This morning I was doing some birding with the Nikon V1 and the Nikon 300 f/4 AFs using the FT1 adapter. Here are some sample images - all handheld. All were cropped to between 50% and 100%.
Overall image quality is pretty good. Colors are a little muted at ISO 800. I found that I had to add a bit of sharpening and a little contrast in post processing. These had a quick edit for posting in View NX2 only.
The first is of a wood duck - taken at a distance of about 70 yards. The camera settings were ISO 800, 1/500 sec, and f/4
The second image is of a red shouldered hawk taken at a distance of about 50 yards. It is holding a chipmunk - breakfast if we would just leave. Camera settings were ISO 800, 1/640 sec, and f/4.
I find the V1 images a little soft, but they seem to respond well to sharpening. It could also be related to shooting the 300 f/4 wide open, but that works fine on my D300.
The V1 and 300 f/4 has an equivalent focal length of 810mm. The light weight makes it suitable for birding. It's really nice getting an f/4 aperture at an equivalent of 800+mm.
Probably the big drawback is the AF system. It is too slow to use for birds in flight unless you can track the bird for long distances. Even with stationary subjects, the focus sensor is relatively large and not precise enough to accurately positon on the eye of a distant subject.
Really cool! I just bought a V1 from a nikonian with the FT1. I'm really curious to try it out with my 70-200 and 70-200 + 1.4 TC. Haven't decided if I'm going to get a 300 prime. My 200-400 has turned out to be giving me really bad results compared to the one I had in the past. So I'm selling it. The V1 may actually open up some interesting picture possibilities where before I didn't want the weight and bulk of the D700 and company.
Congratulations on the V1 - you'll really like it. It worked out really well for me yesterday. Not fully trusting that I had the right gear, I was carrying a D7000 but never used it. With really distant subjects that will need heavy cropping, I think the V1 is a viable option. Plus it is just so light that it is very easy to carry. Paired with a D700 or similar full frame camera, you have a lot of flexibility in your kit. Sorry to hear about your 200-400. I know you have had good success with the 200-400 in the past.
Sorry about the 200-400. I'm on my 2nd one, and it is just as perfect as the first was. You might want to have it checked out before you sell it. It could be a simple adjustment (although likely to be more serious), and you would end up with a great resource again.
No, I wouldn't do that. I'm selling it to B&H because they are equipped to figure out what the issue is and do any adjustments. I never sell things without disclosing issues. I thought about having it adjusted but based on past experience the cost of having a repair is going to be enough to make up for the loss of selling it to a knowledgeable vendor.