Zoom lenses to create a Nikon 1 Trinity

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

The final lens in our ‘unofficial’ Nikon 1 trinity is the CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens. All I can say is I simply LOVE shooting with this lens.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-160
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-160

The lens is sharp throughout its focal range and provides an equivalent field-of-view of 189-810mm when compared with a full frame camera.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 CX 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 @ 267mm, efov 720mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-1400
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 CX 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 @ 267mm, efov 720mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-1400

If you’ve never shot with a lens that has this kind of reach you’ll be amazed with how many more image opportunities it delivers.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm (efov 810mm), f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-720
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-720
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 201mm, efov 542mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 201mm, efov 542mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-360

Focusing is fast and accurate and the lens renders excellent colours.

NIKON 1 V3 + NIKON 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, ISO 160, 1/2500, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V3 + NIKON 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, ISO 160, 1/2500, f/5.6

It does a very good job keeping flare at bay. While a large lens when compared to other Nikon 1 lenses it is still very small and light when put up against full frame zooms offering similar reach.

NIKON 1 V3 + NIKON 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 70mm, ISO 1600, 1/50, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V3 + NIKON 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 70mm, efov 189mm, ISO 1600, 1/50, f/5.6

I’ve found the VR on this lens is superb and I often shoot it at quite slow shutter speeds.

Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/6, ISO-500
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/6, ISO-500
NIKON 1 V2 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 165mm, ISO 3200, 1/40, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V2 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 165mm, efov 446mm, ISO 3200, 1/40, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V2 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, ISO 250, 1/250, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V2 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, ISO 250, 1/250, f/5.6

The CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 is a great lens for nature photography and also for use at zoos and other similar facilities. Rather than write more about how great this lens is I’d rather just show you some additional images captured with it!

NIKON 1 V2 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 291.4mm, ISO 800, 1/500, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V2 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 291.4mm, ISO 800, 1/500, f/5.6
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/4000, ISO-280
Nikon 1 V2 + Nikon 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/4000, ISO-280
NIKON 1 V3 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, ISO 1600, 1/1600, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V3 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, ISO 1600, 1/1600, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V2 + 1 NIKON 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 109.8mm, ISO 220, 1/2000, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V2 + 1 NIKON 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 109.8mm, efov 296mm, ISO 220, 1/2000, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V2 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, ISO 400, 1/320, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V2 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, ISO 400, 1/320, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V2 + NIKON 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, ISO 400, 1/1250, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V2 + NIKON 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, ISO 400, 1/1250, f/5.6
Nikon 1 V2 & Nikon 1 CX 70-300 f/4.5-5.6, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-400, 300mm, efov 810mm
Nikon 1 V2 & Nikon 1 CX 70-300 f/4.5-5.6, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-400, 300mm, efov 810mm
NIKON 1 V2 + NIKON 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, ISO 200, 1/320, f/5.6
NIKON 1 V2 + NIKON 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, ISO 200, 1/320, f/5.6

The Nikon 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 retails in Canada for about $1,100.

Well…there you have it, my lens recommendations for a Nikon 1 trinity. I would love to see Nikon do some creative marketing and bundle these three lenses, or some 2-lens combinations with their higher-end V-series Nikon 1 cameras.

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12 thoughts on “Zoom lenses to create a Nikon 1 Trinity”

    1. Hi Andreu,
      Going with a 4 lens combination is something that I often recommend to Nikon 1 owners, especially if they bought their camera with one of the 10-30mm kit lenses. The 30-110mm is a great, affordable lens that provides more reach than the 10-100mm and is better optically. It is also a great lens to use with extension tubes for close up photography. The 18.5mm is a very practical lens that can come in very handy when in lower light conditions. Adding the 30-110mm and the 18.5mm will give your kit more overall flexibility for less money than the 10-100mm. The only real downside is having a four lens kit, rather than three. Folks that want to pack smaller and lighter would likely choose the 3 zoom lens option.
      Tom

    1. Hi AAdams,
      I have absolutely no plans to stop using the Nikon 1 system. Having shot with APS-C, full frame, and briefly with M4/3 I have discovered that Nikon 1 is simply the best system for my needs. I have been adding some additional bodies to my kit over the past 18 months or so in order to ‘future proof’ my Nikon 1 gear should Nikon discontinue it. I estimate that even if Nikon 1 was discontinued I have enough gear to shoot for about 5 more years. After that I may need to reassess my camera needs as I’ll be in my 70’s.
      Tom

  1. Hi,

    I currently use Nikon D800, D7100, Fuji X-T1, many lenses plus Sony Rx100 mark III. Obviously, I need to downsize and streamline my gear.
    I tested Nikon V1 with 30-110 zoom for sports (soccer), but was not happy with AF.

    How much better is AF with V3 or J5 vs V1?
    Can J5 compete in Sports with AF of D7100 et alii?
    Can the sensor of J5 compete with Sony Rx100?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi DS,
      I’ll do my best to answer your questions…
      1) AF with V1. I haven’t shot with that particular camera so I can’t comment on that model specifically. In my experience the V2’s AF in terms of acquiring initial focus is a tiny bit faster than both the V3 and J5.
      2) Shooting moving subjects with a Nikon 1 camera does take some changes with technique. I’m not sure of your settings etc. when using the V1. I use AF-C with subject tracking for moving subjects and I find this is the best setting. I also make it a habit of trying to pre-focus the lens that I’m using. In terms of acquiring focus quickly your D7100 will likely outperform a Nikon 1 camera, especially in lower light conditions. Where Nikon 1 shines is with its frame rate in AF-C once focus has been obtained. Also, the buffer on a V-series camera like a V2 or V3 is about 40 frames when shooting jpeg fine + RAW.
      3) Personally I wouldn’t use the J5 for sports. The camera does not have a viewfinder, although you can likely mount a Hoodman or something similar. The buffer is only about 20 frames and it is extremely slow to clear. As a result you may find the J5 a bit frustrating to use for sports.
      4) DxO rates the sensors in the J5 and Sony RX100 almost identically so you should have very similar performance in terms of dynamic range, colour depth and low light performance. Although not everyone has had as positive an experience as I have had…but I really like DxO OpticsPro 10 as my RAW processor for Nikon 1 files – including the PRIME noise reduction function.
      Tom

  2. Awesome list Tom! It is super awesome to have three lenses in a small bag that cover that range. Impressive.

    You know I am waiting for faster glass, my one ask is a 9-30 F1.8-2.8 and I am a happy camper.

    I really enjoy the under-rated 30-110mm a sharp TINY piece of work for those on a budget. Don’t underestimate this beast!

    Mike

    1. Hi Mike,
      I love the 30-110mm just like you do!!! I think it is a wonderful lens and I think it is the best Nikon 1 lens to use with extension tubes. I chose the 10-100 f/4-5.6 for my ‘holy trinity’ selection due to its broader focal length coverage allowing for seamless Nikon 1 coverage from 6.7-300mm.
      Tom

  3. Like you I arrived at the same conclusions for the same reasons. Three great lenses that really add some fun to shooting my V2 and J5…..oh and the J5 is a great complement to the V2 as the tilting touch screen really comes into its own for low down and close up work – buy one, you know you want to! :))

    Also ( like you) I keep the 30-110 lens as a ‘macro’ lens which I use with my FOTGA extension rings.

    I do have the 18.5mm and 10mm primes and would love to own the 32mm one day but the lenses I use most are the three in this article.

    1. Hi Ian,
      I imagine that most photographers who have tried the Nikon 1 system and like it would share our passion for these three zoom lenses! I have the three Nikon 1 primes but basically only use them for client video work. Once I stop doing client work I’ll probably contemplate selling them as I use them so infrequently…although all are quite good lenses.
      Tom

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