Nikon Unveils the Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G Lens

Nikon Unveils the Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G Lens

Nikon has unveiled the Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G lens priced at $1696, apt timing after Zeiss released their $4000 55mm last week. The lens uses two aspherical elements, a Nano Crystal Coating, and Nikon's Super Integrated Coating in an attempt to remove all traces of flaring or light falloff. Nikon claims this will allow it to be used in low-light situations by maintaining edge-to-edge sharpness and even lighting at all apertures.

The 58mm lens features an aperture range from f/1.4 to f/16 and a rounded 9-blade diaphragm for producing that beloved bokeh. It also features a Silent Wave Motor for quick, quiet autofocusing and fast switching between auto and manual focus. The lens has a 1.9 foot minimum focusing distance and a 72mm filter thread.

nikon nikkor 58mm f 1.4 g on camera
 
It is built with Nikon's F mount for compatibility across Nikon's entire range of FX and DX-format DSLR cameras. Also, when used with DX-format cameras it provides a 35mm equivalent focal length of 87mm, ideal for portraits.
 


Nikon nikkor 58mm f 1.4g

 
Summary of features:
  • Fast f/1.4 maximum aperture allows for shallow depth of field and excellent low-light performance
  • The 58mm focal length offers a blend between a standard lens and a medium telephoto, offering a natural perspective with a slight exaggeration of depth of field
  • Optical design includes 9 elements in 6 groups
  • Two aspherical lens elements assist in the correction of distortion and coma flaring
  • The Silent Wave Motor permits fast switching between autofocus to manual operation with Nikon's M/A mode
  • Nano Crystal Coating helps to eliminate internal lens element reflections
  • Super Integrated Coating delivers accurate colors to your camera by minimizing flaring and ghosting

 

So those of you who use Nikon and were drooling at the Otus, this might just be the substitution (and probably the lens that better fits your needs) you were hoping for. The 58mm f/1.4G will be available in late October, so you won't have to wait long.

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48 Comments

The quality of the glass is much better, has Nano Crystal Coating which the 50 1.4G does not and they're saying that the lens has complete edge to edge sharpness! I know my 50 1.4G does not have that!
The 50 1.4G is nice but I think it would be hard to argue that it is a completely "professional grade standard" lens optically, while this 58 will be top quality.
I probably won't be getting it because I have an 85 1.4G and the 50 1.4G already but I can see why some people would really enjoy this lens.

Nikkor's 50 1.4 does not have a bokeh anywhere near this creamy. Pre-ordered mine this morning from B&H.

http://www.michaelkormosphotography.com

read Stephen Cameron response above

Very much in agreement with you. Nikon has so many great choices.

Jaron Schneider's picture

It was pretty common back in the film days.

Funny - Nikon users tend to think the opposite - Canon have more inc 1.2 lenses.

the mount is too small or something like that.

I just looked at some of your work, and holy wow I can only imagine how well you're going to use that lens! Is there a chance you're going to post pictures using it anytime soon? I'd love to see them!

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Well, the canon 50mm 1.8 is a piece plastic, I'd rather call it a toy than a lens… It's unusable for weddings (makes too much noise) or anything that is not still life or posed portraits (AF too slow).

The 1.4 version is pretty good if the AF motor doesn't give up on you. Mine worked fine for about 3 weeks before starting having front/back focus issues depending on the distance of the subject…

Then you have the 1.2 version. Awesome bokeh, great color and contrast rendering, weather sealed, solid AF motor. Everything the 1.8 and 1.4 miss. However the 1.2 isn't that sharp… In fact the 1.4 is sharper! Wondering how that's possible when the 1.2 is 1'000$ more expensive!
Most will say that the 1.2 is more of an artistic lens rather than a tack sharp lens.
I'm thinking about getting it to replace my 1.4, but still… I'm not convinced. Would I rather have a lens that focuses properly but is slightly soft (i.e. the 1.2) or a lens that is sharp but might have to be serviced quite often (.e. the 1.4)? :/ Tough choice… Some might say the Sigma is the answer… well if it didn't have AF issues quite similar to what the Canon 1.4 "offers", yes, it'd be a great solution!

Just FYI I have been seeing rumours about Sigma releasing a new 50mm F1.4 in the art line in the next year or so. I imagine it will have much better quality control than their current one. I'd suggest you wait on that. :)

I agree with @bryceguse:disqus your work is phenomenal. I think you're going to kick ass with this lens.

Quentin Décaillet , all of these canon 50mm lenses have different
characters and that´s what i love about them . I Have 50mm 1,2 & the toy 1,8 but me dream lens is the Canon 50mm f/1,0 which has a unique
character ..

http://journal.bryansoderlind.com/uncategorized/f1.html

all the best

Gunnar Gestur

I agree that Michael's work is phenomenal. I would love to be producing that kind of work, but if it was the lens that was making a difference, he'd already have it, no? I actually doubt that you will see a difference in image quality. I say this not to pick an internet fight or stir up conversation, but to point out that good photographers produce good work, bad photographers with good gear produce bad work. Michael's work actually confirms my hunch that this lens is superfluous, I'll keep my $1700.

So was film ;)

Was it? I can only think of the Noct and a Pentax version...I see the new 58mm as a DX portrait lens, on FX it's neither one thing or another. I like Sigma's 45mm-ish "50mm" on FX, as the slight extra width increases indoor possibilities, over 50mm is too tight for a lot of indoor shots in small rooms. I'm glad Nikkor are still producing slightly quirky niche lenses with character and bokeh to spare!

Sorry, this reply was meant for Jaron Schneider's comment.

No one said that the lens made him or his work great. A great artist can produce beautiful art with mediocre tools. That being said, give an artist a great tool, that does in fact have high quality components and the production value is definitely changed. The fact that Micheal is excited about getting the lens should tell you something as well. I don't think that it is superfluous. I think that to each his own. There are great artists that choose to use meager tools and there are the exact opposite.

Also.... I don't want to come off aggressively. If that was the case, please accept my apology. I was typing kind of quickly and I know that in text, things can be miscommunicated.

That being said, there truly is a difference between the <$600 lens and the $1700 lens. That has been my experience with Nikon. I don't necessarily believe that is true with all things, but this is my personal experience with Canon and Nikon

I agree, @mkphoto13:disqus work is great. In the right hands and the right amount of reimbursement with each photo session, this lens works well.

Spy Black's picture

Depends on the Nikon user...

Spy Black's picture

Depends on what you're shooting.

Spy Black's picture

Minolta had a 58mm f/1.4 AND a 58mm f/1.2.

Spy Black's picture

It's essentially a refined version of their f/1.2 Noct Nikkor, slower but optically better. Here are some excepts from an interview with Nikon's Haruo Sato:

What were the basic design concepts behind the development of the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G?

Sato: "There were two important elements. The first was to develop the basic design concept of the Noct Nikkor, achieving superior reproduction of point light sources as point images without distortion or fringes while retaining higher resolution than that of the Noct Nikkor.
To be exact, sharpness, contrast and resolution have been greatly enhanced even for shooting distant scenes. Especially, the lens' sharpness is overwhelmingly superior to that of the Noct Nikkor. Besides this, because sagittal coma flare is effectively reduced, the degree of point-light-source reproduction in the form of points has been further evolved to extend the range to the outer areas of the frame. Also, subjects located even at the peripheries can be depicted without edge distortion. Branches of a tree or parts of a car, for example, can be reproduced in a way that Noct Nikkor could not do as well. All of these factors make your shooting more comfortable. And unlike Noct Nikkor, you can attain these without stopping down the aperture to f/2.8, f/4 or f/5.6 but at the maximum f/1.4.

Why was the maximum aperture of f/1.4 selected?

The main reason is to retain brightness with minimized peripheral light falloff. While featuring a 58 mm focal length as a homage to the Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 lens, we selected the f/1.4 maximum aperture for this reason.
Generally, large-aperture lenses are likely to suffer from peripheral light falloff. However, the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G retains brightness with minimized light falloff even with the focus distance set to infinity at the maximum aperture.

Spy Black's picture

...with autofocus, yes...

Hey, fancy seeing you here - I recognised the name. I was in NYC not long ago and wanted to drop in and say hi, but unfortunately ran out of time. You're one of few togs in that part of the woods that's producing great stuff - hats off to you.

Oh wow, I'm not the only one in the fanboy club. Tea and scones, everyone?

Jayson Carey's picture

The Helios 44-2 is a 58mm lens as well.

I'd rather see a Nikon 85mm f/1.2 AF-S...

ive heard that a bunch of times, but how are people able to use the nikkor 50mm 1.2 ai-s ?

oh ok, doesnt make sense to me but ok

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