Sunday, January 24, 2021

A little good, a little bad, a little happy, a little sad.

I saved up from some writing projects to buy a birthday present for myself. I'd mentioned earlier that I wanted to do a project this year where I did a bunch of photography with the little Nikon 1 system.

So I scared up a used Nikon 1 V2 body from KEH and, since candid portraiture of my friends is my favorite kind of photography, I rolled the dice on a low-priced 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 on eBay. The 32mm/1.2 is a very well-reviewed portrait lens and the best piece of glass for the Nikon 1 system.

The camera body arrived from KEH and was exactly what I'd hoped for: Basically functioning like a 5/8ths scale Nikon DSLR. Unlike the original V1, the V2 has a control and menu layout that's instantly recognizable to a DSLR shooter.

The lens though...I should have known better. I knew I was rolling the dice buying a lens from a private individual at that price, especially a dude whose reviews on FB made it clear he wasn't really a photographer. 

The 32mm/1.2 had a known issue where the aperture blades would get stuck stopped way down and this one has it. The aperture wouldn't open wider than about f/11, and sometimes f/16. Sometimes it would stick completely closed. I should have bought one from a shop that knew how to fully test it or listed it as factory refurbished, having had the aperture blades replaced. This lens was discontinued several years ago and repair parts are next to non-existent. As it is, I basically set a handful of Benjamins on fire. Whee.

Oh, well. "We get too soon old and too late smart", as the saying goes.

I'm going to get one of the (much cheaper) white 10-100mm zooms and go to the zoo as soon as the weather turns warmer.