How to Choose Your Next Nikon 1 Lens


It's likely that your Nikon 1 series camera came with the standard kit lens that's offered with most Nikon 1 compact system cameras, the 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6. It's compact and lightweight, and its wide-angle to portrait-lens focal length (equivalent to 27-81mm in FX D-SLR format) is ideal for photo enthusiasts beginning their photographic adventures. Your choice of a second lens for your Nikon 1 will largely be determined by the direction those adventures take.

You might find that soon you're ready to explore the creative potential of the system's prime (single focal length) lenses—either the 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8 or 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2. Both are fast lenses (their wide apertures allow in lots of light), making them ideal for fast shutter speeds in rather low-light conditions. In addition, their wide apertures make soft, colorful bokeh background effects easily achievable.

Then there's the 1 NIKKOR 10mm f/2.8. Known as a pancake lens, its wide-angle view (a 27mm equivalent) and small size (just under an inch long) make it an ideal take-anywhere optic for landscapes, cityscapes by day or night, street photography and group portraits. Mount it on a Nikon 1 J, S or V series camera and you've got a walkabout setup that's just about pocketable, an unobtrusive kit for casual shooting that doesn't call attention to itself.

Or you might decide on the 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, a 189-810mm equivalent lens that's ideal for sports and wildlife photography. You may well agree that the opportunity to get 810mm of reach in a comfortably sized, reasonably priced, high-quality NIKKOR lens is pretty much irresistible.

Not only does the Power Drive duo—the 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 and 1 NIKKOR VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD ZOOM lenses—offer outstanding features for still photography, they're also of special interest to photographers with motion images in mind. They provide ultra-smooth, ultra-quiet zooming for video, and the power zoom switch on the 10-100mm offers three zooming speeds to add variety and interest to video efforts.

And if you own a Nikon 1 AW1, you can fit any non-waterproof Nikon 1 lens on your camera in addition to its waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof lenses—the 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 and the 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6. Just remember that the non-waterproof lenses are just that—not waterproof.

Many Nikon 1 system lenses feature advanced Nikon optical technologies that have made NIKKOR lenses legendary, including Nano Crystal Coat, VR image stabilization and Super ED glass. (Speaking of NIKKOR lenses, if you're a Nikon D-SLR shooter, your next Nikon 1 lens might already be in your camera bag, as the optional FT-1 mount adapter for your Nikon 1 will make it possible for you to use over 70 F-mount NIKKORs on your Nikon 1.)

As we mentioned at the start, your choice of a new lens for your Nikon 1 will probably depend on your particular photographic interests. But there is another way to consider that choice: let the lens indicate the direction. Think about how your favorite subjects and scenes will look through the 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300mm telephoto zoom.

How fascinating will you find street photography when you're walking around with your Nikon 1 and the pancake lens? And what about capturing magnificent landscape vistas with the 1 NIKKOR 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR ultra-wide zoom?

The really cool thing about advanced imaging technology is that its potential will suggest possibilities. For the adventurous photographer, technology itself can point the way to new adventures.

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