Nikon reveals a 32mm f/1.2 portrait lens for its 1 system


May 17, 2013

Used on a Nikon 1 camera, the NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 gives a focal length equivalent of approximately 85mm in 35mm-format

Used on a Nikon 1 camera, the NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 gives a focal length equivalent of approximately 85mm in 35mm-format

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Photographers using the Nikon 1 system will soon have another option when it comes to shooting portraits with a shallow depth-of-field, after Nikon announced the release of the 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 lens. The new lens also boasts a string of enthusiast-friendly firsts for the 1 NIKKOR line-up, including Nano Crystal Coat, Silent Wave Motor and a manual focus ring.

While a 32mm would normally be regarded as a wide-angle lens, on the one-inch (12.8 x 9.6 mm) sensor of mirrorless Nikon 1 cameras like the S1, J3 and V2, it gives a focal length equivalent of approximately 85mm in 35mm-format. This makes it a classic portrait lens length, and the f/1.2 aperture allows for a shallow depth-of-field and blurred background.

The Nikon 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 is an interesting piece of glass for a number of reasons. Firstly, there's that f/1.2 aperture – which also comes in handy for low light situations. This makes it the fastest autofocusing lens currently available from Nikon, not one of its professional DSLR lenses can match it in that regard. This shows Nikon is seeing enthusiasts as a potential target market for the 1 system, something that wasn't really the case before the Nikon 1 V2.

The new release also brings a number of technologies to the Nikon 1 system lens line-up which have previously featured on professional DSLR lenses. These include a Nano Crystal Coat, which reduces ghost and flare effects; and SWM (Silent Wave Motor), which gives smooth and accurate autofocus, while being quiet enough not to interrupt movie recordings.

The 32mm f/1.2 continues to show its caliber as a higher-end lens by being the first Nikon 1 offering to boast a manual focus ring and manual-priority autofocus (M/A) function, meaning you can manually adjust focus, even when autofocusing. It uses nine elements in seven groups, while a seven-blade rounded diaphragm opening is said to ensure rounded bokeh.

The lens has a diameter of 65.5 mm and is 47 mm long (2.6 x 1.9 in) and weighs 235 g (8.3 oz). It can take 52 mm filters and has a minimum focus distance of 0.45 m (1.48 ft).

As you might expect, all of this lens tech doesn't come cheap, the Nikon 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 will be available in silver or black for US$900 when it goes on sale in June – that's more than most Nikon 1 cameras.

Product page: 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2

About the Author
Simon Crisp Simon is a journalist and photographer who has spent the last ten years working for national UK newspapers - but has never hacked a mobile phone - and specializes in writing about weird products and photography technology. When not writing for Gizmag, Simon is often found playing with LEGO and drinking far too much coffee. All articles by Simon Crisp
1 Comment

I have to disagree about the V2. I have a V1 and it is a fantastic enthusiast camera - better than the V2 as it's significantly smaller but has (roughly) the same performance.

The problem the V1 (and all Nikon 1 series) faced is that digital photography reviewers just did not get why Nikon created the 1-series. And, to be fair, it's hard to see why if you just look at the specs & spend a day using the camera....

The real genius of the 1-series is that Nikon realized that all of the mirrorless cameras had the same problem - lens size. And lens size was directly related to sensor size.... By putting a very high quality small sensor in an ILC camera, they could build a truly unique offering and attract a lot of enthusiasts that are not shooting stuff that's going to wind up on a billboard.

In short, the quality & size of the 1-series (particularly the sharpness of the primes) in a very small package allows enthusiasts to produce extraordinary photos for web publishing (where 95% of them end up...).

I used to have three Sony DSLRs, a couple of M4/3rds and a PanaLeica. I've trade all that in favor of V1 after going on a major trip & finding the full size DSLR a liability - the M4/3rds were just as much of a pain to carry around.

Chris Maresca
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