Nikon 1 32mm f/1.2 Announcement

Nikon has just announced a brand new lens for the CX mount – the Nikon 1 32mm f/1.2. While this news might not be interesting for Nikon DSLR, it surely will be to anyone that owns a Nikon 1 camera system. It is the first Nikon 1 lens with an insanely fast aperture of f/1.2, Nano Crystal Coat, Silent Wave Motor and a real manual focus ring. With a focal length of 32mm, this lens is equivalent to an 86mm lens on full-frame, which makes it a really nice portrait lens. In terms of depth of field, because the sensor of the Nikon 1 system is only 1 inch in size, the full frame equivalent would be around f/3.2 – a downside of a small sensor. Still, considering how much technology Nikon put into this lens, it will surely be the sharpest lens in the Nikon 1 line.

Nikon 1 32mm f/1.2

The specs of the lens look great, but the price is rather steep – $900 MSRP. That’s a pretty hefty sum for a small CX lens. It is obviously a pro-level lens targeted at existing Nikon 1 V1/V2 owners, so I do not expect it to be super popular among J1/J2/J3 and S1 owners.

Some sample images from the lens (courtesy of Nikonusa.com):
Nikkor 1 32mm f/1.2 Sample (1)

Nikkor 1 32mm f/1.2 Sample (2)

Nikkor 1 32mm f/1.2 Sample (3)

Nikkor 1 32mm f/1.2 Sample (4)

Nikkor 1 32mm f/1.2 Sample (5)

Not bad at all!

And here is the official press release:

The Newest Addition to the Nikon 1 System, the 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 Lens, Offers Superior Resolution and Incredible Depth of Field to Nikon 1 Shooters

MELVILLE, N.Y. (May 14, 2013) – Today, Nikon Inc. introduced the newest addition to the acclaimed Nikon 1 system, the 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 lens, a fast medium-telephoto offering for photographers who appreciate the speed and portability of the Nikon 1 System. With a fixed focal length of 32mm and a maximum aperture of f/1.2, the new 32mm lens is the fastest in the ever expanding 1 NIKKOR lens lineup. An ideal lens for portraiture, the 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 lens is capable of rendering breathtaking images that capture every detail.

The 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 lens (86mm equivalent in 35mm format) enables brilliant sharpness and is able to resolve intricate details in portraits such as hair, eyes and eyelashes, while also allowing for strategically precise image blur and bokeh. From flattering portraits to still-life art, this fast lens gives users the ability to emphasize a primary subject combined with a skillfully blurred background for a dramatic yet natural separation, and shoot with confidence in challenging light.

Additionally, core NIKKOR lens technologies have been carried over into the 1 NIKKOR series, as the 32mm f/1.2 is the first 1 NIKKOR lens to be equipped with a Silent Wave Motor (SWM), a manual focus ring and a Nano Crystal Coat — all traditional staples of the NIKKOR line. Utilizing the Close-Range Correction System, the lens is able to provide high-resolution, realistic textures and minimized aberration, even during close-up shooting. The M/A (autofocus with manual override) mode lets the user to manually focus during autofocus operation for intuitive and fine adjustments while shooting. Additionally, the lens sports an elegant and portable design while Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat effectively reduces instances of ghost and flare for optimal image quality.

With the addition of the new 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 lens, the 1 NIKKOR lens lineup now offers nine total lenses for photographers seeking the ideal harmony of performance and portability.

Nikon will continue to expand the 1 NIKKOR lineup with lenses that make the most of the capabilities and performance offered by Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses, while consistently offering new ways for users to express their creative vision.

Price and Availability

The 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 lens will be available in Black and Silver for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $899.95* in June 2013. For more information on the Nikon 1 system and other 1 NIKKOR lenses as well as other Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) David B
    May 13, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    it is an equivalent of Olympus 45/1.8 for m43….which is also about 90mm/F3.6 in FullFrame Terms…..for about 3 times the price (Olympus is currently on sale everywhere for $349). I am sure Nikkor will go down in price eventually. But, the Olympus was $399 at start. Perhaps it will have a better build than the Olympus, which is all plastic made in China, but the Olympus is so sharp it is mind-boggling

  2. 2
    ) KSPGM
    May 14, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Nasim said : ‘Not bad at all!’

    That’s good priase for a CX product on this site !!

    I have been tying to get ‘air time’ for CX on this site for some time. The V2 with this lens will be, I am sure a serious contender. And It will just about fit in just about anywhwere.

    I am convinced that many ‘fanboys’ and ‘spec addicts’ are writing off CX for no sound reason. It is a great system for economy of size and weight. There seems to be a strong ‘machismo’ bias against ‘small’ – perhaps your latest lady reporters could comment on this Nasim?

    I can carry it everywhere – with a nearly full kit of lenses (the 6.7-13, 10-100, 18.5 and this 32 v.soon) all either sit on my V2 or in a childs’ tubular pencil case! They go almost everywhere. And don’t get me wrong, I also love DX (if I had the money and the muscle to hung it around- probably FX also) – and have a D7100. But the D7100 and kit only comes out when I am going somewhere specific to ‘do photography’ – otherwise the V2 kit is all I will take.

    This portability aspect of an interchangeable lens system is what makes it for me – and it does not seem to be given enough weight when comparing systems. Nikon’s 1 system is the smallest complete “DSLR equivalent” system available to date. I have tried fixed lens compacts as an early alternatitve – but the even smaller sensor and the lack of lens flexibility did not do it for me – The V2 is a great compromise between image quality asize and weight.

    This new lens may be the tipping point for the system. If it is as good as it promises it will be spending a lot of time on my V2

    Please . . . an early review Nasim? Give it a fair chance?

    best wishes

    KSPGM

  3. 3
    ) ertan
    May 14, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Wait until the price drops to half, which won’t happen :) 900$ is extreme for this system, no matter what.

  4. 4
    ) KSPGM
    May 14, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Ertan,

    An FX 85 mm f/1.4 on Amazon USA is around $1550, so $900 for the CX 32 mm f/1.2 seems about right. Both have nano-coating, silent-wave, manual focus-ring etc … both are very expensive, state of the art prime lenses.

    The 32 mm f/1.2 lens specification might be considered ‘extreme’ for the system (I actually do not think so . . ) but the price is not.

    The best arguement you can make is that Nikon have had to make a lens of this quality (and consequent high cost) to overcome the depth of field limitations of CX sensors.

    I love my V2 + FT1 +35mm for museum work but have long wished for the V2 + 32 mm now available for its compact size , reduced weight, discrete nature and full V2 functionality. This is confirmend, for me, by the high quality pictures I have obtained from the V2 + 18.5 mm combination. So I am willing to pay Nikon’s price for this lens if it performs as promised – it is my dream lens for this type of work.

    Remember that this lens will last me many years of use. The V2 – V3 – V4 will just keep on evolving year on year.

    • 9
      ) Ertan
      May 15, 2013 at 9:32 am

      I have V1 + 10-30mm and FT-1. It’s a very good system, still I think 900$ for a tiny sensor is too much. That’s my opinion. 18,5mm f1.8 is a good value though.
      If you compare this lens with the 85mm f1.4 pricewise think about this: If Nikon releases a 111mm f2.0 lens for 3000$, will you say “it’s a good value because it’s cheaper than 300mm f2.8 VR”?
      FT1 + 35mm f1.8 AF-S is good but makes a lot of CA.

      • 10
        ) KSPGM
        May 16, 2013 at 1:39 am

        Hi Ertan,

        My favourite ‘close up’ combination for the V2 is the Ft1+35mm f1.8. It is however, a bit bulky (large size and weight) and consequently removes some of the advatages of the Nikon 1 system – i.e. light and small in size – also looses the Af-C mode. Like you, I guess, I would have been happy if Nikon had released a 32 mm f/1.8 for the Nikon 1 system – which would probably have cost nearer to $450. But they have decided to give us a much higher spec lens at double the price.

        The lens they are giving us is very high quality prime – what might term ‘professional’ standard – hence the price. I accept that this may be too high a price for most Nikon 1 user – but that does not make the lens expensive or over-priced – just what it is! Now whether or not one is willing to pay this price for the advantages this lens brings is another question! I will get it ,since, as I said, it is my dream combination for some of the photography I do in museums where reasonabale close up (not macro) and very low light performance is fundamental. The V2+32 mm will be a very discrete and portable option for me and should, I hope deliver very high image quality.

        As to the ‘tiny sensor’ arguement. I don’t really follow this. The CX sensor is indeed smaller than the DX sensor in my D7100 . . . but the pixel size on the V2 is about 2.9 micromm whilst on the D7100 it is 3.9 micromm – about a 25% reduction – and both give around 15 Megapixels (with the D7100 in x1.3 mode). Your V1 has pixels or around 3.4 micromm – virtually the same as the D7100 – and that camera is being hailed as probably the best DX camera to date!

        The Nikon 1 system has just begun . . . in a few years time the CX sensor will deliver IQ similar to the FX cameras of today. It is, according to Thom Hogan already exceeding the D80 IQ and my D90 (their next DX model) gave superb pictures!

        I have faith in Nikon despite all the critics . . . they are not going to waiste millions of dollars developing a system with no future. The release of this lens confirms that they do indeed ‘mean buisness’ for this system.

        best wishes – and I am glad that you too are enjoying your Nikon 1 gear!

        KSPGM

  5. 5
    ) Art
    May 14, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I am personally looking forward to adding this lens to my Nikon 1 system. The more I use the Nikon 1 system the more I grow to like it and this lens will make a great addition to my growing collection of Nikon 1 lenses.
    I have been selling my photography at local craft fairs through a friend for the last 10 years trying to pay for the cost of my equipment. Over the last year I find that I am selling more and more of pictures taken with my V1 and V2. Since I mainly sell 8 x 10 & 11 x 14 prints at these fairs the small sensor size does not really make any difference. Most people could not tell the difference between photos taken with my D800 or V2. These cameras are so convenient I find myself taking them everywhere and of course taking more pictures. Over a period of about 10 months selling the pictures taken with my V1 & V2 I have paid for the cost of the two cameras, 18.5mm 1.8, 10mm 2.8, 6.7 -13mm, 30-110mm, FT-1 adapter, the two available flashes, and a carrying bag .
    So as for the cost I feel that the price of the lens is high but this is true for everything in the 1 system. For the additional versatility this lens will give me I am willing to spend the $900. I feel over the long run I will eventually pay for the lens with the photos I have in mind for it.

    Regards
    Art

  6. 6
    ) Jules R.
    May 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Nice review!……I really don’t mind the price of the lens, cause a lens like that can last you a long time if you stick with the CX format.
    I would like to buy a Nikon 1 V2, I love the look and feel of this camera having held one and played with one a bit but the price of the body stops me dead, too expensive !
    For now, I’ll stick with my DSLR.

    Salut!

    Jules

  7. 7
    ) HomoSapiensWannaBe
    May 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Methinks 4K video will appear on a near future Nikon 1 body. With fast primes like this beauty, and continued sensor and body evolution, the CX format will broaden it’s appeal.

  8. 8
    ) Spy Black
    May 14, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    There’s significant halation on that lens wide open, which you can see on the bottom face portrait. Notice the bokeh difference between it and the previous shot. For a $900 lens, that’s not really good. The Sigma 35 f1.4 is the only lens I’ve seen so far without halation wide open.

  9. 11
    ) KSPGM
    May 16, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Ken Rockwell has added a page or two on this lens to his site. He says:

    “Nikon’s MTF curve tells us that at f/1.2 it’s pretty darn good, but not perfect. In practice, this curve is quite similar to the MTF of the 85mm f/1.4 G, which is spectacular in actual use.”

    This is real prase from Ken . . . not a known Nikon 1 lover as you can tell from his review.

    I also note that Nikon appear to have put thier famous gold label onto this lens – meant to be a seal of high quality?

    • 14
      ) kers
      June 1, 2013 at 4:22 am

      In fact the MTF of the 32mm is spectacular !- the lines do NOT represent 30mm and 10 mm but 60mm and 20mm of sharpness…
      It is far easier to make small good optics…
      That said i would like to see how fast the autofocus is…etc etc.

      Nikon shows it is taking the nikon 1 line very serious – even upto pro-level…
      I agree having a V1 it is a very nice little camera – not too small -just right.
      The weak spot is the sensor above 800 asa- but it will be only a question of time to reach d7000 quality

  10. 12
    ) emanuele
    May 17, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Olympus OM-D + 45mm = 1.250 €/$, Nikon V2 + 32mm = 1.800 €/$. I have sell all my Nikon 1 set and my new Oly is amazing! Bye bye Nikon, you have wrong the sensor size.

  11. May 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    This pricing is absolutely ridiculous. $900 lens on a 1″ sensor that is effectively 85mm and in some ways effectively f/3.2.

    Buy a D3100, dump the kit lenses if you want (or keep them), buy a 50mm 1.8G and you’ve got better optics in a somewhat larger package at half the cost.

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