1.
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Old Tuesday 25th October 2011, 23:51   #10
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Actually I think the S90/95 has 9 zoom stops but only the last 6 are useful. Anyway, the main problem I have with a manual zoom is I need to enclose/cover the airspace between the camera lens and the scope eyepiece to prevent reflections off the eyepiece from destroying the contrast. Eyepiece reflections are not such a problem inside a dark hide, but outside in the sun it can be a real issue. Now I use a spare rubber eyecup to enclose this space. I suspect it would hinder using the focus ring of a manual zoom lens.
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Old Wednesday 26th October 2011, 08:06   #11
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Actually I think the S90/95 has 9 zoom stops but only the last 6 are useful. Anyway, the main problem I have with a manual zoom is I need to enclose/cover the airspace between the camera lens and the scope eyepiece to prevent reflections off the eyepiece from destroying the contrast. Eyepiece reflections are not such a problem inside a dark hide, but outside in the sun it can be a real issue. Now I use a spare rubber eyecup to enclose this space. I suspect it would hinder using the focus ring of a manual zoom lens.
Thanks. It's a while since I used a S90 so it was just a guess. It's mainly the retracting lens on compact cameras that compels designers to use power zooms. Unless video use is a primary requirement camera designers almost always use manual zooms if they can - they just handle so much better.

The Nikon 1 lenses have a 40.5 filter thread so it might be possible to create a hood by fixing something to a glassless filter. Alternatively, for some it will be possible to connect the lens directly to the scope and avoid such problems - e.g. via a stepping ring to the Kowa DA-1. However, if the lens moves in and out during focusing that would put strain on the focusing motor. Another issue is weight. The J1 is a pretty light camera but the V1, which looks a better bet in terms of specification, is surprisingly heavy - 383g including battery and card. Add the 10-30 lens and you have a rig that's slightly heavier than the Panasonic GF-1 and 20mm.
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Old Wednesday 26th October 2011, 08:57   #12
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I just checked and the 10-30mm lens features internal focusing, so once extended the front won't move.
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Old Wednesday 26th October 2011, 22:36   #13
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Hi Neil,
I've just got my own V1, and want to digiscope with my Swarovski 25-50 zoom. I see that you've been able to make it work with the UCA. However, I wondered whether something like the Vortex PS100 would allow it to be used on the DCA. (In principle it looks plausible, but would the PS100 be wide enough..?)
Many thanks, Roger
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Old Wednesday 26th October 2011, 23:50   #14
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Hi Neil,
I've just got my own V1, and want to digiscope with my Swarovski 25-50 zoom. I see that you've been able to make it work with the UCA. However, I wondered whether something like the Vortex PS100 would allow it to be used on the DCA. (In principle it looks plausible, but would the PS100 be wide enough..?)
Many thanks, Roger
Afraid not Roger. The V1 with zoom extended is too long. Even with the UCA I had to reverse it to the DSLR setting. I don't have to do that with the G12 or P7000.
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Old Thursday 27th October 2011, 00:10   #15
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There is not a lot of choice when it comes to an AF-S lens to use with the V1 adapter for digiscoping. This looks like the most likely -http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/singlefocal/normal/af-s_dx_35mmf_18g/index.htm
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Old Thursday 27th October 2011, 01:09   #16
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I suspect the Nikon F mount adapter will only be digisco-friendly by direct connection of the V1 camera to the Kowa Photolens or the standard dslr to fieldscope adapters.
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Old Thursday 27th October 2011, 02:02   #17
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Afraid not Roger. The V1 with zoom extended is too long. Even with the UCA I had to reverse it to the DSLR setting. I don't have to do that with the G12 or P7000.
Neil.
That's a shame! It's also too long for the DCB. Looks as though I'll have to save up for a UCA....
Thanks, Roger

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Old Friday 28th October 2011, 07:04   #18
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Does the V1 have its own remote shuttle release? From the Nikon website, seems like only the ML-L3 wireless remote control is compatible with J1 and V1.

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Old Friday 28th October 2011, 08:31   #19
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I suspect the Nikon F mount adapter will only be digisco-friendly by direct connection of the V1 camera to the Kowa Photolens or the standard dslr to fieldscope adapters.
it might be worse than that, some people report that only video would be possible on the v1 with non-CPU lenses. Hence much will depend on the ft-1 having it own CPU...
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2011, 11:56   #20
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Ok, finally got out in the field today with the V1 on the Swarovski scope. What a joy to use. I can't get over how fast it is and I didn't even get to the 30 and 60 fps. The AF is spot on too and with the very sharp Electronic Viewfinder makes it easy to use outside in bright light and focus the scope.
I'm still learning the camera but here are a few from today , taken with the kit zoom 10 -30 mm zoom and the Swaro 25 - 50 x zoom , mostly at 25x.
I had a bit of a problem with shadowing due to mis-alignment which I'll fix tomorrow.
Neil

Nikon 1 V1 ( 10 - 30 zoom ) and Swarovski STS80HD scope and Sw 25-50x zoom and UCA adapter

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Old Tuesday 1st November 2011, 11:59   #21
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Photos from my morning out with the Nikon V1
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2011, 14:58   #22
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super captures neil!
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2011, 15:29   #23
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Excellent photos Neil. I've been waiting to see some images from the V1 and these certainly don't disappoint. No doubt the quality of the light and your skill as a photographer are a big factor, but these look very impressive. What I really like about them is how natural and unprocessed they look. Great quality for such a relatively small sensor.

Are they cropped or full-frame? What ISO setting were you using?

Feel like I'm close to pulling the trigger on one of these.
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2011, 19:15   #24
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The Magpie Robin (pic 4) in particular shows superb detail for ISO800.

Damn - just as I was getting back on good terms with my bank manager!
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Old Friday 4th November 2011, 19:04   #25
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I decided to take the plunge and buy a V1. Since the camera was announced I thought it would be an ideal camera for me - both for digiscoping and as a decent quality 'go anywhere' back-up to my DSLRs - and Neil's images certainly helped to encourage me splash the cash.Although already discounted, the price is considerably more than I really wanted to pay but I felt that the electronic viewfinder is a key feature, and the additional buffer and bigger battery would be advantageous over the J1 too. I'm already glad I did.

It arrived this afternoon and I just had time to give it the briefest of tests in the murky November afternoon light. There was only one bird on show - an obliging collared dove posing on a neighbour's chimney.

The speed of the camera is very impressive and everything seemed to work extremely well. The attached image is one of about 200 high quality JPEGs I shot in a little over ten minutes. I tested various settings. This one is 1/60 at F5.6 at ISO200. The lens was set at 30mm and it was captured using a Kowa 823 with 21x eyepiece. I'm amazed it came out so well at such a slow speed.

The picture was cropped slightly, and a levels adjustment and slight sharpening applied. It certainly bodes well for the future. My only concern was the weight of the camera, attached via a stepping ring to the DA-1. I'd like to provide it with some additional support somehow.
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