Nikkor 58/1.4 G durability.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ruslan, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Why is this lens so lightweght? Compare it with Canon 50/1.2L or Sigma Art or Batises. The Canon is also plastic.
    Can anyone explain this fact? A lot of plastic including the glass elements?
    Why is it so costly then?
    How reliable is it?
  2. I think by volume, the majority of this lens is air, that's why it's so light. The barrel is indeed made of plastic, but I would not necessarily associate plastic with bad build quality nowadays. Airplanes are made of "plastic". I've never had a plastic suitcase break, while aluminum gets dented and scratched all the time. As for why it's so costly, probably partly because of the aspherical lens elements, super integrated coating, nano crystal coating and other wizardry, and partly because Nikon thinks they will still sell at this price, so why not?
    bgelfand likes this.
  3. And then there's the psychological impact of having spent over a grand on a standard lens. Of course you're going to imagine it has magical rendering - otherwise you've just wasted all that money, right?

    Personally, I'm not liking the almond-shaped OOF 'bokeh' blobs one little bit, but at least there's no green/purple LoCa at full aperture. A bit of a first for Nikon's lens designers there.

    Not sure how much nano-coating adds to the cost, but 'SIC' is just Nikon's standard AR multicoating these days, and goes on nearly every lens they make.

    Incidentally, I notice that most of its review sample pictures have to include a surplus of busy background, specular reflections or other OOF highlights, whether they distract and ruin the composition or not. Maybe its a condition of sale that you produce pictures with no aesthetic merit or interest apart from huge areas of OOF background?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  4. Mine feels solid, despite being lightweight. No reason to assume it's any less than other lenses that are doing their job without issue for years. Heavier doesn't necessarily mean that something is more durable or resistant to bumps and such.
    It's costly because it's a speciality lens that appeals to a niche. Some people feel the rendering qualities of this lens are worth it, and are willing to pay the price. Many feel it's not, and are happier with a Sigma Art, or the other 50mm lenses that Nikon has (which are even lighter). I rather have the choice than not.
    Do you have any reason to assume it's not reliable, apart from the false belief that lower weight means lower quality?
  5. bgelfand likes this.
  6. The lenstip test is not very consistent with what many users have found in actual real use on their camera. There are plenty user tests that show the lens is capable enough ( for example). Yes, the lens doesn't have that highest resolution of them all. Well, surprise, resolution isn't the end all and be all to all users. As said, choice is good, and just because something doesn't float your boat, doesn't mean it's a hoax of sorts.
  7. Very true.

    Equally there was a thread a while back about the 'fast' lensbaby with a similar rendering....;)

    I think it's the IQ v £££s that worries me!
  8. "Image quality" -which means something else for each of us- versus budget is always a worryingly slippery slope. Ultimately, we all have to make our own choices, and each of us have a different amounts of cash to waste.

    To each his own. I'm very happy with my 58mm, but as said above, it's not the logical choice for all. As much as I dislike the rendering of the Sigma 50mm Art, I don't find anyone is wrong for choosing that lens. I get the qualities of that lens, but it emphasises qualities I am not particularly looking for. Likewise, if somebody wants to spend good money on a Lensbaby, I get that. I see zero need to dismiss any of these tools, because the only thing that matters is whether they work for you, get you the results you're after, and whether using them makes you feel satisfied or not. How others spend their money isn't my problem much.
  9. Sorry, I din't mean to dismiss it or those that use it, but as you say 'each to their own'.

    I think with digital, far more so than film, the shear amount of change that can be made 'in post', especially regarding the rendering of details, does indeed make IQ a bit more subjective.

    However, turning an image taken with a 50mm Art into one with the look of the Nikkor 58mm 1.4 is possible. That said, the reverse is not possible.
  10. I wouldn't worry about the construction - the lens is lightweight because the optical elements are relatively small (the front is large probably to facilitate a better manual focus ring and feel (it is excellent for an AF lens) and sort of a built-in hood. It's the optics that you should make an opinion on and base your purchase decision on that. Of course, the light weight is a benefit in that it's more enjoyable to use and carry than one of the new breed of tanks (Otus 55/1.4, Sigma 50/1.4 Art, Milvus 50/1.4), but the optical design divides opinions.
  11. Early reviews of this lens did point out that it's not going to take the resolution crown from the Otus (or even Sigma). The Z mount 50mm f/1.8 seems to be Nikon attempting a modern sharp 50mm, with some success - enough to make me second-guess my 50mm Art, and partly lust after the 40mm. I'd heard that the 58mm was intended more for bokeh and portrait rendering (at least partly on DX presumably, given the focal length - though I disagree with lenstip, the 50mm Sigma pre-Art also had corners that behaved like the lens was really for DX use); my concern is that the reviews I've seen don't show enough of an advantage there to justify the negative effect on resolution, even if it's better than the low bar set by the 50mm AF-S lenses. (Remember when we were impressed at how they improved over the AF-D designs? Things move on.)

    I did a double-take when RJ mentioned a lack of LoCA - I specifically looked for this when the lens was launched, and I'd have been quite interested despite the low resolution if it actually had LoCA completely under control. The lenstip review does suggest otherwise, although they may have a broken sample. Opticallimits (formerly photozone) also show some LoCA, though. With the DC lenses, Nikon showed a history of achieving "nice" bokeh by introducing undercorrected spherical aberrations, with subsequent LoCA. Still, could be a noctilux.
  12. Also, wow, I just had a look at what hypnoken has to say about this lens (and checked the optical formula). That's... some LoCA.

    Nikon launched it after (IIRC) the Otus, and around the time of the Sigma Art. They may have felt the need for a "premium" normal lens to compete. I don't think there's anything wrong with it if you like the rendering (an argument I could also make about my Petzval), but I'd also not seek it out just to find an "ultimate normal lens".

    Incidentally, light plastic lenses are a good thing. If I ever drop my 50mm f/1.8 AF-S on the floor, I'd give it a reasonable chance of survival - especially if it bounces off the plastic hood. If I do the same to my 200mm f/2, I'll be crying for a long time.
  13. It's not at all like a Petzval.

    Nikon use plastic and rubber on the surface of the lenses but normally the inner barrel is magnesium. I haven't taken apart this lens but I would be surprised if it wasn't based on the same construction materials the other f/1.4 nano-coated Nikkor primes are.
  14. Oh yes - I wasn't suggesting it was that weird. Just that one person's interesting (or preferable) rendering is another's unacceptable aberration. A lensbaby image won a WPoTY category at one point...

    I'm sure (I've never handled one). Fairly light + plastic padding is a good thing. :)
  15. It has almost identical dimentions to Canon 50/1.2L but the latter is much heavier.
    Do they use magnesium for barrels? Isn't it rolled steel and brass?
    It is good to carry but I think it is too lightweight.
  16. I divide 50 mm lenses according to like or don't like.
    What I like is recent new 50 mm.
    Canon RF 1.2 is what I am crazy about, but it is too costly.
    Pentax 50/1.4* SDM (but the future ot the brand is debatable).
    Milvus and Art.... adore both.
    The 58/1.4 G is..... something uninspiring to me... kinda-sorta... boring.... flat "right" bokeh (as is were done by blurring in post - editing).
    Here is rendering.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  17. Because of the larger aperture, the 50/1.2 has heavier optical elements.

  18. This material more proper for die-cast outer shells. Sleeves are not made of magnesium. Sleeves are machine turned from rolled steel.
    I think using magnesium sleeve under plastic external cover is utter nonsence.
  19. Anyone brave enough to put a big magnet next to their lens barrel? :D
  20. I really have zero interest in owning this lens, so my curiosity stopped at the first 'snapshots only' online review I found. The LoCa in the sample shots wasn't as in-your-face as a good many other Nikkors.

    Having seen the Lenstip test, I'm thinking that the LoCa might be focussing distance-related. Whatever. If I have a wad of cash to spare, the 58mm f/1.4 Nikkor won't be the first thing on my list to spend it on.

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