Nikon 1 wishes during 100th Anniversary

This article outlines some of the things that many Nikon 1 owners would like to see from Nikon. Since 2017 is the Nikon 100th anniversary it will be interesting to see if any Nikon 1 developments materialize.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD @10mm, efov 27mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-160

Updated V-Series
This is a top priority for many Nikon 1 owners who have been patiently waiting for an update to the V3 for quite some time. Some got tired of waiting, sold their Nikon 1 gear, and have moved on to a different manufacturer.

There are many Nikon 1 loyalists who want an updated V-Series camera. This would include an updated CX sensor with (at a minimum) the same dynamic range and colour depth performance as the J5. Other common items on the wish list include compatibility with standard Nikon flashes, full weatherproofing, and battery commonality with Nikon DSLRs like the D810, and a return to standard SD cards. Having a built in grip and EVF are also high on the feature list of an updated V-Series camera for most owners.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 27mm, efov 73mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO-160.

A fully articulated rear screen, built in WiFi, bracketing capability, and a deeper buffer are some of the other common wants. Many would like to see 4K video at standard frame rates (30p and 60p), not the silly 15p that is currently offered by the J5.  Adding other video-related features such as improved slow motion, focus peaking and zebras is also desired by some Nikon 1 owners.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 141mm, efov 381mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-720

While non-Nikon 1 owners seem to wish for a larger sensor in a Nikon mirror-less camera I don’t hear that very often from current Nikon 1 owners. It seems that many current users see value in the CX format and enjoy shooting with it. Without question if Nikon could enhance low light performance of CX sensors it would be a huge plus…even if it was to the current level of M4/3 which has about a one stop advantage over the Nikon 1 J5.

Tweak the J5
Many Nikon 1 J5 owners really enjoy this camera and would like to see some tweaks like bracketing, 4K video at 30p and 60p, more FX-mount lens compatibility when used with an FT-1, and a few other features. If there was an updated V-Series many users would likely shoot with a J-Series/V-Series combination.

Nikon 1 J4 + 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD zoom at 30mm, efov 81mm, f/6.3, 1/640, ISO-160, Nikon 1 WP-N3 waterproof housing.

Fix the AW
While the concept for the Nikon 1 AW-1 underwater camera was interesting, the camera has been plagued with water infiltration problems. Many Nikon 1 owners would like to have a camera with underwater capability but simply don’t trust the current AW-1.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO-220

More prime lens selection
The Nikon 1 system currently has three prime lenses:
10mm f/2.8 (efov 27mm), 18.5mm f/1.8 (efov 50mm), and a 32mm f/1.2 (efov 86mm).

Many Nikon 1 owners would also like to see a 7.5mm f/1.8 (efov 20mm), a 10mm f/1.8 (efov 27mm), and a 13mm f/1.8 ( efov 35mm). Some owners would like some longer Nikon 1 telephoto primes such as a 150mm f/4 (efov 405mm), and a 225mm f/4 or f/5.6 (efov 608mm). A good 1.4X CX Nikon 1 teleconverter to go along with these telephoto primes is also desired by a number of Nikon 1 owners.

Faster zoom lenses
Many Nikon 1 owners were somewhat dismayed to see the fast zoom lenses offered in the DL series. They felt left out and would like to see those same lenses offered as CX mount zooms for Nikon 1 bodies. These include a 6.7-18.5mm f/1.8-2.8 and a 18.5-32mm f/1.8-2.8. There is also quite a bit of interest in a constant aperture f/2.8 series of zoom lenses for Nikon 1.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/5000 sec, ISO-1800

Longer telephoto zoom for wildlife
While the majority of Nikon 1 owners who own the CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 love the lens, many would like to see Nikon go further with an even longer telephoto zoom lens for wildlife. A CX version of the Nikkor FX 200-500mm is often mentioned. This would give a CX 200-500mm zoom an equivalent field of view of 540-1350mm. With a constant aperture of f/5.6 it would be hugely popular with the Nikon 1 crowd. Weatherproofing would be a must. Many Nikon 1 owners would also like to see an updated CX 70-300mm with weatherproofing and PF technology.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 201mm, efov 542mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-450

Dedicated macro lens
Since there is currently no dedicated CX macro lens most Nikon 1 owners use an FT-1 adapter with their FX-mount Nikkor macro lenses, or use extension tubes. A dedicated macro lens would be warmly received.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30mm-110mm @ 49mm, efov 133mm, f/9, 1/160, ISO-1000, MOVO extension tubes

This was a quick summary of the most common Nikon 1 ‘wish list’ items that I hear from readers. Whether any of them come to pass during the Nikon 100th anniversary remains to be seen. There are many people who feel that the Nikon 1 system will be discontinued by Nikon and at this point that eventuality is anyone’s guess. With the continued decline in camera volumes globally one could also speculate whether smaller camera brands like Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax will be able to survive. Only time will tell.

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14 thoughts on “Nikon 1 wishes during 100th Anniversary”

  1. You say ‘many’ Nikon 1 owners but would it be economically viable to produce such things for a relatively small market?

    I’ve never seen anyone shooting with a 1 system

    You and I and the only people I know who use it 🙂

    1. Hi Mark,

      As you point out the economic viability of the items on the ‘wish list’ of Nikon 1 owners is something that Nikon would certainly have to consider. The list in the article is intended to summarize comments I regularly hear from Nikon 1 owners. On a strictly personal basis I am quite happy with the current selection of Nikon 1 lenses. I find the combination of 6.7-13mm, 10-100mm non PD, and the CX 70-300 allows me to capture pretty much anything I see when travelling. Throw in a set of extension tubes and the 30-110mm, and the kit has a lot of functionality in a compact size. For my client video work the current selection of primes works well for me, as does the 10-100PD…so I don’t feel ‘hard done by’ in terms of lens selection with the current system.

      Of all the potential lenses mentioned in the article the one that I would love to own would be a CX 200-500mm. I think this would be a killer lens for birding and general nature photography.

      Based on comments from Nikon executives last fall it appears that Nikon is quite happy with the sales performance of the J5 so in the near term I think the system will be continuing. In some of their comments it appears that Nikon sees the customer for a V-Series as being quite different from a J-Series buyer in terms of their level of experience with photography and gear requirements. Whether there is sufficient volume to justify a V4 remains to be see. I will be putting a bit more emphasis on bird photography in 2017 with the hope of producing a related e-book late this year or early next, so I’ve decided to purchase a V3 and keep my trio of V2s dedicated for client video work. To help fund that I just sold my J4 with WP-N3 waterproof housing. There are still things about the V3 that I don’t particularly like such as the detachable EVF and grip…but it is what it is, and I think the additional resolution, the lack of a low pass filter, and slightly higher AF-C frame rate will all be helpful with bird photography.

      I agree with you about the number of ‘visible’ Nikon 1 owners. I do not commonly see folks out shooting with Nikon 1 gear either. Part of that could be that I’m located in Canada and the sale of mirrorless cameras in general is low in North America compared to Asia and Europe. Actually during my recent trips to New Zealand and the Western USA it wasn’t very common to see anyone using a camera at all…mostly Smartphones and tablets.

      One of the interesting things about writing a blog is to see where readers are located. Countries like France, Germany, Great Britain, China, Russia, and the Ukraine consistently rank in the top ten on my blog, and often eclipse the US in readership in a given month. I think that is a hint about the popularity of mirrorless cameras outside of North America.

      Regardless of what the rest of the world does, you and I can both just keeping shooting with Nikon 1 and enjoy the experience!

      Tom

      1. Hello Tom, you often mention extension tubes. which did you choose, what ratios do they give. as the format of 1 series is 2:3, it seems ideally suied for cpying 35mm film slides I have.
        although I still have my nikon coolscan scanner, this would be faster method, of course. I like the 2:3 ratio format, another thing that sets the 1 series apart from everything else.

        1. Hi Allan,

          I have two sets of extension tubes. My MOVO set has 10mm, 16mm and 21mm tubes. My Vello Delux extension tubes are 10mm and 16mm. Both sets work well. I’ve even stacked all five together as an experiment. I would not recommend the Vello Econo tubes as they have plastic mounts which are prone to flange cracking. Extension tubes do not alter the image ratio of 3:2.

          Tom

          1. thanks very much, Tom. you doubtless saved me time and from potential problems(from plastic construction).
            no one has yet commented on the fotodiox set. ? a mysterious Ftgo brand, also.

            how did the 5-tube set-up work out? -with shallow DOF, too much light loss, to be attractive to use?
            I like your macro work, almost always with a tripod used? Allan.

            ps I see some typos in my posts, I can’t edit. – my carelessness. you are welcome to correct. just had cataract ops, my excuse. will stop posting until vision settles. A.

            1. Hi Allan,

              The 5-tube set up was an interesting experiment. As expected the depth-of-field was quite narrow but I still managed to get some usable images. I think stacking 5 tubes pushes things a bit, but it was good to discover that in a pinch it could work.

              Most of the time I only use 1 extension tube or 2 stacked. All of my work using extension tubes with Nikon 1 is hand-held in available light. The only time I have ever used a tripod with this gear is when I did some test images for my review of the Oben CC2361L tripod. Try as I might, I just find working with tripods far too restricting. I do use them when absolutely needed, e.g. with slow shutter speeds photographing waterfalls and for my client video projects. Other than that they stay in my gear closet.

              Tom

      2. 🙂 be careful what you wish for, Tom! that 200 -500mm lens would be huge by Nikon 1 standards (with a decently wide open max aperture). would need monopod/tripod support, at that magnification/bulk, too. better to have 1.4 and 2x teleconverters, methinks. compactness, low weight are ‘1’ priorities, yes? 75-300 + 2x converter= ‘reach’

        pl in volume terms, it would most likely not be viable for Nikon, as price would be too high. Nikon covers demand for this ‘reach’ in its Nikon F mount lenses. you birders….(also called twitchers by some, which you would be humping all that around.)
        as mentioned, some faster zooms, not unlike DL cameras have, would be my choice of a priority request. poking fun, sorry.
        Allan.

        1. Hi Allan,

          Your observations about potential size are well taken! I could certainly live with an f/5.6 constant aperture 1 Nikon 200-500mm zoom, or even an f/5-6.3 like the 150-600 Tamron and Sigmas. In terms of size and cost a 1 Nikon 200-500 that weighed double the CX 70-300 would still be a hand-held lens for my purposes. I used to shoot with a D800 and Tamron 150-600 hand-held up to 3-5 hours at a time and I was OK with that. As far as cost, a 1 Nikon 200-500mm that was about $2,000 – $2,200 CDN would be welcomed by a lot of birders and nature shooters. I would buy one tomorrow if it was available.

          I totally agree that some very good quality Nikkor teleconverters as you noted in your comment would be an excellent idea and would likely find homes in every photographer’s bag who uses the CX 70-300!

          Tom

  2. Tom,
    I concur with all of your recommendations. I am impressed with the AF of the V-2, but not the sensor. I am impressed with the sensor in the J5, but not the AF speed. And I want an EVF. Nikon can do better. If Nikon would give me the AF speed of the V-2, the sensor from the J5, and an EVF, I would buy a Nikon 1 system.

    I’ve bought my last DSLR (I own both the D810 and the D500). But if Nikon doesn’t step up in mirrorless this year, they’ve lost me.

      1. Hi Tom, as you always say, time will tell…..

        better if they returned to the eln15 big battery of the V1, more power reserve using the 75-300 on CAF?

        I think that with recent news of a J6, Nikon are in a pickle, not knowing which way to jump. a new mirrorless is rumoured forthis year, but will be a bigger camera.

        I want ‘V’ size, integrated EVF, metal body. even my little contaxTVS has bracketing(2005).pano mode please.

        there is a danger nikon has just too many ranges and models.
        a good V5, along the lines you suggest, would be best CILC.

        so, Nikon, please do not prune the wrong series, 1,V.

        1. Hi Allan,

          I agree that more battery commonality would have been preferred but c’est la vie! By using the EVF only I am consistently getting over 1,000 images per charge with my V3 when shooting in AF-C mode at either 10fps or 20-fps so I haven’t had to change too many batteries during a photo outing.

          Tom

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