Monday, August 6, 2012

Nikno 1 J2 and new kit lens to be announced soon.

Photo Credit:

     With all the mirrorless systems out there including incredible setups from Olympus (specifically their OM-D)  and Sony, alongside Panasonic, Samsung, Pentax, and now Canon with their announcement of the EOS-M, it's easy to miss Nikon's 1-series system amongst the rest (especially since there's only 4 lenses dedicated to the system as of yet).  First and foremost, I shoot with a DSLR.  I haven't owned a point-and-shoot since cell phone cameras started becoming more convenient, and I'm honestly not too well-versed in the world of the EVIL (electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens) cameras.  But, that's all about to change.

     With many other parties offering APS-C sized sensors, and even a bunch offering 4/3" sensors, Nikon's CX-sized sensor got alot of, well, grumbling in the beginning.  It's smaller than most, if not all of the other mirrorless systems it's competing with.  Logic says that a smaller sensor = worse low-light performance, less control over depth of field, and simply worse performance than their more well-endowed counterparts.  

     From what I have read and seen, the original J1 and it's brother the V1 have seriously discharged any negative energy surrounding the system.  A new AF system has given the 1 series what's been called the best AF of any mirrorless system.  It's incredibly fast.  I've heard it's faster than most DSLRs, even.  Coming from a guy that owns a D800, with Nikon's most-advanced AF system in their DSLR lineup (shared with the D4), that's something I just have to see for myself.

     Like I said, I don't know too much about the mirrorless systems in general.  But, I do know that I will have to try it out.  It's not always convenient to carry around the D800, gripped, with a 17-35/2.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.4G, and 135/2.0.  Anything longer than that isn't always just for walking around, but I also carry a 300/4 AF-s and 180/3.5 Macro from Sigma.  That's quite a hefty lot to be carrying just to go to little Timmy's 5th birthday party (if you're not a paid photographer there, of course).  BUT, it may be MUCH more convenient to carry aroun 3 or 4 pancake lenses with a small camera like the J1 or J2.  

     The lens pictured here on the J1 is the 10mm F/2.8.  The lens has a 35mm (FX) equivalent focal length of 27mm.  Now, that's not ultrawide by any means, but wide enough for most.

  The other lenses currently offered are the:

 10-30mm F/3.5-5.6 (27-81mm equiv):

30-110mm F/3.8-5.6 (81-297mm equiv):

And the 10-100mm F/4.5-5.6 (27-270mm equiv.):

  I wouldn't call any of these lenses "pocketable".  The 10-100mm is incredibly convenient, but not exactly pocketable.  I'd rather carry a D3200 with an 18-200 than the J1 with a 10-100. If I'm going to shell out the money for a pocketable camera, I would like it to be pocketable.  the 10-100mm simply isn't.  

  While we're on the subject of lenses, though, the new J2 will be announced with a brand new lens!  It will be called the Nikon 1Nikkor 11-27.5mm F/3.5-5.6 VR, and it will look like this:

Courtesy of
  I can only assume they chose this focal length because they already have a 10mm F/2.8 prime.  And, if you'd like something wider than the kit lens, they'd appreciate it if you would purchase another.  The 27.5mm part is what puzzled me, though.  At first, I thought that maybe it would be for the sole purpose of making the lens smaller.  As you can see here, albiet not perfectly, the lens will be smaller than the previous kit lens by a decent margin:

(Photos scaled and stitched together based on mount)
  This is a huge benefit where I'm concerned, but still doesn't immediately sell me with a focal length equivalent of 30-75mm.  Not too bad, but not too incredible, either.  I think Nikon's got something up their sleeves here.  Particularly a few primes.  Primes that could actually FIT up their sleeves.  Small, portable, hopefully fast-ish primes.  Seeing the zoom stop at 27.5mm, one would think they would make a prime someplace close to the end of the zoom range equivalent to a focal length that people will actually care about using.  So, I could see the following in the works: 18/2.8 (=50mm), 30/2.8 (=85mm), and 50/2.8 (=135mm).  Those would be great to have and, should they be able to pancake-ify each one, would take up a FRACTION of what the equivalent lenses would on any other camera.  Carrying them around could be quite fun.  You would really only need the 10, 18, and 50.  It would be like carrying around a bag full of marbles or a Nintendo DS, a gameboy, an iPad, etc.  Not too enormous and cumbersome, and incredibly convenient for their size.

Thanks for listening.

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