Expanding the Nikon 1 system: Accessories and concepts

Launching a compact system camera without a system to support it would be disastrous. Fortunately, Nikon has announced a full run of accessories and lenses for their new Nikon 1 V1 and Nikon 1 J1 compact system cameras, or as they like to put it Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens. 

We have detailed all the accessories previously, but we got the chance to play with the FT-1 lens mount quickly, as well as take a look at some of the future lenses and concept accessories for the Nikon 1 system. 

The FT-1 lens mount is probably the most significant accessory for existing Nikon owners. There is a lot of glass in the Nikon world already and this adapter ring will let you use existing F-mount lenses on the new camera’s 1-mount. This is the first new mount that Nikon has designed since 1959.

The FT-1 lens mount is compatible with both the Nikon 1 J1 and the Nikon 1 V1 as it simply attaches to the front of the camera body. All Nikkor AF-S and AF-I lenses are compatible with the Nikon 1 autofocus system, although we know from previous adapter rings that occasionally there are lenses that don’t quite play nice, especially when people start trying to use older models.

We’ve already detailed some of the lenses we’ve played with in our hands-on time with the Nikon 1 cameras, but we’ll pass on this information again. We’ve played with the 10mm "pancake" lens, which offers a reasonably wide 27mm equiv angle and a respectable F/2.8. 

We’ve also seen two zoom lenses, the 10-30mm (27-81mm equiv) and the 30-110mm (81-297mm). These two zooms don’t offer such wide apertures with F/3.5 and F/3.8 at the widest angle, but that’s entirely typical of this type of compact lens.

To use either lens you have to press the button on the barrel to release the mechanism and deploy the lens. This means they are more compact when in transit, then extending when put to use. Both these zoom lenses offer VR, or vibration reduction/image stabilisation.

The most impressive of the lenses we saw, however, was the 10-110mm PD-Zoom. This lens offers a power zoom, something that only very recently arrived in the Panasonic Lumix G system with its X lenses. It’s obviously bulky compared to the other lenses, powering out the lens when you turn the camera on. 

However, the PD-Zoom offers you silent and smooth zooming, enabled via the button on the side. The zoom can be locked off if you have a particular scene composed that you want to stick with. Nikon is very much pushing this lens as one for movie makers. With additional accessories, such as an external stereo mic for the V1, it could be a great camera for shooting video.

Nikon also showed off - behind glass - a range of concept accessories and camera colours. Not only were there 20-odd Nikon 1 J1 cameras in different shades, but some really interesting and sophisticated accessories.

Amongst these were a "communication kit", including a clip-on projector, a movie unit with a large additional display connected to the hotshoe and a ring flash. 

We also spotted some silicone cases with an integrated strap and a whole selection of future lenses, loosely labelled as portrait, landscape, micro, high power zoom and so on.

From the time we’ve spent with the Nikon 1 cameras so far we’re yet to be convinced by the controls they offer, however the range of accessories suggests that Nikon is serious about supporting this new category of camera, with the more adaptable Nikon 1 V1 offering huge potential from day one.



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