Lens reviews update: test data for the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
DxOMark has recently reviewed Nikon's AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G, a high-end (and very expensive) standard prime for full frame SLRs. As a taster for our upcoming review we've added the test data to our lens widget; as usual you can compare it to similar lenses, including the Nikon and Sigma 50mm F1.4s. Click through for more details and analysis, and a link to DxOMark's own review of the Nikon 58mm F1.4.
Also this week, DxOMark has published its sensor review for the Sony A7R - a 36MP mirrorless camera with a full frame sensor - and a number of lenses including Panasonic's latest 14-140mm superzoom for Micro Four Thirds. Click here for a round-up of DxOMark's recent reviews, including the Sony A7R, and Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS.
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G lens test data
Here we're showing DxOmark's lens test data for the 58mm f/1.4 on both the full frame D800 and the DX format D7100, along with a quick summary of the main findings. We're also showing a quick comparison to the existing AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G. After some real-world shooting with the 58mm, though, it's become pretty clear to us that this doesn't quite tell the full story. We'll look at this in more depth in our upcoming full review.
Click on any of the images or links below to open our interactive lens widget, and explore the data further
1) Tested on Nikon D800
On the D800, sharpness isn't especially high wide open, but this is entirely to be expected from a fast prime. Central sharpness increases rapidly on stopping down, but the edges lag behind significantly. This likely reflects curvature of field as much as anything else (these tests use a flat chart focused for the highest central sharpness). The edges continue to sharpen up at smaller apertures, and by F11 come close to matching the centre.
In all other respects the 58m performs extremely well. Lateral chromatic aberration is very low, and unlikely to be problematic in normal use, even without correction. Vignetting is unusually low for a fast prime: just 1.3 stops wide open, dropping to 0.7 stops at F2, and with a relatively gentle falloff in illumination into the corners (which should make it visually unobtrusive). There's a little barrel distortion, but its simple profile means it should be easy to correct in software when necessary.
2) Tested on Nikon D7000
It's very much the same story on the DX format D7000 as on full frame. Sharpness isn't great wide open, but it improves dramatically on stopping down - by F4 the centre of the frame is as sharp as it's going to get. The corners again lag behind, but sharpen up very well by F8. Chromatic aberration is pretty low, and unlikely to be anything to worry about in normal shooting. As usual for a full frame lens on DX, vignetting and distortion are very low indeed.
3) Compared to the AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G
The studio tests don't give a clear edge to the 58mm f/1.4 over its much-less-expensive 50mm f/1.4 stablemate. Central sharpness is higher, but on the other hand the edges are softer. Chromatic aberration and vignetting are both lower on the 58mm, while distortion is about the same.
Overall, from these test results alone it's not totally straightforward to see why the 58mm f/1.4 costs so much compared to the 50mm. But after shooting a little with the 58mm, it's clear that they don't tell the entire story about the lens. Stay tuned for our upcoming review to get a fuller picture into what it offers.
Our lens test data is produced in collaboration with DxOMark. Click the links below to read DxOMark's own review of the Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM, or see other recent reviews on the DxOMark website.