In the recent sea of announcements, with such cameras as Sony A99, NEX-6, and Nikon D600 receiving all the attention (understandable, of course), it’s very easy not to notice the small things. But then, small things make the bigger ones complete.
Today, along with the attention-grabbing Nikon D600, Nikkor 1 18.5mm f/1.8 prime lens was also announced, expanding the growing Nikon 1 lens arsenal. This lens will act roughly as a normal 50mm f/1.8 lens would on a full-frame camera (such as the great Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G) in terms of angle of view and light gathering (aperture speed). I see it as an extremely welcome addition to the line, complimenting the 10mm f/2.8 lens very well. Both for my personal work and weddings, a 50mm lens proved to be the most versatile so far, and with the 18.5 f/1.8 for Nikon 1 introduced, this mirrorless system has suddenly became much more attractive to me. If only Nikon 1 V1 was (much) cheaper :)
What I reluctantly didn’t mention at first was that it will not act nearly as a normal fast prime lens would on a full-frame camera in terms of depth of field. Due to the small CX sensor (2.7x crop factor) of Nikon 1 system, depth of field is greatly enlarged because of the shorter focal length (or longer focus distance, depends on how you look at it) needed for the same magnification as compared to a 50mm f/1.8 mounted on a, say, D700. As it happens, tiny depth of field, along with great dynamic range and low-light performance, is one of the most attractive points when it comes to fast lenses. But does that mean there’s no more use for large depth of field? I don’t think so. I personally believe that it takes a lot of skill to use larger depth of field in such instances as wedding photography, and it’s also great for street and travel photography.
But then, you know who you are and what you want. If you found Nikon 1 system to suit you well, this lens is likely going to be a great companion, especially at a low price of around $190.
It’s quite simple – a prime, CX format lens with 18.5mm focal length and a maximum aperture of f/1.8 (which you can close all the way down to f/11). The lens has 7 aperture blades and 8 elements in 6 groups, incorporates AF motor (extends a little during operation), but doesn’t offer manual focus, distance or depth of field scale. It weighs 72 g (or 0.16 lb) and comes in black, white or silver. There is no hood supplied, but it’s quite unlikely you would need it. That’s it!
Of course, there is an official press release by Nikon. Read on to find out more about the new lens:
NEW 1 NIKKOR 18.5MM F/1.8 OFFERS NIKON 1 SYSTEM SHOOTERS COMPACT PERFORMANCE AND CREATIVE CONTROL
MELVILLE, N.Y. (September 13, 2012) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the latest addition to the Nikon 1 system, the compact and lightweight 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8, a fixed focal length addition to the 1 NIKKOR family of lenses. The 18.5mm f/1.8 gives Nikon 1 System shooters a fast prime lens that is consistently able to deliver outstanding image quality and sharpness for stills and HD video, whether shooting awe-inspiring landscapes, flattering portraits or documenting the family vacation in glorious HD video.
“Nikon’s new 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm offers extremely fast performance alongside the accuracy and image quality that photographers have come to expect from a NIKKOR lens,” said Bo Kajiwara, Vice President of Marketing, Planning and Customer Experience, Nikon Inc. “With the continuing expansion of the 1 NIKKOR line of lenses, Nikon is committed to ensuring every moment is captured with tremendous speed and amazing clarity.”
1 NIKKOR Speed and Versatility
The 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8 prime lens features the popular yet versatile focal length of approximately 50mm (35mm equivalent) and a large f/1.8 aperture, making it ideal for portraiture and everyday shooting. With the large aperture, consumers can create a dramatic depth of field with beautiful image blur, or shoot with confidence in challenging lighting conditions.
Conveniently compact and crafted with eight optical elements in six groups, the 18.5mm fulfills the promise of NIKKOR quality with solid handling and optical excellence. The lens is lightweight, weighing in at a mere 2.5 ounces to further complement the portability of the Nikon 1 System. Seven aperture blades help to create a pleasing circular bokeh for a natural separation between subject and background.
Price and Availability
Compatible with the Nikon 1 J1, J2 and V1, the 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8 will be available in early November 2012 in Black, White and Silver and will have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $189.95*. For more information on this and other 1 NIKKOR lenses and other Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.