Ever wonder why Nikon doesn't have f/1.2 AF lenses and Canon does?

Started Aug 6, 2015 | Discussions
Kadidal
Kadidal Regular Member • Posts: 203
Ever wonder why Nikon doesn't have f/1.2 AF lenses and Canon does?
2

This very nice piece by Nasim explains why -- interesting stuff here on the differences between the Canon and Nikon lens mounts (even for those of us who could never afford to spend on a f/1.2 even if Nikon made one!):

https://photographylife.com/nikon-f-vs-canon-ef

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Mach Schnell Senior Member • Posts: 2,959
What about the Nikkor Noct 58mm f/1.2?
1
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lickity split
lickity split Veteran Member • Posts: 6,037
Re: What about the Nikkor Noct 58mm f/1.2?

It's not AF

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lickity split
lickity split Veteran Member • Posts: 6,037
Re: Ever wonder why Nikon doesn't have f/1.2 AF lenses and Canon does?

No but I wondered why Nikon has nothing like the MP-E 65

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Kadidal
OP Kadidal Regular Member • Posts: 203
Re: Ever wonder why Nikon doesn't have f/1.2 AF lenses and Canon does?

That 65mm manual-focus is the coolest of macros -- near the top of a lot of "Why Canon?" lens lists.

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brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 15,883
Re: What about the Nikkor Noct 58mm f/1.2?
2

No contacts, and a too small back element (heavy mechanical vignetting, causing cats eyes and swirly bokeh).

You forgot the 55mm f1.2 and 50mm f1.2 by the way.

thelenspainter Senior Member • Posts: 1,906
Re: What about the Nikkor Noct 58mm f/1.2?
1

brightcolours wrote:

No contacts, and a too small back element (heavy mechanical vignetting, causing cats eyes and swirly bokeh).

You forgot the 55mm f1.2 and 50mm f1.2 by the way.

Canon f/1.2 lenses have mechanical vignetting too, but in their case it's the mirror box that causes it. To me it looks even worse than Nikon because you get these square cut-off looking bokeh balls at the edges of the frame.

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brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 15,883
Re: What about the Nikkor Noct 58mm f/1.2?

thelenspainter wrote:

brightcolours wrote:

No contacts, and a too small back element (heavy mechanical vignetting, causing cats eyes and swirly bokeh).

You forgot the 55mm f1.2 and 50mm f1.2 by the way.

Canon f/1.2 lenses have mechanical vignetting too,

Yes, but quite a bit less.

but in their case it's the mirror box that causes it.

That is not true for the 1.2 lenses

To me it looks even worse than Nikon because you get these square cut-off looking bokeh balls at the edges of the frame.

That only goes for the 50mm f1.0?

Rexgig0
Rexgig0 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,927
MP-E 65mm can be adapted to Nikon.

lickity split wrote:

No but I wondered why Nikon has nothing like the MP-E 65

There was a thread regarding this here on DPR, within the past five years. Keep in mind that the MP-E 65mm, even on Canon cameras, cannot focus to infinity, and is normally used on a focusing rail. This is not really for chasing bugs around the garden.

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lickity split
lickity split Veteran Member • Posts: 6,037
Re: MP-E 65mm can be adapted to Nikon.

Rexgig0 wrote:

lickity split wrote:

No but I wondered why Nikon has nothing like the MP-E 65

There was a thread regarding this here on DPR, within the past five years. Keep in mind that the MP-E 65mm, even on Canon cameras, cannot focus to infinity, and is normally used on a focusing rail. This is not really for chasing bugs around the garden.

I did a pretty thorough search on this awhile back and came up with nada. Plenty of reasons why it cant work.

http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00ROPw

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BGD300V1
BGD300V1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,383
Re: MP-E 65mm can be adapted to Nikon.

Rexgig0 wrote:

lickity split wrote:

No but I wondered why Nikon has nothing like the MP-E 65

There was a thread regarding this here on DPR, within the past five years. Keep in mind that the MP-E 65mm, even on Canon cameras, cannot focus to infinity, and is normally used on a focusing rail. This is not really for chasing bugs around the garden.

As a Nikon shooter I never really looked in to this lens but found the range interesting.  I didn't realize that its maximum focus distance was about 4 inches.

Given that, and the price, using a 60mm Micro-Nikkor for up to 1:1 and putting it on a bellows is an excellent solution.

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Rexgig0
Rexgig0 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,927
Re: MP-E 65mm can be adapted to Nikon.

lickity split wrote:

Rexgig0 wrote:

lickity split wrote:

No but I wondered why Nikon has nothing like the MP-E 65

There was a thread regarding this here on DPR, within the past five years. Keep in mind that the MP-E 65mm, even on Canon cameras, cannot focus to infinity, and is normally used on a focusing rail. This is not really for chasing bugs around the garden.

I did a pretty thorough search on this awhile back and came up with nada. Plenty of reasons why it cant work.

http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00ROPw

I now wish I had bookmarked that thread, as this is, at least, the second time this has been discussed here. I had little interest at the time, however, as I then used only Canon cameras for macro, and had no interest in in a lab-type copy-stand set-up. If I remember correctly, the adapter was custom-made, and may, or may not, have involved a bellows. It was not something I would haul into the field for shooting insects, reptiles, and amphibians.

More than one Nikon shooter, including a local (Houston, Texas) member of the now-defunct Pixtus.com forum, who wanted to use the Canon MP-E 65mm, has simply bought the lens, along with a Canon camera, to use as a dedicated macro rig. (He brought his 60D and MP-E 65mm lens, along with his Nikon + 24-120mm Nikkor, to a local meet-up.) There is much to be said for staying with just one platform for running-and-shooting, but macro shooting is, usually, relatively slow and deliberate, in comparison.

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sandy b
sandy b Veteran Member • Posts: 9,411
No
2

Of all the things I could sit around and contemplate, that would be pretty low in the list.

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joejack951 Senior Member • Posts: 2,682
Re: Ever wonder why Nikon doesn't have f/1.2 AF lenses and Canon does?

Kadidal wrote:

That 65mm manual-focus is the coolest of macros -- near the top of a lot of "Why Canon?" lens lists.

Until only very recently (D810), Nikon's have lacked an electronic first curtain shutter which is basically a necessity for sharp photos at the magnifications that lens provides.

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Matsu Senior Member • Posts: 2,365
Re: Ever wonder why Nikon doesn't have f/1.2 AF lenses and Canon does?
3

If the throat diameter is large enough for manual focus lenses, then it is large enough for autofocus lenses, since the AF motor and gearing sits in the barrel, not the mount throat. I like Nasim's articles, but he's got it slightly wrong here. I suspect the real reason has to do with a trade off between demising returns, cost, and AF performance. E lenses will give them another degree of freedom in the design and placement of lens elements, but I'm not sure f/1.2 is really a priority for them.

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Rexgig0
Rexgig0 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,927
Look at the VERY thin parts on the 50mm f/1.2 AI-S.

Parts apparently have to be very, very thin at the mount, including the finger-like part that engages the metering system, and the metal end of the mount, itself, on an f/1.2 lens. Keep in mind that I am not an engineer, just judging by eye. The glass element, too, seems quite vulnerable, as it protrudes from the mount.

"E" lenses would, seemingly, be easier to engineer if built with f/1.2 maximum aperture, but again, I am not an engineer.

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Matsu Senior Member • Posts: 2,365
Re: Look at the VERY thin parts on the 50mm f/1.2 AI-S.
3

Rexgig0 wrote:

Parts apparently have to be very, very thin at the mount, including the finger-like part that engages the metering system, and the metal end of the mount, itself, on an f/1.2 lens. Keep in mind that I am not an engineer, just judging by eye. The glass element, too, seems quite vulnerable, as it protrudes from the mount.

"E" lenses would, seemingly, be easier to engineer if built with f/1.2 maximum aperture, but again, I am not an engineer.

The f mount is almost certainly not limiting the maximum aperture of the lens.  Bigger apertures than even f/1 have gone through it, and with longer focal lengths than 58mm

See here

http://www.muellerworld.com/exhibits/fast_lens/

Now none of these are AF, and all are converted, fixed aperture designs, but the mount isn't restricting the aperture.

A big aperture doesn't necessarily have to have a directly proportional rear element depending the design.

With both AF and aperture controls being though electronic contacts, there are no physical limitations, but that doesn't make it necessarily practical to do.

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jgitomer Regular Member • Posts: 201
Re: Ever wonder why Nikon doesn't have f/1.2 AF lenses and Canon does?
1

Assuming the Canon f/1.2 lens has a maximum focusing distance of 4 inches (roughly 100mm) it can only be used to shoot inanimate objects.  That being the case there is no need for f/.2 or, for that matter f/2.8.

So, all f/1.2 gives you is bragging rights, but from a practical standpoint very little, if any, real value.

Before you respond with the fact that with an f/1.2 lens you can focus in conditions with less light bear in mind that when shooting inanimate objects you can always use a flashlight (or a head lamp if you need both hands for the camera) to illuminate the subject and get accurate focus.

Jerry

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