What’s happened to Nikon mirrorless?

What’s happened to Nikon mirrorless? Officially the Nikon 1 system isn’t dead but you’d be forgiven for thinking it is.

Nikon fans are eagerly awaiting a new DX or FX mirrorless with no real idea of when it’s coming or what style or price it will be. The potential for disappointment here is staggering. Unless you have the memory of a goldfish you will wonder what Nikon will do when they release it anyway. Will it be a repeat of the 1 series or will it be what people want – decent bodies with competent lens set to start with and the promise of a “system” worthy of the Nikon name?

Meanwhile Leica have released the CL (I remember that being used on a rangefinder Minolta in the early 80’s). It’s a good job I don’t have the £3k odd required to buy one, or I might be tempted.

Naming and pricing aside why can’t hasn’t Nikon managed to do something similar? They don’t appear to be doing anything with their 1 series, so where is the R&D effort going?

As a Nikon 1 user I am a bit peeved Nikon just abandoned the system. I love my V1 and would have spent money on an improved version with a built in viewfinder. By the time Nikon released the V3 I had stopped my 1 series expenditure. I would have considered the 70-300, but I’m now glad I didn’t.

Nikon 1 V1
I love my Nikon V1, but it won’t be replaced

My Nikon 1 10-30mm lens developed a fault. Did I replace it? No. Will I replace any of my other 1 series lenses? No. Not even used. When my V1 stops working I’ll be calling time on it.

It was supposed to be my carry round kit that gave me more versatility than a smartphone. While still usable for now, I think my carry round replacement will be a….smartphone.

At least i’ll get a new phone in a couple of years with (hopefully) improved features, rather than a stagnant, unloved ILC system…

Black Friday – again

Another Black Friday is almost upon us. Although this year you might be forgiven for thinking it’s Black Friday Week.

Retailers appear to be extending the awful annual American import to cover more than just a Friday. We haven’t even got to Cyber Monday yet.

The advice this year – shop around – look at the prices not the savings. We could say that every year. While the official retailers line is “We don’t put the prices up to reduce them” you do have to be careful when bargain hunting.

If our local Currys is anything to go by people were not only out looking but also buying.

Some research appearing in a BBC news article suggests that savings could be had all year round if you keep an eye on prices.

Don’t get caught up in the frenzy.

If your after a bargain may the shopping Gods look upon  you favourably 😀

 

Anger, anger everywhere

Not exactly anger, but after a somewhat frustrating swop of hosting provider, which is now sorted, you might have a noticed a slight change.

I took the opportunity to change the site name as well. A redirect takes care of anyone visiting the old address.

Now I didn’t get angry during the changes but I was pulling out what little hair I had left. What should have been a relatively straightforward change wasn’t that easy to accomplish.

Unlike other people on the internet who do seem to be displaying a lot of anger…

On one forum a group are angry that a certain manufacturer are not listening to them. To be fair other manufacturers are also in the firing line for this. Now I’m not sure why these people think that these manufacturers are reading forums and ‘listening to their customers’. For one thing if I was running a company I would’nt have the time. For another people seem to forget that these companies are global. They make gear for a global market. Sorry if this offends Americans or any other group who think their geographical location should be the only one taken into consideration when making marketing and design decisions. It would be interesting to see how those criticising would cope themselves.

Adobe also managed to incur the anger of a few people on the internet. They are unsurprisingly trying to shift their customers to a subscription model for their software. With such comments as ‘renting software’ and ‘being held captive’. Analysis of the pricing structure doesn’t really give a definitive answer as to what is best value. As in most cases value is relative and can mean different things to different people.

What is interesting is those complaining about the ‘rental’ model probably already have a similar agreement in place. With their mobile phone. Most of us have a mobile contract. Is that so different from renting? How about a Netflix subscription? A PCP contract on a car? These are contracts entered into which effectively mean you don’t own the end product (unless in the case of the car you make a baloon payment, most don’t and carry on paying for a new car). In the case of the phone your going to get a new one when your 24 month contract is up…right?

So why do we accept a ‘rental’ agreement for things with a physical element but get angry at a similar model for software?

Are we actually getting angry or just ‘venting’ ? Traditional models of business are changing and so is the way consumers buy things. Internet shopping with next or even same day delivery is now available. We get angry if we have to wait a week or two for delivery these days.

So I’m thinking that just like fake news, a lot of this anger is fake too. At least I hope it is. In the western world we have a lot to be thankful for.

Getting angry over subscription services (we don’t have to sign up for them) or people not listening (why would a company operating globally listen to some bloke on a internet forum)  should be the least of our concerns….

Heads up

After a few cloudy days the weather has warmed up, the sun makes an appearance and I take the opportunity to look for dragonflies at the local reserve. The last couple of years, warm days in September resulted in some decent dragonfly activity so I was quite hopeful.

Sure enough they were out and even with the breeze, fairly active. If you’ve ever tried to photograph dragonflies in flight you know how quick they move. Out of all my dragonfly shots I’ve only got two or three decent in flight captures. Today I went for the (slightly) easier resting poses.

I like to try and capture dragonflies at different angles if I can. While a decent head shot is nice the wings and body can also be quite interesting.

Talking of wings the shot below shows some detail. I found it covered in dew on top of a post. Don’t know what happened to the body.

 

More dragonflies and other insects appear in the macro gallery here.

 

All images taken with a Nikon 1 V1, 30-110mm lens and Raynox dcr250 adapter.

 

 

Not for me

Further to my new toys post – I was hoping the Fuji XE-3 would be the camera to reignite my interest in Fuji, not for me, It didn’t.

I don’t consider the value proposition worth it. I’m sure other people will think differently and that’s fine.

The Olympus OMD EM10 mkiii (they really need shorter names) won’t do anything for me either. A bit like the XE-3 it would appear to be a so so upgrade.

Apple did manage to release three phones. We had the iphone 8, 8 plus and the £999 iphone X. It will be interesting to see how these latest offerings fair. The flagship phones seem to be following cameras in gradually getting more expensive.

Now if only we had some idea what Nikon was planning with their mirrorless offering…

New toys

New toys  are being announced in the photography world.

First we have Nikon with their D850. Initial impressions suggest this will go down well.  Although there is slight annoyance at the asking price in different parts of the world. It seems the USA are getting the best deal at the expense of Europe and Australia. Other than that the D850 could well be a winner for Nikon.

In the Olympus world we have the pending announcement of the OMD EM 10 mk iii. This on the face of it, appears to be a somewhat lack lustre incremental upgrade to the mk ii. See, it isn’t just Nikon that gets criticism for so so upgrades 😀

I am intrigued to see what Fuji do with their upcoming XE-3. This might rekindle my interest in Fuji. I quite like the XE form factor, although I understand Fuji took some persuading to do the XE-3.  I  still think  Fuji ask a premium for their gear.

Speaking of overpriced, Apple might release not one, not two, but three new iPhones in September. There could be a new iPhone 7s, 7s plus and an iPhone 8. The 8 could be pushing the $1000 dollar mark.  Speculation on the UK pricing putting it it the same region as the Samsung Note 8, around £870 pound. That’s a lot of money for a phone, pushing £50 a month on contract. I thought phones were getting expensive when they hit £35-40 a month.

You up for anything?

I’m not in the market for the D850.

I was hoping the OMD EM 10 mk iii could be something I would look at, not sure at the moment though.

The XE-3? Perhaps, depending on connectivity ( Am I the only person who wants a dedicated GPS, from Fuji? ) but I can’t help thinking the price could put me off.

My better half might take a peek at the iPhone 7s. If they don’t do a purple version I can’t guarantee anything though 😉.

Whichever way you look at it there are some new toys coming, whatever your into, have fun.

 

Eyes Down gallery now open

Taking the shot

I’ve added a new gallery to the website and called it Eyes Down.

This gallery contains photos taken by son. Andrew is 21 years old has Down Syndrome and likes taking photos.

The images he creates mean something to him.

It’s both interesting and illuminating to have this small insight into his world.

You can find the Eyes Down gallery here.

Is the Nikon 1 series discontinued?

Is the Nikon 1 series discontinued? According to one German photography website it is, or more accurately Nikon have stopped production.

I wrote a post here in March 2016 about the potential demise of the Nikon 1 system. There is a similar one here six months later. Here we are again.

All Nikon 1 owners will now be waiting for an official announcement. Although given the total lack of interest displayed by Nikon recently regarding the 1 system it may not be a surprise.

I was reluctant to spend any more money on my 1 collection. Not knowing what was going to happen with a V4 kept my wallet firmly in my pocket. Probably did the same for other users as well.

The 1 series never really knew where it was going, or who it was for. I think there was a lot of potential but for Nikon it was too little, too late. Did the project team move to the DL? Has put the lights out in the CX division and left it? Or moved it to the basement and forgot about it 🙂

I’ll carry on using my equipment for as long as I can however I definitely won’t be spending any more on it. Hopefully it will last long enough for the dust to settle and to figure out where I should go next. In terms of size and weight the m43 systems have got to be contenders. There is a good range of body styles and lenses to choose from. And more than one manufacturer.

While we could have a rant about what Nikon should have done with the 1 series, there doesn’t seem much point. Officially discontinued or not, I can’t see anyone looking seriously at the system. Unless it fills a specific niche you have.

So for now until Nikon confirm either way, we are in the same place.

Limbo. Still.

Please Nikon, put us out of our misery.

Nikon 1 RIP? Maybe, maybe not

 

 

It’s not just about gear or photos

It’s not just about gear or photos. Make it about the subject or the experience of just going out. I recently met some interesting and friendly people during my outdoor photo sessions.

 

A couple who had just moved to the area were paying their first visit to the local nature reserve. We were talking about the lack of dragonflies around the haunt amongst other things. Funnily enough, at another reserve a few miles away the dragonflies were quite active.

Another couple were enjoying a day out. They were on holiday.

One chap was talking to me about how the local wildlife had changed over the years. He also showed me a book he had some photos published in. Interestingly he didn’t shoot digital.

You can pick up a lot of information from people who know the local area and wildlife better than you do.

These conversations had a couple of things in common. It was obvious that people were more passionate being out and about than stuck behind a computer screen. Discussing different aspects of photography ‘out in the wild’ is always more enjoyable. Especially when it’s a gloriously warm and sunny day. There was a free and welcome exchange of ideas and information. No one upmanship here, being helpful was the order of the day.

Gear didn’t really come into it. Apart from a ‘see your shooting digital, im shooting film’. How refreshing!

Sometimes as photographers we forget that cameras are just tools to enable the taking of pictures. Without the knowledge of where to take photos, the tools become less useful.

Talking to people when out is part and parcel of the photographic journey. Sometimes I help people out, sometimes I’m learning from people with more specific knowledge on a locale or subject.

Most of the time though it not just about the gear…

Macro with the Nikon 1 V1

Not many people do macro with a Nikon 1 V1. Not many people have or like the Nikon 1 series full stop. I ‘m a bit odd ( as my  wife will testify), in that I quite like the V1. It’s a shame Nikon messed the 1 series around so much. With the right marketing they could have achieved so much more. It didn’t help that Nikon couldn’t decide what body style the V series should take. Three very different body versions was the last thing the V series needed.

Anyway, I tend to take my V1 all over the place. I get a body and the equivalent focal range of 27 -300mm in my pockets quite easily.

I’ve mentioned before I use a Raynox close up adapter. Fit this onto a 30-110mm Nikon 1 series lens and you have a nice little macro capable setup.

The day I captured the images on this page I was actually looking for dragonflies. Although the weather was warm with no wind, the dragonflies weren’t cooperating.

 

Instead I turned the camera to these more accommodating chaps.

 

Just for good measure here is a third one:

 

All these were taken with the Nikon 1 30-110mm lens and the Raynox 250 adapter:

 

The image above shows the Nikon 1 V1 with 30-110mm lens. I removed the Raynox adapter from its normal adjustable holder. Fitting a 40.5 to 43mm step up ring instead. The whole setup measures about 6″ or 150mm in new money.

Not too shabby for a kit lens and relatively cheap (compared to a dedicated macro lens) adapter.

 

 

(This post has sparked my interest in  flies. If you can positively identify these would you be kind enough to  email me here. 

Many Thanks.)