Nikon 1 10-100mm VR PD zoom and 10mm f/2.8 - First impressions



The largest and smallest of the current Nikon 1 lenses. The zoom is the PD version, intended for video with the power zoom switch on the side of the lens. As with all the other lenses I've bought these are superbly made and finished. Not really a surprise, since they are made by what I consider is the best lens maker on the planet. And yes that includes Leica and Zeiss.

Again like the other lenses these are sharp to the corners and excellent wide open. I was reading a piece recently that said these Nikon 1 lenses are optimised for wide apertures, and if that is true then it certainly shows in the result. 

The 10mm f/2.8 prime is a sweet little lens. It has some distortion, but this is mainly taken care of by the lens profile in Photoshop. I'm looking forward to having a miniature set of primes with this, the 18.5mm f/1.8 and the 32mm f/1.2. IQ is excellent, nice and sharp files are produced and it snaps into focus very nicely. Bokeh is reasonable, though not as smooth as the somewhat surprising results from the zoom. Its not much faster than the 10-30mm zoom, f/2.8 compared to f/3.5, but thats not really the point, which is the size and weight. A really nice lens. Plus considering I bought it together with my second V1 for £279, an absolute bargain.




The zoom is a different proposition. I won't pretend that its light or small because its not. Not for the 'put it in my pocket' brigade. 








Personally I'm very comfortable with it and I chose this over the smaller lighter superzoom to add a bit of 'gravitas' to the system. 

Here it is in video mode with my Rode Microphone attached via an accessory port to hotshoe adapter.




Going out with it yesterday for quite a long walk, I found it comfortable to use. Using the rocker switch to zoom is something I'm not used to, but it is very smooth. The zoom is fine for taking pictures with as I can get a good grip underneath the lens and use my thumb to zoom with. The lens extends when the camera turns on, but doesn't move after that when zooming. As I said it is heavy and large, but somewhat less so than DSLR or some other mirrorless equivalents. 

Image quality is excellent, though perhaps from initial results not as good as the 30-110mm which is a really superb lens. However it is of course incredibly useful and saves changing lenses all the time. It seems to be good wide open and as I wrote about in a previous post has excellent out of focus rendition and bokeh which is unusual (unknown?) in a lens of this type. 

So initial impressions of both lenses are positive, but then after using the lenses I have already I would have been surprised if they weren't. 

More later.