While wandering the stalls of CP+ (a.k.a the Japan Camera Show), photographer Matt Granger was fortunate enough to grab a few moments to play with Nikon’s beast of a lens proposed for release later this year: the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct. The physics are incredible, but early signs suggest that it might not be very practical.
Nikon is in the process of developing this super fast lens, boasting the largest maximum aperture of any NIKKOR to date. Unfortunately for those keen to use it, it lacks autofocus, and trying to keep an image sharp while shooting wide open might prove to be incredibly tricky. If you can afford it, do not expect to shoot candidly with this lens unless you somehow manage to integrate your brain and fingers bionically with the huge focusing ring.
Granger’s brief video shows that the immensely shallow depth of field on this beast is not going to be easy to use, which raises the question: what is this lens for if it will be tied to a tripod and the slightest movement of a model makes an image soft? This is a lens that, according to Nikon, will “further extend photographers’ creative expressions,” perhaps forgetting that your model’s expressions will too easily be turned into a blurry mess, albeit with amazing bokeh.
Of course, I'm poking fun and I don’t want to be too critical of Nikon. At a rumored cost of $6,000, this is definitely not going to have broad appeal and nor is that Nikon’s intention. This is a lens to create publicity and push the bounds of what is possible, even if it means making a few compromises along the way. That said, if you're planning to pick one up when it's released later this year, let us know in the comments below.