In one of my videos I tried to take a star timelapse video with my Nikon 1 J2 . The lens I used was the standard NIKKOR 10-30 F3.5. I wasn't really satisfied with the result. A major reason was that I didn't set the focus correctly but furthermore haven't I been able to get enough sky into the photos. So I needed a lens with a wider angle.
Currently the only wide angle lens for the Nikon 1 series it the NIKKOR 6.7-13 F3.5. Unfortunately it's cost of about €450,- make it unaffordable for me. I found out that some people successfully use CCTV lenses from security cameras. Unfortunately they usually don't use wide angle lenses and especially not with a Nikon 1. So I had to do some testing on my own.
Timelapse video of a trip to Sweden
CCTV lenses are available for different sensor sizes. Accordingly the first thing to find out was which one of them works best with my camera. My impression is that 2/3" is the smallest you would like to use as it already causes some severe vignetting. If you have the choice better go for 1".
I had the great opportunity to test three different lenses. The first one was a €10,- no name 8mm 1/1.3 lens. As second I had a €50,- VT 8mm 1/1.3 and as third one a €100,- Computar 8mm 1/1.4. All of them were for 2/3" sensors. Unfortunately they did not have any model numbers on them. Finally I needed a €10,- CCTV adapter.
|No name 8mm 1/1.3, VT 8mm 1/1.3, Computar 8mm 1/1.4 and CCTV adapter|
The camera was set up on a tripod and the pictures taken by self timer to prevent shakiness. ISO was set to 100 as I didn't want grain to effect the result. I shot in JPEG finest quality and highest resolution. Lighting was pure daylight from left behind. As first scenario I chose a close-up on the lowest possible F-value.
As you can see the no name lens offers a very shallow depth of field with a lot of bokeh. The image is sharp in the center where I had the focus. It has quite some vignetting but that's the same for all three lenses I tested.
|No name F1.3|
The VT image looks very similar but the bokeh structure is a bit nicer in my eyes.
Now I shot the close-up with F8 to achieve a higher depth of field. You will notice that the image from the no name lens is sharp all over but gets a bit blurry towards the vignetting.
|No name F8|
The VT doesn't show much difference in comparison.
|No name F1.3|
|No name F6|
I had the time and it was suitable weather to make a star photo with the VT. The stars already show a bit of movement so the exposure time of 25 seconds was a bit too long. I didn't apply any post editing on this one but a median filter gets you rid of most noise.
|VT | Exposure: 25 | F6 | ISO 400 | Focal Length : 8 mm|