Nikon reveals a 32mm f/1.2 portrait lens for its 1 system
By Simon Crisp
May 17, 2013
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