Reconnecting with camera gear

From time to time I fall into a habit of only using certain lenses and overlooking other ones that are in my bag. Recently I was out doing some extension tube testing and I only brought my 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 with me as this is my ‘go to’ lens for this application. I hadn’t used this lens as a regular telephoto zoom for quite a while. Circumstances led me to Bird Kingdom where I ended up using the 1 Nikon 30-110mm without extension tubes to capture some bird images. The experience reminded me of the importance of reconnecting with camera gear we may not have used in a while.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 59mm, efov 160mm, f/5.6, 1/25, ISO-3200, 16mm Deluxe Vello Extension Tube
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 59mm, efov 160mm, f/5.6, 1/25, ISO-3200, 16mm Deluxe Vello Extension Tube

Looking back it was my purchase of the 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 that really put me on a path to use the Nikon 1 system extensively.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-3200
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-3200

I can still remember how amazed I was that such a small lens could provide such good reach and image quality. Especially at such an affordable cost (about $280 Cdn).

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 83mm, efov 1224mm, f/5.6, 1/100, ISO-3200
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 83mm, efov 1224mm, f/5.6, 1/100, ISO-3200

The 1 Nikon 30-110mm was the lens that initially got me grabbing my V2 more often, and going out to have some lightweight fun.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-400
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-400

It didn’t take long before I began to better understand some of the capabilities of the Nikon 1 system including fast, accurate focusing and wonderful AF-C bursts at 15-fps with full auto-focus. For me, buying the 1 Nikon 30-110mm ended up being a pivotal moment in my eventual choice of a camera system.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/125, ISO-400
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/125, ISO-400

Many of us who shoot with the Nikon 1 system own the 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6, and many of us also have the 10-100mm f/4-5.6. If you’re like me you likely use the 10-100mm much more than the 30-110mm as it offers such a practical and useful focal length range.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-3200
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-3200

In a way it’s too bad that the 10-100mm f/4-5.6 is such a great walk-around lens as it makes it easy to overlook the 30-110mm which is really a wonderful, little lens.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/125, ISO-400
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/125, ISO-400

For folks who are just starting out with the Nikon 1 system and likely have a body with one of the 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lenses, adding the 30-110mm is a great way to extend the shooting capability of your system at very little cost.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-400
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-400

My wife has recently become quite interested in photography and she’s using one of my Nikon 1 V2s as she prefers a camera with an EVF. She likes the convenience of the 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD zoom and it makes no difference to her that the lens will not accept filters. While on our recent photography tour she had the opportunity to use the 30-110mm and she really loved the small size and added reach that the lens provides.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-3200
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-3200

Luckily I was able to find a new, ‘open box’ 30-110mm on sale and purchased a second copy for my kit as this will extend the life of my system when shooting macro-type images with extension tubes. It will also give us some added flexibility when we are out photographing together.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 83mm, efov 224mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-800
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 83mm, efov 224mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-800

Regardless of the camera format that you may have chosen, you may have some lenses that you have not used in a while. If you do, I encourage you to reconnect with that gear. You may discover a past love with whom a renewed romance may blossom!

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/30, ISO-3200
Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/30, ISO-3200

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Article and all images are Copyright 2016 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. While we do allow some pre-authorized links to our site from folks like Nikon Canada and Mirrorlessons.com, if you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use.

8 thoughts on “Reconnecting with camera gear”

  1. Wanted to leave a donation, but repeated clicks on the above donate link (using an iPad) takes one to mobile.paypal.com which is declared an invalid webpage. So that you do not miss the donations your remarkable photographic advice and samples deserve, reconfigure that link (and on your entire website via search and replace code) and test link on several other systems, browsers, tablets, and smartphones. Perhaps link needs https instead of what you have. Will try again in a week.

    1. Hello Elizabeth,
      Thank you very much for your comment and sharing your experience trying to donate to the website. I have notified my webmaster and asked that the issue be investigated.
      Tom

    2. Hi Elizabeth,
      We checked things out and the issue appears to be with the PayPal website…not with my site or the server on which it is hosted. I was able to use the donate button without any issue this evening, as could my webmaster and a few other associates. This appears to be an intermittent problem with PayPal…not my site.
      Tom

  2. Wow! 💜💜💜 Love these bird photos (I also like the reptile photos) and they make me miss my finches! I do have two parakeets now that sing and make me happy.

    I also loved my 1 Nikon 30-110mm lens! I was lucky enough to find it used on Amazon for only $100. It was a wonderful lenses for photographing my foster puppies and rescue dogs. I kept it on my camera all the time – rarely ever using the 10-30mm lens.

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