Some changes with my Nikon 1 kit

Like most folks, from time to time I like to review my camera gear and its current utilization rate, as well as anticipate my future needs. I recently did such a review which resulted in some changes with my Nikon 1 kit.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J4 + 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD zoom at 10mm, efov 27mm, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO-160, Nikon 1 WP-N3 underwater housing

I ended up selling my Nikon 1 J4 with 10-30 mm f/3.5-5.6 PD zoom and Nikon 1 WP-N3 waterproof housing. While this is a great set-up for underwater photography and video, I simply hadn’t used this gear nearly as much as I anticipated I would. It made sense to part company. So, I found it a good home with a friend who has a passion for snorkelling while on holidays and at a family cottage. That gave me some money to reinvest in my Nikon 1 kit.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 212mm, efov 571mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-360

While my wife and I were away in New Zealand the V2 that I took to shoot birds and wildlife with my CX 70-300 mm had an issue with the rear screen dying. I ended up shooting with the V2 she normally uses, and she had a chance to use one of the J5s.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-900

I’ve since had the V2 repaired by Nikon Canada and the camera is back up to snuff. Since my V2s are my ‘revenue’ cameras in terms of my client video business it caused me to think about adjusting my Nikon 1 kit slightly to further extend the life of my V2s by using something else with which to shoot birds and other wildlife.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 170mm, efov 459mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-200

So, while there are some things that I don’t particularly like about the Nikon 1 V3 (detachable EVF and grip), I decided to add one to my  Nikon 1 kit. After a few missed attempts at some ‘deals’ I was able to secure a V3 at an attractive price.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-560

I’m planning on doing more bird photography in 2017 with the ultimate goal of writing a bird photography e-book. The additional resolution from the V3’s 18.4 MP sensor, lack of a low pass filter, and AF-C shooting rate of 20 fps will all be beneficial for bird photography.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 212mm, efov 571mm, f/5.6, 1/4000, ISO-800

Whether Nikon will ultimately bring out a Nikon 1 V4 is still anyone’s guess. I decided to buy a V3 now while there are some deals to be found. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush as the old saying goes. Being prudent, I picked up a couple of extra batteries and some faster writing micro-SD cards to use with the V3.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-250

I also reconsidered some of the family oriented photography and other indoor work that I do from time to time and decided that I should add a flash to my Nikon 1 kit. I looked at both the SB-N5 and SB-N7 and eventually decided on the N5 as I wanted the dual swivel flash head.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280mm, efov 756mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-160

There’s a trade-off of course, with the N7 being a more powerful flash that takes on-board batteries. The N5 uses power from a Nikon 1 camera which also makes it a smaller and lighter flash. For my limited flash needs the SB-N5 works nicely.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-640

It can be difficult to keep our emotions out of the process when reviewing our camera gear. Sitting back and examining how often we actually use the gear that we have can be very instructive, as well as anticipating our future needs. There’s little point in holding onto camera gear that we seldom use. The money tied up in that camera equipment can often be better reinvested in other components.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-720

If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about the Nikon 1 system, you may want to have a look at our eBook, The Little Camera That Could. It illustrates the capability of the Nikon 1 system through hundreds of original photographs. There is also commentary and tips about the Nikon 1 system.


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Article is Copyright 2017 Thomas Stirr. Images Copyright 2016 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use.

18 thoughts on “Some changes with my Nikon 1 kit”

  1. Hello Thomas, thanks for your previous reply to my email. As i said earlier I have a N1J5 and three lenses along with an N1J3. With the discontinuation of the N1 system I wondered if it might be possible to pick up a lens or two at a good price? My photo interests are landscape, urban landscape, flowers , nature and still life. I now have a 10-30mmVR, 18.5mm Prime lens 1.8, 30-110mm VR 3.8-5.6. Given my photo interests do you think I need any others? I have no interest in taking photos of birds or wildlife.
    Jack Leonard

    1. Hi Jack,
      Given your photographic interests you may wish to consider the 1 Nikon 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 wide angle zoom. This lens is a solid performer for landscape and architectural photography. If you are planning on doing any kind of close up work with flowers picking up a set of extension tubes would also be something to consider…they work very well with the 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6. Another lens that will provide some interest creative latitude in terms of bokeh is the 32 mm f/1.2. It is rather pricey and difficult to find, but a really beautiful lens that also provides a manual focusing ring.

      1. Thanks you Tom for that info. I am considering the Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 Lens because of my interest in landscape and see one on Amazon for less than $150. What is your opinion of that lens. Is it superior to the 10-30mm I own now?

        1. Hi Jack,

          The 1 Nikkor 10 mm f/2.8 will be sharper than the 10-30 mm zooms and a bit faster, so from those perspectives it will be a be better than the 10-30 zooms. It does not have VR so if you do a lot of handheld photography at slower shutter speeds it does have some limitation in that regard. If you can get a new 10 mm f/2.8 prime for $150 it strikes me as a good deal.

          I have a 10 mm f/2.8 and use it extensively for my client video work and find it to be excellent. I never use this lens for landscape photography as I much prefer the 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom. This zoom provides an equivalent field-of-view of 18-35 mm when compared to a full frame lens. It is very sharp and renders good colour. Since the lens has VR it can be held at slower shutter speeds. It you enjoy landscape photography, trying to find a 6.7-13 mm zoom may be a better overall investment, although this lens is more expensive selling in the $500 to $550 range new.


    1. Hi Pedro,
      No, unfortunately the J5 does not have a hot shoe and does not accept accessories. If you want to use a flash, you would need to purchase a V-Series body, and also use a Nikon 1 flash.

  2. Thomas
    This is good news from my perspective as I have had a Nikon 1 v3 for a year and struggled with my 70 to 300 lens compared to the results on the v2. So hopefully I will be able to learn from you using the v3 version.

    1. I get very good and sharp results with the 70-300 lens on my V1, J5 and V3 and with some practise even at quite low shutter speeds like 1/30 sec. at the long end. I was wondering if you have set Optical VR to Active or Normal as the latter is the preferred VR mode unless you stand on a moving platform (boat etc.).

    2. Hi Peter,

      It has been quite a while since I shot with a Nikon 1 V3 and wrote my hands-on review of the camera. There will no doubt be some nuances with the V3 that I will discover the more I shoot with it. I plan on writing ongoing articles for this blog, so if there’s any ‘pearls’ in them I hope they are helpful for you.


    3. I see you have used the j4 and j5 bodies. The most irritating things about bodies with no viewfinder is the difficulty in focusing with them. Have you ever used a loupe with them? Do you have any recommendations about what to try?

      1. Hi Robert,

        I have tried to attach a Zacuto Z-Finder. It worked ‘OK’ but I really didn’t like the added bulk and weight. I used some elastic bands to hold it on…not the best but serviceable. There are loupes made specifically for non-EVF mirrorless cameras but I haven’t tried one.

        I did write an article about overcoming not having an EVF:

        I think dealing with a non-EVF camera is a very personal issue and some folks may never feel comfortable.


  3. Congratulations with your new V3. I also got a V3 at a reasonable attractive price and I think it is a really great camera even though the IQ is not quite on par with J5. I already have the SB-N5 flash from my V1, but I think I’ll only use it very rarely as it have to sit in the EVF socket. That is probably the biggest design failure as the same socket can be used for a GPS module etc. Anyway, I’ll be looking forward to seeing your images from the V3.

    1. Thanks Anders!

      I agree that not having an integrated EVF with the V3 was the biggest design failure. It does limit the functionality of the camera in terms of the use of accessories like external mics, GPS and flash.


    1. Hi Joni,
      Well…we all try to make the best decisions we can. It just didn’t make sense to have money tied up in the J4 and WP-N3 when it wasn’t getting used as much as I had hoped. I think I will get a lot of use out of the V3.

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