1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 CX Lens - Impromptu Sharpness Test

So I walk out to the car this morning and Mother Nature has seen fit to place some neat ice sculptures on the roof. After starting the car to warm it up in 9 degree F heat, I grabbed the Nikon 1 V1 and set about capturing some of this pleasant icy surprise.

These RAW NEF files were brought into Lightroom and exported un-modified except for some crops. The ice on the fabric roof not only looks neat but helps to understand this lens. It's pretty sharp:

Sample: Nikkor 1 18.5mm f/1.8 with Nikon 1 V1
1/400s, f/2.2, ISO200

Here's a close-up of the center. You can see the fabric loops as well as the thinnest slivers of ice and that looks to be small pieces of lint as well:

center 100-b

It's easy to create OOF at these close focusing distances. You can clearly see the plane of focus here @ f/2.2:

Sample: Nikkor 1 18.5mm f/1.8 with Nikon 1 V1
1/400s, f/2.2, ISO200

Here's a neat collection of icy islands:

Sample: Nikkor 1 18.5mm f/1.8 with Nikon 1 V1
1/400s, f/2.2, ISO200

And here they are at 100%:

center 100

Here's another shot showing the plan of focus as it extends from edge to edge of the photo.

Sample: Nikkor 1 18.5mm f/1.8 with Nikon 1 V1
1/400s, f/2.2, ISO200

And here's how the center looks versus the edge at 100%:

center v edge sharpness

The center is clearly sharper, but the edge is holding up ok.

Overall, a pretty impressive performance. I guess that I should have taken some shots wide open at f/1.8 as well, but it was early, I was running late, and the espresso had not hit my bloodstream yet. If you want your money back due to this error, drop me a line. Wink.

It's a neat little setup. As I said, very reminiscent of a Panasonic GF2 with the 20/1.7 that I once had. And while I like twiddling dials and shooting Manual mode, I'm trying hard to be open-minded about the way the camera wants me to work - more automated, more "I got this." Old habits are hard to break though; these were M.

Footnote: In these temperatures, the camera eventually resorted to using the EVF, turning off the rear LCD completely. For a moment I was confused, but then I realized - the eye sensor that switches the camera from rear LCD to EVF is very sensitive, and sadly non-adjustable. What likely happened is that the fog of my breath settled upon the sensor and triggered the switch to the EVF. The issue cleared up in the car and has not occurred since.

Click here for more posts about the Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8


  1. Great example shots here John. I've found similar performance with the prime, and OOF backgrounds, when very close.


    I usually shoot my V1 in A or S mode, as I did with dSLRs. I stubbornly refuse to go full auto. I'm also considering super gluing that silly mode dial on the back with the motion snapshot stuff I never use...

    1. That mode dial is silly, isn't it? I hope the V3 is a mashup of the V1 and V2. I'd take the V1 body with the V2 mode dial. I'd also take the V2 sensor (or improved hopefully) but the V1's intervalometer.

      Thanks for reading!