Pairing the Nikon 1 J5 with the NIKKOR 28-300mm lens

Breaking news!

Having decided to ditch Aperture, I wondered whether Apple would update it to read RAW files from the new Nikon J5. I’m glad to say that I wasn’t in the dark for very long. I was relieved to see that Aperture was updated last week to support the Nikon J5 RAW format.

I recently purchased the Nikon 1 J5 for times when my SLR and its lenses were just too cumbersome to lug  around. However, the fact that I can use my FX lenses with this little beauty appealed to me. To do this, you’ll also need to get the FT 1 mount adapter. See my previous post for more information about setting it up.

I really wanted to see what kind of images this camera takes when paired with FX or DX lenses but couldn’t find any sample images online. Having gone for it anyway, I’m posting images I’ve taken in case it helps anyone with your buying decision.

A word to the wise

The thing I’ve learnt in my short time owning the camera is that once you mount the FT1 and an FX lens on the J5, it ceases to be a walkaround! Obvious right? However, this unique selling point can, and does, blind you to why you want this camera in the first place – a small pocketable walkaround that’s better then the camera on your smartphones.

The moment you bring the big boy lenses out with you, you might as well just bring your DSLR.

However, size notwithstanding, there’s a compelling ‘boys and their gadgets’ factor. Because of the 2.7x crop factor of its 1-inch sensor, the J5 turns the max reach of my 28-300mm lens to 810mm! Like I said, as soon as you do this, its no longer a small mirrorless but it does become a telephoto extender. I really wanted to see the image quality by taking images of the moon but since getting it, there’s been nothing but cloudy nights in London.

In the mean time, I set it up in my kitchen and aimed at my bird feeder like this:


Before too long,, Messrs Finch and Robin duly turned up for their photo shoot.



DSC_0126I hope this gives you some idea of the image quality you can get from this combination. At the moment, I’m having lots of fun experimenting  but I don’t know how I’ll feel once the novelty wears off. Weather permitting, photos of the moon to follow.

Nikon 1 J5 : Sample images

My camera of choice is the Nikon D750. Up to now I’ve had the Sony RX100 as my little walk around. I’ve thought for sometime that it would be cool to have a mirrorless Nikon so that I also can use my SLR lenses with it. This week I took the plunge and sold the Sony on eBay and bought the Nikon 1 J5. I toyed with the idea of getting the higher spec’ed Nikon V3 but based on how infrequently I used the Sony, I decided I couldn’t justify the extra expense. I ordered the J5 from Amazon Prime and like clockwork the deliveryman was at my door, camera in hand, the next day. I decided to get the body only, together with the SLR lens adapter, unimaginatively called the FT1. After unboxing, it took only two twist and a couple of clicks to get going. Here are some sample images taken with my Nikkor 28-300 lens. DSC_0069 This is not a technical review because I’m not geek enough to do this. If that’s what you are looking for, the good news is that the internet is awash with such reviews. I know because I must have seen all of them them before deciding on the J5. My conclusion from reading these articles is that Nikon doesn’t lead the field in mirrorless cameras. However the J5 is the best they’ve produced so far and it performs as well as any of its competitors in this price range. DSC_0020-2 Personally, I’m loving the fact I can use my FX lenses with it, and I’m pretty excited that it turns my 300mm into 800mm because of its crop factor. (It is also compatible with DX lenses.) DSC_0039-2 On the downside, the micro SD card is a pain in the @@@@. Not only is it too fiddly, you’ll need to have the SD card adapter with you to transfer your photos to PC/Mac. If you are anything like me, this will go missing in no time. It is possible to connect the camera directly to your computer but you’ll need to have the USB cable handy. Either way, its one more accessory to carry and to lose! BTW at the time of writing (July 2015), Aperture does not support the J5 raw files yet. Given that Aperture is no longer supported by Apple, I don’t know if a compatibility update will come. Maybe its time I made the switch to Lightroom. The other bummer… there’s no view finder. For this you’ll have to go to the V series. If you are used to an SLR, shooting through the display panel takes some getting used to. DSC_0003

This is what the J5 looks like with the 28-300 FX lens mounted. PCG_1020

And here it is paired with a 50mm prime: PCG_1021

Here are a couple more images I took on day one of ownership! DSC_0070 DSC_0073                 DSC_0076 How do I like ’em apples? So far so good but its only been a day!