Nikon J1 and 85mm f/1.4

Nikon 85mm f/1.4D on a Bower Nikon to C Mount Adapter on another C Mount Adapter to Nikon 1, When that I add up all the pieces, this is a pretty expensive combo. :/

Technical Notes:  At some point I would like to get the Nikon FT1 adapter, so I can use my existing Nikon lenses on the little J1–but not at the high price of $250.  That adapter wouldn’t be of any use to my older D lenses anyway, as they become manual focus.  Not much better with the newer G lenses either, since you are limited to single point autofocus.  I know by messing around with these oddball combinations we are depriving ourselves of the really quick out of the box AF on the Nikon 1, but it’s still fun to get the nice visual characteristics (bokeh!) of the full frame lenses and of course save a little money.

My newest combo came about when I remembered that there is such a thing as a Nikon F to C Mount adapter, for the old 16mm Bolex movie cameras.  I then thought I could mount a lens on it, and then in turn, mount that into the recent C Mount to Nikon 1 adapter. Success!  Everything is manual–focus, ISO, and exposure, but not a problem for controlled situations.  Perhaps in a future firmware upgrade Nikon will give the J1 a realtime histogram or just an exposure meter for Manual Mode.

Why this combo makes sense is because you seemingly have a “230mm” f/1.4 in a silent camera with 10fps RAW+JPEG.  If you photograph a lot of speakers at the podium or any noise sensitive situation like a theater play, this is quieter than any Leica or X100.  The light gathering power of 1.4 isn’t going to make up for the small sensor in some situations, but it still lets in oh, about 16 times more light than any awful kit lens.  And I know ISO 1600 is usable for most things.

The following images are just quick tests.  The Nikon 1 is all about color, and while I like the unique swirly bokeh in the C Mount TV lens, this combo is taking a 2.7x center crop of one of the best primes out there.  Like I mention in the caption above, when you do the math this is actually a very expensive kit, but one could get roughly the same look with any of the mechanical adapters and some great old affordable Nikon AI-S glass like the 50mm f/1.4 and f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8, or the current crop of off brand 85mm f/1.4’s from Bower, Rokinon, Samyang, etc.

More pictures, hopefully of people, as I spend more time with this kit.

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