One of my hopes for the Nikon 1 was higher resolution photos with F mount lenses. With the ~3 micron pixels the Nikon 1 can in theory pull about twice the linear resolution out of an image compared to the 5-9 micron pixels in bigger cameras.
I suspected the image quality might not be that good, and my suspicions are somewhat confirmed.
Lenses with reputations for sharp images produce good images on the Nikon 1. The 85mm f/1.4D, for example, is usable if you accept the MF, center spot limitation. I'll try some closeups with a macro lens; I expect good results too.
Merely good lenses suffer. In particular, my Sigma 800mm f/5.6 is terrible on the V1. I get no more resolution than if I cropped the center of a DSLR frame, and possibly less. I thought focus might be the problem. I swept the focus plane through my target and none of the images were good. Diffraction guarantees the image won't be super-sharp, but it's not good at all. I recall that some lenses that were good on film did not get along with DSLRs. Possibly some lenses that get along with DSLRs don't get along with the 1. I have seen a shot from a Nikon 600mm that was much better than my Sigma 800mm produced; the Nikon is also a sharper lens to start with.
I'd like to hear others' experiences and tips.
#1. "RE: Image quality with FT1" | In response to Reply # 0Sun 05-Feb-12 07:39 PM
With the ~3 micron pixels the Nikon 1 can in theory pull about twice the linear resolution out of an image compared to the 5-9 micron pixels in bigger cameras.
Faulty reasoning I'm afraid.
Your smaller photosites need to be enlarged more to make the same size print as the bigger camera.
For the comparison you're trying to make the height of the image regardless of sensor size is more sensible.
For resolving power that puts the J1/V1 down with the D60 and D3000 at about 2600.
P.S. - Off topic. "Hello" to Newtonville!
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#2. "RE: Image quality with FT1" | In response to Reply # 1Vox Sciurorum Registered since 18th Oct 2007Sun 05-Feb-12 08:01 PM
Here's the situation I'm thinking of.
Distant bird on a branch. It doesn't fill the frame on my DSLR. If I want to print I crop to 2 megapixels. Same shot on a V1 the bird fills the frame. I print the full frame. That's a 10 megapixel picture, or more generally (8.5 microns / 3.3 microns)^2 times as many pixels as I had before.
With the long lens I have, the 10 Mpixel image isn't better than the 2 Mpixel image. If I had the sharper Nikon 600mm lens the 10 Mpixel image probably would be better.
#3. "RE: Image quality with FT1" | In response to Reply # 2Sun 05-Feb-12 08:32 PM
OK. So you want to compare
the D700 4284x2844 (8.45 microns) cropped to 1908x1272
to the V1 3904 x 2604 (3.38 microns) ?
There's definitely more photosites (pixels) per inch on the final prints of equal size; 2604 versus 1272 on the narrow side.
However, those D700 photosites are so much better than the J1 that the J1 image quality will fall short of the D700 crop.
By my calculations you'd need to go to a 1344x896 D700 crop to have only J1 quality.
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#4. "RE: Image quality with FT1" | In response to Reply # 3
#5. "RE: Image quality with FT1" | In response to Reply # 4Sun 05-Feb-12 10:16 PM
That's a demanding subject, but I would have expected better DR from the V1 at ISO 400.
The cheek is overexposed, yet there is a lot of buried detail in the black neck.
I'd be curious to see the full metadata.
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#6. "RE: Image quality with FT1" | In response to Reply # 5dankeny Nikonian since 29th May 2006Mon 06-Feb-12 01:27 AM | edited Mon 06-Feb-12 01:28 AM by dankeny
Happy to upload the Adobe raw file for you. I converted and did not save the NEF, there being no real artistic or sentimental value in this shot. Send a link to my email.
Anyway, it's likely pilot error.
#7. "RE: Image quality with FT1" | In response to Reply # 0
Hi Vox Sciurorum,
You certainly can see differences in IQ across different lenses, although I don't believe it's any worse with the Nikon 1/FT1 setup based on some preliminary testing. One benefit (well documented when using Nikon FX lenses on DX cameras) is that the crop factor can reduce the vignetting and CA as light gathered near the edge of the lens does not fall on the sensor. The same would be true with the CX sensor when using DX or FX lenses.
So far, I've tested the FT1 with the following:
- Nikkor 35mm 1.8G DX
Nice compact combo gives a fast 95mm equivalent. Bright lens helps keep phase detect AF in poor light. Good portrait lens and throws out background and very sharp. This shows why Nikon needs faster primes for the Nikon 1 and until one comes, this will be a common setup for me for indoor/low light.
35mm 1.8G DX, 1/60, f/1.8, 3200 ISO
- Nikkor 18-200mm 3.5-5.6G DX
Good setup for distant action, so long as you accept AF-S. VR really helps to steady handheld shots, right down to 1/125 still OK at full zoom (540mm equivalent). Quite acceptable for general use but won't replace my D7000 in this area (wildlife, sport, etc).
18-200mm f3.5-5.6G DX, 1/125, f/5.6, 640 ISO
- Nikkor 100mm 2.8 E (manual)
Manual focus on the V1 is easy with this little gem of an old lens, giving a 270mm equivalent. This lens is physically shorter than the 30-110mm Nikon 1 lens (closed) but a bit heavier. With the FT1 the setup is a little larger, but this is a great 'compact' alternative to the longer kit zoom if you need a fast long lens for low light, and can accept MF. Pin sharp when you get the focus good - and DOF is surprisingly shallow.
100mm f2.8 E Series MF, 1/320, f/2.8, 800 ISO
(All the images straight out the camera JPG's, untouched just resized.)
My overall feeling is that while the FT1 is a great way of using a wide range of existing f-mount lenses (especially the faster primes) on the Nikon 1 cameras, I really feel Nikon need to get some fast Nikon 1 primes released to make the most of this wonderful little camera, especially if they plan to entice more enthusiasts than novices.
I'm sure it's been done already, but when I have some spare time I may try some static testing comparing the same lenses on my D7000 and my V1.