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Lens reviews update: test data for the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G

By Andy Westlake on Nov 13, 2013 at 02:58 GMT
Buy on GearShop$1,696.95

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.

Full test results on DxOMark (and other recent reviews)

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. 

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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

Comments

Total comments: 221
12
vigorotaku
By vigorotaku (4 months ago)

I got my hands on one of the Nikon 58mm f/1.4g lenses.

Check out some sample images and advice here.

http://vigorotaku.blogspot.com/2013/12/nikon-58mm-14g.html
<a href=" http://vigorotaku.blogspot.com/2013/12/nikon-58mm-14g.html">Photo Booth at Vigorotaku.com</a>

I hope that you find this helpful.

Dan at Vigorotaku.com

0 upvotes
Carl Sanders
By Carl Sanders (5 months ago)

Our expectation was high for this lens based on the price that now clearly does not reflect the performance. When the standard 50mm out performs at a quarter of the price why would anyone purchase it? The little benefit it gains in night work does not justify the high price when standard lenses are comparable. This is one for the birds!

0 upvotes
vigorotaku
By vigorotaku (4 months ago)

I got my hands on one of the Nikon 58mm f/1.4g lenses.

Check out some sample images and advice here.
http://vigorotaku.blogspot.com/2013/12/nikon-58mm-14g.html
<a href=" http://vigorotaku.blogspot.com/2013/12/nikon-58mm-14g.html">Photo Booth at Vigorotaku.com</a>

I hope that you find this helpful.

Dan at Vigorotaku.com

0 upvotes
mick232
By mick232 (5 months ago)

Otus vs 58/1.4G:
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/11/otus-is-scharf

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

if it's test chart resolution, 58/1.4G was simply not designed for it and may look worse than 50/1.4G with is not a very sharp lens.

on the other hand, resolution test may not fully demonstrate the value of Otus 55/1.4. anyways, it's really not good huge size and 50% ED elements fail.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Nukunukoo
By Nukunukoo (5 months ago)

$1.5K? It barely performs better than my 50mm 1.4G! Hey Nikon, got Sigma blinders on?

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

probably the contrast of test chart is not high enough

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (5 months ago)

The contrast in real world subjects, like humans, is much lower. The kind of contrast a black-and-white focusing target provides does not even exist in real world.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
LukeDuciel
By LukeDuciel (5 months ago)

Even if nikon can fix the mis-focusing issue at f1.4 for most of their camera bodies (except for D? series), I still do not see the point of spending that much $$$ on a 58mm lens.

and for this much $$$, Nikon still cannot make an APO lens at a relatively easy focal length?

For a mid distance portrait, is there any merit of using this 58 instead of afs 85?

for shots with environment, 28 and 35 works perfectly and why I need an awkward 58mm?

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (5 months ago)

Yeah, it is not Sigma...

(note how the meaning of that phrase have reversed over the last year)

1 upvote
mike kobal
By mike kobal (5 months ago)

personally, I consider this type of lens absolutely useless without af. take a portrait session, glamor sitting, model shoot, wedding, it boils down to being able to capture a moment or an expression of something deeper, something symbolic about the event or something revealing about a character, a tear rolling down the groom's cheek before he quickly wipes it off, a heartfelt laugh of a CEO, etc, now try to manual focus that with your incredible Otus, not totally impossible if luck is on your side but almost for most mortals :)

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

I respect craftsmanship of Japanese makers but it's very unlikely Otus can come near to 58/1.4G for out-of-focus rendering.

but then many who are dying for creamy bokeh and polka dots may not like eclipsed rugby balls and that may be why bloody waste of Otus is needed.

btw, firing a burst while slowly moving the focus (lean forward/backward) works for me but may need 10 fps flashes in studio.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (5 months ago)

It's very unlikely anyone here can have any clue the Otus cannot come near to [the] 58/1.4G for out-of-focus rendering.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

there are sudden jumps in the fossils but evolution goes slowly for most of the time.

0 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (5 months ago)

The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.

1 upvote
rfsIII
By rfsIII (5 months ago)

So the question is whether this lens plus a D800e will capture more detail than a Hasselblad or a PhaseOne medium format or if the 16-bit capture of the MF cameras still gives them the overall edge.

0 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (5 months ago)

it won't.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

depends on what "detail" means.

0 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (5 months ago)

Detail as in the ability to produce a sparkling clean image so that a viewer can get lost in the beauty and infinite detail of a landscape or the joy in a portrait of a child, or so a client will see with new eyes the handsomeness of his product. I want a lens that allows viewers to look and not be distracted by weird color aberrations or perspective distortions or awkward transitions between in focus and out of focus.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

I respect passion for photography but that's a different thing. lens design is very dull work and it's really pure cool physics.

the designers might have focused on too much details beyond we normal users can see (Sugar=Sato the chief designer of 58/1.4)

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/interview/20131108_621449.html

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (5 months ago)

If you think this lens has anything to do with detail, you completely missed the point and need to go take a Photo 101 course

2 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (5 months ago)

How will taking a photo 101 course tell you a Nikon 58mm F/1.4 lens is not about detail?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

58/1.4G trades off some "detail" on the focal plane for more "details" beyond in a harmonized 3D space.

some people who chase after bokeh can see those "details" in the blurred area, and some others just don't care.

1 upvote
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (5 months ago)

Well - don't shot me - but I thought the WHOLE idea of this lens was that it WOULD be SUPER SHARP wide open ...? If not then frankly was is the point? The 50 1.8 bog basic lens is pretty good and a TON of money less. Seems that Nikon have failed to do a ZEISS !

Next up - bring on the Canon 50 1.2 L MK2 (but please Canon give it some faster AF and whilst your at it IS ) and if you could ensure it sells for less than the new Nikon everyone (apart from Nikon users) will be very happy.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

it's designed to be a king of bokeh.
a lightweight king compared with the fatty Cosina Otus.

4 upvotes
ButterflySkies
By ButterflySkies (5 months ago)

Its not made to be the sharpest 50mm out there, its made to give great bokeh and correction to coma flare, CA and other aberrations.
If you ever used the 1.8 or 1.4 50mm's you know how ugly they can by wide open.
canons 50/1.2L doesn't fair much better in terms of come flares.
I'll post 2 samples of come flares below, one canon 50/1.2L and one 58/1.4G, and I think you can guess which is which.
http://tinyurl.com/olnflj9
http://tinyurl.com/p7rpsmu

3 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (5 months ago)

Oh, test samples from completely different scenes ;)

The 58mm doesn't look too fabolous wide open either. Mushy details and low contrast. There's also LOCA. Center sharpness should be better at this price point.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

should test at 25x focal length (60x90cm target, broadsheet spread) or nearer. much nearer for kids. many good old lenses (most of German) perform poorly at close distance.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Carl Sanders
By Carl Sanders (5 months ago)

Butterflyskies; they both look awful! http://tinyurl.com/olnflj9
http://tinyurl.com/p7rpsmu

1 upvote
Fabio Amodeo
By Fabio Amodeo (5 months ago)

The usual lens paradox. Looking at some numbers, one asks himself why he or she should pay so much money for a glass. Yet those who have put their hands on the lens are ready to swear about the unique quality of the lens. As Yabokkie rightly said, there is much still to understand about lens design. And much about lens evaluation, too. One of my favourite lenses of the past, the M Summicron 35, had weak borders, that became decent, nothing more, by 5.6. Still it made wonderful photos. My old Nikon 105/2.5 AI is beaten in the numbers by any 90-105mm macro. Then shoot a portait, and you'll see the difference. I have the impression that pixel peeping does not help in judging the real virtues and possibility of any glass. We should seek other values.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

this 58/1.4G is not designed for the focal plane only but for a 3D in-and-out-of-focus image space and it's value is distributed throught out that space.

old lenses were designed not only by knowledge and skill but also by luck, and the designers only knew part of the lenses they designed (if one thinks that lens design requires more calculation than artillery staffs do in a war and there are still a lot left in the dark).

I don't know if this is a good lens but Nikon say they designed it with thorough understanding of wavefront aberration, the mother of all aberrations and measured with high precision at more wavelengths than before and they are satisfied with the result.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (5 months ago)

I've heard from someone that this lens isn't for "ordinary" users but just the designers of the lens to put on their Df cameras.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

good, remember what you hear.

0 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (5 months ago)

I will remember and always with laughter at the person who wrote it.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

and educate yourself.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

someone should be better than me at googling but this tells something how 58/1.4G was designed. the article itself is on stepper lens testing and all 5 pages should worth reading.

http://www.nikon.com/about/technology/researcher/noda/index3.htm

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
technotic
By technotic (5 months ago)

We don't need no education.

0 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (5 months ago)

We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the forum

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

> We don't need no education.

better to be educated

0 upvotes
Eyeglass10101
By Eyeglass10101 (5 months ago)

Everyone on here comparing this to a standard 50mm lens is missing the point of this lens: It's a Noct lens. It's a speciality lens for shooting at night and low light. It will have no coma and excel for nighttime shooters. It does not need to be consistently sharp from edge to edge for those type of shots (and most shots are center subject focus even if we don't want to believe that).

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

Nikon say that this is a lens far better than Noct,
that using the name Noct is more like an assault to the lens.
kinda like Summilux, which means funny.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 58 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (5 months ago)

Everyone is making excuses for this lens!?!?!?
It isn't cutting the mustard @$1700. Fact.

1 upvote
LightFinder
By LightFinder (5 months ago)

First, I doubt that anybody wants to cut mustard with that lens.
Second, the decision whether a price is to high or not will never be a fact but highly depends on ones personal needs the budget and emotions.
I have the 24mm f/1.4, the 35mm f/1.4, the 50mm f/1.4 and the 85mm f/1.4 and I alwas had the problem to decide between the 35mm and the 85mm because I was never happy with the results of the 50mm. I even tried the Zeis 50mm 1.4, but it turned out to be quite troublesome without the AF. Now I got the 58mm f/1.4 and I´m really happy with it.
I personally find the DxO results interesting but in the end the only thing that counts is the picture.

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (5 months ago)

I definitely see why Zeiss made there new High-End 55mm f/1.4 Otus....and it looks like from what I have read..that they have made a beauty. 12 elements in 10 groups. WOW!.... Huge, MF and pay dearly.. but WHAT a lens.

I do not know why Nikon made this lens? (I do need to read other reviews to get a more well-rounded, complete story.. as I am not a fan of dXo..), It is baffling if these results in third party testing are accurate.

0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (5 months ago)

@infared for a well-rounded review:

http://www.samhurdphotography.com/2013/gear-reviews/nikon-58mm-f1-4-lens-review-and-comparison-with-detailed-sample-images?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nikon-58mm-f1-4-lens-review-and-comparison-with-detailed-sample-images

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (5 months ago)

Thanks Samhain for the link...interesting read...I am still not convinced @$1700...I feel that Sam was truly impressed with the lens although he was trying to convince himself that he was...
I will stick with my Sigma!!!

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (5 months ago)

An auto-focus alternative to the 50mm f1.2 AIS. Nice. The price just may make it a very rare lens though. Wow! $1,700? That seems cost-prohibitive to me. Of course, the 85mm f1.4 is expensive too, and that sells, right?

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

not many people liked 50/1.2 AIS, probably they do need a new mount for better large aperture lenses.

0 upvotes
MAlysheba
By MAlysheba (5 months ago)

This lens performs modest on these type of test because Nikon designed NOT to do well.
58/1.4G designer Haruo Sato expects such result, stating that aberration is controlled to have smooth background bokeh at close distance instead of persuing sharpness. The lens is uniquely designed to have different character depending on subject distance, with more sharpness at infinite and less so (with pleasant bokeh) as getting closer. Sato says those character remains unless shooting at smaller aperture such as f/8 or f/11.

Shooting test chart at infinite distance might show different results :-)

Source: A Japanese interview at DC.watch.
http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/interview/20131108_621449.html

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (5 months ago)

Wonder how this compares to the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4?
That lens is the same focal length and speed, but available at less than one third the price. Has nice bokeh too.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
JacquesBalthazar
By JacquesBalthazar (5 months ago)

Nokton 58..... I am curious as well. That one is a jewel....

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (5 months ago)

That's probably a good lens, but is it AF? There always the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 for about $725. Beautiful colour--not incredibly sharp wide open, also manual focus.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

this lens is said to have been designed at a level much higher than 58/1.2 and that's why Nikon didn't use the name "Noct."

I cannot see why anyone should use funny names like Nokton or Summilux or whatever, most of them are quite rubbish for rubbish products.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (5 months ago)

Seriously yabokkie...from what I've seen, the Summilux would beat this Nikkor easily @ f1.4 :D The 58mm samples are soft and not much better than 50/1.4G wide open.

1 upvote
technotic
By technotic (5 months ago)

Anyone coming here or any other forum saying this lens and similar lenses are "rubbish" in a totally unsubstantiated and offhand way just looks like an idiot.

3 upvotes
Maji
By Maji (5 months ago)

I had the Voigt but I sold it. My eyes are getting old and it is getting difficult to manually focus when DOF are thin. The Voigts do have great color rendering and micro-contrast. However, I think the Nikkor is a tad better than the Voigt, but not 3 times better. But then, you can't always use the difference in price to judge the incremental IQ. Sometimes it takes a lot of costly exotic glass elements to get rid of a slight coma, fringing etc.

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (5 months ago)

I'm not a fan of marketing names like "x", "i", "pro" or other cool sounding nonsense (even "Apo" which means something, is often used dishonestly). But the comments here clearly show people have no idea why this lens costs more than a regular 50/1.4 lens. Maybe marking the lens somehow would provide a clue.

2 upvotes
jkokich
By jkokich (5 months ago)

For this kind of money, with today's technology and Nikon's expertise, the lens should be perfect. If they're not going to come out with something that just stomps everything else into the dust, which they should be able to, this lens simply isn't necessary.

4 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (5 months ago)

Initially I thought this is Nikon's answer to ZEISS Otus, sharp from center to corner. But according to early tests, it is indeed very sharp at the center AND corner, but not uniformly sharp. As Roger Cicala reported in his test - "sort of a ‘moustache’ field curvature".

But like everybody says, sharpness is not everything(plus I don't have a Nikon body and it's kind of expensive).

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (5 months ago)

The Zeiss OTUS is a completely different type of lens design to this.

Also large, heavy - and much more expensive

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (5 months ago)

CFynn:

For fun, if you can find it and a body, try the incredibly sharp, with excellent colour and amazingly light new 50mm f/2.0 Leica M. It probably puts the Zeiss Otus to shame, except in the price area.

0 upvotes
intruder61
By intruder61 (5 months ago)

the sigma 50 spanks this Nikon offering.

2 upvotes
Maji
By Maji (5 months ago)

was that a serious comment or just sarcasm?

0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (5 months ago)

Back in the day, weren't 58mm lenses produced as a compromise? Among the easier to design/build and thus cheaper, and photographers hated that because they didn't want the FL to just get longer for a normal prime.

Then again, the easier it is to put together, the more time and effort can be put into perfecting the optical formula~

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

this lens is not for something in focus.
it's designed for everything out of fucus.
just focus on the doomed subject.

on the other hand
a portrait doesn't need too high resolution but for future cameras with high resolution sensors (> 100MPix) this lens could be a good one for Nokia 808 style digital zoom.

Comment edited 15 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

For over 1000$ it should be designed for both.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

there is no such thing as "non-compromising" lens.

usually when using a large aperture lens at open, one should better focus at the center and trim to the wanted framing for that's the most efficient way, by trading off some image quality. it's quite thoughtless if someone want's to be "perfect."

agree the price is too high. some products are more for the designers themselves than ordinary users. 58/1.4G and Df are good examples.

4 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (5 months ago)

Some posters here think they are the center of the photographic universe. If some piece of gear does not appeal to THEM than it must appeal to NOBODY and the company producing it must either be stupid or self indulgent.

4 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (5 months ago)

I doubt the price appeals to anybody, including those who plan to buy the lens and can easily do so.

0 upvotes
Michel F
By Michel F (5 months ago)

Wait for the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART. It's going to trounce it for far less money. For the investment involved, I'm not overly impressed.

5 upvotes
DuxX
By DuxX (5 months ago)

Let's be honest. Sigma always will be a "don't have enough money for right stuff" solution. Nothing more. Sorry.

6 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (5 months ago)

@DuxX

Then you never shot the new 35 "Art"

0 upvotes
Maji
By Maji (5 months ago)

Everyone talks about how great the Sigma Art 35 is and how it will kick Nikon's butt WHEN they come out with other focal lengths. I wonder have you all counted the number of duds Sigma has produced over the years compared to its one great lens?

0 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (5 months ago)

I've been lucky til now. That's the only Siggy I own. Except the 15mm fisheye which I bought for those two times a year I need one - price was certainly a factor.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (5 months ago)

I'm sorry....I know Sigma appears to have turned a corner but if you had told me, 2-3 years ago that photo enthusiasts were favoring a Sigma lens over a Nikon, Canon or, heck, a Tokina lens, I would not have believed it. Maybe I'm stuck in the past, having seen too many lenses fall apart. Next thing, they'll be saying Sigma has higher resale value than Nikon.

0 upvotes
simpleshot
By simpleshot (5 months ago)

Its nice to see that the corners are much brighter than the 50mm.

0 upvotes
iShootWideOpen
By iShootWideOpen (5 months ago)

My 50L is not as sharp as my 85L wide open but has creamy bokeh and beautiful colors. This lens has similar bokeh but as not sharp.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

if low resultion is okay, loads of 50mm primes should be good enough for out of focus effects, like a junk-grade Pentax. an issue may be their coating should be very bad now.

so it may not be bokeh but nukeh = contrast/transparency.
(Nikon says bokeh is much better and I trust them though)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (5 months ago)

If I shot Nikon, I'd be getting this lens. The sample shots I've seen have been absolutely beautiful. The bokeh, coma, rendering, micro contrast, 3-d effect, etc, just lovely results.
I've learned to not put so much stock into numbers & resolution testing and focus more on real life shots/examples of what the lens can produce. There's so much more to a lens than numbers. For a landscape lens- yes I want max sharpness. But for a portrait lens, I'm much more concerned with rendering characteristics. does it have 'mojo'?

I've owned lenses that didn't test well but the results were breathtaking. My old (made in Japan) Pentax 77mm is a prime example. That lens can produce portraits that are down right haunting. Rendering & characteristics that I couldn't get out of a canon 85/1.2 or Sony Zeiss 135/1.8. Both of those lenses are best of the best portrait lenses, yet the Pentax 77(especially on a FF film camera) could just do spooky things that I could never recreate with other lenses.

11 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (5 months ago)

I also don't consider it expensive. Not at all.
I wouldn't even flinch at paying $1700 for a stellar low light/ portrait lens with unique rendering properties.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (5 months ago)

Here's one of the best reviews I've seen yet on this lens, focusing on it's 'character'. If I shot with Nikon, this review alone would be enough to make me pull the trigger. This lens has 'it'.

http://www.samhurdphotography.com/2013/gear-reviews/nikon-58mm-f1-4-lens-review-and-comparison-with-detailed-sample-images?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nikon-58mm-f1-4-lens-review-and-comparison-with-detailed-sample-images

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
Michael49
By Michael49 (5 months ago)

^ - now that's a nice review of this type of lens, thanks for sharing.

0 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (5 months ago)

I love his findings:
"Not worth the money, but has more character than anything that costs less."

My question is if he had done similar photos with say a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 how much different would they really be? I know he has one comparison shot, but I mean if he had done similar types of shooting for an entire set (not side by side).

@Samhain, I don't know, the SMCP FA 77mm f/1.8 tests very well, at least when I tested it.

I agree, there are more to lens tests than resolution, but resolution is important, especially with digital manipulation. You can add all the character you want in post processing.

One thing that is nice about the 58mm though is the focal length is notably tighter than other 50mm class lenses, so that is worth something.

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

@viking79 For me, I don't really feel the need to see comparison shots with the sigma. That guy is (obviously)an extremely taIented professional who knows lenses - if he says he loves and uses the sigma on a regular basis, and that he prefers the Nikon 58 results, I'll take his word for it.

As for resolution- I didn't see any resolution issues with any of his photos. Did you?
If anything, there was a couple that were almost TOO sharp for portraits(see the b&w closeup of the wedding couple- you can see every little flaw in her skin/makeup).
I just don't see any resolution issues with this lens in real world use. Ive yet to see one photo anywhere that made me question if this lens isn't sharp enough.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (5 months ago)

@samhain:

Have you seen any raws shot with this lens, that review is all well and good, but I'm only seeing jpegs for download?

1 upvote
DarkShift
By DarkShift (5 months ago)

@samhain

You can't judge resolution by those tiny web sized images. There's was also no aperture info available. All full res samples I have seen so far suggests that the 58mm has to be stopped past f2 to get decent performance. At f1.4 Nikkor 58mm is just not very good at all...

Compare this to Otus 55/1.5 which got very high performance straight from f1.4 and creamy bokeh. The Sony 55/1.8 FE is very sharp wide open too and seems to be an excellent lens.

Also bokeh qualities can't be judged without reference shots with other lenses from exactly the same spot and background. I bet those photos would have looked OK with about any other 50-58mm/1.4 lens out there. It is not about the tool anymore but examples of fine photography which is completely different thing.

People talk about lack of CA but still there's LOCA present. Contrast is not so good @ f1.4.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (5 months ago)

DarkShift:

There are full res jpgs available for down load, at least I believe so.

0 upvotes
exm3racer
By exm3racer (5 months ago)

Look at the rest of his gallery and blog and you will see tons of beautiful pictures. He uses Sigma in 50mm and 85mm FL. You should be able to tell which is which. Beautiful work. I wish he didn't strip the EXIF.

1 upvote
samhain
By samhain (5 months ago)

@howaboutraw I could care less about seeing the raw pre-pp photos, I want to see the finished product. I shoot for finished product, not stripped down raws.

The guy owns & shoots with the sigma 50 and noct 58/1.2 professionally- if he says this lens is better than the sigma & as good/better than noct, I have no reason not to believe him. I'm not routing against this lens like some are in this comment section...

@darkshift why would I compare this to the Otis? The Otis is $4k and almost as big as a 200mm 2.8. But for fun- from all the shots I've seen from the Otis- I wasn't impressed at all by the bokeh. It strikes me as one of those Zeiss lens designed for maximum sharpness above everything else. The Nikon 58 is the opposite of that.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (5 months ago)

samhain:

Think you have a point about not going with jpegs or raws from pre production versions of anything. But you'd linked the images.

0 upvotes
Krich13
By Krich13 (5 months ago)

I don't get it. According to the dprevirew test (performed by DXO?) $500 Sigma 50/1.4 (which has GREAT bokeh!) tested on the same camera (D800) is better than this 58/1.4 at f/1.4, about the same at f/2.8 (a bit lower in the center (which is not a meaningful point anyway for both are beyond Nyquist frequency) and a bit better at the edges), data for F2 is missing for Sigma for whatever reason.
What is the point of this lens again?

Even lowly Nikon 50/1.8 tested on D3X (not on D800!) matches the 58/1.4 in resolution at f/2...

5 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (5 months ago)

Alot of 1.8/2 lenses out do faster lenses on the tests.

0 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (5 months ago)

The 800 would show weaknesses even more so than the D3X.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

Resolution is only part of the story. I used own the Sigma 50 f/1.4 and color/contrast is not one of its strengths. For example, it's nowhere near my nano coated 28 f/1.8G in that area. And a high grade Nikkor like the 58 f/1.4 from the reviews I've read has impressively high color/contrast and bokeh.

The Sigma 50 is a good bank for the buck lens, but it's not in the same class as a higher grade Nikkor for rendering or color/contrast.

7 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

Well, if you're serious about photography - you should have a color checker to fix the color issues. So this leaves 58 with only one possible advantage over Sigma - contrast. While Sigma is sharper. So... either more resolution or more contrast. Contrast to a degree can be fixed in Lightroom, missing details cannot be added though.
Ergo: Sigma wins.

1 upvote
ButterflySkies
By ButterflySkies (5 months ago)

And if you are serious about photography, you would know there's more to a lens than sharpness.
And what's with the color checker argument? how do you fix color issues if the lens can't render the colors like it should in the first place?

3 upvotes
EiadXP
By EiadXP (5 months ago)

I think the results are almost the same for Nikon 50mm/f1.8G on D7000!!(Except for Vintage Wider than F4)

So why a small difference in F-Stop costs all this extra mony

1 upvote
io_bg
By io_bg (5 months ago)

Because test charts don't show what expensive glass is known for (say smooth bokeh, "3D look", coma, etc, etc).

7 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (5 months ago)

That's what's wrong with all the math and testing. With special purpose lenses, the numbers absolutely do lie and lead to silly comparisons like one camera gets an 89, so it's better than one that gets an 87.

3 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (5 months ago)

Once you know how to take pictures, something like a D5200 or else (Canon, Oly, Fuji …) is the best choice.

Most of the best pictures were taken by standard or mediocre equipment. The funny side of life represent the “Pros” holding up their labels and tech jargon.

4 upvotes
mantra
By mantra (5 months ago)

Hi
thanks for the review
but i have never understood how dxo perform such tests
for example a camera like Nikon D5200 that i can buy for 450€ is rated better then canon 1dx or the 5d mark3

or for example the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 better then Phase One IQ180 or Nikon d4

really i tried to read everything ,i have never understood

by the way thanks for the preview !

6 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (5 months ago)

Do they rate within a category. Eg. A compact that scores high ia different from a Ff body that scores high?

0 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (5 months ago)

What a waffly comment im sorry, I mean high scoring cameras are only compared to cameras of similar level. This is how DP review operates, perhaps DxO also

0 upvotes
Wally626
By Wally626 (5 months ago)

DXO is rating the sensors not the cameras, The D5200 has a very good sensor.

1 upvote
mantra
By mantra (5 months ago)

yes , well i see the a2 prints
really can't understand how the d5200 can perform bettern then a pro camera or medium format...

even a 5d (2004) give an image quaility that a d5200 can even dream
in short really i can 't understand dxo review
always liked digital review review

1 upvote
Eyeglass10101
By Eyeglass10101 (5 months ago)

I think everyone is missing a key element (and even DPREVIEW) doesn't list the full name for this lens: It's a NOCT lens. As in nocturnal/night time lens. Yes, it's obviously great for daytime uses, but it's a killer at night. You will see almost no coma. None.

6 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

Which is why I'll wait for a professional lens review site like Lenstip to test this lens as not only are their MTF 50 resolution graphs a lot less cryptic than DxOMark's M-Pix system, but Lenstip also tests for coma, astigmatism, bokeh, ghosting and flare. Essentially all the things that optical engineers have to address when designing a lens are covered in their tests.

We'll likely see that coma is corrected much more effectively on the 58 f/1.4 than on the other Nikon 50s.

14 upvotes
Eyeglass10101
By Eyeglass10101 (5 months ago)

Right on sir.

3 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (5 months ago)

Cool, can you help us in pointing out example images where they show off their abilities?
@ www noct-nikkor com , I could only find bokeh & DOF samples.

1 upvote
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (5 months ago)

@Eyeglass10101: We're merely using Nikon's own product name for this lens, i.e. AF-S Nikkor 508mm f/1.4G. It does not contain Noct.

However, as we stated above, the MTF data certainly doesn't tell the whole story, and the 58mm does indeed have exceptionally low coma wide open.

1 upvote
Shaun_Nyc
By Shaun_Nyc (5 months ago)

LOL !!!!! Yea thats it, its a NOCT !

1 upvote
CFynn
By CFynn (5 months ago)

Nikon doesn't call it a Noct

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

"It's a NOCT lens." - no, it's not. All that Nikon said was that it has a "noct spirit" - whatever that means. It's not a noct lens.

@Andy - AF-S Nikkor 508mm f/1.4G - I would love to see that. 508 f/1.4? How heavy it is? 500kg? lol

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
1 upvote
rfsIII
By rfsIII (5 months ago)

In the context of Shinto the word "spirit" has different meaning than we think of it here in the west. Would a fluent Japanese speaker care to comment?

0 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (5 months ago)

Looked at the DxO lens measurements. The 35 mm Samyang seems amazing. May zoom into the digital file. Naturally, not automatic. To me specs center to corner are most importan. The Zeiss comes very close on the Sony RX. Sigma?

This Nikon: Good not great, fully overpriced lens compared to value. I have some Nikon cameras and mostly use third party lenses (with DxO 9, is ok) = better and for less. But, the Nikon sensors and camera ergonomics are great.

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (5 months ago)

50mm 1.4 = $1,696.95, Ok...

5 upvotes
Eyeglass10101
By Eyeglass10101 (5 months ago)

You are also missing that it's a 58mm noct lens. Do you know what a noct lens is? Do your research before just spewing nonsense.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
12 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (5 months ago)

Yes.

5 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (5 months ago)

I'm not a fan of cool but meaningless names (like "pro" for example). But Nikon could have done themselves a big favor by adding Noct to this. Or "low coma" or something.

You would think people would be curious why this lens costs so much and do a little research, but it's so much easier to say DxO gives it a 63.22567 score.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (5 months ago)

Digitall:

How much is the new Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 again? And about the new Leica M 50mm f/2.0?

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (5 months ago)

From what I've seen, the Zeiss is really something. The Leica lens is hand assembled and tested in Germany which won't be visible in images but explains part of the cost. One could argue that all 3 of these lenses are overpriced...or that if you can't afford them, you're not a pro. Then a gain, my neighbor is a neurosurgeon so his salary makes him a pro.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
Wally626
By Wally626 (5 months ago)

Sony alpha rumors has some MTF curves for the Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 and the new Sony/Zeiss 55 f/1.8. The Sony looks good at f/1.8 but the Ottus looks really really good, high resolution across the whole frame from f/1.4.

1 upvote
Digitall
By Digitall (5 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW: We are talking about Nikon, something more "acessible" to the comun mortal, or supposedly accessible.

Surely if we are talking about lenses made ​​by special manufacturers, as the Zeiss or Leica they have their own niche, we have to take into account them to maintain their status has to keep prices too high, but do not doubt that are too high to the product offering. Obviously whoever makes the price is supply vs. demand also. And there's always people for the most exclusive luxury, which in practice is not synonymous with quality improvement to justify the crazy prices in its work.

I be a modest person, always raised the price of quality vs. cost vs. need. Sure, personally I do not see myself paying ~$4000 for a Zeiss or Leica M 50mm f2.0 for $~7000. My work did not improve nearly 400% for sure with these lenses. Just my humble opinion. Always rather have a Porsche than a Ferrari, for numerous reasons. Personal reasons of course.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

Eyeglass10101 - It's NOT a noct lens.

1 upvote
CFynn
By CFynn (5 months ago)

For the money one could find a 50mm f/1.8 Kern Macro Switar, which is a real collectors item, and sometimes regarded as the best standard lens ever. On a Sony A7 or A7r that should be sweet.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (5 months ago)

Digitall:

No, you just wrote: "50mm 1.4 = $1,696.95, Ok..." and now you're saying you were only speaking of Nikon.

How much does that Olympus 4/3 300mm lens cost again?

Nikon, Canon, even Zeiss, all make 50mm lenses more "accessable" than this Nikon.

0 upvotes
ceaiu
By ceaiu (5 months ago)

It's a desirable lens, but too expensive.
Sigma will do better when they'll release their ART variant.

6 upvotes
Maji
By Maji (5 months ago)

Wow... you can predict how good a Sigma will be before they release it.

11 upvotes
HBowman
By HBowman (5 months ago)

Actually... He can. SIGMA do and will not disappoint clients with the new lines, especially the ART/SPORT line. We can bet now.

When they will pop out a new 50/1.4... it will be a killer lens in the same vain as the 35/1.4, period. No worry about it.

I just wish they keep the huge front glass element.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (5 months ago)

Based on past performance, I predict Fiat will start producing reliable cars.

2 upvotes
Maji
By Maji (5 months ago)

Sigma has produced one good lens, the 35/1.4. How many duds have Sigma produced before that?

0 upvotes
ceaiu
By ceaiu (5 months ago)

I was talking about price /performance ratio. So, yes, I predict they will do better.

0 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (5 months ago)

What am I missing, the Sony e-mount 50/1.8 OSS is sharper from the start and up? (Looking at NEX-7 and D7000) ? Yes, I know, one is FF, but the other has OSS...

What should be measured to show what money buys???

1 upvote
viking79
By viking79 (5 months ago)

Looking at DXOMark they have results for the Sony 50mm f/1.8 on NEX 7 and Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G on D7100 (same resolution), and over shared aperture range Sony looks much better. So if looking to use the lenses on APS-C, the Sony is definitely nicer on paper.

Comparing on Nikon full frame, the 58mm f/1.4G to the 50mm f/1.4G, it is a big improvement in the center. It shows how the 50mm f/1.4G is not that great of a lens (I always though the 1.8G was just as good for half the money).

I am curious as to how the new Zeiss 55mm f/1.8G does. My guess is moderate aperture will give it a better value/performance metric than the new Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
viking79
By viking79 (5 months ago)

Oops, about comparison to 50mm f/1.4 G, it doesn't look better except in the center. I swear i compared the two and the 50mm looked worse, must have had wrong camera selected for it.

0 upvotes
Eyeglass10101
By Eyeglass10101 (5 months ago)

Everyone is missing the fact that this really is a speciality lens. Also, it's your option to buy it or not. This lens is a NOCT lens. Nocturnal lenses are best at night as they have no coma.

2 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (5 months ago)

The much cheaper 50mm f/1.4G is not bad at coma according to lenstip. Noct or not, the lens is expensive and not as good looking as the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 (which also has minimal coma, according to lenstip). The 58mm also has so-so light transmission, worse than I would have hoped. I am curious as to how the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 will perform on A7, might be a relative value next to the Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G, and to think people thought it was expensive at just over half the price of the Nikkor.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

Why exactly would you use lens on a 3rd party body when you got perfectly fine 1st party bodies?
A7 is mirrorless designed for short flange lenses. Not a DSLR. Comparing lenses on that is pointless waste of time.

Eyeglass10101 - it's not a NOCT lens. You got your facts wrong.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (5 months ago)

@Eyeglass10101

If it is a NOCT lens, then why didn't Nikon call it a NOCT?

Yes, I know they say it was "inspired by" their 58mm Noct lens - but that doesn't make it one.

0 upvotes
DaveCS
By DaveCS (5 months ago)

As someone who had no intent of purchasing this lens; but upon testing it out on the D600 I did end up buying it, sharpness was but one factor. To my eye (and in comparison to my current 50mm f1.4 G) this new 58mm was far sharper at the focus point at f1.4. The out of focus areas were rendered quite nicely and the way the photo is drawn by the lens is what attracted me. I rarely read MTF charts because, what/how I shoot, I often don't care or worry about the corners.

This lens has replaced my 50mm (I sold it the same day) and I will be happy to keep the 58mm and 35mm as my main shooting lenses. Heck, the 58mm may even replace the 85mm f1.4 D I still own.

Cheers,
Dave

9 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (5 months ago)

exactly my thoughts, for someone who finds himself going back and forth between the 50mm and the 85mm, this lens might be the perfect solution

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

Other than price there doesn't seem much to complain about considering that most large aperture lenses are not bitingly sharp straight from max aperture.

But the 58 f/1.4 has some crucial differences and advantages over similar lenses:

* Color/contrast easily surpasses other 50s as expected from a high grade Nano Coated Nikkor.
* Resolution as good or better than to other 50s
* Bokeh is significantly creamier, more refined
* Metal barrel, high build quality as expected for the price

58 f/1.4 Lens Review (vs 58 f/1.2 Noct-Nikkor, EF 50 f/1.2, Sigma 50 f/1.4)

http://tinyurl.com/ll897q8

58 f/1.4 full-sized samples

http://photographylife.com/nikon-58mm-f1-4g-high-resolution-image-samples

6 upvotes
Ken Johnes
By Ken Johnes (5 months ago)

* Color/contrast easily surpasses other 50s as expected from a high grade Nano Coated Nikkor.

where do you see the colour and contrast advantage worth 1200$ compared to 50 1.4 and 1.8?

* Resolution as good or better than to other 50s

only if nikon can bring out a 2x crop sensor cam specially designed to take full advantage of ;-).

* Bokeh is significantly creamier, more refined

yeah, it beats the hell out of those cheap 50´s from nikon ;-)

* Metal barrel, high build quality as expected for the price

my plastic 50 1.8 breaks down to pieces every time i use it, it´s been a real pain in the a*** ...;-)

6 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

> where do you see the colour and contrast advantage worth 1200$ compared to 50 1.4 and 1.8?

If you'd actually read the professional user review above you'd know the answer so I'll post it again.

http://tinyurl.com/ll897q8

2 upvotes
dgc4rter
By dgc4rter (5 months ago)

I can enhance colour and contrast quite easily within Lightroom and Photoshop. Do I really need to spend another £1700 to get it?

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

> I can enhance colour and contrast quite easily within Lightroom and Photoshop. Do I really need to spend another £1700 to get it?

Increased color/contrast found in professional grade lenses like the nano coated Nikkors is not the only advantage of the more modern coating process. You also get significantly better flare control. Only you can decide if the extra money is worth it.

1 upvote
MrSkelter
By MrSkelter (5 months ago)

No you can't. You can amp what's there. You can't create color and contrast that weren't captured. Sharpness is defined by contrast. Better lenses have more contrast at finer scales. Increasing contrast in photoshop exaggerates what you have. What you don't have isn't there to adjust.

If what you said was true, the difference in sharpness between a Leica S lens and the cheapest Samyang would be the contrast slider. It's not.

1 upvote
Cyrille Berger
By Cyrille Berger (5 months ago)

You also don't need sharp lens, you can apply the sharpening filter in photoshop </sarcasms>.

2 upvotes
EssexAsh
By EssexAsh (5 months ago)

"Nikon invokes spirit of 'Noct'" as the quote went.

Was the noct this bad?

8 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (5 months ago)

worse.

4 upvotes
HBowman
By HBowman (5 months ago)

EPIC FAIL IS EPIC !!

5 upvotes
Shaun_Nyc
By Shaun_Nyc (5 months ago)

another 1700.00 plastic fantastic. It's so special because nothing is in focus at f1.4

7 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (5 months ago)

the Canon L 50mm has a very low rating on photozone.de, still by far my favorite standard lens when shooting Canon. The Nikkor 58mm will conquer the hearts of many, the only reason to get this type of lens is to shoot wide open or close to wide open. Lack of resolution isn't the problem, but CA, astigmatism and especially coma can ruin a shot. Time for MTF reviewers to update their methodology, center sharpness at f11 for this type of lens is as meaningful as the achievable top speed of a sports car in reverse. Price, about $500 too expensive

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
Ron A 19
By Ron A 19 (5 months ago)

Yes! Controlling CA is often overlooked as less important than sharpness in the extreme corners, but I find it to be critical when shooting wide open - which is the intended use of this lens.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
1 upvote
rsf3127
By rsf3127 (5 months ago)

Minolta Rokkor 58mm f/1.4 @ Ebay: 49 usd.
Adapter: 10 usd
Rokkor on my NEX: priceless.

7 upvotes
oldfogey
By oldfogey (5 months ago)

Have you checked its transmission? I bought a 50 mm Rokkor X PG hoping that it would be a stop brighter than my ZD f2 macro. It was only about 1/3 of a stop brighter, and although very sharp for an f1.4 of its generation, nowhere near as sharp wide open as the ZD. It does have a shallower DOF wide open so I have kept it, but mostly these days I use the equally bright and much sharper mZD 45mm f1.8 -which also auto focuses very quickly. At 90mm/f2.5 equivalent FOV/DOF to the Nikon not a strict replacement for a 58 mm ff - but less than 1/3 the cost.

0 upvotes
rsf3127
By rsf3127 (5 months ago)

The Rokkor-X PG is indeed a very nice lens. Its transmission is due to its coatings, I assume. But it is a fast lens on my NEX and I like the bokeh. And for less than 50 bucks (you can find it for much less if you search), it is a steal of a lens!

0 upvotes
Fingel
By Fingel (5 months ago)

There are a lot of old Minolta lenses that are awesome. I have rediscovered my old Minolta MC and MD lenses for my Micro 4/3 system. They do an awesome job and colors are very consistent from lens to lens. Although I would avoid the Minolta lenses with the 49mm filter threads, they don't seem to be as smooth or well build.

2 upvotes
Treeshade
By Treeshade (5 months ago)

On one hand, people want "lovely soft portrait lens". On the other hand, people want 36MP pixel count. Why using 9 pixels to define a soft circle when you can using 4 pixel to render a sharp circle?

It is easy to soften with software or out-focus, but no way to sharpen without damaging the photo.

5 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (5 months ago)

If the sensor outresolves the lens, there is no need for AA filter, for instance. Also, the 'blur' will be rendered differently, (which may have no value at all)
Look at it this way, if the pixel count is high enough, you get the maximum out of all your lenses.

1 upvote
Ken Johnes
By Ken Johnes (5 months ago)

so Nikon , are we paying 1700 for this special soft vignette look ?

and i love how unsharp and buttery smooth the edges are which does give your photos a different look than almost every other nikon lens below 500$.

thanks a bunch for making that cheapo 50 1.8 such a great lens in comparisson ,and for that price.

is there a Xmas promo pack coming? 58mm1.4+ D600 for 1500$? killing 2 duds with a stone !! now that will be something ;-)))

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
meland
By meland (5 months ago)

No comment at all about the lens but I do admire the sarcasm. You must have worked for ages on that.

13 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (5 months ago)

I don't understand this lens at all.

At that price it should be fully corrected with beautiful bokeh.

I get that with the Fuji 35/1.4. (Granted it isn''t FF, but it's 50mm equiv in APS-C).

6 upvotes
Ken Johnes
By Ken Johnes (5 months ago)

i bet most people at nikon dosent understand the new product releases either ;-))

if there is to be a new product which will bring nikon some money ,then it should be packed in a box which says D400, but no,that´ll be listening to it´s customer base..

looks like at nikon , their new motto is, " i am Nikon , and i am stubborn"

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

I am Nikon, I am Expensive
?

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

You DON'T get that with the Fujinon 35 f/1.4 unless you consider software correction for distortion, CA, and vignetting the same as optically correcting lens aberrations as SLR lens designers do.

Because of reliance on software correction, Fujifilm lens designers really only had one thing to worry about: resolution.

Bokeh and color/contrast easily outpace the Fujinon and resolution should be similar.
http://photographylife.com/nikon-58mm-f1-4g-high-resolution-image-samples

1 upvote
viking79
By viking79 (5 months ago)

The Fuji 14mm f/2.8 is optically corrected. I think the 35mm is too. Software corrections are fine, no reason to correct lateral CA optically, we aren't shooting slide film, it is easy to scale magnification of color layers in software. Correcting optically also has design tradeoffs in the lens performance. It is not a win-win for optical corrections.

2 upvotes
filipe brandao
By filipe brandao (5 months ago)

The fuji 35 1.4 is not fully corrected! It's software corrected, if you doubt it just open one image on CS3 and compare it with the same image opened on Lightroom5. It has geometric distortion that is corrected behind the scenes by the camera's JPG engine. And it isn't an Apochromatic lens at all so definitely is not fully corrected.

2 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (5 months ago)

It should be be a lovely (88mm equivalent) portrait lens on DX (APS-C) Nikon cameras.

I'm not sure how many DX users want to pay $1,700 for a portrait lens though.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (5 months ago)

another mediocre nikon release.. oh oh.. what will nikon shooter do with all the unsharp D800 MP...?

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (5 months ago)

Ha...Nikon fooled us....fork out more money for 2nd gen 58mm 1.4G sharp wide open.

2 upvotes
DigiMatt
By DigiMatt (5 months ago)

Are you guys incapable of reading the English language? You don't have to agree with the way DXO scores, but they did clearly state the reason they knocked the score down. That reason is: not being sharp wide open and not being sharp across the frame until f11. How do you people make it through life without a basic reading comprehension ability?

"On the downside, sharpness is low at full-aperture and isn’t uniform across the frame until its stopped to f11. At larger apertures there’s as much as 30% deviation in sharpness from the center to corners."

"Individually the new Nikkor has the higher sharpness overall but the current 50mm is sharper at full aperture, while both are sharper than the AF-D model.

Stopped down to f2.8 and the new Nikkor is sharper in the centers than either but the outer field, edges and corners are similar to the old AF-D model and someway behind the current 50mm model until f11, where the new 58mm has high sharpness from corner-to-corner."

11 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (5 months ago)

I'm guessing a lot of people have a hard time reading the MTF-lines.

Guys - the left most point shows center resolution. The right one shows the extreme corners. Only by stopping down to f.8 does the MTF in corners reach 1500.

Not particularly impressive considering the price point.

7 upvotes
groucher
By groucher (5 months ago)

I don't think that the problem is reading the graphs, more of interpretation i.e. how do the graphs translate into practical use of the lens. I find DPR's 'real world' samples far more revealing than these graphs.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

f/11? LOL. Resolution of most modern bodies is limited by diffraction long before reaching f/11.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (5 months ago)

Corner sharpness is not too relevant for portraits but center sharpness could be better @ f1.4 to justify the price.

0 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (5 months ago)

It is relevant at $1,699.95 for a 58/1.4.

1 upvote
dgc4rter
By dgc4rter (5 months ago)

If you can afford the lens then great! Personally, I'll stick with my trusty 50mm 1.4 and take one step forward or my 85mm 1.4 and take two steps back.

2 upvotes
Joel Benford
By Joel Benford (5 months ago)

Sometimes the step forward puts me in the road with the cars, and the steps back put me through a shop window.

But when it works, the shoe leather zoom is very economical (especially at f/1.4).

0 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (5 months ago)

We need a new metric that is not accounted for called 'rendering'. This is the same metric that enables us to say that this black and thin audio cable sounds a little 'tinny', but this more expensive red and white intertwined audio cable with a shiny nylon wrapping sounds 'full' and 'expansive'.

But in truth there are some lens testing methodologies that I wonder can be supplemented, for example the center point should not *always* be considered the 'reference' plane of focus, but another set of measurements should be made at mid-frame as the 'reference' plane of focus. So tests should not only test center resolution and measure from there, but establish midframe reference point as well.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Greg VdB
By Greg VdB (5 months ago)

Indeed, it is well established that our brain "renders" objective data from our senses into subjective impressions that can be far from the truth.

So we need raw numbers from testing, and then come with solid interprations without applying our old nemesis "in my experience". On top of that, as Roger Cicala has shown us, any meaningfull conclusion HAS to involve several copies of any lens to deal with sample variation. (something review sites choose to neglect for practical reasons, and another pitfal for people's "own impression") DxO Mark is on the right track, but they need more parameters that measure important characteristics of lenses. Your suggestion of using mid-frame focussing is a nice idea. Moreover, they should figure out how to put into objective numbers things like overall and local contrast, colour "rendering" (sorry for using that awfull word), bokeh... Their magical final scores are very incomplete, hence almost useless. DPReview's final scores are not much better...

4 upvotes
meland
By meland (5 months ago)

"We need a new metric that is not accounted for called 'rendering'."

Leica users have been making up such metrics for years.

2 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (5 months ago)

"... for example the center point should not *always* be considered the 'reference' plane of focus ..."
True! now it is very hard to understand if the lens is soft, or the focusplane is elsewhere. Or how much it curves.
And, yes, more parameters should be tested, like quantifying bokeh.
But what is the additional set of useful test parameters?

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (5 months ago)

"And, yes, more parameters should be tested, like quantifying bokeh."

Bokeh is an aesthetic quality, not a quantity. Might as well try to quantify beauty, sex appeal, happiness, or the bouquet of a wine.

0 upvotes
Greg VdB
By Greg VdB (5 months ago)

Bokeh is merely how out-of-focus areas are displayed, it's not some mythical property. It's most noticable on OOF highlights, hence a test could be a couple of controlled "highlights" (single versus groups of leds for instance) distributed across the field of view and photographed by focussing on a target a given amount in front and behind the highlights. Lenstip does a quite good job of this, although unfortunately their analyses doesn't go as far as analyzing the results with image analyses tools. This would not be difficult to do by the way - for instance, levels could be plotted against diagonals through the OOF highlight, and this would show how smooth the transition from dark to light is and how evenly the light level is within the highlight. Also, as a function of f-stop, it would be possible to calculate the difference from a perfect circle etc.

1 upvote
Greg VdB
By Greg VdB (5 months ago)

Btw, beauty can easily be quantified as well: http://www.livescience.com/7023-rules-attraction-game-love.html Much like with bokeh, it's all about good symmetry... And when it comes to the bouquet of wine, see here to learn how easy the human brain is fooled: http://www.tastingscience.info/publications/Color_on_Wine.pdf (sorry for the poor quality, but figure 6 is a beautiful example of how differently coloured wine is described differently, even though the taste is exactly the same) There's a lot of science that shows how easy our perception of the world around us is influenced by internal and external factors - main conclusion: be sceptical of your own or other people's "judgment" of things. If it's not something that was measured, it's most likely skewed by perception...

2 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (5 months ago)

Awesome post Greg VdB!

1 upvote
Branko Collin
By Branko Collin (5 months ago)

"We need a new metric that is not accounted for called 'rendering'."

It's already there, you'll find it under 'price'. Or were you perhaps thinking about 'perceptual megafanboi' as DXOMark would call it?

0 upvotes
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (5 months ago)

If DxO Mark is correct then buying the 58 f1.4G is not worthy. The 85 f1.4 and even the f1.8 performs much better.

2 upvotes
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