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Reviews => Reviews by the NG Community => Topic started by: Øivind Tøien on June 22, 2015, 08:27:00

Title: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on June 22, 2015, 08:27:00

Bjørn's  "The Word is One" thread (http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php?topic=222.0) has spurred interest in Nikon's waterproof and shockproof mirroless camera, the AW1. The thread contains a lot of general useful information on the Nikon 1 system and very nice image examples from the AW1 worth looking at. Also the Slovenia trip report (http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php?topic=8.0) has some nice examples of over/under images with the AW1. If you regularly do things like canoeing/kayaking/snorkeling or spend time in smaller boats in rough waters or just like to play around water I would say go for the AW1.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s5/v130/p1263651701.jpg)


In the film days I always wanted a green Nikonos V (but finally only got an orange version bought from a friend after restoring it after flooding) so I was very happy when I found a green version of the silicone jacket for the AW1.




(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v59/p1263659415-5.jpg)


I must warn that this camera is so much fun that I  tend bring it everywhere in parallel with the other bodies, so I end up carrying more equipment...  It is one of those products I knew I wanted from the moments it was announced. Price of the AW1 seemed a bit high for a camera without a viewfinder (it is based on the J3), and that "only" go as deep as 15m, so basically snorkeling only. However  I got "inspired" by the wettest Fairbanks summer in recorded history last year together with an effective $100 price drop. Discovering its use with the FT-1 adapter and manual focus lenses as above proved additional value far beyond what I expected. Some examples with different lenses is posted in my "Boreal Spring Bloom" (http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php?topic=352.0) thread.



There are a number of reviews out there on the AW1 - in the current and the following posts I will try to concentrate on less covered aspects.


Those who have dealt with underwater equipment for quite some time know that it is usually a matter of when - not if - an underwater device will flood. Good design and strict procedures can however increase the odds that it happens later rather than sooner. I particularly applaud the fact that Nikon did not fall for the temptation to equip the AW1 with a control wheel with a sealed shaft. On Nikonos IV and V, the double dynamic o-ring seal around the mode/shutter speed dial and film advance lever would silently leak a few drops now and then if not getting regular enough maintenance until the hidden film advance mechanism became so corroded that it would fail. This kind of leak is avoided on the AW1 body by only using membrane covered control buttons. The menu system is OK once one get used to its different operating modes.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s5/v132/p1263651669.jpg)
The lens is attached with the somewhat unusual external o-ring on the body, which simplifies user maintenance of o-rings to only one and also makes the design of the lenses simpler. It is pretty tight to get the AW-1 lenses off so this should be a patent seal if maintained properly and the O-ring is of high enough quality (I had to have Nikon replace the one came mounted on the AW1 due to irregularities in the seam of the o-ring). When the FT-1 adapter is mounted, a dedicated o-ring protector is used.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v64/p1263651685.jpg)


The sensor shield would normally be completely exposed when maintaining this o-ring. I bought a body cap for a regular Nikon 1 camera for protection during this procedure as o-ring maintenance should not be done in a hurry!


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s8/v76/p1263709609.jpg)


The ports over the battery compartment and connector port has an unusual looking gasket type seal. A common misunderstanding I have seen in various forums is to use silicone grease to maintain these gasket seals. There is nothing in the manual about using the supplied silicone grease on anything but the o-ring at the mount. There it is used to ensure that the o-ring can move freely in the grove, not to actually cause a seal. If grease is applied to the gaskets it could possibly function to "help" water pressure to push the sealing lip in, as there is nothing holding against it, particularly on the port seal.  We do not want that. The gasket is somewhat sticky which helps to keep it in place, but also adheres dust and small hairs. This stickiness transfers to the sealing surface too, which now and then need a bit more cleaning than can be done with a blower, so careful inspection of the narrow gasket lip and sealing surfaces is imperative. (I prefer to do so with a pair of strong reading glasses).


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v1/p1263650889.jpg)
-
(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v70/p1263650893.jpg)




If it had been up to me I would have dropped the ports for the connectors altogether, and compensated by installing the missing ir-remote receiver in the little window for the focus assist light.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v175/p1263650871.jpg)
-
(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v186/p1263650901.jpg)




To begin with I only bought the AW1 with the standard 11-27.5mm kit lens, as I thought the 10mm lens was too close in coverage. The first testing in the ocean happened in Vesterålen in Northern Norway last August. I helped my brother and the young composer and artist Tine Surel collect material that had drifted onto this exposed beach for a planned sound sculpture project in Nyksund. We donned survival suits to wade ashore on the extremely slippy round rocks. It was unavoidable that the AW1 took several dips in the water after being repeately sprayed during the boat trip. The lens front stayed remarkably clean of water drops and stains:


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s9/v94/p1263650587.jpg)


Then it was time to take it for a swim in Nyksund. Only at the surface though because of a leaky dry suit zipper, I had Tine help me put duct tape above the zipper to reduce leaks.   :)   (Not too efficient but one has to try, when I finished the swim I emptied each arm for several liters of cold seawater trough the wrist seals.)


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v174/p1269207461-3.jpg)


For land use with kit lens I often have the AW1 set to auto-ISO up to 3200 as it is rather biased towards low ISO (and if it goes to the top there probably would have been too little light to get a handheld shot without motion blur at ISO 800 anyway, so why not get a noisy shot.)  I soon found that this was too conservative for UW use. It is better to set a fixed ISO like 400 or 800, and even then in these high latitude arctic waters it was hard to get captures without motion blur with the kit lens.


I actually had much better luck with the video (which is of high image quality), while swimming through kelp forest in shallow water. One could have wished for image stabilization though... I supplied the clips to Tine Surel  for inspiration and self promotion. (She is not a scuba diver, but uses themes and sounds from coast and sea as part of her music). To my joy I later found that she had edited them together to use it as a backdrop for her music at some live concerts and in a YouTube video called "Tarre" (a twist on the word "tare" which is kelp); it was edited down to 720p:
https://youtu.be/aJOPv3wNGR0 (https://youtu.be/aJOPv3wNGR0)


Here are some of the more successful still captures with the kit lens from that swim:


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s9/v18/p1263607164.jpg)




11mm f/5.6 1/160s ISO 160




(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v25/p1263607194.jpg)


11mm f/5.6 1/200s ISO180




(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v57/p1263607130.jpg)


Alien spaceship? 21mm f/5.6 Subawider II 1/250s  ISO 160




(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s10/v111/p1263630243.jpg)


12.5mm f/5.6 1/50s ISO 400


I also did a few preliminary tests with a wide-angle converter from my Nikonos days called the Subawider II. The next last image above and the following selfie was captured by just holding the converter in front of the kit lens (more on this subject in the next post on underwater optics).


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v180/p1263607201.jpg)


13.5 mm f/5 Subawider II




(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v25/p1263675357.jpg)


11mm f/5 1/50s ISO 400




The AW1 can also provide some unique perspectives on the above water environment too.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s10/v99/p1263630299.jpg)


13mm f/5 1/400s  ISO 160




Actually the very first meeting of my AW1 with seawater (http://otoien.zenfolio.com/p819778922) was while waiting by the docks in Stokmarknes There was a lot of activity in the water and I "had to" (somewhat nervously) explore it by sticking the AW1 underwater trying not to take a bath myself. I apologize for the video shake caused by small waves hitting the shore. Unfortunately quality is reduced by the compression by my Zenfolio site. It is best to click up to full screen right away when it starts playing (lower right corner. The autofocus works remarkably well in spite of particles in the water is very audible on the sound recording, so so not count on using the underwater sound.




Handling: During my Nyksund swim I was operating the AW1 with dry cloves - rather large "veterinary rubber gloves" over thick wool gloves. The AW1 was still big enough that it was reasonably comfortable to hold, helped by the silicon jacket and the relatively large kit lens. One problem I had was the preview button, I kept hitting the quick mode button instead.  If video was the main purpose, perhaps the AW1 could have been stabilized by mounting it on a board/fin. The display has a high contrast daylight mode that actually works quite well. The challenge underwater can be the angle of viewing the display. If too steep, there is total reflection according to laws of physics.


Comment on scuba diving (written from memory): Some brave souls on dpreview reported that they had taken the AW1 down 20m. The display started to distort at 15m and was nearly unreadable at 20m. So no, unless the dive site never reach larger depth than 15m, I would not take it scuba diving. For that there are underwater housings. Lately housings for phased out J models have been sold pretty regularly at dumping prices <$100, so if someone wanted to get started with UW foto during scuba diving, this could be an alternative. But to get to any larger depth, particularly in cold waters, a dedicated underwater strobe and arm system becomes almost mandatory. The 1 series housings are about 3/4 kg empty, so it is really not an alternative to AW1.


Next post: Underwater optics for the AW1.
Title: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't - UW Optics 1
Post by: Øivind Tøien on June 22, 2015, 09:30:17

In this post I will discuss alternative underwater optics for the Nikon 1 AW1.


One are seldom granted super duper visibility underwater, so to get as clear an image as possible, super wide or fisheye optics becomes highly desirable for anything larger than macro subjects. The two alternatives from Nikon are the AW 11-27.5 mm kit lens and the AW 10mm. They have the same above water angle of view as a 30mm and a 27mm full frame lens. Due to the flat front ports the subject will appear 30% closer and bigger under water, with a corresponding narrower effective angle of view.


In the Nikonos days neither the 35mm or 28mm was regarded as suitable for  larger objects. The gold standard in 35mm underwater wide optics was the fantastic Nikonos 15mm lens that came in two different incarnations and provided a lot better images than a super wide lens behind a dome port. Edges with chromatic aberration and blurriness is somewhat accepted side effects of dome ports. [In the animated underwater scenes of the Harry Potter - the Goblet of Fire movie, they added these two effects  and some haze to make it look like underwater scenes!]. In those days I could not afford the expensive 15mm, so I got the poor mans "15mm", a wideangle converter called the "Subawider II" that attach to the front of the 35mm lens. It is a waterproof sealed assembly of cast plastic elements, some of which are aspheric, and it is pretty well corrected for underwater use.  One can still find these more or less new on ebay but asking price is pretty high for what it is and  compared to the alternative in the next post.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v50/p1263557729-3.jpg)




I refitted the Subawider for the AW1 kit lens by cutting off a little of the plastic at the base and added a new sleeve made out of a surplus sample box. The space between the Subawider and the mother lens is designed to be filled with water, so a couple of water entry holes were drilled at each side. A zoom setting of 15mm maximized angle of view without the shade of the Subawider coming into the frame. The Olympus wrist strap is essential when you have a green AW1. Surprisingly it was just able to keep the AW1 afloat in fresh water with the kit lens mounted. The Subawider itself has positive buoyancy.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v53/p1263659442.jpg)
 


In a not so clear pond near Oslo (Isdammen in Lillomarka) I got the chance to test it this spring. As there is no antireflective coating, back light can cause quite some flare, and the images almost always need good use of the contrast slider during editing:


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v68/p1263686887.jpg)


Subawider II + AW1 kit lens at 15mm f/5.6  1/50s OSO 400.




As mating season was on, common toads (Bubo bufo) were willing subjects, in fact it was often a problem that single male toads attacked the lens. The combination focuses almost to the surface of the lens, but auto focus often had problems to follow quickly enough at this short range. I soon learnt to shoot at 5 frames per second to increase odds of successful frames without motion blur in these murky waters.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s9/v92/p1263686819.jpg)


Subawider +15mm f/5.6 1/40s ISO400


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v48/p1263686840.jpg)


Subawider +15mm f/5.6 1/15s ISO 400




Here is an image with the kit lens alone for comparison.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v155/p1263686917.jpg)


11mm f/5.6 1/200s ISO 400




In another pond "Salamanderdammen" ("The newt pond") nearby I encountered a single Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) that was cooperative just long enough to get this capture. This one is tiny, perhaps only 5-7 cm. Not often one see images of these in their natural habitat, but this one got blurry in this dark spot with very low reflective material on the bottom. Watch the shutter speed!


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s10/v108/p1263687598-4.jpg)


Subawider + 15mm f/5.6  0.4s ISO 400


In the next post I will look at another superwide alternative for AW1 and conclude the optics for AW1 part of the review.
Title: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't - UW Optics 2
Post by: Øivind Tøien on June 22, 2015, 10:26:37
Sadly my Subawider II wideangle converter lens has some bad scratches on its front dome from hard use that shows up in some UW images, particularly with backlight. Also the AW1 kit lens started to develop wobble of the front and was due for warranty repair. I got some general concerns for the integrity of the dynamic type of o-ring seals at the zoom ring (they are about 1/2 as thick as the main seal judged from two samples that Nikon sent me by error to replace the main seal) This all spurred me into looking for alternatives.


In a dpreview post I found a reference to a page where the AW10mm f/2.8 lens was successfully used with an Olympus waterproof fisheye converter, The FCON-T01 (http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/fcon-t01-fisheye-converter-lens-cla-t01-adapter.html)
http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=419&topic_id=3551&mesg_id=3551 (http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=419&topic_id=3551&mesg_id=3551)
This $139 wideangle/fisheye converter has a 40.5mm thread and fits the AW 10mm lens perfectly without any adapter. (In comparison the NC filter Nikon provides for the kit lens is ca. $70). The last turn has more resistance perhaps indicating that it seals against the inside of the front rubber bumper. My own tests and reports I have seen so far indicates that the space between is kept dry. The adapter that comes with it for its intended purpose with the Olympus Tough TG-x series of waterproof compact cameras looks rather flimsy compared to the solid metal build of the converter. The optical glass looks to have a good coating and does not introduce much flare and ghosting in backlight.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s9/v17/p1263595016.jpg)




(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v5/p1263594993.jpg)


At some point I discussed with Bjørn whether Nikon will release an underwater version of the 6.7-13mm lens. The problem we noticed is that a lens with a dome port corrected for underwater use would not work well above water and a flat port would not work well underwater due to the steep angle in the air-glass-water transition with a superwide. But is the latter true? The Olympus wideangle/fisheye converter has a flat front, but the inner glass surface of the front element is curved. Likely this adapter use the principles of a Rebikoff - Ivanoff panoramic correction lens, with a corresponding positve flat faced lens at the rear, http://www.seafriends.org.nz/phgraph/film.htm (http://www.seafriends.org.nz/phgraph/film.htm) , scroll all the way down the page. The advantage with the design is that it will work both above and below water. The space between lens and the Rebikoff corrector can be both wet and dry. Here is a screen shot, but I recommend looking at the original page that also contains information about flat ports and dome ports.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s5/v123/p1269503273.jpg)




The Olympus waterproof fisheye converter works well with backlight, here at close range:


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v183/p1263776563.jpg)
 
Olympus Fisheye converter + AW 10mm at f/4  1/320s ISO 160




Bridge over Chena River in Fairbanks. The above water performance of the combination is quite above expectations. There is some CA at the edges, but most of it is removed well in CNX2. If desired the distortion can be almost completely corrected vertically with Fisheye Hemi 3 (for 16mm fisheye on DX sensor).


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s10/v108/p1263726875.jpg)


Olympus fisheye converter + AW 10mm f/4 1/2500s ISO 160




Over-under-images can work well with a fairly marked air-water transition but water quality in this case was very poor and a thin oily film on the surface that stuck to the front element and messed up the above water part. The low tones in the below water part usually has to be pulled up in over/under captures like these.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s5/v126/p1263726880.jpg)


Olympus fisheye converter + AW 10mm f/4 1/400s ISO 160


A Rebikoff corrector will have a narrower angle of view underwater and with an image appearing closer due to the differences in refractive index between water and glass. But remember that with the 10mm lens alone, this effect would be even stronger due to the air-glass-water interface. In a Rebikoff corrector the air-glass refraction is "canceled" due to the internal dome port effect where rays are perpendicular to the glass surface.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v177/p1263595169.jpg)


Olympus fisheye converter + AW 10mm f/4 1/640s ISO 400


Focus above and below water.

(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v12/p1269188205.jpg)

Olympus fisheye converter + AW 10mm f/4 1/250s ISO 400


In this very low visibility pond that had half dried out in the neighborhood, very good details is shown at close range.  Not sure what this is, perhaps a cluster of snail eggs?  Lots of daphnia swimming around.
 
(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s10/v108/p1263595185.jpg)


Olympus fisheye converter + AW 10mm f/4 1/160s ISO 400




Clear water is not easy to find around here, so for a more technical test a trip had to be made to the lab.
All of these were captured wide open at f/2.8.


Showing the angle of view from the same distance; back of the AW1 towards the wall in an mostly empty aquarium,
10mm


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v53/p1263595225.jpg)




10mm + Olympus fisheye converter:


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s5/v122/p1263595223.jpg)




At minimum focus distance UW the 10mm shows strong pincushion distortion and blurry corners.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s10/v106/p1263595247.jpg)




At same distance the fisheye converter+10mm combination almost completely cancels the distortion and corners are much better. This is probably partly due to the 10mm lens not being at it's closest focus distance yet with the converter attached.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v159/p1263595205.jpg)






A resolution test in clear reverse-osmosis water. The red horizontal stripes on my poor wax bear's front is about 1" long. All of these captured at f/2.8 .


10mm

(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s8/v75/p1269710662.jpg)





Fisheye converter+10mm combination


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s6/v139/p1263595052.jpg)




10mm closest focus


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v162/p1263595117.jpg)




Converter+10mm combination close focus only a few cm from the front port. I can get nearly 2x the magnification of the 10mm alone. The correction lens apparently causes some focal range compression, as it does not introduce any near sightedness at infinity.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v10/p1263595147.jpg)




I did a brief test of the converter+AW 11-27.5mm in air for those that do not have the 10mm. I found that the zoom had to be set to 14mm to avoid darkening of the outer corners, which gives only slightly wider view than the 10mm. Thus I do not recommend the Olympus converter for the AW 11-27.5mm kit lens. Funds are then better spent on an AW 10mm f/2.8 lens.


I found remarkable performance of my 10mm in air towards infinity wide open. Optimum aperture is probably f/4 where the edges improve a little, but dead center is possibly best at f/2.8. Closer than ca. 30 cm the corner performance suffers and get very poor at the 20cm close limit (some field curvature and some lack of correction).  The in water performance reflects the good performance wide open, also with the converter, and it will be a big advantage to be able to shoot at f/2.8 to minimize motion blur.


I wish I could have waited to post this until I had some more interesting images to post, but summer is on now, and I hope this information can be useful to others in the months to come. 


This vole at the Chena River beach obviously did not know that one are not supposed to shoot voles with underwater wideangle lenses.


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v48/p1263726891.jpg)

AW 10mm f/4  1/125s ISO 160, crop to ca. 1/2 of the frame in each direction.


This concludes my review of the Nikon 1 AW1 for now.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Frank Fremerey on June 22, 2015, 10:46:20
the toads underwater sex scene really made me feel love for these creatures! Thank you for sharing thoughts and experiences with a camera that is very tempting although I do not know how to operate it at all with my eyesight. Is there not even an optional finder for the AW?
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on June 22, 2015, 11:22:39
For underwater use I do not think that would be convenient. Optical finders for underwater use typically involve SLR action finders with a large window, or add-on optics that will allow the whole viewfinder image to be seen with a face mask.


For land use, I got tempted to try out the following contraption, here mounted on my AW1 and AF 300mm. Not exactly compact! I would say that the optics of this 3x magnifier is excellent, although with some pincushion distortion. However the pixels on the AW1 screen get very large. It is nothing like looking though an optical viewfinder. (Elastic cord strap of own design).


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v7/p1269578689.jpg)


-


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v72/p1269578699.jpg)
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on June 22, 2015, 11:24:53
Hard-core users do it without looking in the finder :D Done lot of toad and frog sex that way. Being attacked by the males is a real issue, since they misinterpret their own reflection within the lens to mean an adversary is on the prowl. You can literally be hit hard by the horny males. No joke at all. They swoop down on you like a missile.

I'm accustomed to shot 'blind' from my Nikonos days so the lack of a dedicated finder is no problem. Without an attached finder, the camera becomes much more robust anyway. Plus you can use the rear-panel display of course - however as duly noted by Øivind, your eye must be within a correct angle of incidence otherwise you observe nothing at all (cause by total internal reflection as a consequence of Snell's Law).

Thanks for the heads-up on the Olympus attachment. My own is ordered and on its way from Japan.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on June 22, 2015, 11:38:56
Yes, most of the toad images had to be shot blind. I will be looking forward to see what can be created with the attachment!


Here are two examples of attacks. Hard to get it in focus that quickly when they hit the lens.  :)


(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v155/p1269599597.jpg)




(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v164/p1269599648.jpg)

Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Frank Fremerey on June 22, 2015, 12:21:58
Very informative. Toad attacks from horny males ... Wow
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on June 22, 2015, 12:56:02
Øivind isn't the only one being attacked .. here is one example from my Nikonos-V days
(UW-Nikkor 15 mm f/2.8 lens). The male toad hit so hard I was afraid the lens dome should break :D

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/422/19024410396_ce28e43379_h.jpg)
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on June 22, 2015, 13:01:14
Wow!
I like the ghostly blurriness here.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Jan Anne on June 22, 2015, 18:52:27
The male toad hit so hard I was afraid the lens dome should break :D
The big question is of course whether the motion blur is of the toad coming in or bouncing back from the lens dome ;D
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on June 22, 2015, 19:21:28
I pressed the shutter release by instinct as the angry male attacked me. So must be blurring from movements towards, not away from me.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on June 23, 2015, 04:43:18
Shooting back at the moment of attack.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Erik Lund on June 29, 2015, 09:27:11
Thanks for the write up, very detailed! I guess we are all waiting for more AW lenses and a mark II of the camera :)
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on June 29, 2015, 10:42:43
An AW fisheye and/or AW Micro-Nikkor would bring the AW system a substantial step forwards.

Meanwhile, the Olympus attachment seems to be a worthwhile addition. I have the AW 10 mm lens and in a day or two it'll be merged with the Olympus device (shipping from Japan was blazingly fast, < 2 days, but then the item got stuck in the Norwegian Customs ....).
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Erik Lund on June 29, 2015, 11:27:03
... but then the item got stuck in the Norwegian Customs ....).

Sadly it sounds very familiar for how customs works here as well... Hope it turns up soon :)
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on June 29, 2015, 11:40:04
Thanks for the comment, Erik.
Good luck with the customs Bjørn, hope you get it soon.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Jakov Minić on August 14, 2015, 20:55:54
Øivind, you made a wonderful review of the AW1. I love the little camera and I wish I use it more often.
Just like you, I didn't buy the 10/2.8 because it's so close to the zoom lens. As Bjørn mentioned, I would jump on to a AW fish-eye!

The frog photos are amazing :)
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: tommiejeep on August 15, 2015, 06:35:26
Great write up on the AW1  and images :). My wife continues to want one but really wants good, easy Wi-Fi. The little AW120 Wi-Fi works a treat with her Samsung Note.  She makes her money from representing businesses on social media.  She worked  at a Dive Centre last season and used her AW120 in the instruction pool, dive boat and underwater.  Diving is an expensive hobby and combining with UW photography goes ballistic  :( .

The Dive company she works with is very into Underwater Environmental Protection so much of her photography is shallow(ish) water and most is PJ type images.

Getting the housing and strobes for her favourite EM1 is pretty pricey but a good friend is one of the top UW photographers in India , shooting big Canons, an evening talking underwater  gear with him is frightening  :) .  Add the cost of globe trotting for Dives..... !

The real question is, will Nikon update the AW1?   At the moment the AW1 two lens package is at a very good price here but only available in Black (if available) . 
Many thanks for posting and I guess I will show your review to my wife  ;)
Tom
Tom
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on August 15, 2015, 06:46:18

Thanks Jakov and Tom, I am glad the information is useful.
The kit zoom remains my preferred lens for general land use. At minimum focus distance, reproduction ratio is better at 27.5 mm (ca 9.5 cm wide field) than the AW 10mm lens (ca. 11.5 cm wide field without the fisheye converter) and quality is then outstanding wide open and much better at the edges than the 10mm.

(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v63/p1398280566.jpg)

This is very impressive considering the very modest price tag of only $147, less than the AW 10mm. On can almost afford drowning this lens as long a water does not penetrate into the body...

Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: tommiejeep on August 15, 2015, 08:00:49
Well, I think you just made a sale for Nikon  ;) My wife happened to pass through between my post and your post and was very impressed. Many "that's what I want to do" comments on your images  :).  It is Independence Day here so I texted my dealer and surprisingly he called back.  He doesn't stock the Nikon 1 range anymore since no demand but he will contact Nikon India on Monday to get me a price/availability.   I wanted a TC1.4III anyway.     

I have been mulling over a Sony a7II but I still have concerns and it will really not do anything that my Df , D750 cannot do since I'm not really worried about Vids.  Money better spent on my wife and son  ;)
Cheers,
Tom
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on August 15, 2015, 08:16:31
A few notes for the record of this thread:
Last autumn I provided feedback to Nikon with respect to problems with the GPS logging feature of the AW1. The log was interrupted when the camera turned itself off, and also gave completely wrong longitudinal coordinates in the log (but not images) when logging in Alaska (it located me to Hudson Bay in Canada) opposed to logging in Europe. This spring I was pleased to be notified that Nikon had provided a firmware update (1.11) that fixed both of these problems:
https://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/19380

As also noted by Bjørn, the already excellent GPS receiver in the AW1 can be helped by downloading and updating with the A-GPS file. It is a file that apparently contains information about expected locations of different satellites which helps with faster lock-on. It is issued for intervals of about 2 weeks and then the file needs to be updated again for this advantage:
http://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/en/download/fw/112.html

Akira pointed us to a report of a patent for a Nikon 1 AW amphibian wide zoom (7.2-13.6mm above water, 6.10-10.93 under water):
http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php?topic=900.0 (http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php?topic=900.0)
http://egami.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2015-07-29
It appears to have a curved front port. So in spite of my previous comments that a dome port like front element would cause problems with infinity focus below vs. above water, Nikon apparently know how to do this. It will be interesting to see if this lens comes through. The rumored 10-100mm AW lens still have not come though though; all patents do not necessarily lead to products.


The last comment in my last post brings us to my need to send in the AW 11-27.5mm in for repair to fix a wobble that developed in the zoom ring; In addition to the physical wobble, I noticed a few captures at infinity had started to become  blurry on one side. There were no signs of water penetration in spite of the wobble.
In the US, all warranty repair of Nikon 1 system component has now been outsourced United Electronics Group's camera repair department. https://unitednikonrepair.com/Repair/ (https://unitednikonrepair.com/Repair/)

When I received the lens back from repair, the wobble was gone, however the zoom mechanism felt suspiciously stiff and dry, and had a clicking sound when zoomed towards the wide end. A few test shots indicated blurriness still present on one side at infinity, even worse than before and there was a sound of something like a loose screw inside the lens when I turned it...  OK I thought I would give the lens a chance before possibly sending it in, so I went for the prescribed submersion test mounted on the AW1 in a clear cylinder of clean water. When it reached 15cm depth, I started to notice bubbles escaping front the front of the zoom ring at a steady pace..., so I quickly aborted the test. The lens immediately fogged up  and soon water was visible behind the front glass...

(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v36/p1397905633.jpg)

No water had gotten to the mount, and I noticed that for water to get all the way to the sensor shield of the AW1 it will have to pass through the small opening in the baffle. So there should be a good chance to save the body from a moderate flood of the lens in shallow water.

This was apparently a completely butchered repair, performed by a person with inadequate training including incorrectly installing the o-rings. When I told them so in a polite manner, United Camera immediately got back to me apologizing. A couple of weeks after returning the lens back, I had a new lens from Nikon. It should also be noted that when I initially sent the lens in, there was no questioning of my truthful statement that the lens did not have impact damage or had otherwise been misused, so communication seems to work reasonably well with this facility. The new copy of the lens does not show de-centering and performs just as well as the original one (image in my last post with the new copy), and without wobble in the zoom ring that has a smooth dampened feeling, so end of story.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on August 15, 2015, 08:25:26
Well, I think you just made a sale for Nikon  ;) My wife happened to pass through between my post and your post and was very impressed. Many "that's what I want to do" comments on your images  :).  It is Independence Day here so I texted my dealer and surprisingly he called back.  He doesn't stock the Nikon 1 range anymore since no demand but he will contact Nikon India on Monday to get me a price/availability.   I wanted a TC1.4III anyway.     

I have been mulling over a Sony a7II but I still have concerns and it will really not do anything that my Df , D750 cannot do since I'm not really worried about Vids.  Money better spent on my wife and son  ;)
Cheers,
Tom

Happy to hear you got your wife with you on this. And do not let the image in my last post scare you. As everybody who has dealt with submersible equipment know, one just need to be very meticulous when maintaining/inspecting the seals.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: tommiejeep on August 15, 2015, 08:52:41
Yup, our friend Diggy (http://www.scubadiggy.com/blog/) was going through his 48 hour routine on caring for his gear after the Dives.  She has plenty of experienced divers to advise her.

Cheers,
Tom
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on August 15, 2015, 09:17:12
Lost of nice captures there.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on August 15, 2015, 10:22:36
If the standad kit AW zoom lens suits your shooting requirements, then just let it stay permanently on the camera. I admit there are many opportunities that the 11-27.5 (AW) could not handle, so I tend to have the 18.5 mm f/1.8 or 32 mm f/1.2 attached to the AW1 much more frequently than the AW lenses. For travels, the 10-100 mm comes in very handy. The 6.7-13 zoom is excellent if you want to move in close, but still needs a wide coverage. It isn't great for landscapes, but that is more due to the low magnification than the optical performance, which is excellent.

Still, the image quality of the 11-27.5 AW cannot be denied.

As to GPS, the AW1 is so much better than say a Nikon D5300 in getting a satelitte fix, so haven't bothered with uploading an aGPS file to it. Probably much more useful if you use the camera at high latitudes, though, as the GPS system itself tends to become less reliable there. (In comparison, a D5300 is virtually useless if you need a working GPS, unless you feed it an aGPS file. The difference is like night and day).
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on August 16, 2015, 13:08:02
Bjørn, yes, I recall now your comment with respect to the A-GPS file was for the D5300.

I cannot recall seeing many images here from the 18.5mm and perhaps even less with the 32mm (at least when used at wide apertures). It would be interesting to with some more light on how these render. In the past (before I got the 10mm) I found that I tended to use the AW-1 in two different modes - either in "point and shoot" mode with the standard zoom, or with the FT-1 mounted most of the time with F-mount lenses. As for now, if I want to blur the background I use FT-1 with the 105 mm f/2.5 or 135mm f/2.8 AI-s. A very good match to the FT-1 if one do not want to manual focus and with wider angle of view than the former two is the 50mm f/1.8 G, which performs really well and with pleasing background rendering, and in addition handles quite well on the FT-1.

AFS 50mm f/1.8G @ f/3.2 on AW1/FT-1, worshiping it's master:

(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v5/p1400285025.jpg)



(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v59/p1400285039.jpg)
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on August 16, 2015, 13:21:00
The AFS Micro-Nikkor 40 mm f/2.8 is quite small and very light, so is eminently suited for the FT-1/AW1 set up.

I will download and install the aGPS file for the AW1 before leaving for South Africa later this month. Just in case the GPS of the camera decides to play tricks on me.

By the way, I wasn't aware of the 1 sec. shutter speed limit for the FT-1 (mode A or M). In S or P, it is slightly shorter, 0.8 sec, for some inscrutable reason. Nikon engineering and reasoning never cease to amaze.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Akira on August 17, 2015, 02:01:26
Øivind, thanks for such an extended review and user report of AW-1.

I'm afraid this should be very out-of-place image, but you could see the bokeh rendition of 18.5/1.8 wide open.  Nikon 1 J1, ISO800, 1/13 handheld.  The pure electronic shutter helped.  The original NEF is lost, and this is resized from the best quality JPEG out of PSE11 precisely to 1/2 length-wise.

The lens uses the same optical design as DX35/1.8G, and thus show some characterics similar to its larger sibling (a bit hard, somewhat double-lined bokeh).
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on August 17, 2015, 07:13:40
Thanks Akira, it should not matter much which 1 series body is used in this context, so absolutely in place as an example of the rendering.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Akira on August 17, 2015, 08:47:03
That's a relief.  I had good impression on 10/2.8 and 18.5/1.8.  I've always been considering to return to Nikon 1 from m4/3 for the (truly) compact interchangeable lens system, but Samyang 7.5mm fisheye keeps me from doing that.  :P

I've also used FT-1 to shoot Venus in Transit to combine J1 with Ai 300/4.5 and 1.4x teleconverter combo.  The whole rig worked nicely.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on August 17, 2015, 08:56:49
Here is the 18.5 mm on the AW1 or V1, at f/1.8 or thereabouts. Sharpness is actually quite good even wide open and whether the bokeh is pleasant or not is a matter of taste and as always, also determined by particulars of the background and focused distance.

First example is AW1, the remainder V1. The metro station is at f/2. The lens improves quite a bit by knocking down the aperture 1/3 to 1/2 stop.






Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: tommiejeep on August 19, 2015, 05:25:13
First and the Metro Station work for me .

I have not heard back from my dealer with AW1 price and availability (need to follow up).  I had forgotten totally about the FT-1  :( .  Something for me to pay with when the wife is not using :)

I normally do not pay much attention to the Nikon new Patents filed but this caught my eye:
http://nikonrumors.com/
So Nikon seems serious (?) about the AW1
Tom
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on August 19, 2015, 12:02:59
Thanks Bjørn for the 18.5mm examples.

Interestingly the Nikonrumors links also has in addition to the before mentioned 7.2-13.6mm a patent for an AW 10-45mm lens. The translation indicates that it can go from ca. 11 to 98mm above water and 9.5-38mm underwater in example 2, a bit confusing. May be two different implementations of the same design? Apparently they use a dome port for this design too.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on August 19, 2015, 14:46:47
Any news from Nikon that they consider the AW range a viable concept is most welcome. I'd buy a wide underwater AW zoom lens without batting an eyelid. Give us an AW Micro-Nikkor and perhaps an AW Fisheye and I promise not to complain :D
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Jakov Minić on August 19, 2015, 15:52:31
An AW fish-eye even has a name that suits the idea :)
All fish-eyes should  be AW in fact  :D
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Erik Lund on August 20, 2015, 10:47:05
It must also be time for a new mark II of the AW....
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: tommiejeep on August 20, 2015, 14:46:34
Eric, I've been half heartedly watching the AW1 since Bjorn put images up on the other site.  I've not noticed even vague rumours of a new model  :( .  There are a few hints about a new Coolpix A .

 My wife would love Wi-Fi and GPS for Dive trips.   Interesting, I did get a price from my dealer today.  I was surprised at the AW1 with kit lens was only $60 less than the V3 kit.

Jakov,  lol
Tom
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Erik Lund on August 20, 2015, 15:17:35
I have also not heard anything... I'm just creating or adding to a rumor ;)

So me I Would like to have something like a Nikonos V,  IV or III size replacement so;

Full frame.

Uncomplicated.

Like a DfAW....
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on August 23, 2015, 19:35:28
While we are waiting for new AW Nikkors, or another AW camera, or Godot,  let's not forget what the current model can do.

Earlier today, Ruth went out for 1 hour into the forests outside her house and brought back almost 5 kg of forest berries (all from local Vaccinium species, mainly V. myrtillus Common Bilberry or European Blueberry). The forest floor is covered with this semishrub and its fruits this year - rarely seen in such abundance. This species has smaller fruits than its American relative, but they are far superior in taste.

I managed a shot into the berry bucket with the 18.5 mm 1 Nikkor on the AW1 before I was ordered to sort berries from leaves, needles, and other flotsam of the forest floor. Later today we had a superb dinner with salmon, fresh blueberries, and vanilla cream.

Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Anthony on August 23, 2015, 19:46:50
Beautiful.

Bilberries and Blueberries are very different.

The former are full of flavour.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on November 03, 2015, 11:07:57
I found an AW1 image I had intended to post here before, this time related to usability for an astro/night scene. My initial expectations were not very high, in fact I did not think the small sensor would be usable for an aurora capture, but on my way home one evening October last year, there was a nice display and I had to try. Rendering was helped by some "Better Quality 2013" noise reduction in CNX2:

(http://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v162/p1263663704.jpg)

NIKON 1 AW1, f/4 @ 11 mm, 25s, ISO 800
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Akira on November 03, 2015, 12:46:41
Øivind, this is a very encouraging image!
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Jakov Minić on November 03, 2015, 13:13:17
That's a beautiful Aurora!
It just goes to show what a great photographer can do with available tools at hand!
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Frank Fremerey on November 03, 2015, 14:27:36
I managed a shot into the berry bucket with the 18.5 mm 1 Nikkor on the AW1 before I was ordered to sort berries from leaves, needles, and other flotsam of the forest floor. Later today we had a superb dinner with salmon, fresh blueberries, and vanilla cream.

Looks flashy like in builtin flash?
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on November 03, 2015, 15:25:04
Spot on, Frank. Using whatever tool is at hand. My purpose was to document for the family chronicles the massive catch after < 1 hour in the forest. Weighing in at more than 5 kg, in fact.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on November 04, 2015, 00:18:28

Thanks for the kind words Akira and Jakov.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: simato73 on November 13, 2015, 10:27:48
Øivind,

The writing on the FCON-T01 says it is a fisheye converter, but the images you posted using the FCON-T01 showed that straight lines were preserved.
Can you comment on that?
Thanks!
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on November 13, 2015, 10:58:54
Lines aren't exactly straight with this attachment, but on the other side, the appearance isn't very 'fishy' either. The effect probably depends on the lens onto which FCN-T01 is attached.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on November 13, 2015, 12:19:30
The FCON-T01 is not rectilinear for sure, but it is not as wide as a 10.5mm fisheye on DX or 16mm on FX. Near infinity it is more like using a 16mm on DX or using the 10.5mm on DX with a 1.5x converter, where the fisheye effect is not as pronounced. If Fisheye hemi3  (designed for 16mm on Dx) is used for correction, vertical lines becomes almost straight (not used for any of the test images). The aquarium bottom  image is interesting though. At close range the 10mm alone  has pronounced pincushion distortion, and incidentally this was just enough to compensate the fisheye effect of the FCON-T01.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on November 13, 2015, 12:24:19
In fact, the AW10 + FCON-T01 show a synergetic relationship as the whole is improved from both sides.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: simato73 on November 13, 2015, 13:41:55
In fact, the AW10 + FCON-T01 show a synergetic relationship as the whole is improved from both sides.

Good to know, that was the impression I got from this thread.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: simato73 on November 13, 2015, 13:43:30
At close range the 10mm alone  has pronounced pincushion distortion, and incidentally this was just enough to compensate the fisheye effect of the FCON-T01.

I am all for lucky coincidences.  :)
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: simato73 on November 13, 2015, 21:43:01
Just ordered one with 10mm and 11-27.5.
Wife not impressed  ;D
Now the FCON-T01...
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on November 13, 2015, 21:57:17
You move fast when eventually your mind is made up, Simone :D
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: simato73 on November 13, 2015, 23:28:30
You move fast when eventually your mind is made up, Simone :D

 ;D ;D :D
I was already teetering on the brink.
Found an opportunity on ebay and couldn't resist.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on November 13, 2015, 23:31:35
Buy her something nice before the FCON-T01 then :D
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: simato73 on November 19, 2015, 21:40:06
Got the AW1 with both lenses; the FCON-T01 is on its way.

The camera is not as little as I assumed and it has quite a certain heft. It does feel very solid; my only regret is that a body this big could easily hold a m4/3 sensor (any larger would probably imply a need for larger lenses).
The controls are not intuitive to me, I'll have to read the manual and make sure I learn it.
One rather startling feature is that if one turns off all the silly sounds, the camera operates in utter silence.

Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on November 19, 2015, 21:49:18
The user interface is, like most compact cameras, an acquired taste. But you can get bigger cameras with worse than this (my recent addition, Sony A7, is an example). Set the camera to "A" mode and select a suitable aperture, then just fire away. That solves most handling issues.

An unexpected bonus is the fact that the protective glass preventing water drops coming onto the sensor, sits so far ahead of the sensor surface that any dirt on it hardly ever show up in the final image. My other mirrorless cameras are a nightmare in this regards as they simply suck all dust and grime from their surroundings onto the exposed sensor.

I recommend getting one of the silicone skins for your AW1. It does enlarge the camera slightly, but offers much better grip.

Remove the battery when you are not using the camera for a day or two. Otherwise you learn more than you care for about its voracious appetite for battery power. Spare batteries are a must anyway.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: simato73 on November 19, 2015, 23:15:40
The user interface is, like most compact cameras, an acquired taste. But you can get bigger cameras with worse than this (my recent addition, Sony A7, is an example). Set the camera to "A" mode and select a suitable aperture, then just fire away. That solves most handling issues.

An unexpected bonus is the fact that the protective glass preventing water drops coming onto the sensor, sits so far ahead of the sensor surface that any dirt on it hardly ever show up in the final image. My other mirrorless cameras are a nightmare in this regards as they simply suck all dust and grime from their surroundings onto the exposed sensor.

I recommend getting one of the silicone skins for your AW1. It does enlarge the camera slightly, but offers much better grip.

Remove the battery when you are not using the camera for a day or two. Otherwise you learn more than you care for about its voracious appetite for battery power. Spare batteries are a must anyway.

Thanks for the suggestions.
I was coming to the same conclusion regarding using the A mode, but I would like to understand the practical value of some consumerish modes that are unique to the Nikon 1 cameras.
I have to understand better the AF options.
I have a spare battery but did not know batteries get depleted even when the camera is off - good to know.
Already planning to get a silicone sleeve, I will get one at some point.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on November 29, 2015, 03:03:34
Short of using the somewhat expensive wireless transmitter and a smart phone (which I do not have), has anyone found a wired remote release solution for AW1 that works? It does not support IR transmitters. The only possible connector is a mini-USB-B (like that present on many USB2 hard drives).


Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Akira on November 29, 2015, 03:46:54
Short of using the somewhat expensive wireless transmitter and a smart phone (which I do not have), has anyone found a wired remote release solution for AW1 that works? It does not support IR transmitters. The only possible connector is a mini-USB-B (like that present on many USB2 hard drives).

Using a socket should spoil the waterproof property of AW1.  A bracket with the cable release like this may work:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E3%82%A8%E3%83%84%E3%83%9F-E-6205-ETSUMI-%E5%86%99%E7%9C%9F%E7%94%A8%E5%93%81-%E3%83%AC%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC%E3%82%BA%E4%BB%98%E3%83%96%E3%83%A9%E3%82%B1%E3%83%83%E3%83%88/dp/B003N632XU

Websit of the manufacturer (ETSUMI).  It is currently out of stock on its web shop:

http://www.etsumi.co.jp/html/products/detail.php?product_id=504

According to the manufacturer, this adapter can be used with a camera with the hight up to 80mm.  AW1 is well within its range.  The farthest position of the release button is not indicated.  The bracket cannot mount it on the tripod(head) (that's silly!).  But both problems should be able to be solved by some modification.

Similar products can be browsed here:

https://www.google.co.jp/search?q=%E3%82%B3%E3%83%B3%E3%83%91%E3%82%AF%E3%83%88%E3%82%AB%E3%83%A1%E3%83%A9%E7%94%A8%E3%82%B1%E3%83%BC%E3%83%96%E3%83%AB%E3%83%AC%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC%E3%82%BA&lr=lang_ja&hl=ja&tbs=lr:lang_1ja&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjj0p-g0bTJAhWIlJQKHUQGDlkQsAQIYw&biw=1287&bih=702
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on November 29, 2015, 05:18:59
Interesting contraption, although not exactly what I had in mind.

It reminds me of a remote I once made for my Nikonos IV to photograph fish under the ice. It was hydraulic - an alcohol filled tube with a syringe in each end, one of the plungers were cut off to work as the actuator for the shutter release.

Of course an electrical wired remote would break waterproofing; not a concern for astronomical or other land operation that makes use of a sensor with high pixel density.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: simato73 on November 29, 2015, 21:08:12
I had thought before about the missing remote release for the AW1 and the last few contributions to this thread have got me thinking.
Unfortunately I cannot read the name of the product that Akira linked, but the concept is clear in the images and an DYI solution should be straightforward is all that is desired is a mechanical release.
Searching for Akira's linked product revealed some DYI jobs like this:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/danilokrahl/8560122908

and this:
http://www.angelfire.com/ga2/photo/bracket.html

Not specific for the AW1 but it does not matter.
Just wanting to have some fun (not sure how much I would actually use the thing) I have rummaged among the various bits and bobs I have and have nearly completed a similar one at zero cost. Mine even has a QR plate :)
I just need to attach to the bracket a nut for screwing in the mechanical release and it should be ready. A picture will follow when the job is done.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on November 29, 2015, 22:05:18
This was my standard tripod setup for my Nikonos V with the fabulous UW-Nikkor 15 mm f/2.8. A sturdy L-bracket helped keep the camera firmly anchored to a tripod (Sachtlers don't mind being submersed) and provided a fixing point for a cable release. One could use "remote control" in form of a pneumatic release of course. 

When used in the sea, after the session completed one had to soak the cable release thoroughly then ensure it dried completely if rusting and subsequent malfunction was to  be avoided. I practice I brought a handful of cheap knock-offs and used them as long as they worked reliably.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Akira on November 29, 2015, 23:59:49
Unfortunately I cannot read the name of the product that Akira linked, but the concept is clear in the images and an DYI

Not specific for the AW1 but it does not matter.
Just wanting to have some fun (not sure how much I would actually use the thing) I have rummaged among the various bits and bobs I have and have nearly completed a similar one at zero cost. Mine even has a QR plate :)
I just need to attach to the bracket a nut for screwing in the mechanical release and it should be ready. A picture will follow when the job is done.

Simone, the product I linked is called, as I wrote, bracket with cable release.  Nothing fancy.  :)  ETSUMI is the name of one of three photo-accessory manufacturers along with Hakuba and U.N.  E-6205 is the product code, but apparently it is being discontinued.

I don't have AW1, but I, as user of Olympus E-M5, share your frustration of not being able to use a remote release without opening the USB cover or relying on Wifi.  I don't like the general tendency among the camera manufacturers of eliminating IR remote functions.

I'm looking forward to seeing the result of your DIY!
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on November 30, 2015, 01:19:38
Thanks for the links Simone.
Bjørn, you got some pretty nice machining work there.
While I initially did not think in the direction of waterprrofness (just wanted a quick solution for moon shots etc.), I have started to think of Tom Kline's salmon stream work. A longer remote would be needed. Instead of a cable release, perhaps a hydraulic link could be used, with a cylinder like these as actuator: http://www.clippard.com/products/cylinder (http://www.clippard.com/products/cylinder)
 
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Thomas Stellwag on November 30, 2015, 17:03:02
hydraulic probably isn´t the easiest way to go

to "transport pressure" in a system, the softness and flexibility of the  hoses are relevant
if you take soft hoses, they will eat the pressure by widening and they will
not allow a timely defined trigger pressure, what means you shot or you shot not at the right moment
if you take "hard" hoses to avoid this, it will be heavy, unflexible and not easy to mount on site
for a shop mounted version with predefined lenght, the lightest "hose" would be
break fluid tubes for cars, or this plastic hoses  (4 and 6mm) for industrial pressurized air
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: simato73 on December 01, 2015, 20:52:52
I'm looking forward to seeing the result of your DIY!

Here it is then.
It has taken me some time to find the time to sit and take a few shots.
I blame work and family life :)

Anyway...
The result is quite ugly to behold, but it works.
I don't care that the result is not nice to look at and too big. It does what it is meant to do and it did not cost me a penny. Everything that were used was already in my home and it required no tools.
With more thought, time, and better parts bought specifically with this project in mind a better DYI job could certainly be done, but that is not the point for me.
I would expect one could use this thing underwater. The bracket will not suffer in the water. The cable release might rust but it is so cheap that it could be regarded as essentially disposable.

Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Akira on December 01, 2015, 21:59:59
Looks very functional!  Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Erik Lund on December 02, 2015, 09:56:23
Indeed a true 'workaround'  :D
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on December 18, 2015, 10:01:45
Great to see technical creativity at work here Simone!

hydraulic probably isn´t the easiest way to go

to "transport pressure" in a system, the softness and flexibility of the  hoses are relevant
if you take soft hoses, they will eat the pressure by widening and they will
not allow a timely defined trigger pressure, what means you shot or you shot not at the right moment
if you take "hard" hoses to avoid this, it will be heavy, unflexible and not easy to mount on site
for a shop mounted version with predefined lenght, the lightest "hose" would be
break fluid tubes for cars, or this plastic hoses  (4 and 6mm) for industrial pressurized air

There is a big difference between the pressure required to stop a car or mountain bike and that for pushing the shutter release of the AW1 (watch out for poking holes in that shutter release button if the car break approach is used.  ;D  ). And already hydraulic brake cables for bikes are pretty thin and much more than needed. I would agree though that if the intention is just a release at proximity to the AW1 to avoid shake, a hydraulic solution is probably over-engineering.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Thomas Stellwag on December 18, 2015, 12:37:41
@ Ovind

I am quite aware of this, we are speaking about 1/10´s or 1/50´s of a bar for releasing the shutter with 1N and this is exacly what I said.
If you normally release your shutter you have dead time from your" system", then the system of the camera. But pushing on camera might be 04s, you might need 08s, so your picture will be taken roughly 1s after you wanted to have it. If you now have a system, that is not reliable transporting signals, then it is even worse.
You have to many possibilities to get wrong signals or interferences in the (elastic hydraulic)  line, not foregtting that the outside pressure may vary by 1.5 bars according to the dive deep of the AW. ( The car tubes are protective shield against ouside interferences.)
maybe now it is clearer what i meant

Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: RobOK on December 18, 2015, 12:59:14
Any news/solid rumors/predictions on where Nikon is going with mirrorless?

I think we would all love a light APS-C sensor in a Nikon 1 or smaller package that can natively mount F-mount lenses (or at least with a very small adapter).

Will this ever happen?  Or does it undercut the D5000/D7000/D400 DSLR market for Nikon?

One can only hope....!
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on December 18, 2015, 13:30:08

One cannot just put an APS sensor in a Nikon 1 body. The image circle of the lenses would not cover it nor would the mount be suitable. So there is no hope of such evolution of the 1 system. It would have to be an entirely new system or just an F-mount based system without the mirror. Just enjoy the 1 system for what it is and its special properties that differ from DX and FX.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on December 18, 2015, 14:22:17
@ Ovind

I am quite aware of this, we are speaking about 1/10´s or 1/50´s of a bar for releasing the shutter with 1N and this is exacly what I said.
If you normally release your shutter you have dead time from your" system", then the system of the camera. But pushing on camera might be 04s, you might need 08s, so your picture will be taken roughly 1s after you wanted to have it. If you now have a system, that is not reliable transporting signals, then it is even worse.
You have to many possibilities to get wrong signals or interferences in the (elastic hydraulic)  line, not foregtting that the outside pressure may vary by 1.5 bars according to the dive deep of the AW. ( The car tubes are protective shield against ouside interferences.)
maybe now it is clearer what i meant

If the fluid inside the tubing has the same density as the surrounding water, one would not have to overcome any pressure due to depth (air is an entirely different matter). Pressure waves/sound travels at 1,524 meters (5,000 feet) per second in open sea water. In something as highly elastic as a human artery, wave transmission speed can as be > 10 m/s depending on blood pressure. It would not take much to make something with 10-100 times that wall stiffness but still fairly flexible. Thus I do not think lag due to pressure wave transmission would be too much of an issue. The problem with my syringe to syringe hydraulic transmission to release the Nikonos IV under the ice was not elasticity of the tubing, but to overcome friction in the rubber piston of the syringes. (I did anyway manage to get a fish in the frame, but guessing correct focus was a problem with the 35mm lens). A better cylinder/actuator would likely remedy that. Anyway in the scenario I envision that would justify that much engineering one would not have too much view of what the camera would be seeing and would have to fire blindly where lag is less of a concern.

Another idea would be a solenoid based actuator, but then one would have the problem of waterproofing the solenoid and electrical cable connections plus the need for enough power to drive it. BTW I wonder if an IR release would have worked well under water at all; water tends to absorb a lot of IR.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on November 15, 2016, 10:33:06
For the record of the thread: Last week I got myself a WU-1b wireless adapter to play with using a smartphone as remote release for the AW1 (in dry conditions), just to find that it causes the camera to switch into program (P) mode, with no way of adjusting shooting parameters on the phone in the Nikon app (and controls blocked on the camera). Well at least it retained exposure compensation and ISO that was preset on the camera, so I sort of worked for the moon shot I tried. But then with wide open aperture, as it did not know that the camera was on a tripod, and wanted the shutter speed to be 1/1000 sec if possible. Oh well, at $16.50 off ebay it was an inexpensive experiment, and I could sit in the warmth of my cabin fire repeated moon shots with live view on the phone, and with no remaining vibrations from touching the camera. The mechanical remote releases discussed above would be in physical contact with the camera, thus could transfer vibrations to a less sturdy  long lens setup.

The door to the connectors is very exposed when open and could easily be damaged if bumped. Also a lot of caution is needed when inserting the WU-1b connector as it otherwise could scratch the sealing surfaces; the same goes for inserting a USB cable.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Fons Baerken on February 27, 2018, 08:54:16
What is the name or typenumber for the rubberjacket to fit the aw1?
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Fons Baerken on February 27, 2018, 08:57:54
What is the name or typenumber for the rubberjacket to fit the aw1?

http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/acil/bodies/aw1/features06.htm
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: John Geerts on February 27, 2018, 09:40:25
That is called a 'Silicon Jacket'


https://www.ebay.de/itm/Official-NIKON-Silicon-Jacket-CF-N6000KH-for-Nikon-1-AW1-AIRMAIL-with-TRACKING/122632419557?hash=item1c8d7638e5:g:2HYAAOSwNw5ZhXaE (https://www.ebay.de/itm/Official-NIKON-Silicon-Jacket-CF-N6000KH-for-Nikon-1-AW1-AIRMAIL-with-TRACKING/122632419557?hash=item1c8d7638e5:g:2HYAAOSwNw5ZhXaE)
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Fons Baerken on February 27, 2018, 09:54:53
I ordered one from Japan; didnt know you needed one for the 1 aw1 thought it to be waterproof by itself.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: John Geerts on February 27, 2018, 10:04:50
I ordered one from Japan; didnt know you needed one for the 1 aw1 thought it to be waterproof by itself.
You don't need it for being waterproof.  It's just extra protection and grip.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Fons Baerken on February 27, 2018, 10:18:19
Thank you John
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on September 23, 2020, 11:35:21
On the subject of remote release for the AW1 I had an initial idea besides the hydraulic ones discussed above to use a solenoid. But I eventually decided that it would be too complicated. My purpose is to use it for long lens lucky imaging using AW1 in high speed mode (15-60 raw frames per second), and it does not need to have a precise immediate response, just be able to keep the release pressed for a couple of seconds. However I felt a short cable release would have too high chance of disturbing the rig.

I had the idea of a pneumatic release, using some kind restrained bladder to push the release, but it recently occured to me that I could use parts from a small broken membrane pump head instead. The actual membrane currently used is not the main one, but is rather thin one that apparently functions to provide some kind of moderate windkessel effect. A "knob" was glued to it with epoxy. I did not need to saw the pump head apart but just used the top parts keeping that membrane in place above the valves + a ring that fits around the AW1 release collar, and a generous amount of marine epoxy (with a drop of black resin dye in it). The whole device just snaps into place. The bulb is one of those small ones used for ear cleaning. I initially used silicone tubing for the whole length, but found that elasticity could cause vibrations, so it was replaced with 50cm stiffer rubber tubing and only the last 10cm is more flexible silicone tubing to avoid disturbing the tripod. The transition point is attached high on one of the tripod legs with Velcro).

(https://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-10/p3992312597.jpg)


(https://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-10/p3992312595.jpg)


Retracted:

(https://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-10/p3992312598.jpg)


Actuated:

(https://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-10/p3992312599.jpg)


A quick test on Mars with the 300 PF+TC14E+FT1, repeated series of exposures at 15 FPS. A Bahtinov mask was used for correct focus (not easy on such a "big" object). Out of a total of 135 frames that were centered and cropped with PIPP, 50 were 3x drizzled and stacked with Autostakkert, and further sharpened with wavelets in Registax. (My very first use of these tools so likely not optimal.)

(https://otoien.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-10/p3992312657.jpg)

The result is of course a far cry with too few pixels on the object and too few frames (more appropriate would be thousands of frames to choose from), but it looks like at least some surface features are visible. :)   Compare this to a high quality image from today posted on Cloudy nights: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/730607-mars-september-22-in-good-seeing/ (https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/730607-mars-september-22-in-good-seeing/)


Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Erik Lund on September 23, 2020, 12:00:23
True DIY remote ;) thanks for sharing, looks really great!
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on September 25, 2020, 12:17:18

Thanks, Erik. It was fun figuring this out. It took quite a few gluing steps. I am a little concerned about the bond between the elastic rubber membrane and the knob in the long run, but so far it looks good. I make sure to retract it when mounting and unmounting. Now just waiting for clear weather and moon up to practice more.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Jakov Minić on September 25, 2020, 15:52:05
Øivind that looks fantastic. Looking forward to future results of Mars!
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on September 26, 2020, 06:09:13
Thanks, Jakov.
I did a test with the AW1 on a spruce top target the other day to see if I could resolve more detail than with the 300mm f/4 PF+TC-14E combination, but TC-14E on my old Tokina 500mm f/8 mirror lens was much worse, and my AF 300mm f/4 ED +TC-301 was not resolving anything more I think (much more blurry, but responded well to sharpening, at the expense of noise). With TC-14E the older 300mm showed a lot of fringing, but strangely it was mostly gone with the TC-301. Of course now I wish I had a TC-20E III to go with the 300 PF...

The 300PF+TC-14E on the AW1 resolved the legs of an insect (Yellowjacket? but looks smaller) in the treetop at 80m distance (100% crop):
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Nasos Kosmas on September 26, 2020, 11:56:51
Vey nice Mars photo Oivid but for better results  you definitely need to go on telescopes
I also checked 300/4 AfS with kenko 1.4x on Z50 you get more resolved power but you ruin the excellent micro contrast of that lens 
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Øivind Tøien on September 26, 2020, 23:53:02
Thanks for the kind comment Nasos. I think the telescope route could be a very slippery economic slope. It would then quickly require a dedicated mount beyond the little Skytracker that I currently have, and with limited use compared to using those funds on camera optics. Currently I find part of the joy in astrophotography to see what I maximally can get out of the equipment that I already have. I am curious what considerably more exposures and drizzling (similar principle as pixel shift) together with proper use of the software can do, although I do not expect any miracles there.
Title: Re: Nikon 1 AW1 - the little mirrorless that goes where others can't
Post by: Nasos Kosmas on September 27, 2020, 10:37:44
Thanks for the kind comment Nasos. I think the telescope route could be a very slippery economic slope. It would then quickly require a dedicated mount beyond the little Skytracker that I currently have, and with limited use compared to using those funds on camera optics. Currently I find part of the joy in astrophotography to see what I maximally can get out of the equipment that I already have. I am curious what considerably more exposures and drizzling (similar principle as pixel shift) together with proper use of the software can do, although I do not expect any miracles there.
I just sold my Tamron 150-600 g1 to go for Nikon 200-500 E 5.6 due to Z incompatibility and I wonder if it’s good  to take the telescope route..
Anyway I have to  explore multiple exposures and software  first as you mention
Thank you