New 32mm portrait prime brings silent-wave autofocus, manual focus ring to Nikon 1-series cameras


posted Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 1:07 AM EDT

The Nikon 1 camera series has come quite some way since its 2011 launch, but like most lines based around a new lens mount, it's faced the challenge of a relatively limited lens selection. The situation has improved significantly, especially for fans of zoom lenses. To date, six zooms have been released, covering everything from 18 to 300mm equivalents. For photographers who prefer prime lens shooting, however, the selection has been much more limited, with just two choices on offer.

Now, the prime lens selection increases by half, and the new lens sets a record for maximum aperture on a CX-format camera, to boot. The 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 lens is not only brighter, but also offers significantly more reach than the existing 10mm f/2.8 and 18.5mm f/1.8 primes. Its 35mm-equivalent focal length of 87mm should make it an interesting portrait optic, with the f/1.2 aperture helping blur backgrounds and call attention to your subject, to boot.

The 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 lens is the brightest 1-mount optic to date, and also the first with SWM autofocus and a manual focus ring.

The new CX-format lens is also the first 1-mount optic to feature a silent wave motor autofocus system, not to mention a manual focus ring and nano crystal coating, as found in DX and FX-format Nikkor lenses. Helpfully, the focus drive has an M/A override mode that allows manual focus adjustment alongside autofocus operation, for a nice pairing of convenience and control.

Optically, the lens consists of nine elements in seven groups, plus a seven-bladed, rounded aperture that can stop down to f/16. Focusing is possible to as close as 1.5 feet (45cm), and the lens accepts 52mm threaded filters. Dimensions are 2.6 x 1.9 inches (65.5 x 47mm), and weight is 8.3 ounces (235g). 

The 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 lens shown mounted on a Nikon 1 V2 mirrorless camera body.

Available from June 2013, the Nikon 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 lens is priced at around US$900. Two body colors are available: black, or silver. The product bundle includes lens, front and rear caps, and a bayonet lens hood.

More details on the Nikon website.