I recently bought myself a Nikon 1 during a roadshow. When the sales rep demoed the functionality of the camera to me which includes taking macro shots, the pictures were crisp and bright. Convinced with the quality, I went ahead and purchased the camera.

Now when I start taking macro shots for jewelry at home, the picture comes out dimmed. Please note that the light conditions during the roadshow was poorer than my home. I recall faintly that the sales guy mentioned about apertures and exposures. Would that by any chance affect the quality of the picture? If yes, what would be the ideal settings for the Nikon 1?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You will be able to get reasonably lit Macro photos. What lens do you have? Knowing exactly what you are using will help people provide best advice. (There will be details written around the front face of the lens - please write them all down for us.)Having the FT1 macro adaptor will help but is not essential. This Youtube video MAY be of some help. youtube.com/watch?v=NstmwPHcV3Y \$\endgroup\$ Jul 17, 2012 at 8:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi Russell, thank you for your input. I am using the Nikon J1 + 10-30mm 1:3.5-5.6 vr 40.5 which came standard with the package i purchased. When the sales person demoed the macro shots it looked really good, so I was under the impression it would work out of the box. I will proceed to check out the link you provided and thank you very much for sharing. \$\endgroup\$
    – bernie
    Jul 18, 2012 at 1:10

2 Answers 2



You don't say whether you are using the Nikon 1 J1 or Nikon 1 V1 nor which lens you are using.

None of the current (July 2012) Nikon-1 lenses are macro lenses although you can use the FT1 adapter with Nikon-F lenses to get true macro capability.

However you should be able to get reasonably good close-up photographs of jewelry using the J1 or V1 and one of the standard kit lenses - I imagine most people have the 10-30mm lens.


If you have the Nikon-1 J1, I wouldn't use it's built in flash for very close subjects, the lens may mask the subject when used close up. I'd try and get a good source of lighting such as a window on a sunny day, I'd use a reflector to bounce light onto the other sides of the subject - a sheet of white paper will work.

Focal length

If you have the 10-30 mm lens, I'd set it to 30 mm, you'll need to move the camera a little further away from the subject but the subject will fill more of the picture (this depends on the lens, experiment, don't assume that macro means getting the lens as close as possible to the subject).


Using any sort of tripod or camera support (even improvised) will help a lot, use the timer to set a delayed release.

Depth of focus

If some parts of the object are not in focus, I'd select "single-area" focus mode and position the focus area on the most important element of the object. If necessary set exposure mode to P or A and adjust the aperture settings by using the zoom lever so that the camera is using a smaller aperture (try F8 or F16 and compare results).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi RedGrittyBrick, thanks for your response, I do apologize for not listing my camera model and lens at the very beginning. I am currently using the Nikon 1 J1 with the standard 10-30mm 1:3.5-5.6 vr 40.5 lens. I've tried taking it next to a window and room light condition but it still appears somewhat dark. I'll continue to experiment with the guides you listed such as focal length and depth of focus. Hopefully I would be able to grasp the mechanics of the camera soon enough and start taking reasonably good looking pictures. Thanks for your input again \$\endgroup\$
    – bernie
    Jul 18, 2012 at 1:19

With this question you are essentially asking "how do I take a properly exposed photo"; the fact that you are using a Nikon 1 and attempting close up shots is moot. 'Apertures and exposures' are fundamental aspects of photography and so of course will affect the quality of your images.

It sounds like you would benefit from a little background reading into exposure and how it is affected by aperture, shutter speed and ISO (see 'the exposure triangle'). There is little point in handing you 'ideal settings' because there are no ideal settings; they change in every different situation and will vary depending on how you want the photo to turn out.

Give a man settings, and he will be able to take one photo. Give a man the knowledge to work out his own settings, and he will be able to take any photo.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your response rfusca, you can probably tell from my question I am very new to photography hence the question on the settings. I will definitely read up on the exposure triangle, apertures and exposures. Thank you very much for sharing the info. \$\endgroup\$
    – bernie
    Jul 18, 2012 at 1:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ rfusca just edited, I'm the mastermind ;) A good starting point is Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure: amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-3rd-Edition-Photographs/dp/… \$\endgroup\$ Jul 18, 2012 at 8:18

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