Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?

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Stacey_K
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Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
1 month ago

For me a new lens purchase is always in question until I get that one shot where I go "Ah, ok this is why this lens is said to be so good". Most of the time, with a great lens, it happens very soon after I start using it, which was true of the 180mm f2.8, the 105mm f2 DC etc.

The first few shots with the 58mm I was like "huh???". They looked soft and mushy. Then I spend some time fine tuning the AF and things improved dramatically. These were just shots of inanimate objects wide open in my backyard in bright daylight. Not really what this lens was designed to excel at. If I had simple shot a few samples with the lens mounted at a store, I would have put it back on the shelf.

A few days ago I got a D800 and was finishing up a web site project for an artist. The last thing I needed was an environmental portrait of him in his studio so took my new D800 + 58mm f1.4G. This shot was from a raw processed in CNX2 with the only adjustment being to correct a bit for WB. I could tell when I chimped the shot I had nailed exactly what I had previsualized I wanted in this shot. My client is ecstatic.

I now understand why this lens is special. I'm not going to discount my ability to capture the moment here, but I also believe this tool was instrumental in capturing it. I myself questioned the price of this "simple" lens and almost didn't but it, but while I may not understand why it costs what it does, I understand the value of it as part of my kit. I've been shooting with the 50mm f1.8G for a couple of years and never got anything close to this with it.

It was samples like this that convinced me to buy the 58mm in the first place, so lets see your samples from this lens that have convinced you this lens was worth the investment for you.

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Stacey

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ormdig
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

Good example Stacey, I like it,

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Pete

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Nexu1
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

From (what feels like about 20 or so) the images I've seen you post on these forums the past year and a half this IMO is your best image. Probably by far. While I'm sure the 58mm lens helps, what makes this image really work is the light, the expression/concentration of the man and the background setting. But really the light is why you're getting the positive feedback that you've received. Really hard to tell how much of this is the lens IMO.

This shot is from the 58 and I love it. But it's the light that makes the shot. Shooting side by side with the 50mm f1.8G that week, in the same spots, same subjects, I believe I could've gotten (very close anyways) this same shot with the 50 (in this particular setting & background).  There were a few scenarios where the 58 stood out more to me.

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Bo Photo
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

I bought this lens when it first came out and liked it, but returned it because of cost and it didn't seem as consistent as I would have liked. I missed the lens after I didn't have it any longer and bought a refurbished one, wow what a difference from the first one I had, it took a -3 on fine tune adj. and it is consistent and sharp @ 1.4, I love the size and the light weight of this lens as I carry two D4's at weddings. Here are shots of my daughter and a few other shots all at f/1.4.

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Bo

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Art Jacks
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

I do not photograph many people but I am posting a couple of images of inanimate objects, I do allow myself a slight stop down to allow for photographer movement as I rarely have a tripod with me, since getting the lens in late February is has been on the camera for the majority of the time, a big outlay but I have no regrets, the results are what matter and from what I have seen and read here actual owners  appreciate what the lens can achieve.

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jimi1127
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

Here are a few 58 1.4 snaps ---

Image 1

Image II

Image III

Image IV

Image V

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http:www.joejosephs.net

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TQGroup
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

Stacey_K wrote:

For me a new lens purchase is always in question until I get that one shot where I go "Ah, ok this is why this lens is said to be so good". Most of the time, with a great lens, it happens very soon after I start using it, which was true of the 180mm f2.8, the 105mm f2 DC etc.

The first few shots with the 58mm I was like "huh???". They looked soft and mushy. Then I spend some time fine tuning the AF and things improved dramatically. These were just shots of inanimate objects wide open in my backyard in bright daylight. Not really what this lens was designed to excel at. If I had simple shot a few samples with the lens mounted at a store, I would have put it back on the shelf.

A few days ago I got a D800 and was finishing up a web site project for an artist. The last thing I needed was an environmental portrait of him in his studio so took my new D800 + 58mm f1.4G. This shot was from a raw processed in CNX2 with the only adjustment being to correct a bit for WB. I could tell when I chimped the shot I had nailed exactly what I had previsualized I wanted in this shot. My client is ecstatic.

I now understand why this lens is special. I'm not going to discount my ability to capture the moment here, but I also believe this tool was instrumental in capturing it. I myself questioned the price of this "simple" lens and almost didn't but it, but while I may not understand why it costs what it does, I understand the value of it as part of my kit. I've been shooting with the 50mm f1.8G for a couple of years and never got anything close to this with it.

It was samples like this that convinced me to buy the 58mm in the first place, so lets see your samples from this lens that have convinced you this lens was worth the investment for you.

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Stacey

Great shot, Stacey...

Is this lens worth it?

No, I guess, not really... no lens is worth waiting 40 years to come along, is it?!

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clarnibass
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

Stacey_K wrote:

For me a new lens purchase is always in question until I get that one shot where I go "Ah, ok this is why this lens is said to be so good".

I can understand that, though it's usually the opposite when I buy a lens. The photo you posted looks good anyway.

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starman1969
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

Excellent image of the artist.

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Steve

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Bo Photo
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

I guess if you show images to prove it's a great lens, no one has anything to say, but if you want to complain about the cost and why you want buy it,  it will get a 147 comments, Just saying.

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Bo

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paulski66
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Bo Photo, 1 month ago

Bo Photo wrote:

I guess if you show images to prove it's a great lens, no one has anything to say, but if you want to complain about the cost and why you want buy it, it will get a 147 comments, Just saying.

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Bo

It's a nice, though not earth-shattering, image. The background isn't of the type to really challenge from a bokeh-perspective. Stacey does a very nice job here, but I don't feel that the 1.8g would have botched this particular scene.

Nexu1's image, which is much more of the type that people cite when proclaiming that the 50 1.8g (or 50 1.2 AI-S, for that matter) has "poor" bokeh, proves only that the 58 1.4g is no miracle worker in this department, either.

ETA: And still nothing to convince me that this simple design and construction is deserving of (or, rather, requires) a $1,700 price tag.

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Alfred
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

The only possible proof here:

Note the exif: f 5.6

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HSway
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

What I am getting from my observations is that the focus roll-off touched in the other, now149p, thread is unusually long, gradual and the bokeh quality reminds of some semi-transparent mist slowly thickening up that produces minimum to no imperfections during this, for the bokeh, not so easy phase. The tendency is also easy to spot in this example.

This seems to be a standout feature of the lens’ oof rendering; the extended early and continuing transition towards the maximum blur and its specific, very gradual mist-like character during its duration. It will be rendered specifically in each scene and will have the effect either reduced or emphasised depending on the geometry and DOF relations. In some case especially, it gives a unique feel to the image. For example this scene shot with 24-70 @58/2.8 would be, I am sure, nicely rendered as well. But the first transition zones would have been more rapid (from the 58’ point of view: underdeveloped) and the rendering would be more prone to the imperfect bokeh interactions in that short zone. At maximum blur the bokeh would be strong from the 24-70, creamy and smooth. There would still be, I reckon, some visible difference to the 58G’ bokeh execution but the type of the difference would be more on the subjective side compared to the mostly tangible difference for the earlier transition zones. The development of the said transitions will be depending on the scene’s character as will be its special characteristic and the overall impression but it definitely seems unique. Whether always 'better', more 3D or whatever is open to the interpretations and assessment as the more compression in that transition space can give its own required, in some instances favoured, powerful effect. Regardless of that the 58G’s growing reputation is also based on the bokeh quality aspect alone (say the typical far background instance) and I think it’s the combination of both properties that makes it a specific lens with often hard-to-copy look valued for its aesthetical virtues.

Another face of the optics is that it’s also predicated for, say, more conventional tasks at longer distances whereas at the beginning it was perceived more like an outsider in that area. Personally 'this addition' we seem to be getting first experience and even data about makes me personally respect the lens more - it makes it much more versatile and useful in my view.

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TQGroup
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to HSway, 1 month ago

HSway wrote:

What I am getting from my observations is that the focus roll-off touched in the other, now149p, thread is unusually long, gradual and the bokeh quality reminds of some semi-transparent mist slowly thickening up that produces minimum to no imperfections during this, for the bokeh, not so easy phase. The tendency is also easy to spot in this example.

This seems to be a standout feature of the lens’ oof rendering; the extended early and continuing transition towards the maximum blur and its specific, very gradual mist-like character during its duration. It will be rendered specifically in each scene and will have the effect either reduced or emphasised depending on the geometry and DOF relations. In some case especially, it gives a unique feel to the image. For example this scene shot with 24-70 @58/2.8 would be, I am sure, nicely rendered as well. But the first transition zones would have been more rapid (from the 58’ point of view: underdeveloped) and the rendering would be more prone to the imperfect bokeh interactions in that short zone. At maximum blur the bokeh would be strong from the 24-70, creamy and smooth. There would still be, I reckon, some visible difference to the 58G’ bokeh execution but the type of the difference would be more on the subjective side compared to the mostly tangible difference for the earlier transition zones. The development of the said transitions will be depending on the scene’s character as will be its special characteristic and the overall impression but it definitely seems unique. Whether always 'better', more 3D or whatever is open to the interpretations and assessment as the more compression in that transition space can give its own required, in some instances favoured, powerful effect. Regardless of that the 58G’s growing reputation is also based on the bokeh quality aspect alone (say the typical far background instance) and I think it’s the combination of both properties that makes it a specific lens with often hard-to-copy look valued for its aesthetical virtues.

Another face of the optics is that it’s also predicated for, say, more conventional tasks at longer distances whereas at the beginning it was perceived more like an outsider in that area. Personally 'this addition' we seem to be getting first experience and even data about makes me personally respect the lens more - it makes it much more versatile and useful in my view.

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+ 1

Very well analysed and explained. And the value of this lens to the cognocenti - pricesless!!

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Stacey_K
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to HSway, 1 month ago

HSway wrote:

What I am getting from my observations is that the focus roll-off touched in the other, now149p, thread is unusually long, gradual and the bokeh quality reminds of some semi-transparent mist slowly thickening up that produces minimum to no imperfections during this, for the bokeh, not so easy phase. The tendency is also easy to spot in this example.

This seems to be a standout feature of the lens’ oof rendering; the extended early and continuing transition towards the maximum blur and its specific, very gradual mist-like character during its duration.

Right, it's not as much simply the bokeh in the background, it's the way this lens transitions so smoothly from in focus to OOF. This scene shot with many lenses would show very obviously where the focus ends and the OOF starts. In this shot, it's so smooth you don't really even notice it has happened.The cat shot in this thread shows this too.

Clearly some people can't see this and think this lens is just a hyped up overpriced profit center for nikon. Just as clearly, these people are not who this lens was designed for, nor should they purchase it. They'd be MUCH happier with something like the sigma art.

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Stacey

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starman1969
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

I'd be interested to see how the 58mm performs as regards to astrophotograpy. I'm after a fast standard/portrait lens which can capture sharp stars across the field, with minimal coma at an aperture of f2 or faster.

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Steve

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jmiller1948
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

Stacey, I agree with you completely that it's worth it.  I labored a long time before pulling the trigger and ordering the 58.  I've used it a lot since then and become more impressed as I use it more and get a better handle on the f-stop to use to get just the right DOF.

Here's my contribution as to why it's worth it:

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Joel
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Stacey_K
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to jmiller1948, 1 month ago

jmiller1948 wrote:

Stacey, I agree with you completely that it's worth it. I labored a long time before pulling the trigger and ordering the 58. I've used it a lot since then and become more impressed as I use it more and get a better handle on the f-stop to use to get just the right DOF.

Here's my contribution as to why it's worth it:

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Joel
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Ernst Haas

Nice and a great example of how smooth the in focus to OOF transition is.

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Stacey

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RajahX
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

I was debating between the 58 f/1.4g and the 85 f/1.4g. Spent about 15 mins shooting with both lenses at the store. I tried to setup shots where i could evaluate bokeh and how the oof areas looked. I also tried to ensure that i was shooting similar images with both lenses. The 58 may have been a hair better ... but i am not sure i see what all the rave reviews are all about. Ended up going with the 85 as I felt it was a more appropriate focal length for what i wanted to do. If the 58 was better, i would have gone for it.

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clarnibass
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Re: Lets see your 58mm samples, was it worth it?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

Clearly some people can't see this and think this lens is just a hyped up overpriced profit center for nikon. Just as clearly, these people are not who this lens was designed for, nor should they purchase it. They'd be MUCH happier with something like the sigma art.

Some people can see that but still don't think it's worth it.

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