Comparisons Nikon V1 with 30-110, 70-300 VR and 70-200 VR with TC-17E

This morning was bright, cold and windy. On my morning walk, I passed the palm snag and noticed the Red-Bellied Woodpecker trying to stay warm on the sunny side of the snag and out of the wind. I figured he would be there for a while so I took my Nikon 1 V2 with it’s 30-110mm VR zoom out to take a few pictures. This is the basic shot I could get as a lightly processed raw file.’

It appeared that the little guy was going to be staying there so I decided to compare a couple of my other lenses on the V1 using the FT-1 adapter. This comparison is not scientific but is a practical exercise in using the lenses. I used a monopod with the larger lenses but the 30-110mm was handheld. I cropped all them to approximately the same view of the bird as most of us would do that before display. So, here are the images.
110_2386a 340_2421a

The one on the left is the 30-110mm cropped.  The one on the right is the 70-200mm VR with the TC-17E II yielding 340mm.

The next two are the 70-300mm VR.  The one on the left is the full 300mm and the one on the right is at 240mm.

300_2393a    240_2397a

I have long felt that the 70-300mm is not at it’s best at 300mm and often zoom back to 270 or 240mm before taking a shot.  Here is another shot taken with the D90 and 70-300mm VR at 300mm.


If you click on any of these pictures you will see them at a larger size but, all have been cropped and resized to 1024×768 before uploading to the wordpress image storage.


About birds n' bugs

Retired, living in SW Florida and spending my time at nature photography in my local area. I volunteer with a couple of local organizations to help my adopted home town. Travelling is now by airplane and car instead of a sailboat but happy anyway.
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6 Responses to Comparisons Nikon V1 with 30-110, 70-300 VR and 70-200 VR with TC-17E

  1. Michael says:

    Hi & thanks, it looks as though the TC17 does the 70-200 no favours.

  2. Dan says:

    I too have not had good results with my TC17 and the 70-200VR and do not use it as a combo any longer. I chose the 55-300VR over the 70-300VR as my general purpose lens on the V1 due to the 55-300 having more true 300mm thorugh the distances. For macro with bugs and butterflies I use my 105VR… and it is supurb.

  3. wernergvt says:

    Hi, I just found this. I am thinking of getting a V2 with a 10mm as an “after hours” camera but I would also like to use it with my 70-300 VR. Your post is exactly the kind of information I was looking for, thank you.

    I am confused a bit by your last 3 pictures. The one on the left is the 70-300 @ 300 (on the V2, yes?). On the right is the same set up @ 240. I agree with you here that the crop zoom to 300 looks better. What confuses me is that the last shot (the 70-300 @300 on the D90?) looks much better than the 70-300 on the V2 @ 300 and as good as the V2 @ 240.

    Is this saying that 70-300 is so optically limited that cropping to x2.7 in post on a DX camera (on your D90 that’s 1.6 MP) is as good as using it on a 14 MP V2?

    • It’s hard to say. Those were all handheld shots of a woodpecker who was nesting in that tree so I took the opportunity to try a few comparisons in the normal way that I use the cameras. It’s quite possible that there was excess motion on my part or even some movement on the part of the woodpecker. I consider these field trials more than rigorous testing. BTW, these were all on the V1, not V2.

      At present, I am extremely happy with the 55-200VR kit lens on the V1 with the FT-1 adapter. Unfortunately, the woodpecker is now gone so I can’t get comparable shots.

  4. wernergvt says:

    Thanks for the reply. I guess an alternative question would be; have you compared the V1/FT-1/55-200 shots against shots with the D90/55-200 cropped to CX size? I think the DX to CX crop factor would be 1.8. I’m still trying to find a reviewer who had done this comparison. I suspect that the optics on most consumer lenses is the limiting factor. If so then the number of pixels in the smaller sensor would not matter and the level of detail would be the same. I’ve cropped some D7000 shots to CX size and they look pretty good. As you noted in your OP the 70-300 is marginal at 300 and considerably better at 240. That difference still shows in the CX crop. I don’t think either the D90 or the D7000 would be limited by pixels cropping to CX.

    • I haven’t actually tried that comparison. I will have some time tomorrow so, weather permitting, I will shoot the same thing with the 55-200 on the D90 or D300 and the V1. If you check some recent posts, I am really impressed with the 55-200mm on the V1. Having a 540mm lens that focuses down to 3 feet or so is a great thing for a birds n bugs shooter.

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