Nikon 1 Lenses - my subjective evaluation

Started Nov 6, 2011 | Discussions
OleThorsen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,088
Nikon 1 Lenses - my subjective evaluation

This is my subjective evaluation of the Nikon 1 lenses. The lenses I've evaluated is

  • Nikon 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8

  • Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6

  • Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6

As I always do, when I buy new lenses, I take some very boring pictures in a relatively controlled way of the same bookshelf with selected details in strategic places. If you look in my profile's gear list I have a few super sharp and high resolving FX and DX lenses in my arsenal, so I should know how the relative performance of the Nikon 1 lenses are.

I've evaluated the lenses on 100% pixel level, NEF embedded full size JPGs (~ 72x48cm (28x18") picture on my Dell Studio XPS16 RGBLED 1080p display). Tripod mounted, Remote delay 2s, Aperture priority, ISO100, AF-A Auto-area, VR off, Matrix metering, Active D-Lighting off, WB Auto, Standard picture control sharpening 3.

The evaluations made at the edges and corners are at the extreme borders - the last 5cm (2") of the screen. With all the dark and light green areas in the chart, I don't believe I've to explicit tell you how much I like these cheap magnificent lenses, do I? Also the distortion is much below what could be expected and very easy to remove if you want to.

The Nikon 1 cameras performs in-camera lens related software corrections such as a mild vignette correction. There isn't done any auto lateral colour aberration correction and auto distortion correction as far as I can tell. This applies to both JPGs and NEFs.

Sorry but I haven't made a huge collage with 180 crops, so you have to trust me in my evaluation of my own lenses, but I can upload selected full size pictures if you ask politely And remember there can be sample variations, it certainly wouldn't be the first time in the lens history.

Nikon Capture NX2 v2.28 has support for Nikon J1/V1 NEFs and has options for automatic vignette correction, auto lateral colour aberration, axial colour aberration, and auto lens distortion correction, but I haven't used it for this evaluation, but they work very good with the J1/V1 files.

The free View NX2 v2.21 also support J1/V1 NEF files, but only has lens corrections such as auto lateral colour aberration and axial colour aberration correction included.

Regards
Ole Thorsen
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen

OMNISCIENCE
Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience.
(Grook by Piet Hein)

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DaiG Senior Member • Posts: 1,078
Re: Nikon 1 Lenses - my subjective evaluation

Interesting. That doesn't seem to make a strong argument for the 10mm if you have the 10-30mm? Also, the 10-30mm performance seems better than the general comments on this lens in this forum.

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chimphappyhour Regular Member • Posts: 476
Re: Nikon 1 Lenses - my subjective evaluation

Dammit! That does it, I'm ordering the 30-110 tonight.

Thanks for doing this. Looks good to me and about what I'd expect. (The edges of the wides not being as good as elsewhere but everything else being good.)

OP OleThorsen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,088
Re: Nikon 1 Lenses - my subjective evaluation

DaiG wrote:

Interesting. That doesn't seem to make a strong argument for the 10mm if you have the 10-30mm? Also, the 10-30mm performance seems better than the general comments on this lens in this forum.

Yes my 10-30 lens is just as good as the 30-110, with similar characteristics of their wide ends. The 30mm (82mm FX eq.) on the 10-30 is better than the 30mm on 30-110 even if you consider the f-stops and with less distortion, but of course the 30-110 goes down to f3.8 while the 10-30 is f5.6 wide open at 30mm. They really compliment each other.

The 10mm f2.8 is a very small lens and good lens. If you shoot it wide open you're often not interested in the extreme edge/corner performance, and if you want sharp pictures in the whole frame you can either use f8 or crop. Remember the evaluation is at the extreme borders. The centre area mentioned is actually covering the most of the picture frame and the performance here is still excellent. The 10mm f2.8 also has less distortion than the 10-30mm lens.

Regards
Ole Thorsen
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen

OMNISCIENCE
Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience.
(Grook by Piet Hein)

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Jorgen E Senior Member • Posts: 1,730
I agree. The 30-110 is brilliant, considering its price (nt)
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Take care,
Jorgen

Probere necesse est.....

DaiG Senior Member • Posts: 1,078
Re: I agree. The 30-110 is brilliant, considering its price (nt)

Thanks fot the explanation . . . particularly the comment on distortion

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Logos007 Regular Member • Posts: 106
Re: I agree. The 30-110 is brilliant, considering its price (nt)

Agree, got the 30-110 for just 150 Euros more in my kit-pack together with the V1 and the 10-30. So that is really cheap considering the quality of the lens!

Logos
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OP OleThorsen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,088
Just buy the 30-110mm

chimphappyhour wrote:

Dammit! That does it, I'm ordering the 30-110 tonight.

Thanks for doing this. Looks good to me and about what I'd expect. (The edges of the wides not being as good as elsewhere but everything else being good.)

Yes, if you want a 82-300 in a small packet for your J1 camera, the 30-110 is the lens to get hehe - and it's very very good. And the VR is very effective - I don't have the most steady hands and I can get 90% super sharp pictures at 110mm (300mm FX eq) with a shutter speed as low as 1/15s.

Regards
Ole Thorsen
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen

OMNISCIENCE
Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience.
(Grook by Piet Hein)

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peterclark55 Senior Member • Posts: 2,379
Re: Nikon 1 Lenses - my subjective evaluation

Many thanks, Ole, for this dedicated work which must have taken lots of your time.

This confirms my amateur user impression that the Nikon V1 is a real winner, besides being small and handy. A great addition to the Nikon line which has brough us so much satisfaction over the years.

The surprise is the quality of the 10-110 video optimized lens, which I don't have. Not available in France so far. Wonder if its worth it if you have the other three? Peter
--
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OP OleThorsen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,088
Re: Nikon 1 Lenses - my subjective evaluation

peterclark55 wrote:

Many thanks, Ole, for this dedicated work which must have taken lots of your time.

Taking the 46 pictures is by far the least work. The evaluation requires a lot of time comparing different lenses in the different areas all the time so you don't loose the performance level identification, requires a lot of concentration, when you don't have Imatest software or similar software packages.

This confirms my amateur user impression that the Nikon V1 is a real winner, besides being small and handy. A great addition to the Nikon line which has brough us so much satisfaction over the years.

The surprise is the quality of the 10-110 video optimized lens, which I don't have. Not available in France so far. Wonder if its worth it if you have the other three? Peter

Yes I also believe the 10-110 is a fantastic lens in the whole zoom range, and it's only 34mm longer and 17mm wider than the 30-110 lens, but I doubt it's pocketable. Of course in a bag it requires less space than both of the 10-30 and 30-110 lenses together. And if you shoot a lot of handheld video it's a much better lens if you don't shoot in low light conditions.

Regards
Ole Thorsen
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen

OMNISCIENCE
Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience.
(Grook by Piet Hein)

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burtmann Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Nikon 1 Lenses - my subjective evaluation

Thank you Ole for providing us with this information. I (and I'm sure most of us actual shooters) are eager to learn as much as possible about the N1.

Burt

Freedolin Regular Member • Posts: 484
Re: Nikon 1 Lenses - my subjective evaluation

OleThorsen wrote:

Yes I also believe the 10-110 is a fantastic lens in the whole zoom range, and it's only 34mm longer and 17mm wider than the 30-110 lens, but I doubt it's pocketable. Of course in a bag it requires less space than both of the 10-30 and 30-110 lenses together.

These numbers are a bit misleading and in no way reflect just how huge the 10-100 is in comparison, especially when extended. Even in the bag the two kit zooms feel "smaller" than the superzoom. They need a bit more space in length when the normal zoom is placed in the hood of the tele zoom, but they are still considerably thinner than the superzoom, which is a somewhat "fat" lens (in fact it's about the same size as a Sigma 20/1.8 or the Tamron 28-300 VC). I'd prefer to carry the two smaller zooms over the 10-100 any time.

Still, it's no doubt an excellent lens for videographers. And probably also one of the better zooms out there. Its size, however, makes you wonder why Nikon didn't go with a larger sensor. The only lens that's really small compared to other systems is the 30-110mm.

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Markus
-- Nikon lens reviews, photozone.de

Dabbler
Dabbler Senior Member • Posts: 2,015
Re: Nikon 1 Lenses - my subjective evaluation

Ole, thanks for the effort! Makes me feel better about my lens selection ( I have all three ;).
--
Michael

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Alejandro Daz del Ro Fery
Alejandro Daz del Ro Fery Veteran Member • Posts: 3,735
Re: Nikon 1 Lenses - my subjective evaluation

Many thankyou Ole.
I expected more score of the 10mm f/2.8.

I like the AF-A in automatic scene selector all the time (♥ the Nikon auto all :)) But ... should not be more appropriate to test the lenses with AF-S single point ?
--
Un saludo.

The Skipper Contributing Member • Posts: 872
Appears as if Nikon did not care about compactness

Freedolin wrote:

The only lens that's really small compared to other systems is the 30-110mm.

I agree. With the exception of the 30-110, it appears as if Nikon did not care about compactness. Which is a strange approach given their official stance that they are P&S replacements.

Ole: thank you for your effort. This just reinforces my feeling that if I do buy the J1, then I will also get the 30-110.

OP OleThorsen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,088
Just the right man!

Freedolin wrote:

OleThorsen wrote:

Yes I also believe the 10-110 is a fantastic lens in the whole zoom range, and it's only 34mm longer and 17mm wider than the 30-110 lens, but I doubt it's pocketable. Of course in a bag it requires less space than both of the 10-30 and 30-110 lenses together.

These numbers are a bit misleading and in no way reflect just how huge the 10-100 is in comparison, especially when extended. Even in the bag the two kit zooms feel "smaller" than the superzoom. They need a bit more space in length when the normal zoom is placed in the hood of the tele zoom, but they are still considerably thinner than the superzoom, which is a somewhat "fat" lens (in fact it's about the same size as a Sigma 20/1.8 or the Tamron 28-300 VC). I'd prefer to carry the two smaller zooms over the 10-100 any time.

Yes you're right it is a somewhat fat lens specially compared to the other Nikon 1 lenses and also some of my DX/FX lenses, but of course they don't have this special quiet motor zoom either. I don't know if this zoom implementation is different from other motor zoom lenses?

Still, it's no doubt an excellent lens for videographers. And probably also one of the better zooms out there. Its size, however, makes you wonder why Nikon didn't go with a larger sensor. The only lens that's really small compared to other systems is the 30-110mm.

I believe it's difficult to make pancake lenses much smaller because of the number of internal lenses used, but you've most probably seen much more pancake lenses than I've.

Regarding the 10-30, it is smaller than both the comparable Sony E 18-55 and Olympus 14-42 lenses (but not the Panasonic X 14-42 lens), and follows almost the same size percent scheme 100-80-60% as the 30-110 lens does.

I could also imagine someone in the Nikon 1 team shouted very loud when a marketing guy suggested to make the lenses even smaller and correct the whopping 4-6% distortions by software

Markus, do you consider testing some of the Nikon 1 lenses on your fantastic useful lens test site photozone.de, and have somebody sent your lenses to test already? If you do I'll look very much forward to read your tests.

Regards
Ole Thorsen
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen

OMNISCIENCE
Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience.
(Grook by Piet Hein)

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OP OleThorsen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,088
The 10 f2.8 lens is good

Alejandro Daz del Ro Fery wrote:

Many thankyou Ole.

You're welcome - it's nice to see some work for my own knowledge about my lenses can be useful for others.

I expected more score of the 10mm f/2.8.

The 10mm f2.8 lens is a very good lens. The centre area in my charts cover actually the most of the frame, while the edges/corner is the outer extreme 5cm (2") of a picture 72x48cm (28x18") large. And it's very sharp in the large centre area wide open. If you want excellent to very good+ sharpness across the whole frame you can always use f8 if possible because of lighting conditions and DOF considerations.

As I said further up in the thread it has also around half the distortion the 10-30 has, and the main selling point is perhaps the size.

I like the AF-A in automatic scene selector all the time (♥ the Nikon auto all :)) But ... should not be more appropriate to test the lenses with AF-S single point ?
--
Un saludo.

You're right about the focus area mode I chose is probably not the optimal for such a test, but it works surprisingly precise. I also had used some time before the test to align the books in the bookshelf, so that didn't introduce focus differences, and checked the focus both at camera and computer display before proceeding to the next focal length and moving of the tripod setup to have the same framing.

Regards
Ole Thorsen
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen

OMNISCIENCE
Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience.
(Grook by Piet Hein)

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WCguy Senior Member • Posts: 1,031
Re: Nikon 1 Lenses - my subjective evaluation

Actually the 10-100 lens isn't big at all. Well that is if you come from FX lenses it is a minature. If you come from a tiny P&S of course its bigger. I have one and love it , not just for video but for photo's and If you check reviews and other posts you will see its probably their best lens so far. I have the 10 2.8 also and compared to that it is big, but I like the feel and balance it has with the V1. Hanging around my neck it doesn't feel big at all, then again I didn't buy it for a point and shoot only.

PS I am surprised at how many are waiting for the new lens adapter that will be available soon, these folks will be using very large lens combinations with the V1 once it comes out. I personally won't, the 10-100 will be my biggest, will wait for some small fast primes, which are sure to follow.

It's What You Learn After You Know It All That Counts !

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Freedolin Regular Member • Posts: 484
Re: Just the right man!

OleThorsen wrote:

Yes you're right it is a somewhat fat lens specially compared to the other Nikon 1 lenses and also some of my DX/FX lenses, but of course they don't have this special quiet motor zoom either. I don't know if this zoom implementation is different from other motor zoom lenses?

I must admit that I haven't handled any other motor zoom lens so far (on system cameras), but both the zoom as well as the focus motor a very quiet indeed. Another thing that makes this superzoom special is of course that it doesn't change its length during zooming (and focusing, too).

I believe it's difficult to make pancake lenses much smaller because of the number of internal lenses used, but you've most probably seen much more pancake lenses than I've.

Well, any pancake I've handled so far (FX, mFT) was small, yes. So, while the 10mm is a small lens no doubt, it's still not really much smaller than other pancakes.

Regarding the 10-30, it is smaller than both the comparable Sony E 18-55 and Olympus 14-42 lenses (but not the Panasonic X 14-42 lens), and follows almost the same size percent scheme 100-80-60% as the 30-110 lens does.

Yes, but looking at it, it could be much smaller, or at least thinner, since the actual glass in it wouldn't need that much space.

Markus, do you consider testing some of the Nikon 1 lenses on your fantastic useful lens test site photozone.de, and have somebody sent your lenses to test already? If you do I'll look very much forward to read your tests.

Well, first of all: photozone isn't my site, I just work there But thanks for the compliments and yes, I'm already working on the reviews (actually I'm at this very moment running the first batch of shots through Imatest). I can't promise yet when the reviews will be ready, but they currently have highest priority.

We have purchased a V1 and all 4 current lenses for the reviews.

Thanks for sharing your findings here, you must have gotten your hands on these lenses quite early (or simply have a little more spare time than me ).

I already published a few sample images earlier today, in case somebody is interested, they can be found here:

1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8:

http://photozone.smugmug.com/Reviews/nikkor-10-28/

1 NIKKOR VR 10–30 mm 1:3,5–5,6:

http://photozone.smugmug.com/Reviews/nikon-1030-3556/

1 NIKKOR VR 30–110 mm 1:3,8–5,6:

http://photozone.smugmug.com/Reviews/nikkor-30110-3856/

1 NIKKOR VR 10–100 mm 1:4,5–5,6 PD:

http://photozone.smugmug.com/Reviews/nikon-10100-4556/

These galleries contain full size JPG images processed from NEFs with a beta version of RAW Developer 1.9.3.

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Markus
-- Nikon lens reviews, photozone.de

OP OleThorsen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,088
Look forward to your N1 lens reviews at photozone

Freedolin wrote:

OleThorsen wrote:

Regarding the 10-30, it is smaller than both the comparable Sony E 18-55 and Olympus 14-42 lenses (but not the Panasonic X 14-42 lens), and follows almost the same size percent scheme 100-80-60% as the 30-110 lens does.

Yes, but looking at it, it could be much smaller, or at least thinner, since the actual glass in it wouldn't need that much space.

Yes you're right about judging only on the area the glass itself fills the area of the ends of the lenses. Both the AF focus system and the VR implemented in the lenses is much much more silent than in Nikon FX/DX AF-S VR lenses. Maybe the technology used in the Nikon 1 lenses takes more space than the usual solutions or are better isolated to be more useful for video recording?

Markus, do you consider testing some of the Nikon 1 lenses on your fantastic useful lens test site photozone.de, and have somebody sent your lenses to test already? If you do I'll look very much forward to read your tests.

Well, first of all: photozone isn't my site, I just work there But thanks for the compliments and yes, I'm already working on the reviews (actually I'm at this very moment running the first batch of shots through Imatest). I can't promise yet when the reviews will be ready, but they currently have highest priority.

We have purchased a V1 and all 4 current lenses for the reviews.

This really sounds wonderful, I'll be looking forward to your publication of the tests.

Thanks for sharing your findings here, you must have gotten your hands on these lenses quite early (or simply have a little more spare time than me ).

I got my V1 kit with the 10 f2.8, 10-30 and 30-110 lenses and the cute SB-N5 flash the 27th of October. And you're right about the spare time

I already published a few sample images earlier today, in case somebody is interested, they can be found here:

These galleries contain full size JPG images processed from NEFs with a beta version of RAW Developer 1.9.3.

Thanks very much for sharing your test samples. When I looked at the full size pictures I briefly compared the characteristics of the pictures and lenses/focal length/f-stop used to the performance of my lenses, and they look very similar.

Regards
Ole Thorsen
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen

OMNISCIENCE
Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience.
(Grook by Piet Hein)

 OleThorsen's gear list:OleThorsen's gear list
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