Wow! Premium 32 1.2 (85mm) for Nikon 1 Series arrives…

Wow! Premium 32 1.2 (85mm) for Nikon 1 Series arrives…

Nikon has upped the ante, finally with this new lenses for the Nikon 1 series! A high quality super fast 1.2 aperture 85mm equivalent is ready to be pre-ordered and it looks very nice. While it costs about triple of the Nikon V1 closeout price of $299 at about $900, I bet this will be an amazing portrait lens for the Nikon 1.

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This lens will feature a metal construction, Nano coatings and a floating element along with a big manual focus ring for super fine focusing. It will arrive in Black or Silver and you can pre-order it now at B&H Photo. I can not wait to get a hold of one to test as it can take the little impressive 1 series to the next level with some real shallow DOF possibilities and a pro grade construction.

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Also looks like Nikon reduced the price of the V2 body, now at $696. A perfect companion to the new 32 1.2. Still, a Nikon V2 and 32 1.2 lens will set you back about $1600, more expensive than an  Olympus E-P5 or OM-D E-M5 with a 25 1.4 or 45 1.8 which will get you more shallow DOF if you wanted it. Still, for those Nikon 1 fans, and there are quite a few out there now including my Son who made the V1 and 18.5 his #1 camera, this lens is VERY welcome.

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26 Comments

  1. I should’ve mentioned that the Nikon V1/V2 makes a great camera for soccer moms and nature photographers with its small size, great performance and the advantage in telephoto reach. However unfortunately for Nikon most of them probably go for the traditional SLRs, even though I understand for Nikon pros the phase detection AF ability of the Nikon One is an excellent bonus since they already have the lenses handy.

  2. This lens highlights one problem, actually two, that I have with the Nikon One system. Compared to a comparable Olympus 45mm f1.8, this lens is more than twice as expensive. At the same time, it’s not that much faster in equivalence compared to the Olympus nor is the Olympus a bad lens, in fact it’s an extremely competent optically.

    Usually by using a small sensor, there’s some reduction in the size or cost passed down to the consumer. However the Nikon One lenses and bodies aren’t significantly smaller or cheaper than the other mirrorless competition whereas, as expected, the high ISO performance of V2 lags behind the competition with the larger latest sensors, as well as the depth of field control.

    Right now the only calling card of the One system is its outstanding autofocus speed and little else. But that advantage could’ve very well been done with a larger sensor if they tried. The only downside would’ve been added cost to Nikon.

    The Nikon One system in isolation isn’t a bad system by any means but when compared to the competition, it’s just difficult to make a case to buy the Nikon considering the inherent image quality disadvantage, the price and the non-existence size advantage. I mean the V2 with a 18.5mm is very good. But an Olympus EPL5 with the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 pancake or the Samsung NX300 with the 30mm f2 pancake are just as small and have much better image quality especially when the light gets darker and neither is that slow when it comes to performance nor are they more expensive.

    • This lens is an outlier when it comes to price. Most of the Nikon 1 lenses are exceptionally cheap, quite a bit less than MFT lenses, and made as well as the best of them. Even the sub-$200 lenses like the 18.5mm have metal barrels and mounts. The 6.7-13mm wide angle zoom is half the price of this new lens, is wonderful, beautifully made, and cheaper than any comparable MFT lens. Why Nikon decided to jack up the price on this one is a mystery. I’m sure it’s a good lens, as all the recent CX lenses have been, but not that good.

  3. I love my Nikon 1 system…My favorites are the 10mm 2.8 and the 18.5 1.8…the only way I will own the new 32 1.2 is if I win one . I can’t justify the 900 dollar price tag . My V1 is my camera to shoot in the street because I can put it in stealth . I think Nikon has overpriced again…some people just do not learn…however I could change my mind…if I see sample images with this lens that would blow me away….naaah…that still wouldn’t change my mind…I can still use my d300 or Olympus E-pm2 with the 45 1.8 or the 75 1.8…I don’t think the Nikon 1 system can touch either of those

  4. I’m not sure if all the 1 series has electronic shutter mode but the V1 and V2 can shoot at 1/16,000s which helps reduce the number of situations you would need an ND filter with existing light. The V1 has base ISO of 100, the V2 has base ISO of 160

  5. I think that is the issue I have with it. I have a vague interest in the 1 series as I am thinking it might be a good replacement camera for my wife’s E-PL1. That plus the 10-30 and 18 would probably be a great kit for her. I personally use an E-M5, 12, 17 (sadly the 17/2.8, not the 1.8) and 25, 45 lenses. The 45 is wonderful and just the right amount of DoF for my photography. You can get shallow enough DoF and get pretty tight DoF if doing a headshot.

    Three concerns I have with this 32/1.2 for the 1 series is 1) Is it very usable wide open, or will it need to be stopped down even slightly for good resolution (12, 25 and 45 lenses in m4/3 can all are very good wide open and excellent stopped down slightly), 2) the price (more than twice a competing systems portrait lens with the Olympus 45/1.8 retailing in the US for $399 MSRP and you can find it on sale often enough for $349 or grey market import for $330) and lastly 3) requiring a thick ND filter to be able to shoot wide open in full daylight.

    My 45/1.8 I normally can only get away with about f/2.8 and 1/4000s in broad daylight and ISO200 (base ISO). I’m not sure what the minimum ISO of the 1 series is or minimum shutter speed is, but if it is the same, you are going to be stuck shooting at f/2.8 in full daylight with a polarizer on there…f/2.8 on m4/3 is f/5.6 90mm equivelent…passably shallow DoF for a headshot, some DoF effects even on a full body portait. However if you are stuck shooing at f/2.8 with this 32mm f/1.2 on a 1 series…that is 90mm f/7.8 equivelent…much wider depth of field. Of course you could slap a 3x or 4x ND filter on there for daylight photos (or maybe the 1 series does 1/8000s and/or ISO100, I don’t really know), but the fact that you are probably going to have to be at f/2 or better to get any real DoF effects short of being near MFD could very well be an issue in full daylight photography.

  6. I love my V1 and I like the 85mm equiv. focal length but I think I’d be hard pressed to spend $900 on this lens. For portraits and other slow moving subjects I just use my 35mm 1.8 DX G with the FT-1. I know its a bit bigger and a slower but good enough for me! What I’d really like to see is a 13mm 1.8 or even 1.4 if they could keep it small enough and affordable.

  7. This might be an interesting indoor sports lens. I wrote a quick review of the V1 for this purpose a while back and lamented the lack of fast prime lenses for the Nikon V1 system. Here’s a fast prime and combined with the camera’s ability to squeeze off 30 or 60 full frame shots it might do the trick. Anybody who has a V2 and gets this lens who’s willing to let me try it, I will write it up and credit you.

    • The V1 does not give you control on shutter speed and ISO in the 30/60 fps modes, rendering them pretty much useless for indoor sports in my experience (shutter speed usually stuck below 1/60s, giving blurry shots for any moving subjects).
      It is my understanding that the V2 does not have those limitations.

  8. The V1/V2 start to look interesting as a system. I`m still impressed when looking at my old V1 files taken at lower iso they have a crispness and pixel level sharpness I do not see with mft files and the colors are just wonderful.

    • I have the 1 V 1 and agree with your comments on the colors and sharpness at low ISO…but I also have an Olympus MFT camera and when I use the 45 1.8 or the 75 1.8 or the Rokinon 7.5 fisheye…you better watch out because you could cut yourself…these lenses on the mft make some very sharp images…to the point that some are decreasing the sharpness factor on their camera settings…I love both systems…they each have their strong points.

  9. Actually Steve by physical aperture size (45/1.8=25) vs (32/1.2=26.66) this lens will give slightly shallower DOF than the Oly lens. Of course the Oly lens is similarly tiny and less than half the price, but this is a great move by Nikon to make the system more interesting .

  10. Whatever quality the lens will have I find the price simply not `fitting` the system. Yes – V2 will come down in price eventually, but I do not expect the same to happen for a lens. Look at the 18/1.8 lens – that one is very reasonably priced, but this little fella costs about 5 times as much.

    I am really curios what kind of future does Nikon have in mind for the 1 System.

    • I’m a fan of the system and love my V1, but part of the charm of CX has been the inexpensive, high-quality lenses. The 18.5mm, 6.7-13mm, and 10-30mm are all terrific lenses, exceptionally well made without much plastic in important places, but most cost under $250. Nikon 1 is just not an obvious system for serious portraiture. It’s great that Nikon remains committed to the format and is filling in the holes in the lens lineup, but the price on this is so high few will ever own one. I would love a 50mm macro and a fastish 15mm, but at prices consistent with their other nice little lenses, not this.

  11. at Mac, anything less than that and you are looking at razor thin DOF.

    An 85 mm f/1.4 wide open essentially needs a flat plane i.e. a person looking directly at the camera to get both eyes near critical sharpness. Unless you back up considerably. Kinda defeats the purpose of a fast tele to back up (compression), might as well shoot a fifty from the same working distance at 1.4.

    Its just my opinion but I much prefer something like a 90 mm f/4.0 than a 85 mm f/1.4 unless I just need the speed and sharpness is relative (like a play production). A 90 f/4.0 is easier to shoot, significantly smaller, has just the right amount of DOF for a portrait. They also seem very well corrected wide open (I have a M mount Rokkor). Just my 2 cents.

    That being said if this lens is even remotely sharp wide open, I bet it will be very usable due to its speed and produce great portraits.

    • f/4 is certainly nice I was just illustrating the difference (good or bad). I do head/trunk shots with my DSLR and 200mm f/2 which has a DOF less than anything around and it produces fabulous results, wide open. Anyway, just depends on the look you are after. One isn’t better than the other. I just did a bunch of family shots at f/4 and f/5.6 to get everything in focus. There are other shots other than portraits though that one may want that shallow DOF.

      • Exactly. 🙂 I just wanted to state the alternate i.e. given the physical constraints of the sensor size, it should produce pleasant backgrounds and nice portraits wide open. Although $900 is a lottt of money to shell out.

        Wow. A 200 f/2 wide open… I’ve shot my Nikon 180 f/2.8 wide open, and from a decent distant a face can fill a frame and have pretty even sharpness and DOF. At 2 on a 200 mm filling the frame must mean only a small sliver of the eye in focus? No?

      • 200mm @ f4 and everything in focus? Examples please. My 90mm lenses don`t get everything in focus @f4, not on a FF sensor and neither with a aps-c one.

  12. Good news! However, I’m extremely puzzled at Nikon’s Logic in terms of pricing out its products. The initial high pricing of its products and subsequent drop in pricing lead people to believe that Nikon’s products are overpriced and of poor value. (I have no idea on how much true margin they have on these products, so perception whether right or wrong becomes reality in this case.)

    I’m really, really not sure how the high price can be justified given the competition and the size/quality of the 1″ sensor.

    That being said, the RX100 and the V1/V2 have proven that a high level of image quality can be produced from a small 1″ sensor (overachieving sensor).

    The million dollar question is are people willing to pay more for it, over the ever shrinking DX compacts and mirror-less cameras. I’m personally leaning more towards Coolpix A type cameras…

    Any thoughts? How does the Nikon 1 have to improve further, as a system, to remain competitive?

  13. Even with a fast aperture like this, it’s going to give you the equivalent DOF as a 85mm f/3.2 FF lens. Shallow DOF shots just aren’t near what you get going with larger sensor size.

    • You fairly pointed out the caveats of the conversion to people who might not have done the math. However, if it is engineered so that it this lens works nearly as well as the lovely, super-light and small 100mm 2.8 e-series nikkor behaved when stopped down a notch on a film camera, it will indeed be a treat.

      • Certainly this is just one side of things. Size factor is obviously a consideration. Can’t tell from the pics but I’d guess this lens is quite a bit smaller than anything on a DSLR. f/3.2 equivalent is still a nice DOF for portraits plus you get the speed of a f/1.2.

          • What Rui means is that, while the aperture is f/1.2, CX sensor pixels will typically be smaller and less sensitive than the ones on a DX or FX sensor.

            What this means in practical terms, is that this lens, when mounted on a 1 body, is really a 85mm f/3.2 equivalent, both in dof AND speed.

            This remains an adequate portrait lens (I often shoot my 85/90mm lenses at f/4 for portraits), but too bad you’ve got to pay this much to get this achievement in a small 1 form factor. If size is not an issue, you can also mount a f/1.8 or f/1.4 DX/FX lens on a FT1.

    • Sure, but that’s still pretty shallow DOF, less than a foot of DOF if your subject is 10 feet away. Obviously if you want Noctilux style razor-thin DOF, then Nikon 1 is not for you. Personally, I don’t really like the shallow DOF thing that much, and would prefer the idea of a fast lens which provided more DOF, and a small sensor can allow that.

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