Adapting Lenses to the Nikon V1

Nikon V1 + FT1 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G | 1/250 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100

Funny thing about Suki…even though she’s my dog, every time I see her I feel like it’s the first time I ever laid eyes on a Shiba Inu. She’s so cute it’s ridiculous! Melts my heart when I see her sleeping like this, buried among the funny mix of blankets we always lay out for her.

She, of course, was the first test subject for the FT-1 adapter I recently acquired for my Nikon V1. The adapter lets me mount any of my Nikon G lenses to the camera, with full communication between the body and adapted lens for VR, auto exposure, and auto focus support (limited to single point AF, continuous not supported).

There’s a 2.7x crop factor on the V1, which means my wide angle 24mm f/1.4 has an angle of view similar to around 65mm on an FX camera. Not very practical for me, especially considering how large that lens is compared to the camera body. I found that I really liked the 50mm f/1.4 on the V1, however. It gives me something more like a 135mm lens and balances really nicely with the body:

Nikon V1 + FT1 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G | 1/500 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100

Nikon V1 + FT1 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G | 1/40 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 | SB-N5 Flash

Shooting at f/1.4 on a 50mm lens and still getting most of Suki’s face in focus? That’s kinda cool.

Nikon V1 + FT1 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G | 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 400

Though there are more on the horizon, there’s currently only one prime lens for the 1 system, and it’s not all that fast. Adapting fast Nikkor glass to the camera is great for shooting in lower light and for getting shots with shallower depth of field, but I still want some wider options.

On the other hand, telephoto options abound. Racking out with my 70-300 VR lens mounted gives me something like 810mm on FX, letting do you stuff like this:

iPhone 4s | 1/120 sec, f/2.4, ISO 100

See those tiny houses in the distance? Snapped the above with my iPhone before pulling out the V1 + 70-300 and zooming in on them:

Nikon V1 + FT1 + Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 300mm | 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600


iPhone 4s | 1/120 sec, f/2.4, ISO 100

Another example. I’m way up on a hill south of downtown San Francisco, and in the distance I spot the evening’s last glimmer of light from the setting sun, reflecting beautifully off of the 555 California building. Above is shot with the iPhone, and then below, the V1 and 70-300:

Nikon V1 + FT1 + Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 300mm | 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400

From such a great distance, it seems that atmospheric haze is fuzzing up the image a little, but wow, talk about getting in close with a very compact system. Once I’m done with my kitchen I’m definitely going to experiment more with this combo.

Nikon V1 + FT1 + Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 300mm | 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400

This shot of the  moon was taken hand-held, and it wasn’t even that large in the sky at the time. Can’t wait to catch a full moon or eclipse one of these days!  I’ve seen images floating around the web with much crazier combinations than this, like someone mounting a 600mm f/4 or even a 2000mm reflex lens on the V1. Insanity! Love it.

18 thoughts on “Adapting Lenses to the Nikon V1

  1. Oh my gosh, your dog is adorable! I know what you mean. I’ve had mine for over five years and I still fall in love with him each day and looking at how cute he is. Great experiment with the photos. Whoa indeed!

  2. YOU are still my favorite photographer! I love the photo of Suki by the rust colored pillow, and that moon shot you got was fabulous! WOW is all I can say! Take a look at our little furry bundle of joy when you get the chance on her blog at as we got some good shots of her playing in the snow over the weekend. Your work just amazes me and I sit on the edge of my seat waiting to see what you come up with next! Thanks for sharing!

  3. aww, it’s so sweet how much you and your wife love suki. 🙂

    and how amazing is that lens, if the crop looks so dang sharp?

    i also am digging the reviews and tech posts you’re doing… almost makes me want to get off my duff and do something similar. aaaalmost. (i’m really lazy.)

  4. Amazing what this little camera can achieve. Wish it had a bit of more manual controls, for the sensor size I am highly amaze at the quality, even for the iso 3200 shots I seen on the web.

    The zoom pictures are incredible from a technical point of view. Thanks for sharing….

  5. Wow, the quality of that zoom is AMAZING! Just incredible.

    I want to kiss that cute little nose of Suki’s. That one of her sitting up, dozing totally kills me!

  6. Baahaha, those zooms are ridiculous. That’s the kind of thing we joke about. I’m writing this from my balcony in Colombia. Can you see me? I’m waving.

    1. I never said it was 810mm. I said “something like 810mm.” Earlier in my post I mentioned that there’s an equivalence as far as angle of view when compared to full frame, not that the focal lengths are equivalent.

  7. What a great blog. I was just researching the Nikon 1 V1 and wondering if it’s worth getting the longer VI lens which is pretty pricey or just the converter mount. I was amazed to see Suki as the first photo – my favorite dog breed, and a very cute example at that. Hope to get one myself one of these days. Seeing your photos, I’ve decided the converter with my other Nikon lenses is definitely the way to go and not worry about the cost of another zoom lens. I can get a better deal on the body, flash and 10-30mm lens and then buy the converter to use my other lenses. Great results. You’ve definitely shown the versatility of the camera and sold me on Shiba Inus and the west coast. Cheers.

  8. hi. nice article. I’m intrigued about the 50mm on v1. it gives equivalent of 135mm. in what scenario do you find 135mm to be useful ? (and otherwise)

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