According to users and reviewers Nikon 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm is the sharpest zoom in the Nikon 1 lens lineup hands down and one of the three sharpest lenses overall. The other two are the 18.5mm f/1.8 (which I have reviewed here) and the 32mm f/1.2. Being right up there with standard and portrait primes in regards to image quality is no small feat for an ultra wide angle zoom. Read on to find out what makes the 6.7-13mm so special.
Shortly after I bought my Nikon V1 with the 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 last November, I decided to get a nice, small bag for my Nikon 1 kit. My previous “bag” of choice was a worn out Nike sports rucksack, which I used to carry around my old, analogue Nikon SLRs, Contax G1 and Bronica ETRS. The rucksack was way oversized for a small N1 kit. Since I wanted a small bag, large enough to carry around a medium-sized kit (at that time I only had the V1 and 10-30mm, but was planning to expand my lens collection), I made a decision to get Lowepro Rezo 110 AW.
For a long time I was considering to write a review of the Nikon 18.5mm f/1.8 lens, but wasn’t able to find the time. Busy work schedule and taking photos with the lens, instead of writing about it, kept me from doing it. But now, after more than 8 months of use, I’ve finally managed to sit down and put my thoughts on paper.
What is it about this lens that makes it so special in the Nikon 1 realm? It is a relatively fast standard prime, which comes at a reasonable price point. At the time of writing the price in EU is around €180. I’ve paid €200 in February 2013 and found the price more than justified considering the very fast autofocus action, the very good optical performance at wide open apertures and some unique features of the N1 cameras which increase the usability of this lens greatly in comparison to any other standard prime. I will go into more detail on that later, the point that I’m trying to make is that people who compare the 18.5/1.8 to a much larger and material intensive 35/1.8, and whine about its price, are simply wrong. The 18.5/1.8 is one hell of a lens, which is worth every penny.
I’ve heard many a time, that one should deactivate Vibration Reduction (VR) when using the camera on a tripod. But does this claim have any merit? Do Nikon 1 lenses, like the Nikon 10-30mm, become less sharp when used on a tripod with VR enabled?