Sometimes when we buy a camera, a standard kit zoom lens is included in the package. The quality of these lenses can vary quite a bit and some folks rarely, if ever, use them. This article features a selection of images captured by my wife during our last trip to New Zealand. All of her images were taken hand-held with a Nikon 1 V3 equipped with a 1 Nikkor 10-30 mm f/3.5-5.6 PD kit zoom lens.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
The Nikon 1 V3 with a 10-30 mm PD zoom is my wife’s preferred setup. She likes the convenience of the PD zoom turning itself on and off automatically. Of the three models of Nikon 1 bodies we own (V2, V3, J5) she likes the V3 the best as it provides both an EVF and tilt screen, as well as a horizon levelling graphic.
We enjoy driving holidays so we can plan our own route and do some exploring on back roads. When we stop to capture some images we sometimes go in opposite directions as we can be attracted to different things. We often discuss the composition aspects of specific images as we view them on the rear screens of our cameras.
My wife will typically ask for some feedback on her photographs, and is always open to comments and suggestions.
I seldom use the 1 Nikkor 10-30 mm f/3.5-5.6 PD kit zoom lens as I typically use the 10-100 f/4-5.6 non PD zoom instead. After we return from a trip and I have a chance to work on her images in post, I always tell myself that I should use that kit zoom lens more often. She always seems to get good results with it.
Working with images captured with the V3/10-30 mm PD zoom combination does take a bit longer in post when compared to J5 images. I find I need to dig a bit more to get as much highlight and shadow detail as possible.
I also have to do more colour enhancements than I typically would with a Nikon 1 J5 file. This is understandable given the differences between the 18.4 MP sensor in the Nikon 1 V3, and the 20.8 MP BSI sensor in the Nikon 1 J5 in terms of dynamic range and colour depth.
When working on her photographs in post I like to block out enough time to be able to stick with them until I have them completed. That allows me to get into a ‘zone’, rather than having to adjust my post processing approach back and forth between V3 and J5 files.
I often experiment with her photographs in post and inevitably learn something new. For example, I did some experimentation with the Dynamic Contrast control in Color Efex Pro 4 (this is part of the Nik Collection). I quite liked how this control could be used to give her images more definition and the colours a bit more pop. I will likely use this control for a lot more of my images in the future.
Travelling with camera gear can be a challenge, and many of us try to keep our gear as small and light as possible. Kit zoom lenses usually cover the most commonly used focal lengths, making them useful for travel photography.
A kit zoom lens may not be our favourite lens, but it can come in handy. Of course that assumes that we are confident that it can produce acceptable quality images.
If you have an upcoming trip and haven’t pulled out that kit zoom lens you haven’t used in a dog’s age… it may be a good idea to give it another try. Who knows… it may find its way back into your travel camera kit.
If you enjoyed the images in this article and are interested in viewing more New Zealand information and photographs, you may enjoy our eBook, New Zealand Tip-to-Tip. It is available for purchase and download at a cost of $12.99 Canadian.
All photographs in this article were captured hand-held in available light using Nikon 1 gear as per the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.
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Article is Copyright 2019 Thomas Stirr. All images are Copyright 2018 Rosemary Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!