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Posts Tagged ‘nikkor

Running Shiba, Gunning Nikon V1

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Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 15mm | 1/100 sec, f/4.8, ISO 100

Suki and I have been missing on the blog for a while, but we’re back to talk about the Nikon 1 V1!

I must admit, when Nikon first announced the Nikon 1, their first mirrorless camera system, I wasn’t terribly excited. The camera’s design is on the bland side (especially compared to my Fuji X100), and the sensor, while much larger than the ones you’d find in a typical compact, is smaller than one in my Olympus E-PL2 and other m4/3 cameras. Epic fail, right? Not at all.

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G | 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

My initial impression of the V1’s image quality is very favorable. The files are detailed, sharp, and clean. All the lenses currently available for the 1 mount (10mm pancake, 10-30mm, 30-110mm, 10-100mm) seem to perform very well. But what intrigued me most about the V1 wasn’t so much the image quality as it was the system’s speed.

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 | 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 22mm | 1/250 sec, f/5, ISO 100

The V1 is heavily specified when it comes to speed, especially in auto-focus performance. It has a hybrid AF system that can use phase-detection and contrast detection to acquire and track focus, giving the V1 a significant edge in focus performance compared to other mirrorless cameras. The dog park was a perfect place test this capability out, and I was, to say the least, floored by how fast the AF is.

One thing’s for sure, I never expected to take a shot like this with a camera other than a DSLR:

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 22mm 1/250 sec, f/5, ISO 100

Not only is the AF blazing fast, but the camera is capable of some ridiculously high burst rates. Switching from the mechanical shutter to the electronic shutter, which incidentally has a maximum speed of 1/16,000, allows you to shoot as high as 60fps in full resolution, though at that speed you lose the ability to continuously focus. However, you can do single-point, continuous autofocus at 10fps, which is more than enough to keep up with Suki at the dog park:

In a scene like this, the V1 doesn’t stutter, hesitate, or second guess itself. You hit the shutter release and it just goes. Brilliant.

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 100mm | 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

The dog park is relatively small, and I wanted to up the ante. Suki runs much faster in a bigger, more open area, so we headed to the beach for more Shiba Inu running action. To minimize lens changing in such sandy conditions, I used the 1 system’s super zoom, the 10-100mm VR, though I’m sure my telephoto 30-110mm Nikkor would have performed just as well here:

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 10mm | 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 100

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 100mm  | 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 400

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 40mm | 1/640 sec, f/5.3, ISO 100

Left: Suki at impulse speed. Right: Suki at warp speed.

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 100mm | 1/1,000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 320

Again, the camera confidently kept Suki in focus, even when she was running straight at me:

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 100mm | 1/1,000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 280

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 100mm | 1/1,000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 100mm | 1/1,000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 220

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 100mm | 1/1,000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 220


I haven’t done too much video with the V1 yet, but it’s spec’d well in that area as well: 1920 x 1080 30p or 60i, 1280 x 720 30p with full manual exposure control, as well as some high-speed capability at lower resolutions: 400fps at 640 x 280 or 1200fps at 320 x 120. The high speed is played back at 30fps, giving you the ability to capture slow motion video. The one above was shot at 400fps. Pretty cool stuff!

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 10mm |  1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 180

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 100mm | 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 320

Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 100mm | 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 560

My x100 has been sitting in my carry-everywhere camera bag all by itself lately. Not any more!  I can now supplement the Fuji’s excellent low light, high ISO ability with the V1’s  high performance video capabilities, fantastic focus and burst speed, and lens changing flexibility. Well, actually…. the Fuji is getting repaired right now (an entirely different story), so the 1 is all that’s in the carry-everywhere bag for now…

Which isn’t all that bad so far. The V1 is flat out fun to shoot with, the build is super solid, the metering is spot on, the image quality is surprisingly good, and boy is it fast. Will return with more impressions =)

Written by Jonathan

December 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Looking Up

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Today’s post is just a few images I took from a stroll with Suki over one evening last weekend. The theme is “looking up,” with all of these shots taken from a low angle,  camera pointing upward.

Of course, you don’t really have much choice from ground level if you’re taking pictures of tall skyscrapers. You have to angle your camera up by necessity. With subjects at ground level, however, I like to create some drama by getting my camera as low as possible.

On a side note, I just found out that one of my favorite photographers ever, Joe McNally, along with David Hobby, Mr. Strobist himself, will be touring the country together and holding full-day demonstrations on lighting technique. This Flash Bus Tour is stopping in my hometown here in San Francisco next month! Wohoo!

I couldn’t possibly give up a chance to see these two in action, so I signed up right away. Actually, my wife knew I’d want to go….so as soon as I told her about it, she registered me for the event. Thanks honey. =)

Anyway, we strolled around Ferry Plaza here in San Francisco during sunset this past weekend. Here are a few images from the walk: 

Did I mention that it was just me and Suki out there? Camera in one hand, leash in the other. Not an ideal situation at all!


All Images: Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G

Written by Jonathan

February 10, 2011 at 9:37 am

Days off Work Totally Rock

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Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII

This month has been absolute mayhem, so we decided to take a day off work this week to recover. I LOVE days off….I get to go out and take photos all day. Extremely therapeutic. I snapped away with my DSLR of course, but also had a great time using my iPhone, with its many quirky filter options. You’ll see images from both in this post.

The day started with a hike together with Suki. We wanted to make sure she was plenty tired so she could relax at home while the wife and I spent the rest of the day together (hey, we need alone time sometimes!).  The low fog over the bay area made the hike pretty interesting.

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII

The fog really diffused the morning light and made saturated photos of plant life a breeze. I found myself drawn to this weird fungus that was growing all over the branches of the trees along the trail.

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII

The base of the hill was entirely covered in fog, and started thinking the hike wouldn’t be worth it…but then the sun started peaking out. Yes!

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII

As the sun started rising higher and burning the fog off, we paused for a quick shot of Suki. Didn’t turn out so well. During my 52 week project last year, we would have kept shooting until we got exactly what I wanted in a situation like this. What a pain in the butt that was! In this case, it didn’t work, and I didn’t care =)

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VR

The view from the top of the mountain was beautiful indeed.  Only problem was that by the time we got up there, the sun was blaring directly over the landscape and into my lens. Had a hard time fighting the flare, but oh well. See that fog in the valley there? You might think it’s moving away from our position, but it’s actually moving towards us!

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VR

Iphone | Hipstamatic

In a few minutes after taking the shot from the peak, we were again enveloped by fog. It was so thick that we couldn’t see anything, so back down the mountain we went.

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G

After we dropped Suki off, we were starving! Headed to our favorite coffee shop for pancakes: It’s Tops on Market street in San Francisco. The place has been around forever, and I always love sitting by the window, watching those Market street light rail cars whiz by, all while stuffing myself with the best hotcakes in the city.

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G

Iphone | Instagram

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G

Brought along two primes for the entire day after the hike: My favorite 24mm and my 50mm. Never found myself wishing I had anything else, though paired with a D700, it’s still a lot to carry.

After that we headed to the SF Moma, where I took almost no photos. Why? I was there to see the Henri Cartier Bresson exhibit. I was so in awe of his work that my camera just hung at my side the entire time. Every image was a masterpiece. The way he observes and then captures fragments of life  is unmatched by any artist I’ve ever seen. Truly inspirational.

Of course, throughout other areas of the museum, including the rooftop garden and the sound exhibit on the top floor, I felt inspired to grab some images of my other half:

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G

Here she is digging into an affogato made with Blue Bottle Coffee. MAN that was good. I want to keep coming back to the Moma just for the cafe:

iPhone | Hipstamatic

Someone recently asked me how I get my photos to look warm. Simple! Just shoot with your white balance set to “shade.” Example:

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G

Here’s a photo (above) I took by adjusting my white balance to match the white walls of the sound exhibit.  Changing my white balance to shade gave me a much, much warmer effect:

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G

In general, people tend to look better when photographed using warmer settings at the camera. Like any technique, however, it really depends.

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G

You probably noticed Bo Bear already. He tagged along with us as usual, and I caught him goofing around on one of the art displays. Hah!

iphone | Instagram

You know what’s funny, my favorite pictures from the day were actually taken with my iPhone. I only posted a couple of them here.  The rest are on instagram! Have an iPhone? Find me on instagram under the name: kaoni701

I really need to take days off more often!!!

Written by Jonathan

January 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

A San Francisco Sunset

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Nikon D700 + Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VRII at 16mm f/8, 1/20 second ISO800

For some reason, really breathtaking sunsets are not very common here in San Francisco. The last two sunsets in a row here, however, have been stunning. I took the image above and below this evening with Suki at my side. The plan was to actually use this rare back drop in an image of Suki for week 44 of 52 for my project, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VRII at 35mm f/8, 1/20 second ISO800

My wife was on her way to meet me with my lighting equipment, but she got stuck in traffic. I watched in agony as the beautiful light became perfect for a sunset portrait, and then quickly faded away. The peak of the sunset’s beauty lasted only minutes. It would have been silly to just sit there and watch without taking the camera out, so Suki I and strolled out onto the sand, and I fired off a few frames as the sun disappeared behind the horizon.

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 55mm f/8, 1/20 second ISO800

This image is from last night, taken from the window of one of my bedrooms. I had a meeting to go to, so I couldn’t head to the beach that evening. I swore then that I’d get a shot of Suki out there the next day. Didn’t work out!

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 98mm f/5.6, 1/30 second ISO400

Here’s Suki looking out the same window. I put a chair there so she can keep an eye on the neighborhood, one of her favorite things to do.

Anyway, we’re going to try again tomorrow to get a nice sunset portrait of Suki for week 44. The weather is very erratic here in San Francisco, however, so there’s no guarantee I’ll have such a beautiful backdrop to work with. That’s the thing about photography. More often than not, getting the shot you want requires a great deal of persistence! It’s frustrating and fun all at the same time.

Written by Jonathan

November 4, 2010 at 7:31 pm

City in Orange

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Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII at 150mm f/5, 1/60 sec ISO200

The city of San Francisco is aglow in orange right now, and not for Halloween. One particularly beautiful display of orange lighting, celebrating the world champion San Francisco Giants, can be seen at City Hall. With all the Giants fever sweeping accross the city right now, I felt the need to incorporate the orange lights of City Hall with a shot fo Suki for week 43.

Suki is a pretty small creature, so finding an angle that let me shoot from below her to include City Hall’s dome was no easy task. Even when I did find a pretty good composition, I still had to get all the way down on the ground with the camera. Lots of fun!

Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII at 78mm f/2.8, 1/25 sec ISO800

Yes, I was out there making images during game 4. I just love photography that much. Of course, I still had the game streaming to my iphone to keep me updated on my hometeam.

Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/11, 6.0 seconds ISO200

Took this image not far from where I parked my car. How could I resist? The golden orange light against the cool blue sky was just begging to be immortalized.


Going Wide

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Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 16-35mm f/4G VRII at 20mm f/4, 1/80 second ISO3200

What a great time to be a Nikon shooter. The company has been releasing an exciting variety of new high-performance glass into its lineup, and I couldn’t help but be a part of the action! Just picked up the new Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VRII, and I’m in love.

Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 16-35mm f/4G VRII at 16mm f/4, 1/320 second ISO1600

Of course, with an optic this wide, you have to really push in tight for portraits. This is Suki’s “uh, get that big fat lens out of my face” look.

Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 16-35mm f/4G VRII at 16mm f/4, 1/100 second ISO400

This is Suki’s “I’m not feelin’ being on top of this garbage can and am certainly not going to pretend that I’m enjoying it, so don’t bother” look.

Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 16-35mm f/4G VRII at 16mm f/4, 1/100 second ISO400

…and this is Suki thinking “what’s with the crooked horizon line in this shot? You’re killin’ me!” Ok not really….

Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 16-35mm f/4G VRII at 16mm f/4, 1/60 second ISO800

See? Suki is not as easy to work with as you might think!

Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 16-35mm f/4G VRII at 16mm f/4, 1/10 second ISO800

Anyway, besides being a definite go-to lens for my Suki Project, this thing will have a special place in my bag for travel, as well as city and landscape photography….

Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 16-35mm f/4G VRII at 16mm f/4, 1/30 second ISO6400

….or environmental portraits. I was also thinking of the 14-24 f/2.8 from Nikon, a legendary ultra wide, but size, weight, and cost considerations put me off. No regrets =)

Being a Tourist in My Own City

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[ Canon S90 at 6mm f/3.2 1/30 second ISO160 ]

Wow, had such a great time this weekend! Two great friends from Japan visited our home and stayed for a few days. We took them on a tour of the city, heading to the usual “tourist spots” as well as places we locals like to visit. Running around with them made me realize that I can’t even remember the last time I drove around SF just to see the sights. It was pretty fun actually! Ready for a long post with tons of images spanning the course of 3 days? Ok, here we go!

Day One…

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