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Nikon invokes spirit of 'Noct' with 58mm f/1.4G premium lens

By dpreview staff on Oct 17, 2013 at 04:00 GMT
Buy on GearShop$1,696.95

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
52
I own it
104
I want it
1
I had it
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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

Comments

Total comments: 179
12
babola
By babola (5 months ago)

Not bad at all...

http://samobeid.com/nikon-afs-nikkor-58mm-f14g-sample-images/

0 upvotes
ChristianFLee
By ChristianFLee (5 months ago)

I seriously dig this lens...only got it yesterday, but was able to go shoot and did a mini-review: http://christianlee.ca/review-nikon-58mm-f1-4g/

0 upvotes
Joe Ling
By Joe Ling (6 months ago)

I've been waiting for this lens for quite some time. I use the 50mm 1.4G a lot for indoor boudoir professional work. It's a bit soft from f1.4 - f1.8. The rendering is also not as good as the other premium primes. The "Three-dimensionally high-fidelity image reproduction" is what interest me the most. Can't wait to try it out.
http://imaging.nikon.com/history/scenes/33/index.htm

0 upvotes
jmb2560
By jmb2560 (6 months ago)

I bought a used 50 f1:1.2 while traveling in Japan: $450 and virtually new.

I'm not sure why I would spend that much money for a G lens that is not going to be compatible with my "old babies" F3, F4 and F5.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

an AI-S ? not a good one with soft corners,
very few people use it.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
zakk9
By zakk9 (6 months ago)

Simply buy a new "baby", the F6 :D

1 upvote
Johannes Zander
By Johannes Zander (6 months ago)

You can use the F4 in program and shutter-priority modes with G-lenses. The F5 is fully compatible.

1 upvote
BMacD2013
By BMacD2013 (6 months ago)

I bought a new 50mm f/1.2 Ai-S in 2007. This lens is amazing! Those who say it's "soft" and "not good" don't know how to use it properly. Accurate focus is CRITICAL. I have taken many beautiful shots at f/1.2, and by f/2 this lens is at peak performance. I'm also going to get the new 58mm f/1.4G for when I need to focus quickly and have superb results wide open.

0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (6 months ago)

This lens is basically the Nikon's answer to the battle of egos between the executives of Zeiss, Leica and Nikon, to see who makes the best abnormal ... oops, "normal" lens for FF.

P.S.: Zeiss stopped making cameras long time ago, Leica's camera production is on life support, and Nikon… well, Nikon is following in the footsteps of Zeiss and Leica.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (6 months ago)

"Leica's camera production is on life support"

I wonder why they recently increased their capacity then?

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

Nikkor 58/1.4 doesn't look as good as Otus 55/1.4 on paper at least, though MF-only makes a lens useless for portraiture.

1 upvote
jmb2560
By jmb2560 (6 months ago)

There are hundred of thousands of wealthy Chinese and Russians who want to buy Leica cameras to go together with their Prada, Vuitton, Chanel bags. Right or wrong does not matter: it's just a fact and it's good for Leica.

3 upvotes
HiRez
By HiRez (6 months ago)

"MF-only makes a lens useless for portraiture"

So there were no portraits taken before the invention of the autofocus lens?

2 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (6 months ago)

In 2012 the production of M9 cameras was about 80 units per day. The Leica's daily production is so small that it can be transported in the trunk of a small car!

To have a perspective, in 2012 the production of the DSLR (mainly by Canon and Nikon) was around 1.3 million units per month, or about 60,000 units per day.

Oh, yeah, Leica still is the largest camera manufacturer in Europe :-)

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
JIMMYCHENG
By JIMMYCHENG (6 months ago)

Funny you mentioned Leica is on life support. Yes they were when they missed the boat on the introduction of M8 but since they changed management with the introduction of M9, everything changed. M9 has been selling so well and I've noticed a few pro wedding photographers dumped their Nikon or Canon for Leica again in UK.

The latest M T240 is sold out everywhere and still on waiting list. Yes, rangefinder cameras are quirky things these day but I still love them and in fact, I still use my M6.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (6 months ago)

While this may seems expensive for a "normal" lens, Nikon are charging no more for it than for their 85mm 1.4 G - which may have been easier to design and make since it has no aspherical elements whereas this new 58mm 1.4 G has 2 aspherical elements.

We have just got used to cheap 50mm lenses - which were once the kit lens on every SLR. However if manufacturers want to make higher quality normal lenses I expect they are probably just as expensive to design and make as any other high quality lens of moderate focal length.

So, if Nikon are charging too much for this lens, then they are probably also charging too much for the 85mm 1.4G and the 35mm 1.4G - or perhaps the price of all three is fair.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
1 upvote
PatMann
By PatMann (6 months ago)

Does this free up Mr. Sato to work on the 24mm f/1.4 and 16 mm f/2 DX primes? Somebody needs to.

0 upvotes
HiRez
By HiRez (6 months ago)

The biggest problem I have with this is the 22.8" minimum focus distance. That is disappointing and makes it hard to get good detail shots. Yes, I realize it's not a macro lens, but that is a longer minimum focus distance (even adjusted for the 8mm focal length difference) than the 50mm f/1.4 G lens (18"), 50mm f/1.2 (20.4"), and the 24mm-70mm f/2.8 (~18" at 50mm).

Everything else looks pretty nice though, I wonder how fast/accurate the autofocus is.

0 upvotes
zkz5
By zkz5 (6 months ago)

*yawn*. Only equivalent to 900mm f/48 on my uncle sam's satellite mounted cameras.

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (6 months ago)

Invoking the "spirit" of the Noct, a lens with a hand-made aspheric glass element in the same breath as when talking about this lens, which probably has a plastic, molded "hybrid" aspheric in it is...dubious.

0 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (6 months ago)

They can make molded glass aspheric lenses. People are also making excuses for the price citing the aspheric element but doesn't the 85/1.8 have an aspheric element (albeit likely a molded one)?

This lens doesn't even have ED glass (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) and the basic design and construction seems not all that different from the 50.1.4G so where's the cost coming from.. apart from making a zillion trial and error tests?

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (6 months ago)

looks like Nikon double the price of 50mm 1.4G....and they double it again...winninggg

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

to me this is the last nail in the coffin of the Zeiss otus. if there was a market for it it was going to be d800 shooter. they even said it was for newer 40 mp camera (d800) . This lens is priced far more appealing and given the quality of nikons recent primes no reason to think this cant do the job. I may buy this myself but i do tend to favor actual 50s for focal length

3 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (6 months ago)

This lens will undoubtedly sell far more than the Zeiss Otus - but let's see some real comparissons before writing off the Zeiss

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

without AF, the Zeiss Otus can be considered as a narrow angle lens for shooting stars, not many people will buy a dedicate lens to shoot.

cannot say for clueless buyers.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Blake Willis
By Blake Willis (6 months ago)

nice lookin lens, Nikon.
tad pricey, eh?
(like, an extra digit)

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

it looks like an empty barrel only.

the aspherical elements should be of high quality, or Sigma should be able to do the same, if not better.

0 upvotes
Zvonko
By Zvonko (6 months ago)

Mine is now on order from ECS.

0 upvotes
Manfred Bachmann
By Manfred Bachmann (6 months ago)

I have no problem to spend 1700.- for a good lens, but why this cheap plastic garbage look?? It´s really a pain if you compare the latest Sigma A build quality with this 100.- toy look
manfred

2 upvotes
zakk9
By zakk9 (6 months ago)

The "old style" Nikkors, like the 105 and 135mm lenses certainly looked more classy :)

Won't prevent me from buying one though. It's just a tool after all.

0 upvotes
shutterdragon
By shutterdragon (6 months ago)

I'm glad see that Nikon is back! Nikon used to make a lot of specialized products, such as Medical Nikkor, Noct Nikkor, whatever Nikkor, etc., for small markets with specialized needs. If you think this lens is expensive, then you're obviously not the intended consumer for this product. For those who actually require this lens, I know you are happy that Nikon even makes this lens. Any small production, specialized products would be relatively expensive.

6 upvotes
mandophoto
By mandophoto (6 months ago)

Why are people surprised by the cost of this lens? I mean compared to the Leica perfect 50mm f2 ($7,350.00,) and the Zeiss perfect 55mm f1.4 ($4,000.00,) this perfect Nikon 58 is a bargain.

As for the bulbous design, lets thank auto focus.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
Blake Willis
By Blake Willis (6 months ago)

If the Canon 50mm f/1.2L wasn't less expensive, it would be different...

0 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (6 months ago)

Lets see how they stack up against each other in tests before such a broad statement.

1 upvote
samhain
By samhain (6 months ago)

For a top of the line portrait lens optimized for shooting wide open, the price isn't so bad.

It's obviously a lens for professionals, hense a professional lens price tag.

If I shot with Nikon I'd get it.

4 upvotes
disasterpiece
By disasterpiece (6 months ago)

If I had this much money, I would gladly buy this one, being sure that it wouldn't be out of date 10 or 15 years later.

2 upvotes
kirbysdl
By kirbysdl (6 months ago)

So just to be clear, the size of the lens is dictated purely by ergos right? The front element of the lens looks like it's halfway down the length of the lens. The optical formula would probably be achievable in half the size, but they wanted a beefy MF ring and useful distance scale window.

(Don't take this as a flame. I'm just interested in design considerations and trade-offs).

1 upvote
disasterpiece
By disasterpiece (6 months ago)

I guess it also affects weight and balance (at least to some extent).

0 upvotes
Alan Brown
By Alan Brown (6 months ago)

kirbysdl
the AFS ans AFD 50mm f1.8 have deep recessed front elements.. hardly a need for a hood!

I think with the AFD version (with no aspheric elments either) too had an 'unecessarily' large barrel... so, might be usability function?

0 upvotes
Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul
By Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul (6 months ago)

Sadly it's not 77mm filter thread!!

0 upvotes
disasterpiece
By disasterpiece (6 months ago)

If you can cash out $1700 on the lens, then $5 for a step up ring wouldn't be exactly budget-breaking.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
PatMann
By PatMann (6 months ago)

It may be a bit inconvenient to use a 77mm step-up with the hood - we'll see. I would need a CP filter often for the uses I anticipate for this lens. It was nice in the days when just a 52 and a 72 were enough to cover all the Nikkors in my bag from 18 to 200mm, including a 28 PC and 35mm f/1.4. The new range is all over the place.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (6 months ago)

This better be insanely good for that price. It would have to be absolutely flawless.

4 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (6 months ago)

The new Zeiss 55mm is supposed to be absolutely flawless, and it's priced accordingly.

4 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (6 months ago)

This is interesting,a lot cheaper than the Otus and decent MTF,I like the 9 bladed aperture and it has a low weight compared to the Otus (385grams vs 1000grams)

3 upvotes
Light Pilgrim
By Light Pilgrim (6 months ago)

this is so interesting. Now this lens is the very direct competitor of Zeiss 55 f/1.4 that costs 4000 USD. Nikon will come with the AF, which really helps for portraits...especially on AF cameras:-)

Just wondering what is the IQ comparison of these 2? I am sure people will soon do it properly.

1 upvote
bgmonroe
By bgmonroe (6 months ago)

I don't see how this is a competitor to the Zeiss 55. They are very different lenses. The Zeiss is a no-compromise lens and priced accordingly. This lens is CLEARLY aimed to compete squarely with the Cannon 50 F1.2 L lens. There are he obvious little differences (8mm or focal length and 1/3 stop). But they are close enough and priced similarly.

2 upvotes
Bamboojled
By Bamboojled (6 months ago)

To bgmonroe...
You have obviously missed the purpose of this lens.
It is not out to compete with the Canon 50 1.2 as this lens is considered a poor performer optically and in speed.

Light Pilgrim is correct in feeling that this lens will be competing against the Zeiss.

Based on the interview with the designer of the Nikon 58 1.4 lens, where maximum optical performance was the driving force and bokeh and center to edge performance wide open was optimized... this lens should be outstanding

2 upvotes
lazy lightning
By lazy lightning (6 months ago)

No, I think the 50 1.4G is more in line with the Canon 50 1.2L. Both are somewhat compromised with the Nikon offering better quality than the Canon.

This 58 1.4G is a modernized version of the classic 58 Noct-Nikkor updated for todays high MP count digital DSLR.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
mick232
By mick232 (6 months ago)

The Zeiss competitor to this is the Sony Zeiss 50/1.4 priced at $1498.

0 upvotes
Bamboojled
By Bamboojled (6 months ago)

To mick232...LOL
To Lazy lightning...the Canon 50 1.2 was made for one purpose, 1.2.
Even when it was originally announced it was not a top performer by comparison to what was out on the market.

By comparison this lens based on Sato's interview
http://imaging.nikon.com/history/scenes/33/index.htm
was designed for maximum optical performance, even to the point that they opted to go to 1.4 vs. 1.2 because they thought that 1.2 would compromise center to edge performance.
No, this lens is more akin to the new Zeiss regarding lack of compromise than the Canon 50 1.2

Comment edited 15 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Light Pilgrim
By Light Pilgrim (6 months ago)

To bgmonroe.
So let's think how Nikon is closer to Canon:-)
1. Nikon lens will not be used on a Canon mount, Zeiss will be on both
2. 55 mm is closer to 58 then it is to 50 mm
3. Both Zeiss and Nikon are f/1.4 whereas Canon is f/1.2

So how do you really think Nikon will be competing with Canon? They are not even on the same mount or system.

0 upvotes
lazy lightning
By lazy lightning (6 months ago)

To Bamboojled...re-read my comment. I was replying to bgmonroe and telling him, "No, I think the 50 1.4G is more in line with the Canon 50 1.2L. Both are somewhat compromised with the Nikon offering better quality than the Canon.

This 58 1.4G is a modernized version of the classic 58 Noct-Nikkor updated for todays high MP count digital DSLR."

0 upvotes
bgmonroe
By bgmonroe (6 months ago)

@Bamboojled: The Cannon 50/1.2 L was created to replace the crappy (soft) but stupid-wide 50/1.0 L. The 50/1.2 was far better wide open at 1.2 then the older 50/1.0 L was at 1.2. Also the 50/1.2 L is much better at 1.4 then the Cannon's 50/1.4. It is well reported that f1.2 can't be done with the F mount and maintain the electrical contacts required for auto-focus. Maybe that's an urban legend but the lack of and Nikon lenses faster then 1.4 with auto-focus seems to bear this out. Obviously there is a law of diminishing returns when one looks at any product (cars, watches, cameras, etc) and the Zeiss is no exception. It's probably not twice as good as the Nikon but from the reviews I've read, it's in a league of it's own (higher sharpness and contrast). It's also an APO design which the Nikon is not.

0 upvotes
bgmonroe
By bgmonroe (6 months ago)

@Light Pilgrim & Lazy Lightning: You have to look at it from a business and marketing perspective. Nikon, Cannon and Zeiss are in the business of selling stuff. Nikon and Cannon are direct 'system' competitors. They release products into price slots that compete with each other to gain market share and to sell their respective system. Nikon and Cannon have 50/1.8 lenses at around the same price point and are similar (not identical) in performance. They also have 50/1.4 Lenses in their own similar price point. Now Cannon has yet another 50mm Lens (the L) at a price point that Nikon (up until now) has had no answer for. Now they have a lens that may not be the exact same focal length but they can use marketing and history to say that it was inspired by an older lens that is in high esteem but it's in the same price point as the Cannon's. It's all marketing and business.

0 upvotes
lazy lightning
By lazy lightning (6 months ago)

@bgmonroe: First off it's Canon not "Cannon". Secondly, Nikon does not sell me lenses by matching what Canon offers. They sell me lenses by what I need.

Just about every camera company large or small offers a multitude of 50mm lenses in a wide variety of f stops, shapes and colors. Not exclusive to CaNikon.

This is not an "answer" to Canon's 50 1.2 but a modernized offering of the classic 58 Noct-Nikkor. If it was an "answer" to the Canon it would be a Nikkor 50 1.2.

0 upvotes
bgmonroe
By bgmonroe (6 months ago)

@lazy lightning: Thanks for pointing out that I'm a crappy speller. Believe it or not, but I already new that...but whatever. "They sell me lenses by what I need." That's rich. They sell lenses based on market research (getting back to my point of them being a business) and perceived demand. And my point about the 58mm lens vs the Canon L is not a lens vs. lens but a price point match. Having a product that is of a certain quality that slots into an existing price point. Now Nikon could have created a high-end 50mm lens but they had a classic lens that is held in high regard with inflated prices. Why not use that name and focal length? It can only help sales...it's marketing 101. Look, I'm not disagreeing with anyone that this will be a great lens. I'm just saying that it is not a competitor to the Zeiss 55/1.4 and is more akin to the Canon L. That, and that their decisions are all business driven. That's all. Anyway, this will be my last post on the subject.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (6 months ago)

This lens won't be competing with the Zeiss 55mm - the Zeiss will be competing with this though.

0 upvotes
LSE
By LSE (6 months ago)

the point of this lens is simple: shoot wide open without the penalties of shooting wide open. grab a 50mm 1.4 or 1.2, shoot wide open and prepare to be horrified by CA, coma flare, and other aberrations that make the image the equivalent of a fast food burger in quality. now this is a 5 star dinner at the waldorf Astoria.

if your only determinant in quality is aperture, get a f0.95 lens. if you care about the IMAGE QUALITY, this is probably the best 50s you can buy outside of the recently announced Zeiss.

I'm glad Nikon/zeiss see beyond meaningless third of a stop fstop numbers and choose instead to deliver the best quality they can without compromising to reach a marketing gimmick f stop.

10 upvotes
shutterdragon
By shutterdragon (6 months ago)

I paid $1,700 for a brand new Noct f1.2 about 20 years ago when it was still in production. Been very happy with the results and I'm glad I made the decision to buy this lens since nothing else comes close to what Noct is designed to excel at. $1,700 was as much as my monthly salary at the time, by the way. If this new 58mm can perform as well as Noct, it's a great buy actually.

5 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (6 months ago)

Good to hear that you've kept it. I've been looking at it enviously for a long time. But as mentioned elsewhere people are charging handsome sums of money for on eBay.

How do you rate it on DX bodies?

I'm seriously considering it for concerts and events paired with a d7100.

2 upvotes
shutterdragon
By shutterdragon (6 months ago)

Hi SnapHappy32,

I have never used it on a DX body so I can't comment based on experience, but the Noct Nikkor does have light fall off toward the edges when used wide open. For this reason, you may get better results with a DX body, although I consider light fall off to be a character.

For concerts and events, I personally would not invest in a used Noct Nikkor since just about the only advantage of Noct over the regular 50mm f1.2 is the lack of coma flare. Coma flare is most visible when shooting point light sources that are small, e.g. city lights from distance, stars, etc. If you're close to the stage, coma flare would probably not be a problem.

0 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (6 months ago)

Does DPreview have the resources to get Andy these expensive 50mm that are coming out? Sony has 2 new ones (one $1500), Nikon with this, and of course the $4,000 one from Zeiss. Would love to see a match up.

2 upvotes
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (6 months ago)

It never fails to annoy me when I see the US dollar and OK pound pricing being almost the same number...And I will not stop writing about it, in case more Europeans wake up and see that companies are trying to rip them off just because we let them get away with it. A pound has been around 1.6 dollars for years now. And the tax differences amount to around 15-20%. So anybody with a brain has to wonder why on Earth do those companies ask 50-60% more in Europe than the US, for the same product made in Japan or China. My last purchase was based primarly on this consideration. I bought the Sony RX100 exactly because it was the only camera in that category that was offered at a fair price in Europe compared to the US. That is it was about 15% more expensive in Europe. Not 50% or 60% as the rest were. If more of us start thinking like this then maybe these companies will realise that you Europeans are not as rich/stupid as they think you are.
EDIT: If I wasn't clear, this lens is 2560$ in UK

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
polizonte
By polizonte (6 months ago)

That is not fair at all. Strike back, take a vacation in the US and buy the lens as a souvenir!

3 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (6 months ago)

Compared to the US it costs a wheelbarrow full of cash to import something to the UK. I won't say that this accounts for the full difference, but if you expect anything to cost equally judging by the exchange rate you're flat deluded.

1 upvote
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (6 months ago)

Ryan, I obviously looked into the details before posting, so no, I'm not deluded:) It doesn't cost more at all to import, it's just the VAT which is the difference. As proof, I presented you the RX100 case which was priced at a mere 15% mark up in the UK, compared to the US, 20%VAT included.

1 upvote
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (6 months ago)

Yes Polizonte, I would probably do that ifI was in the market for such a lens! Or look elsewhere to see if another lens was priced more fairly.

1 upvote
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (6 months ago)

Let me add a minor correction. There is no difference in import duty for digital cameras betwen the US and the UK (both zero). But funnily enough there is a minor difference for lenses, which is 2.3% in the US and 6.7% in the UK, so a 4.4% difference. Again that's only for lenses, not cameras. My initial remark still stands true though, the mark up should not be more than 25% for lenses and not more than 20% for cameras. This lens' suggested mark up is 50%.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (6 months ago)

Oh my goodness its expensive. Guess what good lenses were always expensive. Is it worth it to you? Who cares. Is it worth it me? Why would you care? Is it good? No one knows, yet. Is it the right focal length? My guess its the best auto focus 58mm available for Nikon.

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (6 months ago)

I love prime lenses. I love wide apertures. And for nearly 10 years I've been living with a zoom that maxes out at about F3.5. My next DSLR *will* live with prime lenses only. BUT ...

... over $1500 for an F1.4 lens with the same focal length as the Helios F2 that came with my original Zenit E? When I could buy a Zeiss Planar T* F1.4 50mm for my Contax S2 for a mere $500 or so just a few years ago? This is NUTS!

Noct[ilux] suggests F1.0 to me, not the bog-standard F1.4 we all used to enjoy before the Age of Zoom hit us!

Brian

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

The first Leica Noctilux in the 1970s was f/1.2. (These M lenses can’t exactly be mounted on a SLR.)

This Noct name appears to refer to an old Nikon lens of f/1.2–just going by the above text.

You’re free to buy the new 55mm f/1.4 lens from Zeiss, it will in all likelihood be a good bit better optically than this new Nikon–only $4,000+sales tax in the USA, and no AF.

Or there’s the current Zeiss manual focus 50mm f/1.4 lens, wonderful color, but not real sharp–that’s about $725.

This is very likely an excellent lens from Nikon–not Zeiss or Leica extraordinary–and you’ll need to pay for that. But at least it can keep up with sensor resolution.

0 upvotes
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (6 months ago)

@Biowizard What you just said makes no sense at all. I don't even know how to begin...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 33 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Illumina
By Illumina (6 months ago)

i think they who bash this lens actually don't know what is Noct - Nikkor.. i know it's not exactly the same as the legendary Noct, but i think that it will produce awesome result straight from f 1.4
i want it, but i admit that maybe i won't buy it because it's expensive, but i don't bash it
why bash it? if you can buy, buy it, if u can't buy, then just drool over it, no need to bash it.. don't be jealous :D
i believe that price does matter, it will produce good result..
is it 4 times better than AF-S 50 1.4 G or 9 times better than AF-S 50 1.8 G? of course not, but i'm sure it will be a special lens.. and for some people, even it's just a tad better, as long as it serves their purpose and they have the money, they will buy it..
if everyone just think for value for money products, there won't be luxury brand right now, there won't be Hermes, LV, Leica, Loubotin, etc..

1 upvote
lazy lightning
By lazy lightning (6 months ago)

I've been waiting for a autofocus lens in the 50mm range that performs exceptionally well wide open...this may be it!

3 upvotes
lazy lightning
By lazy lightning (6 months ago)

If this Haruo Sato designed lens performs as well as my 85 1.4G, then I'm all in!

3 upvotes
HiRez
By HiRez (6 months ago)

I would actually hope it performs better. The 85mm f/1.4G has some issues wide open, including a lot of CA. So for a lot of things I usually end up stopping down to f/2 where I would prefer to shoot at f/1.4.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (6 months ago)

Looks like Canon and Nikon started to in essence release new lens lines which are better made to suite the current high-resolution sensor (while still touting their large old lens lines none of which is actually good enough for 36 mpix etc). But the prices!

0 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (6 months ago)

Homage to Noct? What marketing pig hooey. Maybe if it was 1.2 or 1.0. It's a 1.4 lense, nothing to see here.

But they sure are hooked on grabbing two thousand dollars for mid-range primes now. The Vampire is back as Hogan would say.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
zakk9
By zakk9 (6 months ago)

I believe it is dpr that talks about homage to Noct, not Nikon. It's less than half the price of the Zeiss and it has AF. What's no to like?

0 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (6 months ago)

It's in the PR - I checked. It's also 8 times or more the price of a 50 1.8.

0 upvotes
LSE
By LSE (6 months ago)

you have to be kidding me? you think aperture is the only determinant of optical quality? let me ask you this, do you want a soft image with the horrible effects of comma flare at 1.2, or do you want a crisp flawless image at f/1.4? silly.

3 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (6 months ago)

What? Someone complaining about price on DPR? What has happened?

0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (6 months ago)

"But they sure are hooked on grabbing two thousand dollars for mid-range primes now." Its better than paying 4000 for the Zeiss,is 600grams lighter and has autofocus

0 upvotes
ryanlee
By ryanlee (6 months ago)

Hahahahahaha oh Nikon..

A. Noct? This isn't a f/1.2, f/1.0 or f/0.95. It makes it sound like you couldn't work out a formula and just compromised and made it an f/1.4.

B. USD1,695.95 for a 58mm f/1.4?? See above. It's not like there's VR in it to hike up the price.

c. Who was asking for a 58mm? Who?? I've seen Nikon users ask for a new 24-70mm f/2.8, for f/1.2 primes, for a 17mm tilt shift, for >1x macro lenses. Who was asking for a seventeen hundred dollar 58mm f/1.4?

0 upvotes
MrSkelter
By MrSkelter (6 months ago)

VR would lower the image quality, increase weight and price, and it's not needed at this length for this use-case.

Everyone has been asking for a decent 'normal' lens. Check my past threads on the subject and the responses to them. All the other current AF Nikon 50's are average. This counters Canon's 1.2 and for prime shooters becomes the go-to. Nikon's 35 isn't nearly as good as the 24 and the Sigma is superb. With a 24mm and an 85mm this completes a prime-kit at 1.4 for many people.

3 upvotes
Lift Off
By Lift Off (6 months ago)

It's the samples at f/1.4 that will sell this lens, not the "references" or the "homages". And they better be *that* good.

8 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (6 months ago)

The night shot on the official samples page doesn't show point sources for the street lights. They are all triangles and sheared. There's also lots of blue fringing around lots of the lights (purple fringing).

Looking at the portraits the lens doesn't seem as contrasty or sharp at f/2 as one would like. My DA*55 seems better.

I'll take a look at one when they are available though as I love my 35/1.4 G despite what people say about it.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
zakk9
By zakk9 (6 months ago)

What triangles and fringing are you talking about? I see none.

2 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (6 months ago)

I see the same thing in the night shot - not impressed - for the price I was expecting much better wide open performance.
The wide open portrait shots also don't look all that sharp either - look at the eyelashes.
Good grief - another Nikon lens that few people were wanting an update on. Plenty of other lenses that far more people would be willing to buy if Nikon would update them.

2 upvotes
Jane79
By Jane79 (6 months ago)

Yes, the lights in the corners in the night shot are not so good, and that's at f/2.0.

1 upvote
bossa
By bossa (6 months ago)

Looking at the full resolution shots at 100% all the lights are shaped badly and not just in the corners.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
PatMann
By PatMann (6 months ago)

While the night shot does show a fair amount of coma in the blown-out highlights around the edges in the full-resolution view, it's nothing compared to the coma in the 50mm lenses. It does leave room for the Zeiss to show off, though. I'll be very interested in the comparisons of these two.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (6 months ago)

Poor Olympus and Olympus photographers....moral was high and climbing not too long ago........then came this A7 & A7r stealing their thunder big time....

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

Really? Build quality of the Sony's is no better the E-M5. A7 is actually worse. Weather sealing worse than a E-M5. No touch screen like an E-M5. No I.S like a E-M5. Hardly any lenses from a company with a reputation on not delivering on their promises of new lenses. The E-M5 does lack the 1/8000 top speed. Oh and a shutter that sounds so loud it sounds like a medium format camera which makes it ripe for Shutter shock. Plus one report already that it had issues on the corners with a legacy lens. Also Sony charge extra for the battery charger.

If you then compare it to the E-M1 they both lack several features and less solid body and sealing.

Plus on top of this you posted in a Nikon lens thread.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (6 months ago)

well that's because its the A7.....not A9 come 2014....patience my young padawan

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (6 months ago)

What does it have to do with Nikon lens? And how all 1 lens available - 28-70/3.5-56 - is going to compete with anything? Patience? But nothing is stationary.

0 upvotes
vincent__l
By vincent__l (6 months ago)

It's about time Nikon. The DPR forums are constantly saturated with people screaming for an f1/4 standard lens for close to $2k and you finally delivered. Good call on ignoring the very small minority of whiners who think an updated 24-70 f/2.8 is necessary.

12 upvotes
pfzt
By pfzt (6 months ago)

exactly ;)

it has been adressed before but i also wonder about the absolute useless 58mm, that's too long for street photography but not long enough for portraits. Maybe it's supposed to be some kind of a studio lens. good luck with that!

0 upvotes
Mark Alan Thomas
By Mark Alan Thomas (6 months ago)

Um. What? Nikon already had an f/1.4 standard lens. More than one, actually. Who was screaming?

0 upvotes
pfzt
By pfzt (6 months ago)

i think (hope) he was being sarcastic ;)

1 upvote
PatMann
By PatMann (6 months ago)

We DX shooters have been asking for a great portrait lens for some time. We didn't necessarily want to pay this much for it, but we did get what we asked for. You forget Nikon is designing this for three formats - this is portraits on DX and a great event lens on Nikon 1. I for one appreciate the effort.

0 upvotes
HetFotoAtelier
By HetFotoAtelier (6 months ago)

Can't wait to see how it compares to the $4,000 Zeiss :-)

12 upvotes
Suave
By Suave (6 months ago)

It's 2.3k worse.

2 upvotes
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (6 months ago)

It has AF. That's about it.

3 upvotes
MayaTlab0
By MayaTlab0 (6 months ago)

I know 58mm is a historical focal length, but I'm not too sure it's a very good idea. While pretty much nobody on planet Earth will not buy a 50mm lens because it isn't a 58mm lens, I'd bet there are several people, including me, who will not buy a 58mm lens because it isn't a 50.
On the other hand I'm glad to see the apparition of more and more high-grade prime lenses.

4 upvotes
Just a Photographer
By Just a Photographer (6 months ago)

Where's the market for this lens?
The 50mm costs around €300 This new 58mm lens is about € 1600 retail and the 85mm sells for €1300,00.

Buy the 50 and the 85 together (perfect companions) and you have two excellent lenses for the same amount as you would buy the 58mm only.....

3 upvotes
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (6 months ago)

Answer: Photographers who shoot wide open.

4 upvotes
HetFotoAtelier
By HetFotoAtelier (6 months ago)

Keep your mouth shut! I want this lens!

6 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (6 months ago)

Some of the rational. Sato is one of the premier lens designers out there. This is going to be a special lens.

http://imaging.nikon.com/history/scenes/33/index.htm

1 upvote
exifnotfound
By exifnotfound (6 months ago)

So what's the deal with all these new 55 and now 58mm lenes? Is it their FL on croppers? If so why not just release an 85mm for DX?
Also, I don't think it's invoking anything other than Nikon's marketing department.
Canon has f/1.2 primes with AF and they aren't being compared to the f/0.95 Leica.

3 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (6 months ago)

A full-frame SLR needs a back focal distance of about 38 mm. To achieve that with a conventional 50 mm f/1.4 lens incurs compromises. By lengthening the focal length a bit the compromises are reduced.

In the past the pride lay in tackling those challenges head-on to give photographers a wider field of view. Now SLR makers find themselves defending against a mirrorless onslaught, and they need every technical advantage they can get to preserve an image-quality advantage – hence the return to ‘easier’ focal lengths like 58 mm.

0 upvotes
Mark Alan Thomas
By Mark Alan Thomas (6 months ago)

An interesting theory stated as fact.

0 upvotes
LSE
By LSE (6 months ago)

canon's image quality at f1.2 and f1.4 will not hold a candle to this lens sorry. if you're obsessed with aperture, yeah, go Leica. The sheer amout of CA and saggital comma flare, makes using the canon lenses at 1.2 and 1.4 a pretty much non start.

1 upvote
samhain
By samhain (6 months ago)

Leica just released an official statment reguarding this lens 'invoking the spirit of Noctilux':

"Aw, isn't that cute".

Canon couldn't be reached for comment but was reported as simply 'smiling' after learning of the aperture.
:D

Jokes aside- if I shot with Nikon, I'd probably get it.
(assuming its as good as the description/price indicates).

7 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (6 months ago)

I'm guessing they meant the 58 mm Nikon Noct, which sells for between 3-4 k on ebay. If this has the same superb coma free images Nikonians can save a handsome sum of money, for a minor aperture penalty.

I'm very interested. Think night time urban shots.

Good news. There seems to be something inherently tricky about the 50 mm focal length when it comes to coma. Zeiss' latest also seems to imply this. Anyone with some knowledge on this matter?

0 upvotes
AEndrs
By AEndrs (6 months ago)

haha, they are referring to the long lost Nikon Noct not the Leica Noctilux

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/58.htm

0 upvotes
MrSkelter
By MrSkelter (6 months ago)

So you're reliant on the 1.2 Canon and the 1.4 Nikon is too slow? Okay. You think Nikon can't make a 1.2? Okay...

Wait to see the pricing on a Canon 1.2 which competes with this at this length and Nikon's approach will make sense. Canon prices are on an elevator to space. They won't be able to match this lens under $2K. They don't make their own glass. Their constraints are greater.

Of course an 'L' label is all you need right?

0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (6 months ago)

Mr.Skelter who said anything about price? What are talking about?
The price is fair. As I said, if I shot Nikon I'd get it.
And no one said f1.4 is too slow, did they?
I think your having an argument with yourself. lol Carry on...

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Bamboojled
By Bamboojled (6 months ago)

Soooo, I'm guessing you haven't been in photography for long.

The spirit of the Noct that they are referring to is the Nikon Nocturnal that was corrected for sagital coma, center to edge sharpness, bokeh, and optimized for wide open shooting.

Why would they want the spirit of the Leica Noctilux when it was inferior in every way at the time.

BTW this is fact, the Nikon outperformed it in almost every aspect of optical quality.

0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (6 months ago)

"Invokes spirit of Noctilux" ?
By changing it from f1.2 to f1.4...I think "insults" would be a better choice than "invokes".

7 upvotes
Kinematic Digit
By Kinematic Digit (6 months ago)

part of the problem is the mount size. It requires a larger rear element and the electronic contacts are in the way.

0 upvotes
PixelMover
By PixelMover (6 months ago)

The Noctilux was never just about the 1.2 aperture, it was about superior (for those days) renderingof night scenes and light sources. The 1.2 aperture was only because at that time high ISO menat high grain film. If you had actually read Nikon's statement, they claim it to be far superior in sharpness wide open and renedering of light points and bokeh, in that way surpassing the performance of the original Noctilux.As it was designed to do, so therefore I think their statement is not an insult.

7 upvotes
AEndrs
By AEndrs (6 months ago)

Read the article, Noct is not the same as Noctilux. And even worse, you even put it as a quote without even looking if it was right.

2 upvotes
LSE
By LSE (6 months ago)

seriously? you're going to get hung up over a third stop? if that miserable third stop meant horrible fall of like on the canon 1.2? or soft comma ruined shots? seriously?

0 upvotes
seventhdr
By seventhdr (6 months ago)

It took Nikon long enough to catch up with Pentax. Pentax have had a 55mm f1.4 SDM lens for APS-C (DX) since 2009.

2 upvotes
OXwing
By OXwing (6 months ago)

Come on, don't you even know Nikon had a 58mm F1.2 since 1977?
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/58.htm

4 upvotes
Klarth
By Klarth (6 months ago)

Why does everyone wants VR on every lens?

Do you have Parkinson's?

27 upvotes
PixelMover
By PixelMover (6 months ago)

Because it is easier to acquire technology than skill...

18 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (6 months ago)

guys'hand vibrate everyday....thus the need for vibration reduction.

3 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (6 months ago)

I don't get why people complain about people wanting VR with f1.4 lenses. Do people not wish to stop down the lenses from time to time ? Its not unreasonable to get shutter speeds of 1/4 or slower where VR will help if you stop down to say f4 or f5.6 for more DOF.

10 upvotes
Klarth
By Klarth (6 months ago)

That's where technique come in handy

1 upvote
PixelMover
By PixelMover (6 months ago)

Seriously though, I think VR would get in the way of making a lens that is as optically perfect for low light wide open as they can make it. A VR element requires space and this space may compromise the ideal spacing of the lens groups/elements. I think that is the main reason for the lack of VR.

3 upvotes
tripodfan
By tripodfan (6 months ago)

Someone without Parkinson's and VR can hold the camera at longer shutter speeds than someone without Parkinson's and no VR.

2 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (6 months ago)

canon70-200 2.8 IS....don't tell me IS get in the way of image quality.......so y not 50mm and 85mm prime.....and dont forget Nikon 16-35 F4 VR for goodness sake.

2 upvotes
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (6 months ago)

These people need to drink less coffee and buy more zoom lenses.

1 upvote
LarryK
By LarryK (6 months ago)

VR on this? Geez, Unless your subjects are dead, I don't see the point, this lens was designed to be shot wide open. Bump your ISOs and quit whining.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 179
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