@Mike

Yeah you're right but the technology for global shutter CMOS sensor does actually exist just not in any consumer camera yet (that I know of):

http://www.teledynedalsa.com/mv/products/cameras/family.aspx?fam=genie%20ts

That's why the discussion about the phone camera with the propeller and the rolling shutter effect got me thinking that Nikon 1 might actually have a global shutter but I guess that's too good to be true.

@jonnyapple

(NOTE TO ALL: Ok I apologize in advance but this is going to be another one of my long posts and, even worse, it will be filled with boring tedious calculations so ye be warned :-).

I see your point but I think that comparing Nikon 1 lenses to Nikon S or Leica lenses really is unfair. As far as length, the 10mm is only 2.2 cm while the Leica 35mm is 3.4 cm. As for diameter, Nikons S and Leica smaller because they're all manual lenses with no AF mechanism (STM in Nikon 1 case), electronic aperture control or VR. Unfortunately there is a price to pay for all of this in terms of size.

A more meaningful comparison would have been to compare the size of the front elements of the Leica lens vs. the Nikon 1 lens. If you take a look at a Nikon 1 lens, you'll notice that the front lens element occupies a very small amount of the front face of the lens compared to a Nikon S or Leica lens where the front element dominates the front part of the lens. If you adjust for these factors, the 10mm would be just 2.5 cm in diameter. That's just about an inch.

Here are some calculations to demonstrate. Unfortunately I couldn't find the size of the front elements of the lenses anywhere so I had to do the calculations the long way. Jonny, I know you're a physicist so you'll probably appreciate this. For all others who are not comfortable with numbers, I'll try my best to be as clear as possible. Now these calculations are not completely accurate but I think they're sufficient to demonstrate my point.

The first step is to calculate the ratio of diameter of the front lens element to diameter of the full lens of a Nikon S or Leica lens. This can be done even if you don't have a Nikon S or Leica lens laying around by using any front facing photo of those lenses. I couldn't find any acceptable photo for the Leica 35mm f/2.5 so I used a Nikon S 5cm f/1.4. You can get an image

here:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/rangefinder/images/5cm-f14/D3S_8176-950.jpg

Now I know that the Nikon 1 10mm and Nikon S 5cm are not equivalent lenses but I think that the wider aperture of the 5cm will be canceled out by the wider focal length of the 10mm so it sill works out (like I said in the beginning, these are crude calculations).

Now, with a ruler, measure the diameter of the whole lens across the middle directly from the image in the link. Then measure the diamater of the front lens element only. Divide diameter of lens element by diameter of lens to get the ratio. Here are my numbers in cm (everybody's measurements will be different but the percentages will still be the same more or less):

7.25/9.5 = 0.7632 (or ≈ 76%)

Ok now take a front facing image of the Nikon 1 10mm and do the same. Here is an image:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/59778785@N02/6310745373/in/photostreamone

and here is the calculation:

2.25/6.5 = 0.3562 (or ≈ 35%)

At this point it's pretty clear how much of the bulk of the lens is due to the outer layer of the lens and not the lens' elements themselves. So now we need to find what size the 10mm lens would be if the lens element, while remaining at the same size, did occupy 76% of the lens instead of just 35%. In other words, what size would the 10mm lens have been if it had the same proportions as the Nikon S 5cm lens. To do this, the lens element diameter should be held constant while the lens diamater is variable and ratio is set to 0.7632:

2.25/x = 0.7632

or

2.25/0.7632 = x = 2.948 (for the diameter of the lens)

This is the size of the downsized 10mm lens (but remember this number still doesn't mean anything since it's obtained from an image and not real life). Now to compare this with the measured diameter of the 10mm lens and obtain the ratio of downsized lens to the actual size of the lens:

2.948/6.5 =0.4536 (or ≈ 45%)

From the specs of the 10mm on Nikon USA's website, the actual diamater of the 10mm lens is 55.5 mm or 5.55 cm. Now we can calculate what the actual (real life) size of the 10mm lens would have been if it had the same proportions as the 5cm lens. This is done by multiplying the last ratio obtained by 5.55 cm:

5.55 cm x 0.4536 ≈ 2.5 cm or 1 inch (1 inch = 2.54 cm)

This is the size the 10mm would probably have been if it did not have all the bells and whistles it's got now (no VR, no STM, no AF and no electronic aperture control) but the Nikon 1 is not a Leica or a Nikon S nor was it ever supposed to be.