Nikon 58mm 1.4 AF-S Review

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mike_halliwell, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. I don't think I'll go bother the bank manager about this lens..Unless sample variation made this review copy a real lemon.
    http://www.lenstip.com/397.11-Lens_review-Nikon_Nikkor_AF-S_58_mm_f_1.4G_Summary.html
    I rarely let reviews put me off actually going to play with a new lens at the camera shop, but in this case I'll stay at home. Not that I can afford it anyway, but I could have dreamt. For that money, this is a nightmare.
     
  2. Mike--who is this guy? I've read other reviews that aren't so harsh. But I do agree that for the price, the performance doesn't seem to be there--even according to the semi-favorable reviews. Thanks for the link.
    Paul
     
  3. This guy is a store, which calls itself the world's best photo store. There is a review in dpreview (link) that is much more positive about the lens. Most telling for me are some lovely photos that people have taken with this lens and a set of generally positive assessments from Bjørn Rørslett over a series of postings on NikonGear.
     
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Most telling for me are some lovely photos that people have taken with this lens​
    A lot of us can capture some lovely images also with a $200 50mm/f1.8 AF-S (with the current rebate). What people need to demonstrate is some A/B comparison showing why the 58mm/f1.4 AF-S justifies the $1700 price tag. At least they should be able to demonstrate that the $1700 lens is indeed "better" under certain circumstances; i.e. it can achieve something a $200 lens cannot. I do understand that we tend to have to pay a lot more for a top-of-the-line lens for a small gain.
    From the review:
    Nikon was joking all along, trying to sell you a rough piece of trash for a lot of money under a cover of a storied Nikon legacy.​
    This guy certainly pulls no punches.
     
  5. If the image resolution figures here are to be believed, and I know resolution isn't everything, then this lens is not for me......by a long, long way.
     
  6. A lot of us can capture some lovely images also with a $200 50mm/f1.8 AF-S​
    Shun, let me clarify: I saw images with bokeh like I've never seen before from a lens in the 50mm range.
    This guy certainly pulls no punches.​
    But not necessarily on the basis of good judgment. He judges the build quality from the amount of plastic parts he assumes are in the internal workings of the lens.
     
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Shun, let me clarify: I saw images with bokeh like I've never seen before from a lens in the 50mm range.​
    Again, I would love to see some A/B comparison to demonstrate, for everybody to see, what this $1700 lens can achieve than a $200 50mm/f1.8 AF-S cannot.
    I would like to see results and differences, not merely description in words. We are in an era that it is very easy to post images to demonstrate results.
     
  8. yikes. that performance at open apertures is dreadful. lenstip didnt like the 16-35 VR either.
    "The Nikkor AF-S 16–35 mm f/4G ED VR proved to be worse than such devices as the Tokina AT-X PRO FX SD 17–35 mm f/4 (IF) and the Nikkor AF-S 18–35 mm f/3.5–4.5G ED in almost every testing category."
     
  9. Nikon seems to be spending it's $$$ on making new Coolpix models than it lens R&D dept.
    Now that may be a short term 'Good Idea' with-regard-to 'cashflow' but when companies like Sigma continue to make better optics, and that's not a one-off either, you gotta wonder where they're head's at?
    Did you look at those wide-open res shots? Holy Moley...! That's either really, really arty or cr*p. If they're representative, I think I'll be spending my hard earnt cash off-marque.
     
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Nikon seems to be spending it's $$$ on making new Coolpix models than it lens R&D dept.​
    Mike, that kind of sensational remarks is uncalled for.
    If a reviewer suspects that the sample they are using is defective, it is the reviewer's responsibility to seek additional samples to verify. Otherwise, they are merely hurting their own reputation.
    I have read a number of reviews for the 58mm/f1.4 AF-S. Luke warm is probably how I would describe them. It is going to be difficult for most people to justify the $1700 price tag, especially since there are very good alternatives around $200 to $450 or so.
    • DPReview: http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/nikon-58mm-f1-4g/6
    • ePhotoZine: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/nikon-af-s-nikkor-58mm-f-1-4g-lens-review-23633
     
  11. Mike, that kind of sensational remarks is uncalled for.​
    Only if it's not true....and short of the very nice 80-400mm, what have the lens dept done recently to deserve much accolade?
    Their fast primes suck..and that's about it.
    The independants make better lenses and can charge more..and they can sell them. Where does that leave the Nikon fan-boys?
    I'd love to buy, and afford Nikon lenses, but others are more innovative, make them better and are cheaper, go figure.
     
  12. As far as I have read, optical design is a very difficult task. It`s almost impossible to correct for certain aberrations and to keep at top other parameters. From Nikon`s comments, this is the case, looks like they opted for a nice rendition, leaving other parameters behind... but my books also say that for higher corrections and overall performance beyond the limits, more elements and better materials are needed.
    The 50/1.4AFS is a 8/7 elements very recent formula. It shows a very slight but still noticeable improvement over the previous 7/6 versions (AF and MF). I can post some samples if you like it.
    The 58/1.4 is a 9/8 elements design, so I`d not expect a huge improvement over the 50/1.4AFS. I can check at the sample images that there is a diference, but the price difference makes the extra cost not worth this lens for many people.
    The new Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" is a 13/8 lens design, so with four extra elements (compared to the 58/1.4 Nikkor), I think we could expect a much higher performance. The Zeiss "Otus" is a 12/10 construction, and with just three elements more than the Nikkor, performance looks to be stellar. I actually expect the Sigma to be closer to the Zeiss quality, but at a much lower price (I hope).
    So I wonder about the Nikon`s reasons to be that "stingy" in this design... after the 35/1.4 "Art" from Sigma, it is clear that people who are willing to pay ask for better build, sophisticated high performance designs, and specially when prices are well over the previous versions.
    If Nikon sells this lens at a lower price tag, it could be "justifiable" for some, but at such price, Nikon users expect it to be an "state of the art" lens, which looks like it isn`t, in construction quality and performance.

    The Noct was made using the same construction of the "non Noct" version (7/6), but switching one element with an aspherical unit; maybe they really wanted to make the very same thing regarding design and specially, price tag, but with the advantage of today`s technology and costs. Maybe not enough for these days, times have changed.
     
  13. In all honesty, why does Nikon even produce anything around 50mm, unless it blows the doors (unequivocally) of all previous 50mm optics ? Why doesn't the manuf comes out and admit, that all they are doing is generating some sales (in slumpy market) ? There are several lenses that could use some upgrading.
    As Shun indicated, I too would like to see where the lens stands and cross comparisons. We may be very surprised that the inexpensive 50/1.8 D/G may be quite similar in the F2.0-2.8 setting. Also, is the resolution or the bokeh on the 1.4 that good that paying X-times is truly worth it ? Anyway, just because it was made, it does not mean that I should be interested. Well, for some reason I never warmed up to the 50/58mm aesthetic.
    As to lens tip, I'm unable to take anything they say seriously (much like someone named K...). Some years back they created this "filter test" and Hoya (among all manuf) received the best marks. Before I closed the page, there was an ad in the right-upper corner....shamelessly marketing Hoya. Granted, they were probably doing what others have done....but I no longer bother with their reviews.
    One more thing, how fantastic the Otus must be to beat the 50/1.8 D/G at around F2.0 ? Even if it's by substantial margin, does it justify paying X-times more ? I doubt it.
    Les
     
  14. Nikon was joking all along, trying to sell you a rough piece of trash for a lot of money under a cover of a storied Nikon legacy.​
    When I see this level of hyperbole, I click off. This sort of comment is simply stupid.
    I don't know what Nikon is trying to do, but even as an apostate, I'd doubt they would start down this road short of being taken over by some industrial robber baron. I suspect we would have heard about that by now.
     
  15. Their fast primes suck..and that's about it.​
    Mike, have you used the lenses you're talking about? You did say at the start of this thread that the review you read had dissuaded you from playing with the 58mm at the store, that you weren't planning to buy it anyway. But have you used, for example, the 50mm f/1.8 that Shun mentioned, currently selling for $200?. Or some of the other excellent recent Nikon f/1.8 lenses? They perform very well, despite their low cost. Or the 85mm f/1.4 AFS, not cheap, but lovely? Or the older NIkon primes that are still excellent? You are simply enjoying a negative review of a lens you would not have bought even if that review had praised it to the skies. What do you get out of that?
     
  16. Agreed. Anybody who's been using the 50mm and 85mm 1.8G wouldn't be using "suck" in the same sentence as "Nikon
    lenses" unless it were something like "it would suck to not have these killer Nikon lenses."

    The problem with this expensive 58mm is that it exists in the same line as those inexpensive lenses. When you can have
    the 50 and 85 and $1000 to keep, vs. the 58, the 58 better be freakin' amazing. If it's merely really good that's not going to
    cut it.
     
  17. Dpreview showed some side by side comparisons of the 50 and 58 AF-S and Bjorn Rorslett compared
    the 58 AF-S with the 58/1.2 Noct. But it is difficult to see some things in side by side comparisons of
    the 100% crops; name how the image, seen as a whole in the final output will make you feel. To get an
    idea of what a lens will do for your work, you'll have to use it for a while.

    I bought three lenses and one camera in the last 12 months.Of those I kept the 58/1.4 (because the
    images give me butterflies in the stomach), the Zeiss 135/2 (it is very sharp and has excellent manual
    focusing action, however the images don't give me a strong emotional response as the Nikon 58 does) and
    sold the 80-400 and X100s as not good enough or not suitable for my purposes.

    Lens and camera and lens choice is subjective and in the end what matters is if you like the results
    and working with the tools or not. Lens reviews can give technical details of how a lens works in
    specific circumstances but many of the reviewers have shown very limited ability to create strong photographs; how can we use them for judging aesthetics? We can't. The responsibility to judge how
    the lens helps or hinders our photography aesthetically and functionally is with us, after a period of
    use (months or even longer).
     
  18. Strange, in the pro's it says
    high image quality in the frame centre from f/2.8,​
    Ïn the con's it says
    weak image quality in the frame centre near the maximum relative aperture,​
    So what is it , either one or the other ?
    At lenstip they have often this kinf of contradictory comments, so i do not realy trust their reviews...
     
  19. C.P.M., I understand they want to mean sharpness at f2.8 and smaller, softness at f1.4-2. No contradiction, and it looks to be a quite common behaviour on fast lenses.

    On ephotozine, they put both together in the "pros" list: "very good" sharpness wide open, and excellent sharpness stopped down. Two different ways of saying the same thing.

    BTW, I use to dislike Lens Tip comments, as they are on the "sensationalist" side. A couple times I found their conclusions way different from mine, so I stopped reading them.
     
  20. C.P.M. if you look at the resolution graph in that review, it make sense.
    At 2.8 its respectable, at 1.4 or maximum relative aperture, it's dire. The slope between quality and aperture is very steep. Those 2 EV's make a lot of difference...the resolution almost doubles from below 20lpmm to 38lpmm
    Hector. I've used both the 35mm 1.4 AF-S & 50 1.4 AF-S and they are very soft wide open compared to the offerings made by Sigma. I specifically used the term fast primes because their 'slow' primes just like the 50mm 1.8G, and 80mm 1.8G are wonderful and very good value for money. I alluded to their modern lenses, maybe I should have added.....'Unlike the primes of yesterday!'.
     
  21. Nikon's 35mm 1.4 G AF-S is another example of why I feel Nikon R&D cash is not going to the optics guys..
    www.lenstip.com/286.4-Lens_review-Nikon_Nikkor_AF-S_35_mm_f_1.4G_Image_resolution.html​
    as opposed to the happy campers at Sigma Lens Dept..
    www.lenstip.com/359.4-Lens_review-Sigma_A_35_mm_f_1.4_DG_HSM_Image_resolution.html​
    I'd print these two graphs side-by-side, but copyright issues quite rightly prevent this. These 2 lenses are chalk and cheese by comparison.
    Oh, and that's £1400 for the Nikon v £629 for the Sigma.......less than half price.
     
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Mike, I would suggest that you take the lenstip site with a grand of salt.
    For most people, the performance from the 58mm/f1.4 AF-S probably does not at all justify its high cost, but most reviews I have seen are still somewhat favorable. When a web site makes crazy comments such as:
    Nikon was joking all along, trying to sell you a rough piece of trash for a lot of money under a cover of a storied Nikon legacy.​
    They simply have no credibility.

    It is not merely me, this is what Leszek Vogt wrote earlier on this thread:
    As to lens tip, I'm unable to take anything they say seriously (much like someone named K...). Some years back they created this "filter test" and Hoya (among all manuf) received the best marks. Before I closed the page, there was an ad in the right-upper corner....shamelessly marketing Hoya. Granted, they were probably doing what others have done....but I no longer bother with their reviews.​
    And Jose Angle wrote earlier, also on this very thread:
    BTW, I use to dislike Lens Tip comments, as they are on the "sensationalist" side. A couple times I found their conclusions way different from mine, so I stopped reading them.​
     
  23. Shun, I tend to ignore their text/comments for that very reason, but unless they are faking the numbers of their tests, I believe them.
    EDIT. DXO's figures tally quite well with Lenstips', so I take that as corroboration.
     
  24. I've used both the 35mm 1.4 AF-S & 50 1.4 AF-S and they are very soft wide open compared to the offerings made by Sigma.

    Photozone's 24MP FX tests gives the following MTF50 for the two 50/1.4's.
    f/1.4 center f/1.4 edge f/1.4 corner
    Sigma 3002 1569 1460
    Nikon 3262 2980 2861
    so, they definitely don't agree with you regarding the 50mm's. It could be either photozone's or your testing is badly done, or is done at a different distance, or there is sample variation. Perhaps you can post your comparison photos of the same subject, tripod mounted, live view focused, so we can try to analyze what could be the explanation. It could also be a different variant of the Sigma lens.
     
  25. Ilkka.....In which case there's a-lot of sample variation either/both ways as these say the opposite...
    www.lenstip.com/162.4-Lens_review-Nikon_Nikkor_AF-S_50_mm_f_1.4G_Image_resolution.html
    www.lenstip.com/177.4-Lens_review-Sigma_50_mm_f_1.4_EX_DG_HSM_Image_resolution.html
    I've done no testing, I just know the Nikon 50mm 1.4 AF-S I used was soft wide open....and yes that was tripod mounted, blah, blah blah...
    EDIT....DxO doesn't like the 50mm 1.4 AF-S either.
    www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Nikon/AF-S-Nikkor-50mm-f-1.4G
     
  26. I've heard a lot of good things about the 50mm Sigma but "sharp wide open" isn't one of them.

    Mike, this would be one of the situations where you can't just look at test numbers, you also need field tests. Channeling
    Ann Coulter while writing about a lens without providing real examples of how it works in the field in the sort of situations
    the lens is meant for isn't exactly the mark of a serious writer.
     
  27. Andy, OK, DxO thinks the Sigma is sharper than the Nikon @ 1.4
    www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Nikon/AF-S-Nikkor-50mm-f-1.4G-mounted-on-Nikon-D3X---Measurements__485
    www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Sigma/50mm-F1.4-EX-DG-HSM-Nikon-mounted-on-Nikon-D3X---Measurements__485
    Anyway, this post started about the overly expensive 58mm 1.4 that doesn't deliver in IQ.
    This is just another example of Nikon not making excellent lenses whilst charging very high prices....where-as the independents are doing better.
     
  28. For niche equipment reviews I always skip to the sample photos. I want to see whether the reviewer understands the target market for the equipment.
    When I see sample photos, and subsequent opinions, for lenses like a fast prime, or a camera like a Coolpix A or Ricoh GR, and the photos are mostly of buildings and inanimate objects in daylight, I don't pay much attention to the reviewer's opinions. I'm not interested in brick wall photos from a camera or lens that was intended for dim available light and living subjects.
    I'll move along until I find a qualified review from someone who uses the equipment where it's intended to be strongest: nighttime available-dark, candid photos of people indoors or at night.
     
  29. In all honesty, why does Nikon even produce anything around 50mm, unless it blows the doors (unequivocally) of all previous 50mm optics ?​
    One thing pro photographers want to do is be different: different than people with cell phone cams, different than your uncle with a D600. Whatever this lenses flaws, the better samples show difference, and to a small number of photographers that's valuable.
    (I'm not one and probably never will be.)
    edit: what lex jenkins said, too.
     
  30. IDK about sensationalist, i'd say the lenstip reviewer has a sense of humor which might lose something in translation from Polish. FWIW, lenstip's reviews were spot-on with my experience with the sigma 17-50 OS and the tokina 100 macro. (i could also note that DPReview is owned by Amazon.com, so maybe we should take their reviews with a bigger grain of salt.)
    however, if you look at the DPReview article, they refer to some inner mojo the nikon has which isnt going to show up on test charts: The AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G is an intriguing lens. Look at its performance in MTF tests and it appears to be nothing special; indeed[​IMG] it doesn't obviously do any better than its much cheaper 50mm stablemate. But there's a lot more to lenses and photography than just MTF tests, and when you go out and shoot with it, the 58mm produces images which are on the whole extremely attractive.
    that said, they also note the lens is "decidedly soft wide open"... so, it kind of comes down to whether you think the 58/1.4's mojo is worth all the extra cash. another more troubling aspect is the AF accuracy, which apparently is thrown off on high-MP sensors. i'm personally quite satisfied with the sigma 50/1.4 i have (which is pretty good wide open, dead sharp at f/2, and focuses fast and accurately for my taste) which i primarily use in low-light conditions at sub-2.8 apertures. so while the 58/1.4 might be an awesome lens at f/4, i'm not willing to change the shooting conditions i photograph in just to fit the strengths of the lens. plus that's way too much cash for a 50mm!!!
     
  31. When I'm in the market for a Nikkor lens I read Thom Hogan's reviews which I find much more accurate because he takes it out to the field and uses the lens before giving the potential buyer the PRO's and CON's of the lens. As a matter of fact I want to buy the FX 35 f/1.8 but I'm waiting for his review before doing so.
     
  32. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    When I use an f1.4 lens, I pay almost no attention to its sharpness at f1.4. Since depth of field is so thin at f1.4, and I used f1.4 mainly for indoor, available-light hand-held photography where shutter speeds tend to be slower than 1/100 sec, there are simply many factors that can contribute to unsharp images:
    • subject areas that are outside of the razor thin, in-focus region
    • camera vibration
    • subject motion
    • high-ISO noise: when it is dim indoors, typically we are talking about ISO 3200 or 6400
    And if there is sufficient light for a faster shutter speed than 1/100 sec, I would rather bring down the ISO to improve the image quality.
    Therefore, as far as I am concerned, sharpness at f1.4 or even f2 is completely meaningless. If I am after sharpness, I use a modest aperture such as f4, f5.6 (also to gain depth of field) or perhaps f8 and mount the camera (or lens) on a tripod.
    When Nikon introduced the 58mm/f1.4 AF-S, they made it very clear that it follows the Noct tradition and is designed for night photography. Nikon also claimed superior bokeh. I have posted this link to DPReview's test a few times: http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/nikon-58mm-f1-4g/5
    DPReview posted an A/B comparison against the 50mm/f1.4 AF-S in a night scene, where it is quite obvious that the 58mm/f1.4 AF-S has much better control of flare. On that same page they also have an A/B comparison about bokeh, where the difference is on the subtle side.
    For niche equipment reviews I always skip to the sample photos. I want to see whether the reviewer understands the target market for the equipment.
    ...
    I'll move along until I find a qualified review from someone who uses the equipment where it's intended to be strongest: nighttime available-dark, candid photos of people indoors or at night.​
    As Lex pointed out, the 58mm/f1.4 AF-S is a niche lens that is clearly very expensive. For some selected people who do a lot of night photography, it might be worthwhile to spend $1700 on one. For most people, that price is simply insane.
    Any review of that lens should provide some A/B comparison as DPReview did, and they can go through it more thoroughly with more examples. When instead they present the usual charts, it becomes clear that those so called "reviews" do not have a good idea what they should be looking at.
     
  33. Shun, I agree with everything you say apart from the 'Sharpness is meaningless' bit.
    I was taking some teaching shots to show the visual meaning of DoF so found an old book, with really nice aged and textured paper with early printed text.....think first edition Shakespeare. I inclined the paper to about 30 degrees, rigid copystand, focussed on a word, or rather the mid line of a word and shot a frame at every 1/3 stop from 1.4 - 22. I wanted the 1.4 frame to pop, emphasizing the very narrow DoF. If it's not sharp, it won't pop.
    I tried a couple of lenses and as it turned out, it was a close run thing between my 50mm 1.2 AIS and my 85mm 1.4D. The former made a better job on the centre, even though the edges were a bit soft!
    Sadly, I didn't have a 58mm 1.4 to try aswell, but I guess I've always gone with the 'I can always soften a sharp image, but sharpening a soft image is not so convincing' ethos.
     
  34. Shun, I agree with everything you say apart from the 'Sharpness is meaningless' bit.
    I was taking some teaching shots to show the visual meaning of DoF so found an old book, with really nice aged and textured paper with early printed text.....think first edition Shakespeare. I inclined the paper to about 30 degrees, rigid copystand, focussed on a word, or rather the mid line of a word and shot a frame at every 1/3 stop from 1.4 - 22. I wanted the 1.4 frame to pop, emphasizing the very narrow DoF. If it's not sharp, it won't pop.
    I tried a couple of lenses and as it turned out, it was a close run thing between my 50mm 1.2 AIS and my 85mm 1.4D. The former made a better job on the centre, even though the edges were a bit soft!
    Sadly, I didn't have a 58mm 1.4 to try aswell, but I guess I've always gone with the 'I can always soften a sharp image, but sharpening a soft image is not so convincing' ethos.
     
  35. I have used several lenses that testified to the accuracy of lenstip reviews, so I'd give them credibility.
    To focus on an offhand comment from someone not writing in their native language smacks of desperation or a reader that only ever knew one language. There are pages of cold, hard test results there and readers can give the writer some latitude in the way he expresses himself in response to them.
    The world needs reviewers that don't have their snouts in the trough for either manufacturer adverts or free kit.
     
  36. This remind me the first comments about the 105VR... from its "almost useless hunting AF" to the worst Micro-Nikkor performance, a so-so lens that is designed for everything and excels in nothing, about the sense of VR on a macro lens... Do you remember this?
    At the end, after years of use, it has become one of my favourite lenses, not only as a portrait lens, or for any task, but also for macro work. Again, I can post side by side shots against other renowned Micro-Nikkors, if needed. The VR is a decisive advantage to my taste, and not only for portrait or other tasks, also for macro work (not at 1:1, obviously). The non-telescopic design is another comfortable advantage to my taste. Sincerely, after the first shots, I found it to be sharp to my taste, so I never cared about the sharpness topic again. My only issue about it is on the manual focus ring, which I consider good, but not as precise as I`d like (and BTW, Lens Tip`comment is: "... a very big and comfortable manual focusing ring, whose work cannot be accused of anything... " Ephotozine and Photozone.de doesn`t even have a comment about the MF ring).
    Check what Lens Tip says about it:
    "Nikkor 2.8/105 VR is undoubtedly a very fine instrument, which will enable us taking very sharp photos. The problem (problem for Nikon, not to its customers) is that there is a great competition in the class of macro lenses of focal length 100 mm. In relation to its competitors Nikkor may boast itself with a great advantage, which is stabilization. Does a better work of autofocus than in Sigma, Tokina or Tamron give basis to pay 760$ for it? And we must remember that it is twice as much as for its competitors. In our opinion, definitely no and until the price will not decrease, independent manufacturers may not being afraid of the sales results of their macro lenses."
    Ephotozine:
    In summary, the positive points of the Nikon AF-S VR 105mm f/2.8 IF-ED are:
    [​IMG] The only true macro with stabilisation. And it works.
    [​IMG] Truly superb optical quality
    [​IMG] Rapid and silent autofocus
    Photozone.de:
    Nikon packed many new features into the Micro-Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR. The most obvious one is probably the new IF design so the physical length of the lens remains constant regardless of the focus setting. On top of that Nikon implemented a relatively fast silent-wave AF drive and a VR II (Vibration Reduction) with an efficiency equivalent to 4 f-stops... ... The best news is probably that Nikon resisted the temptation to increase the price tag despite all the new features. At around 750-850€/US$ the lens is still not exactly cheap but definitely worth it.

    I don`t want to defame one or other opinion, they are just opinions. We all have read from people who claim the absurdity of having VR on a macro lens, many people liked to repeat what KR said about the uselessness of its AF (now he says it was a "bad sample"... ), and we can still read from people that retain that it is a bad lens, unsharp and plenty of vignetting and CA issues... as said, all reviews (some more than others) have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
    Again, the problem I see on the 58/1.4 is the price... people think on it as another "standard" lens option, but the price tag makes it to be an exclusive "specialty" lens, despite of its "ordinary" look.
     
  37. (Just to be fair, photozone.de comment about the MF ring on the 105VR is "The broad, rubberized focus ring operates quite smooth but it is not damped". And in Ephotozine, "The system also allows manual over-ride without switching, another bonus").
     
  38. @Jose, some of the negative perception on the 105VR was formed by Bjorn Rorslett who didn't like it compared to dedicated macro lenses w/out VR.
    "The 105 mm f/2.8 VR Micro looks nice on paper, but using it in practice tells another story. The lens barrel is now massive and you need a big hand to get a good grip on it. VR does work very well, but unless you use a tripod you end up with a lot of close-ups of just adequate, but not perfect, sharpness. VR shouldn't be used with the lens/camera on a tripod so there is yet another slider to set correctly and Murphy's Law dictates you'll forget this when shooting someting of critical importance or using slow shutter speeds."​
    i do agree that the lens has redeemed itself a bit compared to the initial impression, mainly due to its sharpness and versatility for portrait use, but the lenstip opinion was based around the relative optical quality of the tamron, tokina, and sigma offerings, which were 1/2 the price at that time. price is always a consideration, so i'm not mad that they are considering value as part of their analysis. also, at this point, it's worth noting that sigma and tamron now offer stabilized macro lenses, so the ephotozine review is a bit outdated.
    but in any event we are clearly talking apples and oranges in comparing the 105 VR to the 58/1.4 which is a much more specialized lens and also much more expensive than other lenses in its class. but price is only one issue with this lens, which as DPReview noted is more expensive than every single one of the DX bodies on which it would have been a welcome addition for portrait use. 58mm is also an odd focal length on FX, and then there's the issue of lack of sharpness at sub-2.8 apertures, which is where i'd use it most.
    For some selected people who do a lot of night photography, it might be worthwhile to spend $1700 on one. For most people, that price is simply insane.​
    no argument there.
     
  39. Well, I respect Rorslett`s opinions so much, and find them to be quite accurate. (BTW, last time I used the 105VR, three days ago, I forgot to disable the VR switch, while shooting on the tripod. I had to repeat all the shots! :)

    But looks like some opinions are based on very limited ideas, and then write them on "pro looking" reviews, so if they take Rorslett words in the wrong way, it will end with the idea that the 105VR is a silly macro lens (he just says that for highest sharpness, a tripod -and no VR- should be used, undoubtedly). And in this very same review, he adds: "... a lot of engineering efforts have gone into the new design and for many this will be a dream lens, in particular for portraiture or the casual close-up snapshot... " and many more.

    I just wanted to mean that opinions are just opinions. We can also talk about the 24-120/4, a very useful great lens for some, highly awaited, but a very mediocre and expensive lens for others (also based on accurate technical reviews). BTW, check Lens Tip conclusion about it (they end comparing the 24-120/4 to the 24-105L (!)...
    "... The problem is that the Canon, being noticeably cheaper, features also a superior build quality. It is, after all, an L series device produced in Japan. From the mechanical point of view the Thailand-produced Nikkor looks and behaves like a lens with a 300 – 600 $ price tag. A narrow manual focus ring with slacks or the inner tube with plastic elements in the 1140 price segment are simply inappropriate.
    Perhaps the steep price of the tested Nikkor stems from the fact that we deal with a novelty here. If it is true I would recommend postponing the purchase. There are really no reasons whatsoever why you should spend on this lens more than on the Canon 24–105 mm f/4.0L IS USM, which nowadays can be bought for a bit over 1000 $."
    I have it, and I`m using it more than the 24-70 I also have... (amongst others). But I don`t want to hijack Mike`s thread...
     
  40. I`m sorry, just for fun, check what photozone.de says about the very same lens (24-120/4). Quite the opposite!:
    "Given a street price of around 1000 EUR/1100 USD at the time of this review (December 2010), the lens obviously targets the higher grade amateur and professional market and consequently the build quality is rather high due to the use of magnesium alloy and high quality polycarbonate... "
    "...Mechanically however, there's nothing to complain about. The build quality is excellent and in line with other high-end Nikkor lenses..."
    "... So, in summary the lens combines solid build and very attractive specifications... "

    (after this, they give it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars, same score as the 28-70AFS, the one who many people consider built like a tank (!!!).​
    And they also say something I find very important, that makes me think they are good reviewers:
    "It's the combination of specs and features, not its optical performance, that will earn this lens its buyers nonetheless, especially since there is currently no alternative that offers a similarly attractive package".
     
  41. Jose, if we're looking at review comments.....this one from above..
    It's the combination of specs and features, not its optical performance, that will earn this lens its buyers
    ...is hardly a complimentary thing to say about a lens! Sure, why not use the bottom of a 100 year old wine bottle? Very high spec, wonderful colour.....optical quality .....'Limited'...:)
    or if you prefer an automotive analogy...
    12 litre Sports Coupe 600hp 4WD Full-Climate-Control MiniBar Quad Turbo 14xSurround Sound Speakers ...
    ....0 - 100 in 45 seconds, but who cares, it's a sweet ride! Real High Spec, Space Age Materials, Feels Great....Sadly, Doesn't Perform......Next!
    Maybe I'm unusual, but I specifically buy my lenses for the highest Optical Performance I can afford.
     
  42. Me too (usually), but there are times where the highest optical performance (in certain aspects), is not the feature we are looking for.
    As a sample, the 24-120/4 I mentioned above. It is considered, maybe weak, at the longest end and all along the corners, the construction quality is good but it`s certainly not the same design of the 24 or 28-70... it is also my opinion, but after two (or it was three?) years using it, I`d buy it again simply because it receives more use than my better lenses, like the 24-70 (which is a better overall performer, but obviously not as versatile).
    If the 58/1.4 were a cheaper lens (say, 2x the 50/1.4AFS), for sure I`d buy it, even for testing`s sake. But I don`t use to shoot highlight spots, nor night scenes, so the only attractive is the nice bokeh... and all and all, my shots are not that bokeh important if I have to pay that amount :)
    ---
    BTW, it comes to my mind the current Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM for Leica RF ($1200), which I consider "unusable" because the focus shift.
    I was interested on it years ago; at that time you have to order it either optimized for f1.5, or for f2.8 (and smaller apertures). The focus shift is so high, so if you focus with a "f1.4 optimized version" it won`t be sharp at f2.8, and viceversa, an "f2.8 optimized version" (the common one, I think) will let clearly out of focus any closer shot taken at f1.5.
    And the only remedy is to guess focus by correcting it on the focus ring, looking at the distance marks on the lens` barrel, or estimating the plane of focus... e.g. focusing on an ear instead on the eyes. As it`s a lens for RF cameras, there is no other way of doing it.
    There are people who still like and buy it, simply because the Sonnar rendition, which emulate the older vintage Sonnars but on a modern construction and performance.
     
  43. My $.02... What I want from a fast lens is reasonable sharpness at wide apertures, smooth bokeh, and as much of a limit on LoCA as possible. I find smeared edges, "rolled condom" out-of-focus regions and traffic lights appearing around the focal plane to be distracting. All of these issues are hard to correct in a fast lens (and somewhat easier in a slower but longer lens - hence my time with a 150mm f/2.8 macro and a 200mm f/2).

    The thing that made me pay attention to the Otus wasn't so much its sharpness (although that doesn't hurt) but the claim that it was apochromatic. Honestly, from the images I've seen shot at wide apertures, it's certainly not completely apochromatic, and I remain to be convinced by the bokeh - but I've yet to see a proper comparative test for these features. The same is probably true for the Zeiss 135 f/2. The Nikkor 58mm does appear to have much better bokeh than the 50mm AF-S, but the softness and LoCA remain an issue.

    On DX, I'm fond of the current 50mm Sigma 50mm - it's respectably sharp at wide apertures and has very nice bokeh, at least for the money. Unfortunately, I'm much less fond of what happens to the corners of an FX frame when used with this lens at wide apertures. In the absence of any f/1.4 Nikkor optic that meets my price/performance threshold (and I do accept lower quality from cheaper glass), I've stuck to the f/1.8 50mms, probably to be supplemented by an 85mm whenever I accept that I'm not using my Samyang much,

    As for the new Sigma? I'll see what it can do. I'd certainly prefer not to spend Otus money, but "half an Otus for less than perfect performance" doesn't help either. To my mind, with the 58mm, Nikon might have been better either aiming for the price bracket of the current 50mm Sigma (a bit above the 50mm AF-S) or doing a "money no object" prime like the Otus. Falling in between gives you a lot of money for some people, and not enough performance for others.

    But I've not used the 58mm, I've just read a lot of reviews and looked at some pictures.
     
  44. I'll openly admit up front to not giving a hoot whether any of the current >$1000 50mmish lenses are any good or not, but the assessment of lenses in this day and age should NOT come down to "opinion", bokeh or the "look" of a lens. Those three things are highly subjective, immeasurable and ultimately irrelevant, since they vary with the subject being photographed. We really ought to be able to measure unequivocally the performance of any lens and compare those parameters with any other lens. That's surely the crux of Mike's argument?
    I have to praise the methodology used by Lenstip. At least they attempt to objectify bokeh by showing the OOF image of a pin source, albeit a monochromatic one. Most other reviewers simply show a fixed scene with specular highlights, or worse still give an unillustrated opinion, or show some random pictures with OOF highlights of unspecified size and brightness and at an unspecified distance from the subject plane. Now that's garbage not worth considering.
    So I say hurrah for MTF, LOCA, and LPPMM measurements, as well as the rest of those scientific tests. And a big raspberry to those opinionated "reviewers" that can't be bothered to invest time and equipment in providing objective, verifiable and repeatable measurements. However, such measurements, I agree, should not be based on a sample of one lens. If reviewers can't obtain a minimum of 3 lenses to test, then they may as well not bother. The same goes for maker's figures that are often derived from purely theoretical data, and for selected reviewers that receive what may be a cherry-picked sample from their favoured maker or sponsor.
    The very fact that the Lenstip reviewer uses such crass language to describe the result of their tests shows to me that they aren't in the pay of the lens maker, and that they're not afraid to "tell it like it is". Based on the provided sample, the lens in question does indeed fall far short of objectively showing its worth, and surely that's what reviewing should be about? And if the concensus of truly independent reviews all agree, then surely we consumers should vote with our feet and wallets by boycotting those items that fail to meet expected standards?
     
  45. Got it on one RJ! That is indeed the crux.
    Sometimes, in my more cynical moments, I think about the 'Emperors New Clothes' NRT optics and cash.
    ........the more it costs, the better pics it can take.....Obviously!
     
  46. the 24-120/4 I mentioned above. It is considered, maybe weak, at the longest end and all along the corners, the construction quality is good but it`s certainly not the same design of the 24 or 28-70... it is also my opinion, but after two (or it was three?) years using it, I`d buy it again simply because it receives more use than my better lenses,
    interesting comment. i got blasted on another thread for having the gall and temerity to suggest the 24-120 was overpriced and underperforming, but i can definitely see where versatility and convenience might make it a go-to "everyday" lens, even though its not nearly as good as the 24-70. i'm not a huge fan of superzooms, and personally wouldnt spend $1200 on it--at $600-$800 i'd consider it a better value in terms of price/performance-- and while the 24-70 costs even more, it's easier to justify the price with that one because it delivers stellar results in a variety of conditions, including challenging event shooting and landscapes, with the size and weight being the only real dings--well, that and distortion @24mm. FWIW, i bought the sigma 35/1.4 as a more compact "walkaround" alternative to the 24-70 on FX, and i wouldn't trade that for the 24-120. the whole notion of buying an expensive camera and then using subpar lenses on it seems a little counter-intuitive to me, but YMMV.
    On DX, I'm fond of the current 50mm Sigma 50mm - it's respectably sharp at wide apertures and has very nice bokeh, at least for the money. Unfortunately, I'm much less fond of what happens to the corners of an FX frame when used with this lens at wide apertures.​
    the sigma 50 is optimized for shooting at wide apertures. it certainly does have nice bokeh, especially on FX where it can be quite dreamy. for what it costs, its trade-offs are acceptable, whereas with the 58/1.4, you'd either really have to love what it does specifically (which seems to be a bit subtle), or be made out of money -- in which case the Otus is probably more appealing. when i shoot with the sigma 50, i dont worry about whether other 50mm lenses have better corner sharpness, because it's largely irrelevant for the type of shooting i do.
     
  47. "...the assessment of lenses in this day and age should NOT come down to "opinion", bokeh or the "look" of a lens. Those three things are highly subjective, immeasurable and ultimately irrelevant, since they vary with the subject being photographed. We really ought to be able to measure unequivocally the performance of any lens and compare those parameters with any other lens. That's surely the crux of Mike's argument?"​
    That effectively disqualifies the practitioners of such a philosophy from any valid opinion about soft focus lenses (some antique soft focus lens prices make the 58/1.4 Nikkor price seem reasonable), specialty or niche lenses that excel within a tiny niche, pinhole or zone plate cameras, or for that matter any form of photography that cannot be measured like a commodity, including artistic motion blur regardless of the laboratory performance of the lens. It exemplifies Cartier-Bresson's quip, "Sharpness is a bourgeois concept".
    Colonel Kurtz might well have asked Captain Willard "Are you a photographer?
    And Willard, after reviewing the 58mm f/1.4 AFS Nikkor by such standards, would have complained "Not with this lens."
    Henri Cartier-Bresson, as Kurtz, would have said: "You're neither. You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect on a bill."
     
  48. very poetic, lex, but soliloquies dont register on MTF charts either. also, i believe willard's line was, "i'm an assassin."
     
  49. Hyperbolic, sure. But the point is that there is not and never has been any unequivocal measure for lenses because each photographer has his or her own priorities and preferences.
    The only significant shortcoming I see with the 58mm Nikkor is that it isn't an f/1.2. At that price it should be comparable to the Canon 50mm f/1.2, at least in nominal specs. Most of the candid photos I see taken with the Canon are wide open, at night in available light, not depending on superior resolution but rather on adequate apparent sharpness and, primarily, separation from busy backgrounds in urban surroundings. That type of separation from busy backgrounds, through shallow DOF, lends enough impression of apparent sharpness to satisfy many viewers. And it lends the ultimate edge in available dark photography to folks who already use full frame dSLRs and want just a bit more of an edge over the competition.
     
  50. "That effectively disqualifies the practitioners of such a philosophy from any valid opinion about soft focus lenses... "
    Exactly (after reading Rodeo`s post I woke up this morning with the very same idea... I way prefer Lex style, thanks... :)

    I understand Mike`s point, and I don`t want to second Nikon`s pricing policy (I think the price is absolutely insane, maybe it`s the only problem with this lens), but actually, sharpness it`s not everything (I know that the niche for "unsharp" lenses is quite small).

    My favorite portrait lens is a 180 for the Mamiya 6x7, which is soft with a nice combination of softness and out of focus rendering. This lenses, and the soft focus specialty ones, has been widely used in the past in portrait studios. Not so essential these days, I think.

    Maybe smaller formats are not "optimal" for softer of low resolution lenses; given the size of the format, we look for the maximum detail the lens could take... but people is more demanding nowadays, and looks like there is market for this product.

    We can read every day about users looking for bokeh and other rendering issues... (it`s funny that looks like medium format users are not as worried about it... but it`s also true that medium format is even a smaller niche today), so why not to offer something than many people is demanding?
    How many of you have had the desire of switching the OoF rendering of your lenses (I`m referring to over-under correction), the front to the back, and the back to the front? For sure you were not shooting at f1.4, maybe f2.8 or smaller.
    Of course, better if extremely sharp wide open, f1.2 (why not?), exotic glass in all flavors, full metal magnesium construction, and unsurpassed bokeh in a small package for an extremely low volume of sales. How much could it cost? How many of you will buy the Otus?
    And BTW, does any of you know a lens that is both, very sharp wide open and with really good bokeh? I don`t.
    (For those tempted, the 50/1.4 from Sigma (older version) which I have never used, looks to be *the only one* (well, center sharpness wide open does`t look to be stellar at the charts), but at the expense of out of center resolution, which is maybe the lowest I have ever been aware of).
     
  51. (Just to point out that I prefer Lex`s writing style and telling to my clumsy english... nothing wrong with Rodeo`s post, which I enjoy reading so much!)
     
  52. The only significant shortcoming I see with the 58mm Nikkor is that it isn't an f/1.2. At that price it should be comparable to the Canon 50mm f/1.2, at least in nominal specs. Most of the candid photos I see taken with the Canon are wide open, at night in available light, not depending on superior resolution but rather on adequate apparent sharpness and, primarily, separation from busy backgrounds in urban surroundings. That type of separation from busy backgrounds, through shallow DOF, lends enough impression of apparent sharpness to satisfy many viewers.​
    at that price it should have been a f/0.95. Nikon just isn't setting the bar high enough. but point taken about sharpness being subjective.
    does any of you know a lens that is both, very sharp wide open and with really good bokeh? I don`t. (For those tempted, the 50/1.4 from Sigma (older version) which I have never used, looks to be *the only one* (well, center sharpness wide open does`t look to be stellar at the charts), but at the expense of out of center resolution​
    that's actually a pretty accurate description of the sigma 50, except i would say it's not super duper sharp at 1.4, but is tack sharp by f/2. this gives a real-world advantage over the nikon 24-70 as the sigma at f/2 is sharper than the nikon at 2.8 and has much nicer bokeh (while also allowing a faster shutter and/or lower ISO). of course, it depends on what you're shooting and how much absolute sharpness is prioritized. but for concert shots for publication in this day and age, i would say it matters more than not. maybe if you're going for uber-artsy tonal compositions for gallery prints with no optical flaws and sharpness isn't top criteria, the new nikon is your lens, but it's not like the sigma's OOF rendering and relative sharpness have diminished since it was dubbed "king of bokeh" about 4 years ago. i havent found either flare or CA to be a problem, either, and since the sigma is certainly capable of separation from busy backgrounds in urban surroundings, i dont really see a need to spend more on the nikon, mojo or not. now if the new Art 50 blows the current sigma 50/1.4 away, i may have to re-evaluate.
     
  53. Lex, if the 58mm f/1.4 Nikkor was being sold as a soft-focus lens then I'd entirely agree with you. It's not, and therefore your argument completely falls down. Besides, we have Photoshop (or Vaseline) for soft focus effects nowadays. No real need to have artsy optical faults embodied permanently and irrevocably in a lens.
    The point is that Nikon's new and expensive offering in no way appears to compare with the likes of Zeissina's Otus; a lens that can withstand the scrutiny of objective and scientific testing and pass with flying colours. Having started with a lens that performs impeccably, it's then up to the photographer to add as many "peccs" as they think suitable by way of wobbling the camera or whatever.
    Another consideration is that it costs almost nothing to use pinholes or primitive optics if that's what's desired. So why would anyone pay a small fortune for a lens that's simply incapable of giving high quality reproduction when it is needed? And strangely, I don't recollect HC-B using a box brownie at any stage of his career. Lartigue on the other hand .....
     
  54. It is clearly marketed for portraits, and night photography. The portrait application implies a lens which doesn't render skin blemishes harshly. It is totally wrong to think that it is a good thing to have a high MTF lens for portraits, it is in my experience much better to start with a lens that makes the people look good with minimal post-processing. Post-processing wiht an automatic skin smoothing algorithm usually leads to atrocious vax model mannequin look which I detest, and doing the retouching by hand takes a lot of time, time I don't have when there are hundreds of images per event to post-process,. When shooting events such as weddings, other events involving dim interiors etc. where lots of images can be made in less than flattering, high contrast lighting conditions, it is good that the lens has a bit subdued contrast of details wide open so that the shadows are not sent into the darkness where they are littered with noise (from the lack of photons). The combination of a super sharp, high contrast lens and high contrast indoor available light is a recipe for really ugly images of people, no small amount of post processing can rescue them since the shadow parts of the faces are so noisy (due to the combination of lens characteristics and the lighting contrast). This is one of the reasons why I never use my Zeiss lenses for people photography in available light. It's just a disaster combination in my opinion, at least for the way I shoot these events. The 58/1.4 is a delight, by contrast.
    As for whether the 58/1.4 could be like the 200/2 II, where the wide open aperture is already extremely high resolution, yet the bokeh is very nice, I don't think it could be easily done in this focal length. And there are other pressures on Nikon, since they have so many users. In many cases people complain about the increase in lens size and weight that has come from the requirement that as many lenses as possible have SWM, VR, fast apertures, and are extremely high resolution to the corners (on 36MP cameras). In this case Zeiss made a lens that is manual focus only, three times as heavy as the Nikkor, and about twice as expensive. If Nikon had made a 1kg normal lens, these forums would be screaming murder. Nikon made a lens that is somewhat better than previous 50mm autofocus lenses for the applications of portraits and night photography, and only slightly increased the weight in the process, which is nice as when I carry a bag load of fast lenses for an event, the extra weight does add up. If Nikon tripled the weight of all their f/1.4 primes, I'm sure they'd be higher resolution, but the sales numbers would probably be reduced by a factor of 100.
    As for the increase in price, it's typical that you might get 10% more quality for triple the price, when it goes to high end, special purpose gear where the buyer base is small to begin with. One nikongear, there was a post by someone who rented the 55mm Otus and compared it to the 50/2 Makro Planar which costs one third of the Otus' price. His conclusion was that the Otus didn't outperform what he was then using by a significant margin, so he wasn't going to buy it. It seems to be similar story as with the Nikon 58mm; a lot of people are going to be satisfied with the general purpose 50mm's rather than buy the 58mm if they can't see the point of it.
    For me the 58mm AF-S is superb and I immediately fell in love with it, which I can't really say of any other lens apart from the 105 DC many years ago. As has been said many times over, it's not a lens to be used for the purpose of making a reproduction of something, rather it creates an interpretation of its own, which usually is more beautiful than the subject itself, at least as far as I'm concerned. It is very sharp at f/1.4 in practical event photography applications except at close focus where it seems to be a bit soft (this doesn't bother me since I wouldn't make a head and shoulders with such a short focal length lens). I've not noticed any downsides from using it compared to the 50/1.4 AF-S which in turn was a significant improvement over the 50/1.4 AF D and the 50/1.4 ZF; the upsides are delightful bokeh, excellent colour, beautiful rendering of backlit subjects, nice manual focus ring, much less CA and color fringing than 50/1.4 AF-S, what else could I ask for? Not a lens that is manual focus only and weights 1kg. By the way while I've used many of the Zeiss lenses for the Nikon mount, the 55mm is one that I'm not interested in the least. If I did astro- or night photography of city lights, I might consider it, but given that what I have does those well enough allready, and the 58mm gives the typical Nikon fast lens rendition at wide apertures, which is gentle on the subject, it really is a good match to my needs. Would I like it to be 200/2 II sharp? Maybe it would be nice, but for my practical applications it doesn't make a difference. It's already plenty sharp.
    For the purposes of reproducing 2D documents of black text on white paper, I suggest a lens such as the 50mm Makro Planar or 60mm AF-S Micro Nikkor, which are intended and suitable for such purposes.
     
  55. I'm with Ilkka that the 200mm f/2 seems to manage very good bokeh while still having very good resolution. It's possible. Would it be possible at f/1.4? That's probably harder, and an f/2 50mm lens is much less effective at losing the background than a 200mm f/2 is.

    So I'm spoiled. I didn't really want a 200mm lens - my 200mm was a substitute for my under-performing 135 f/2 DC. I suspect even an over-engineered 50mm-ish lens isn't going to hit the 3kg of the 200mm. Do I mind it costing £3000, like the 200mm did? Well, it would be nice if it didn't, but if that's what's needed to get the performance, I'll consider it.

    I don't doubt that the 58mm is a good lens. I do think it falls into the middle ground between the (at least in many areas) better-performing Zeiss and the much cheaper 50mm, and I'm not sure that it's all that compelling for that reason, but to each his own. For what it's worth, I'm not a fan of soft lenses for portraiture - it's relatively easy to emulate residual spherical aberration in post-processing to give skin a "glow", whereas trying to recover sharpness is harder. I admit this doesn't mean that every portrait editing package on the planet manages to do this right - I have the luxury of not being a professional photographer, so it doesn't kill me to spend extra time on an image.

    I'm not saving up for the Nikkor. However, I'm not setting aside money for the Zeiss yet either, until I see what Sigma manage to do with the new 50mm. I'd very much like autofocus and slightly more reasonable cost. If it falls way short of the Zeiss, I'll go back to saving up. I'd like someone to revamp the 135mm too (Zeiss have shown what it can do, but manual focus is a pain), and if I'm going to spend a fortune on a long lens, there's still a 400 f/2.8 with my name on it somewhere...
     
  56. I still like to have the Noct 58/1.2 AI-S. Unfortunately, I'm not a millionaire.
    The same goes for the 13/5.6 AI-S rectilinear.
     
  57. My camera store here in Oslo has this listed as producing extremely crisp and detailed images at f1.4.

    My impression after buying it is that it simply isn't an f1.4 lens in reality as it is unusably muddy at that aperture. I haven't
    been able to produce any image even under test conditions that give any evidence that the lens can Render anything
    clear wide open. Nothing like for instance that test image with half an eyebrow in focus. It's not even pleasingly soft, just
    muddy and riddled with chromatic aberations.

    At f2 you get very soft details but absurdly the autofocus can't seem to nail it more than once in a while.

    Tried tuning AF but there really isn't enough detail to work from.

    At f2.8 you have a usable lens with nice soft falloff. I would have labled it as a 58mm/2.0 and bundled it with a coin since
    it is a coin toss if something will be in focus or not at f2. But it can never be used wide open, unlike for instance the
    85mm/1.4G which is supreme wide open.

    I wanted a soft 50+ lens but I think the marketing claims of this was down right false. If I had lived in the States I suppose
    I could have returned it. Here, if you buy it over the counter it is yours forever. So be it. I'm sure I will get some pleasing
    results with it. But not wide or nearly wide open.
     

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