© MARK ALBERHASKY <WWW.IMAGEMA .COM>
EXOTIC CLOSE UP: Panamanian rain forest detail, shot with NIKON 1 and a micro NIKKOR 105, f/2.8 lens
More than 100 years after the eradication of yellow fever allowed for completion of the Panama Canal, pathologist turned professional photographer Mark Alberhasky trekked to the crossroads of the Americas. But studying disease wasn’t on the itinerary. Rather, Alberhasky surveyed the country through the electronic viewfinder of his new Nikon 1 V1. “I was excited to travel with a lightweight kit that still let me shoot seriously, and the Nikon 1 system really performed,” he says.
Panamanian wonders like nature-rich rain forests, indigenous villagers and the convergence of continents and oceans offered a tremendous variety of subject matter. “Whether capturing a documentary subject like a Panamax freighter entering the canal locks or creatively interpreting raindrops on a leaf with a macro lens, the technology in the V1 produced sharp, vibrant images that are mainstays of my work.”
The odyssey marks this Nikon mentor’s first trip to Central America, although he’s led many excursions for the Nikon-sponsored Mentor Series World Wide Photo Treks. These adventures are among the doors that opened since Alberhasky traded a medical career for the chance to pursue photographic endeavors fulltime. “My Nikons have been a magic passport,” says the intrepid adventurer of his second career.
Exotic subjects and physically challenging terrain were well within his reach thanks to the compact and highly portable Nikon 1, made
even more versatile with an FT-1 Mount Adaptor for use with F mount NIKKOR lenses. “Many photographers have found the relative increase in focal length with DX sensors to be an advantage,” says Alberhasky. “The 2.7x focal length conversion for the Nikon 1 CX sensor brings even greater potential to the table. Imagine your micro NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8 lens—on the V1 it delivers the perspective of a 283mm f/2.8 telephoto with edge-to-edge sharpness. Now consider that the 105mm f/2.8 weighs about 18 ounces while the 300mm f/2.8 for a DSLR weighs about six pounds; five times as much. It’s easy to envision that a Nikon 1 system will be a welcome change for many photographers looking to make serious images but also serious about cutting down on weight.”
“I rarely travel without my AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 ED VRII zoom, but now that lens becomes a 190- 540mm f/2.8 in a design that’s less than 10-inches long. With a DSLR, a lens that long and fast would be enormous and weigh a ton,” he explains.
Use of the V1 electronic shutters—high and low speed—can push boundaries even further. “This little camera is capable of shooting a burst of 10mp RAW files at a 60 FPS rate. For special subjects that will be spectacular.”
Alberhasky has already taken to the camera’s ergonomic controls and logical menus; he finds the startup and focus capabilities incredibly fast and was delighted when the viewfinder activated as the proximity sensor detected his approaching face when bringing the camera to his eye. “Everyone who has seen my camera is amazed by the quality of the electronic viewfinder and it’s instant availability.”
The geo-mapping capabilities of the Nikon 1 System GPS unit allowed Alberhasky to log time, latitude, longitude and altitude coordinates, whether shooting in metropolitan Panama or in the rain forest. “It’s not only cool but very useful to automatically document exact locations for my images,” he says.
Then there’s the ability to shoot full HD movies (1080p) while simultaneously capturing stills. “With this camera you have three Nikon 1 system lenses that cover the 35mm equivalent of 27mm to 300mm for video and stills, and with the FT-1 adapter, you can access additional exotic pieces of NIKKOR glass. I think the creative potential of the Nikon 1 System is simply phenomenal, and the energy you save by not carrying heavy equipment lets you stay creative longer.”