Nikon has announced the AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G, a premium standard prime for full frame SLRs that's designed to deliver the best possible images, even at maximum aperture. It's highly corrected for coma, meaning that point light sources are rendered correctly right across the frame, and is specifically designed to give an attractive rendition of out-of-focus regions of the image. It can also be used on Nikon's DX format SLRs, on which it will behave like a classic 85mm 'portrait' lens. This all comes with a hefty price tag, though; $1699.95 / £1599.99. It'll be on sale in selected retailers at the end of this month.

Nikon is drawing a parallel between the new 58mm f/1.4 and its Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 from the 1970s, which gained something of a reputation in its time as one of the best-performing ultra-fast lenses ever made. This also explains the focal length, which is somewhat 'long' for a normal prime - it's simply easier to make a highly-corrected SLR lens with a longer focal length, as a direct consequence of the relatively long flange distance between the sensor and lens mount imposed by the mirror box.   

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Press Release:

THE NEW AF-S NIKKOR 58MM F/1.4G LENS UNLEASHES LOW-LIGHT SHOOTING POTENTIAL FOR FX AND DX-FORMAT SHOOTERS

Fast, Sharp and Powerful, the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G Lens Helps Capture Perfect Portraits and HD Video Even in Extreme Low-Light Scenarios

MELVILLE, N.Y. (October 17, 2013) – Today, Nikon Inc. introduced the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G, a professional grade prime lens offering a versatile 58mm perspective and excellent low-light shooting capabilities for FX and DX-format shooters. Designed to excel at night and in extreme low-light situations, this new NIKKOR lens sports a diverse feature set and optical design that make it a dependable and versatile option for daytime portraits, nighttime cityscapes or sharp HD video with a dramatic depth of field. Paying homage to the acclaimed original Noct NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 lens, the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G lens is capable of capturing stunning photos and videos while achieving beautiful bokeh effects.

“With the development of every NIKKOR lens, Nikon aims to provide photographers with the powerful and versatile lensing options needed to capture stunning images and HD video in a variety of difficult shooting scenarios,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “Combining Nikon’s storied NIKKOR legacy with renowned optical technologies, the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G lens presents the premier prime lensing option for FX and DX-format shooters who expect the best in low-light performance.”

Optimized for elite performance in even the most challenging low-light scenarios, the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G sports a unique 58mm (87mm DX-format equivalent) fixed focal length, making it ideal for shooting both flattering portraits, landscapes and street photography. Both FX-format and DX-format shooters will appreciate a wide and fast f/1.4 aperture that helps to ensure professional-grade photos and edge-to-edge sharpness, combined with overwhelming rendering performance. Even while focusing at infinity, the lens’ high resolving power has the ability to process distant subjects with amazing clarity. Whether shooting dynamic nighttime cityscapes or astrophotography, top-class low-light performance is ensured with minimal sagittal coma, while light falloff is controlled to retain brightness and reduce vignetting, even while wide open.

The AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G lens is also powered by core NIKKOR technologies designed to provide the user with the ultimate in clarity and control, and the capability to capture beautiful photos and HD
video even in extreme low-light. The lens sports a rounded nine-blade diaphragm, providing both FX and
DX-format shooters with a circular bokeh, allowing for dramatic sense of natural depth in landscapes
and beautiful image blur. Additionally, the lens features a Nano Crystal Coat to prevent ghost and flare,
as well as a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) to help ensure quiet AF operation, even when shooting HD video.
For users who want the utmost control of every frame, two focus modes are available, including M/A
(AF with manual override) and M (manual).

Price and Availability

The AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G lens will be available in late October 2013 for a suggested retail price
(SRP) of $1,699.95*. For more information on NIKKOR lenses and accessories as well as other Nikon
products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

* SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length58 mm
Lens mountNikon F (FX)
Aperture
Maximum apertureF1.4
Minimum apertureF16.0
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Aperture notesRounded blades
Optics
Elements9
Groups6
Special elements / coatings2 aspherical elements, nano-crystal coating
Focus
Minimum focus0.58 m (22.83)
Maximum magnification0.13×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeUltrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodRear
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleYes
Physical
Weight385 g (0.85 lb)
Diameter85 mm (3.35)
Length70 mm (2.76)
Filter thread72 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Hood product codeHB-68