Pretty much all you need for the N1 system

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Parry Johnson Senior Member • Posts: 1,098
Pretty much all you need for the N1 system
1

I've used Nikon 1 cameras now for the past four years (Nikon since 1999, and Canon FD before that).  The Nikon 1 10-30mm is the basic small-footprint lens.  This lens is the opposite in many ways -- it's huge compared to most other N1 lenses, and normally quite expensive (but see below).

It's rather hefty, which means that using it feels more like a larger DSLR (with a V-series body / grip), yet small enough you can easily carry it around all day.  It's therefore very useful for holiday or family snapshots, and the huge 28-270mm FX equivalent focal range allows you to get the shot simply because it's right there with you instead of in the back seat of the car, stuck in the camera bag, or left at home.

Image quality is quite good -- it's a superzoom, so don't expect all images to turn out perfectly sharp, especially since this is only has an f4.5-f5.6 maximum aperture.  You'll be shooting at higher ISO, usually in brighter light; and you'll sometimes forget you've got a wimpy on-camera flash that gets cut off by the protruding lens and hood.  It's a fair-weather lens.  There's a cost for convenience.  However, it's sharp enough in most cases, even wide open, and since it's a native CX lens, all focus points work as they should, allowing it to track focus at up to 20 fps.  For quick-moving near/far sports shots such as soccer or well-lit hockey, it's fantastic.  The PD zoom is near-silent (less noise than my 24-70 f2.8G on my D800), but a bit slow zooming in the fastest-moving situations.  As far as video is concerned, the "slow zoom" mode is nice and smooth, especially for more static subjects.

So, should you spend $799 CDN in 2018?  Nope.  You might find some clear-out new copies around $550, but these lenses are becoming rare.  Originally, I bought a used V3 (with EVF, grip and 10-30 PD) almost a year ago.  The 10-100 PD wasn't working correctly (stuck aperture blades), so it was a fancy body cap!

I sent the lens off to Nikon Canada, and as Nikon lenses are sold with a 5-year warranty here, I figured, "What the heck?  Why not try?"  Nikon sent me back a replacement lens, which works flawlessly.  Whether it's a refurbished copy or not doesn't matter -- I'm happy with Nikon's service, and this is the copy on which this review is based.  I would have paid up to $200 to get it repaired, as I expected to sell or trash the original, not keep it.  The one I'm using may develop problems in time, but in the meantime, it's quickly become my main "just for fun" lens -- and that's what the Nikon 1 system is (was) all about!

 Parry Johnson's gear list:Parry Johnson's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D7100 Nikon 1 V3 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +18 more
Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD-Zoom
Lens • Nikon 1 • 3318
Announced: Sep 21, 2011
Parry Johnson's score
4.5
Average community score
4.5
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