First Impressions: 1-Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR for Nikon 1 System

The Nikon 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR 1-Nikkor is small, sharp, and really a pleasure to use.
The Nikon 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR 1-Nikkor is small, sharp, and really a pleasure to use.

Hey, I just received the new 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR 1-Nikkor lens to use on my Nikon 1 V1 and V2 bodies. Yeah, this baby has been out since around April, but I had other things that took precedence. But now that I have one, I’ve played with it and here are my first impressions.

First Impressions of the Nikon 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR 1-Nikkor Lens

  • Build Quality: Very Good. It’s got a machined metal barrel and a silky-smooth zoom ring. It really feels nice to operate. The lens hood is a plastic reversible bayonet-mount style. Unlike the other 1-Nikkor lenses, this lens has a 52mm front filter thread. It’s a lightweight lens (125g) but it doesn’t feel cheap at all.
  • Angle of View: This lens, designed for the Nikon CX-format sensor, offers an angle of view from 100°-63°. That’s roughly the same as a 18-35mm lens on 35mm format.
  • Focusing Distance: This little lens can focus down to .25m (9.8in), which is very important for super-wide lenses. The close-focus means you can fill the frame with a foreground object to get dramatic perspective effects.
  • VR: While the lens isn’t very fast in terms of aperture (f/3.5-5.6), you do get VR. You can get sharp shots at 1/15s hand-held, provided your subject isn’t moving much.

    The 1-Nikkor VR system works well when hand-holding images at 1/15s.
    The 1-Nikkor VR system works well when hand-holding images at 1/15s.
  • Sharpness & Image Quality: My initial test shots show very good sharpness wide-open at 6.7mm even in the corners. I’m also not seeing any major corner fall-off (shading). I’m very pleased!

    Cropped view of the test image showing good sharpness (click to enlarge).
    Cropped view of the test image showing good sharpness (click to enlarge).
  • Drawbacks: Right now, I can only think of three minor drawbacks to this lens. First, it’s not a fast lens. That means you’ll end up using slow shutter speeds or higher ISOs indoors than you would with the 10mm f/2.8 1-Nikkor. On the other hand, it does have VR, so the slower apertures are mitigated somewhat. Second, the lens hood will block your pop-up flash and create a nasty shadow on your image. While the pop-up flash can be useful, I don’t use mine often. If you do a lot of indoor shooting with the built-in flash, take the lens hood off. And on a minor final note, the Adobe Lens Profile database for ACR/Lightroom does not (as yet) include an entry for the 6.7-13mm 1-Nikkor. My guess is that will be updated in the not too distant future, as Adobe seems to do a good job of covering the bases with their lens database.

    The lens hood creates shadows when used with the pop-up flash (Nikon 1 V2) on close-up subjects.
    The lens hood creates shadows when used with the pop-up flash (Nikon 1 V2) on close-up subjects.

Should you get this lens?

If you have a Nikon 1 camera, this lens is an excellent walk-around/street lens. It’s light, focuses quickly, and gives you a nice wide-angle of view. If you do landscape photography while on vacation, then this little lens is going to be perfect for those times were you want a dramatic composition but want to travel light. With a price of nearly $500 USD, this lens isn’t for everyone’s budget. But I think it’s going to be a favorite of mine on my V1 and V2 cameras.

Purchase the Nikon 6/7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR 1-Nikkor zoom lens from B&H and support Luminescence of Nature Photography.

One thought on “First Impressions: 1-Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR for Nikon 1 System”

  1. Hi Jason,

    Just ordered the 6.7 UWA for my 1 system. Actually decided to put up my 2.8 glass and D700 up on that auction site not to be named. Just don’t use it much. Despite all the critism, I find the 1 system great, especially as an ultralight hiking kit. I am excited to now have this additional option while still very small. Not sure I see myself getting the 32mm. When I want to spend time photographing for my own pleasure, I use my Fuji XP kit. Otherwise, I reach for the 1 series. Biggest wish for me, a real flash hotshoe. I think the 1 AW is an interesting move by Nikon and hope the carry the shockproof and waterproof to the V3 when it comes out. Quick question, Jason, do you use your 1 much with your 70-200 or bigger lens for wildlife?

    Thanks

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