Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had the opportunity to do some testing with the 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 lens. This is one of the few 1 Nikon lenses that I’ve never used before and I was intrigued to find out how it would perform. I thought readers may enjoy seeing a few sample images taken with this lens, mounted on a Nikon 1 V2. The 1 Nikon 10-100 is a fairly small, compact lens as you can see in the photo below.
Nikon actually makes two 1 Nikon zoom lenses covering the same 10-100mm focal length. The other model is the 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD zoom which is used primarily as a video zoom lens with Nikon 1 bodies. It features a power zoom and the lens is quite a bit heavier and bulkier than the non-PD version.
One of the first things that I did to test out the 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 lens was visit one of my favourite indoor locations, Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls, to take some sample images. I found that the comparatively short minimum focusing distance of the 10-100mm lens allowed me to get much closer to the skittish birds in the Small Bird Aviary than I ever had in the past.
By extending my arm out, composing from the rear screen, and shooting with one hand I was able to capture a number of good, useable images during my visit.
The auto-focus performance was both fast and accurate as can be expected from Nikon 1 gear.
Before leaving Bird Kingdom my eye was drawn to some very high contrast lighting and I was also able to get an image of a turtle in a small waterfall pond at the facility.
While in the Main Aviary I noticed a glass enclosure that housed a large lizard and was able to capture the following image…one of my favourites taken with the 10-100mm f/4-5.6 lens.
I also wanted to test the 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 with extension tubes so I spent some time at the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls capturing a few images.
While I still prefer to use my 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 with extension tubes, I was able to capture some decent butterfly images with the 10-100mm, even shooting some of them at f/8.
Some of the flowers at the Butterfly Conservatory also made for some interesting image captures…
as did a single water droplet hanging from a leaf.
After exiting the Butterfly Conservatory I grabbed a few quick images to further test out the lens.
This time of year in Southern Ontario is not particularly scenic but I did find the occasional subject.
While ambling around on Dufferin Islands I noticed a few spots with some fast moving water that I thought may make interesting ‘smooth water’ images. I had neglected to bring a variable neutral density filter with me, and I had left my tripod in the car.
Sometimes circumstances create opportunities to do unusual tests. This led to me deciding to stop both 1 Nikon 10-100mm zoom lenses down to f/16 (I had my 10-100mm PD zoom with me at the time), adjusting my ISO to its lowest possible setting, and shooting hand-held at fairly slow shutter speeds to see what would happen.
Shooting at f/16 with a small CX sensor is something I had not intentionally done before so I was eager to get back to the office to see how the images looked. I wasn’t expecting much!
As it turned out this final, impromptu test proved quite insightful. I learned that the 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD zoom is slightly sharper than the non-PD version, and I also learned that the VR is a tad better with the PD lens. It allowed me to capture the image above at 1/2 second shooting at f/16 with the 10-100mm PD lens. While it is not tack sharp I was actually surprised that it came out as well as it did. It reminded me that sometimes circumstances cause us to break the rules of photography, and that getting some kind of image is better than no image at all!
Overall, I was quite pleased with the performance of the 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 lens and I ended up giving it a very positive review.
Article and all images Copyright Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication of any kind, or adaptation is allowed without written consent.
I’m taking my kid to Disneyland and only wanna take one lens. Would the nikon 10-100mm be a good choice to buy and take. I wanna be able to get close pictures as well as some distant shots. Thanks. John
The 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 is a great walk-around lens that provides an equivalent field-of-view of 27mm – 270mm. As such it should do a capable job at Disneyland.
I am an amateur photographer and I wanted to expand my objectives park.
because I have the lens 10-30 VR kit, would you recommend the purchase of the 30-110 or 10-100 Vr 4-5.6f? I am very indecisive so I wanted your advice and I pray you also to justify the answer. thank you. great article.
There’s two ways of looking at this situation. The first is that the 10-100 f/4-5.6 is a more versatile all purpose lens than is the 10-30 VR. So, if you are looking for a single lens solution then buying the 10-100 would make sense. Your current 10-30mm is really not worth much in terms of a trade-in lens or to sell as a used one. So, buying the 10-100mm would basically turn your current 10-30mm into a paperweight.
An alternative view would be this…if you are happy with the 10-30mm VR that you currently have and you don’t mind switching lenses to get additional reach, then buying the 30-110mm would make more sense. The 30-110mm is quite a good lens for a modest amount of money…about 1/2 the price of the 10-100mm f/4-5.6. The 30-110mm would give you a bit more reach than the 10-100mm and also is a much better lens to use with extension tubes if you have an interest in close-up photography. For the price of the 10-100mm you could buy the 30-110mm, a set of extension tubes, and the 1 Nikon 18.5mm f/1.8 prime lenses. So, for an investment of about $600 (at least here in Canada) you would end up with a more functional kit than just buying the 10-100mm. You’d have a bit more reach, extension tubes for close-up photography, and a good prime lens to help deal with low light situations.
Personally, if I already had the 10-30mm and I was happy with it…I’d spend my $600 on the 30-110mm, the 18.5mm f/1.8 and a set of extension tubes and by doing so expand the overall capability of my Nikon 1 system.
Hello! Im an amateur photographer from Greece! I took some photos for the 1st December the World Day against aids with an artistic project with SEMI individuals and painted a red ribbon . If you are interested I can send you some pictures to see if you want to host it on your page . Also I studied nursing for self I am so sensitized to the issue . My mail: [email protected]
I am thinking that the 1 Nikon V4 with the new image sensor and a Nikkor 300 mm f/4 (with or without VR) might be useful for hand held BIF.
It’s either that or an EM-1 with the new Zuiko Pro 300 or Panasonic-Leica 100-400.
Ideally I’d like to test the new 300mm f/4 VR with the future Nikon 1 V4. Time will tell if the stars align for me to do that.
Quite impressive, thank You Thomas.
Any plans to do something similar with a 1 Nikon and a Nikon 300 mm f/4 ?
Glad you enjoyed the images! I have put in a request with Nikon Canada for a review sample of the Nikkor 300mm f/4 VR lens and I’m hoping to do some shooting with it using my Nikon 1 V2 with the FT-1 adapter. I’m not sure how long it will take to get access to the 300mm f/4 VR. I sold my D800 and all of my FX glass back in July and currently have my FT-1 adapter up for sale. If my FT-1 adapter sells before I get access to the 300mm f/4 VR that will complicate things a bit…but I assume I’ll be able to borrow one from Nikon Canada.
I always enjoy your articles. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.
I’m glad you enjoyed the article Don!
Thomas, you proved again and again that all these ‘super duper’ cameras for thousand of $$$ are ‘obsolete’ for your pictures are stunningly beautiful!!!
Thank you for your positive comment – I’m glad you enjoyed the images! Each of us needs to choose the camera and gear that best suits our individual needs. For many photographers making investments in high end gear is the best choice for the type of work they do. My work doesn’t involve shooting in wet/cold conditions and I don’t shoot in extremely low light so the Nikon 1 system fits my needs quite well.
Hi Thomas, I noticed the point of focus in the bird pictures were not on the eyes. Is it due to subject movement, camera mis-focusing, or were you focusing somewhere else entirely?
I always try to put my focus point on the eye of a subject bird whenever possible, assuming of course that I can capture the desired angle of the bird’s head. In the case of the grey bird image in this article, the bird was moving around quite a bit and since I was shooting with one hand while my arm was fully extended I couldn’t adjust the position of my focus point as quickly as I would have liked and I did miss the bird’s eye in that particular image.
Thanks for pointing out my missed focus point with the original image – I have replaced it with another image of the same bird.
Amazing images, as usual! I had the lens for a while, but I do not like lenses that stow away when you turn off the camera, That’s compact camera, for me, and I use my compact cameras as little as possible, The later version is better optically, and has manual zoom, and weighs a lot less. I bought my lens from Canada (Henry’s), imported it to Sweden, paid all the taxes, and Custom fees, when it arrived, and still could sell it without losing a nickel, to my retailer!
I’m glad you enjoyed the images! I don’t currently own the 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 as I have the 10-100mm PD zoom instead. Having used the 10-100 non-PD lens quite a bit, it actually is a lens that I would consider buying for my video business. The comparatively short minimum focusing distance could be very useful for me when doing my industrial work which is often done in very close quarters.
Dear Thomas Every time that you post one of your articles featuring the use of your Nikon 1, I am so tempted to purchase one.
I know, that is only a part of the reasons that your images are so very good.
I so appreciate your postings and information.
I’m glad you have been enjoying the postings – and thank you for your positive comment! I think the most important thing for each of us to do is find camera gear that we enjoy using – then just go out and have fun with it!