Nikon 32 1.2 1 series lens now Special Order Only?


It appears that the wonderful NIkon 32 1.2  lens for the Nikon 1 system is now a special order only item, with no return possible at B&H Photo. While this lens has sold out every shipment at B&H Photo and Amazon, and rather quickly, for some reason it will n longer be stocked at B&H. You can special order it, wait a few weeks for it and it can NOT be returned. Odd.

Is this is strange but subtle sign that maybe the Nikon 1 system may indeed be going away silently and slowly. I do not know this for sure, but why Nikon or B&H would make this a special order lens with no returns is strange. The 32 1.2 is the best lens for the 1 system. 

What do you think it means for the Nikon 1 system? I checked Amazon and it says “ships in 2-4 weeks” which is about how long it would take to special order. Notice it has 11 reviews, all 5 star 🙂



  1. It has to be said as a new Nikon V1 owner (how could I not be at £249 with 10-30mm all in!) and keen to buy some more lenses, especially prime lenses, that the price of the 32mm is astonishingly expensive for the now cut price camera. I couldn’t imagine paying full price for the1 series bodies with so much competition from M4/3rds out there (albeit with bigger lenses generally – pancakes excepted!). I may keep the V1 for only a few months depending on Nikons plans for the future, but is it a great little camera with some annoying quirks that are not at all significant at the price I paid – however, at full price I wouldn’t rate it (it’s ok, but the kit lens I have is pretty poor wide open) I really do think these companies don’t have a clue what they are doing and release stuff in the hope it will catch on!

  2. Hello, I would like to hear more about the rugged Nikon 1 rumor being mentioned. Are they suggesting a weather sealed V3 with new weather sealed lenses? This would be a fantastic plan for this line!

    Thanks, Andrew

  3. The only newer system that really seem’s to be making any sense now is Micro 4/3rds. You can get consumer bodies all the way up to semi-pro level bodies along with a full range of fast zooms and really fast primes. Lens selection is better than APS-C from Nikon or Canon. Sigma is helping out the APS-C cause though, That 18-35mm f/1.8 is nice and fills a void.

  4. Steve,

    I see you’ve just sold off your V1s and lenses. So, I’ll be the first to ask….are you ditching the Nikon 1 system? I’m extremely grateful that you stubbornly championed the V1 when many others were trashing it. That was the main reason I bought into the system and I have absolutely no regrets. Just curious on your thinking. Is it just that your job of testing so many new products means that you wind up with too many different systems and have to rationalise your gear cupboard from time to time?

    • Was just going to make the same post! Steve, you were hopeful a month ago or so, saying a V3 was in the works. What gives?

    • I think Steve is just selling off some of the glass he doesn’t use, like the slower kit zooms. I’ve got the 10-30 and 30-110 and they are pretty decent lenses for little money but I’m using the 6.7-13 and 32mm nearly all the time, as those are such good lenses.

      The slower zooms are basically like kit lenses that usually come with a camera, and are fine and good for some photographers, but for the typical enthusiast type that buys other glass, they really just sit and collect dust.

      You’ll find the same with m4/3, NEX or other formats. You see a ton of 14-42mm kit zooms for m4/3 for sale as they came with a bunch of camera models, or various other “kit” lenses, for everything sans Fuji X, where the “kit” lens actually is a pretty high end optic

  5. All the “poor depth of field”-talk does not come from people who love photography but from people who love cameras and think blurry backgrounds is all there is. Sure, some thick bokeh is great at times but its just ONE effect and ONE thing that a camera can do. Why the hang up on bokeh?
    I was also not sure about the V1 until i bought one and started luvin it. I think that the 1 system is ahead of its time. Micro 43 was also bashed in the beginning because people said the sensor was TOO small. Now this system has matured and proven itself very capable. Give the Nikon 1 system some time and a newer sensor and things will change.

  6. I don’t understand the complaints about this lens. $900 is pretty darn cheap in the world of enthusiast photography gear, and while I do realize that everyone has different budgets, most of the enthusiast on sites like this, Fred Miranda etc all seem to have no problem dropping $1k+ on glass.

    In regards to body pricing at current blow out I can see how its high, but why not think of that a nice benefit of the system ? Since the body only cost you $250, you have more to spend on glass.

    Buying a $900 lens for a $1400 Olympus EM-1 is okay, or buying a $900 lens for a $800 Fuji XE-1 is okay, but buying a $900 lens for a $250 V1 is wrong somehow ?

    In a way, there is no better camera for an ultra fast lens than the V1 because of its 1/16,000th max sync speed which means you can actually shoot at f1.2 in broad daylight, and, given the excellent AF and face detection of the V1, your also going to get well exposed, and in focus shots.

    Its simply a really fun tool to shoot with, and if you enjoy the V1, it really takes the camera to another level.

    Would I prefer it to have been $499 ? Sure, I like saving money as much as the next guy, but I enjoy photography more.

    I tried the DX 35mm with FT-1 and it worked okay, but its slower, suffers from some fringing, and its a good deal bulkier with adapter than the 32mm, plus you can only use center point AF, instead of the whole frame.

    It works though, and if you can’t/won’t spend $900 for a lens on a system that is a 2nd or 3rd camera for most of us, no worries, but if you’ve got the money and enjoy the N1 system, its $900 well spent IMHO.

    I bought a Nikon 85mm f1.4 G which cost A LOT more than the 32mm and while its a great lens, I don’t really shoot it. I also spent MUCH LESS on the 18mm f1.8 for the N1 system and its a great lens too, but again, I don’t really shoot it. I’ve always got the 32mm mounted.

    A $900 lens that gets lot of use is a better deal than a cheaper lens you don’t shoot that often if you actually equate usage and enjoyment into your cost equation.

    I sold off a Sony RX1, a Fuji X100s, and an Olympus EP-5 so far this year and yet I’m not only still shooting my V1, but I bought a second body I enjoyed it so much. If you don’t focus just on pixel peeping and actually on how good a tool is at letting you create images, the V1 is a pretty unbeatable little camera.

    Nearly everyone I’ve let shoot mine has actually gone out and bought one. I totally wrote the camera off as having horrible specs, and only got one to use at a cheap 2.7x TC on my 400mm for shooting baseball from the outfield camera platforms but I ended up really loving the little thing and its my casual camera of choice. I went and bought the 6.7-13mm, the 18mm, the 10mm, the 30-110mm and also the 32mm.

    Just have to actually spend some time shooting one and find out how fun it makes photography when your not trying to work against poor/slow AF or metering etc. Really can change your outlook on photography in a way.

    With my RX1 for example I used to worry about getting the perfect DoF for a shot, used to love pixel peeping the 24meg files, the amazing high ISO cleanliness, the great DR etc, but it could be a little slow in operation.

    V1 is so quick that faster than I can even think “shoot” the camera has already locked onto a face, and with a touch of the shutter its focused, nailed the exposure and WB, and given me a nice frame (or frames if your shooting at 60 fps)

    Its made me concentrate more on capturing decisive moments and things happening on the fly rather than trying to set up and compose a technically perfect shot with a camera like the RX1.

    One style isn’t better than the other of course, I enjoy them both, but the V1 has let me focus on shots that capture a moment or an emotion, a fleeting expression of a subject etc.

    They might be noiser, or have less subject isolation, lack in resolution, but the compositions can be better, my timing is better.

    All in all its just something you’ve really got to try to really “get it” so to speak.

    Get a $200 used V1, throw on a $179 18mm f1.8 which equates to a 50mm equiv and spend some time with it.

    I would bet that many won’t just enjoy it, but they probably will end up opening the wallet and adding on the 6.7-13mm VR lens, or even the 32mm f1.2

    • You’re correct..the Nikon V1 is a cracking camera and I love shooting with it. I have the Olympus OMD but in some ways the V1 it’s better!

      It’s extremely hard to get it to not focus!

    • “All in all its just something you’ve really got to try to really “get it” so to speak.”

      Yes, yes and yes again! I think the V1 is also a camera that you have to spend time with to really appreciate as the specs on paper don’t come close to doing it justice.

      I’m shocked when I see people talking about how the bought and sold multiple cameras/systems in the space of 6-12 months, forever moving onto the next shiny toy without getting to know the ‘old’ one. I don’t know what that is, but it ain’t photography (IMHO). I’m just waiting for the first post that says: ‘I’ve had my EM1 for 2 days now but I’m selling it ‘cos I just heard a rumour that its successor is on the way…”

      • lol, you are right.
        i have my V1 for a couple of months now. but I have the feeling that I still have to learn A LOT more, even though i am using it every day (just hobby, not for a living!)
        there is so much to play with.
        today i received a 4,8 mm c-mount lens and boy, i could play with that all day long!
        and all the pictures i took, i could spend hours with each in photoshop… never gets old…

        i thought about dropping the V1 in favour of a E-M5, but i just won’t. not even after the E-M1 release.
        it’s not the money, i will buy a 32 mm for my V1 soon!
        it’s not the m4/3 lenses, m4/3 has awesome glass!
        it’s not the size. m4/3 is portable for me!
        it’s not the IQ. E-M5 has awesome high-iso noise and sharpness, better than my V1!

        no, not all that. it’s just: i am devoted to my V1. i don’t want to drop this camera because newer models have “more”. what “more” is there anyway? is flash sync of 1/250 important to me? if so, i would switch! 20 MP? Sensor size? Professional impression on others?

        for most people, i think, it’s this megapixel/sensor size/function advertisement momentum: “holy shit, this is better than mine!”
        i don’t say: don’t buy APS-C, Fuji X, FF or alikes.
        No. but if you have camera xyz, use it. don’t spend your time thinking about what you are missing!

        when i am tempted to look into larger sensor and more attractive cameras, i come here and look at steves or craig (litten)s images…

        • Yes, I understand where you are coming from as I bought the Nikon V1 to have a try with (after reading Steve’s blog) and love it!

          I have the OMD EM5 (selling soon as the EM1 is on order) and also have the little Sony RX100M2.

          If I don’t like or use a camera often I’ll sell it. I do find myself picking up the V1 often as it always nails the shot and I like the files from it.

          The V1 is what made me want the EM1. The phase/contrast focus detection of the V1 makes the EM5 look sluggish and I wanted it in the OMD, hence the move to the EM1.
          (I shoot football and was getting some blurred with the EM5 due to it’s contrast detection only).

          The little pocket rocket Sony RX100M2 I can have in my jeans pocket all the time, so I’m never without a camera.

          All I can say is that those knocking the V1 haven’t tried it. Sure, it is frustrating sometimes with it’s menu navigation and I’d prefer to know what ACTUAL settings I’m using in the EVF but it gets there in the end.

          I bought the 6.7mm lens and have the 10-30/30-110 and doubt I’ll be buying any more. It’s just a neat little system as it is.

  7. I’m going to take a wild guess that Nikon has stopped shipping this lens to the NA market and Nikon USA is no longer going to support it. Those lead-times sounds like B&H is getting them through the grey market (or an intermediate) – hence the “no-returns” policy. It could also be that the entire 1 System is being pulled back from North America only to be sold in Asian countries. Nikon did that a few times with some of their their compact cameras in the 35mm film days (late 80s to late 90s.)

  8. It’s a pricey lens, and we’re talking about the action of one camera company, so I don’t think it’s time to write off Nikon 1 yet. I thought the V1 was a lovely looking camera, and the V2 hideous. I don’t own either, but I think Nikon can do some cool things with this system, big sensors are not everything.

    • Who said there isn’t a warranty? I only read that it’s special order, which doesn’t automatically equate to grey market.

  9. This is the same worry as just about any “modern” lens mount, that its manufacturer will lose interest and abandon the system.

    I was spending a fairly sizeable amount on Sony E mount (the Zeiss 24 and the two Zeiss Touits), but ended up returning the Touits, selling the Nex7 and the Zeiss 24 to start in Leica M. I don’t think E mount will go anywhere soon, but already the talk is about moving to full-frame and making existing lenses second-class citizens stuck in “crop mode”. Sony also appears to be losing interest in the A mount. M4/3 is more popular than E mount and may be a bit more future-proof, but how much more really?

    Nikon’s F and Canon’s EOS mounts are mature and likely won’t be going anywhere soon, but I just don’t want to shoot with a heavy DSLR anymore. That left Leica M. Like Nikon F it is used on modern cameras as well as antique film cameras going back to the 50s. Film Leicas will likely always have a place, while digital may eventually leave the rangefinder concept behind, but it is unlikely that Leica would break the coupling in future lenses.

  10. Hey Steve, if Nikon does announce a new “rugged” Nikon 1, then I have confidence that the system will continue. Maybe the 32mm f1.2 will just be special order as you suggested.

  11. With all due respect to the V1 enthusiasts, I have to say that I never understood this lens. It is MUCH to expensive relative to the 1 system’s other lenses, and it’s not even great value for money. The bokeh is distracting at best, and the size takes away from the 1 system’s portability.

    The 1 system’s only claim over other compacts is its focus speed, and this is not an advantage to hang one’s hat on, as the compacts will catch up. What’s more micro four thirds now offers nearly as much portability (see EPL-1, GX-7) and focus speeds that are not appreciably slower, while offering enough sensor real-estate for some real depth of fielt at less than $1,000/lens.

    Looks to me like the V1 is simply naturally being squeezed out of its niche as other systems with better defined and larger target audiences encroach on its only selling points.

    • I think Nick is on to something. I’d like to say that I bought the V1 because Steve “told me to”… However, I bought it because I have GAS….and then the price was right to get me into a mirrorless system with interchangeable lenses….and very decent IQ. Even with a 28mm and 30-100mm zoom and N5 flash I am still under 500$. Now…to buy a 32mm and then be at 1400$! You are now in Sony/Fuji/Panasonic land and hanging on for life with Nikon. I am beginning to see the wisdom (on the horizon) of a fixed lens very compact with APSC sensor and extremely high IQ . Maybe even two of them with different useful focal lengths….for less than $1400 with the possibility of less fuss than one camera body and a bunch of lenses. Sigma or Ricoh (or Canon?) come to mind. Or…a full frame fixed lens compacts for $1400+…..

      • what are you talking about? full frame fixed lens compacts for $1400?

        V1 is limited compared to bigger sensor cameras. but you have it because of it’s size, right? lenses are very small and light.
        the 32 1.2 is light too. IQ wise, the sensor really can shine with that lens. and for your 1400, you have 3 lenses, while with the sony/fuji/panasonic/olympus set you might just be able to get one good prime. so, for me sounds like a good deal.

        fixed lens aps-c cameras like x-100s is very nice too. most of the time we could do with one focal length, i guess…

    • The only camera that competes with the Nikon V series on focus speed is a Nikon D4.

      M4/3rds cameras only offer fast focus with stationary subjects. They are all useless with fast moving subjects.

  12. Maybe B&H is just covering themselves until they see if a V3 is announced? I must admit though that this doesn’t sound too promising. Looking on Nikon’s website, I don’t even see the 32mm listed anywhere.

    • I can’t see B&H doing this out of free will. It doesn’t really make sense from a sales perspective. They’ll sell fewer lenses in case people know they can’t return them. Sounds forced by Nikon to me, unfortunately. 🙁

      What’s funny about this, in case Nikon will truly abandon the Nikon 1 system, is that I’m 110% sure that a competitor will have introduced another 1″ based system by 2020. This system’s problems may have been that it was ahead of its time, but certainly not because you can’t produce awesome quality photos with ridiculously small gear by using sometimes ridiculously cheap lenses. It’s all a formula for success, really. That Nikon has struggled here…? I can only attribute it to marketing problems. *shrug* The RX100 sells like hotcakes and has a sensor of identical size. Sure, it’s more compact than a Nikon 1 camera, but with no interchangeable lenses. There’s usually room for both kinds, always with the same kind of compactness tradeoff.

      • You make a good point. I guess we’ll have to see if other retailers follow suit. I hope they do not discontinue this system. I own the RX100 as well for traveling very light, but prefer the V1 for everything else within its limits.

  13. There may be other explanations for the special order/no return policy other than that the system is going away. This is a niche lens, but supply may still lag behind demand, Suppliers may be leery of being stuck with such lenses and only want serious people ordering them.

    I shake my head when I regularly read comments on the Internet about other lenses where some fussy photographer brags about returning two or three copies before settling on one he would accept. That practice surely hurts profits to suppliers who can’t sell the returned copies at retail.

  14. It’s quite an expensive lens for a system probably aimed at the casual or enthusiast market. Maybe they’re going to make them to order?

    I’ve got three lenses for the system with the 6.7-13, 10-30 and 30-110 and won’t be being any more to go with my V1 unless any V3 is so tempting.

    Is this the same with the other primes for the system?

    I must say, I love the look of the files I get from the V1 and the amazingly snappy focusing.

  15. Unless I’m mistaken the Nikon 1 system has not taken off remotely as well as Nikon would have hoped. I know many mirrorless shooters with just about every mirrorless offer in the market… except the 1. The choice of a really small sensor size was odd and obviously a hurdle to the system’s success. That the best lens available for the system should become “on order only” is pretty tale telling. It speaks of a not too bright future…

    • the sensor is not “really small”, it is smaller than full frame, but so is full frame compared to medium format!

      no, the reason is, that many people fall for the huge sensor advertisement. spoke with a friend yesterday, who went Canon 6D, because he had the feeling, that APS-C wasn’t good enough for him.
      you get the drift…

  16. Wow. All signs point to Nikon becoming more and more of an enigma. Floundering? Of course, none of us know, but this revelation is certainly puzzling.

  17. Possibly it’s because people just ordered the lens, had some fun with it and returned it afterwards, just to try a f/1.2 lens and not because the 1 system is going to die..

  18. In my humble opinion, the 32/1.2 is simply far too pricey and will only be bought by absolute 1-system enthusiasts. The Olympus 45/1.8 is one third the price and provides equally shallow d-o-f on a Micro Four Thirds camera, which also provides better image quality overall. And then you can always slap a nifty fifty on a Canon Rebel or Nikon D3/5/7xxx and get even shallower d-o-f for even less …

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