Weekly Nikon news flash #338

Pocketwizard Plus IV transceiver for Nikon cameras
Pocketwizard Plus IV transceiver
→ Pocketwizard announced a new Plus IV transceiver for Nikon cameras.

Lensbaby-Composer-Pro-II-with-Edge-50-Optic-for-Nikon
→ New Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic for Nikon F mount announced.

Nikon-deals
→ Some new additions to the deals I posted last week:

Nikkor-Future-Vision-Lens-Design-Concepts
→ New article on nikkor.com about the design of the 58mm f/1.4 lens: "Nikkor Future Vision Lens Design Concepts".

Seacam underwater housings for Nikon D750
Seacam released underwater housings for Nikon D750.

Updated-list-of-authorized-US-dealers
Updated list of authorized US dealers.

Nikon partners with social customer engagement specialist CX Company
Nikon partners with social customer engagement specialist CX Company to build brand engagement and inspires photographers via Facebook and Twitter, whatever that means.

→ Dany Eid and the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens.

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    • nwcs

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  • Carleton Foxx

    So now that we’ve had time to use it, how good IS the 58mm 1.4? Is it worth the extra 1200 or so dollars over the 50mm 1.4?

    • T.I.M

      I don’t think so, but the issue with the 50mm f/1.4 is the autofocus, very slow (much slower than the 50mm f/1.8G)
      So I bought the AF 50mm f/1.4 D version.
      I still hopping Nikon release one day a 58mm f/1.2 as good as the Noct-Nikkor

      • Carleton Foxx

        Interesting. I love my 50mm 1.4G but I think that I lucked into a really good copy. At f/4 it renders almost limitless detail—something it didn’t do until I sent it in for repair for another problem. Still, after reading the great interview with the Nikon designers, I am dying to try it out.

      • nwcs

        Probably impossible to get a 58 1.2 with autofocus and premium quality within the F mount specifications.

      • Patrick O’Connor

        This is going to sound snarky but it isn’t: what do you expect an f/1.2 version to do that the f/1.4 version can’t? Also, from my understanding, a faster aperture results in slower autofocus so, if that’s the case, wouldn’t an f/1.2 version make the 58 slower also?

        • Aldo

          Only pros shoot at 1.4… so 1.2 is super saiyan pro.

          • Patrick O’Connor

            The only reason I get that is my 30 y.o. sons used to watch DragonBall Z. I only watched bits and pieces with them, but I thought I saw an episode where Goku was shooting with a 50mm f/1.8 on an FE2!?

        • T.I.M

          Larger aperture does not make the autofocus slower.
          the AF-S 50mm f/1.4 is slow because Nikon put a slow motor inside.
          All other Nikon AF-S primes f/1.4 that I own have very fast autofocus.

          • Patrick O’Connor

            Okay. But what about my first question?

            • T.I.M

              f/1.2 will give you 50% more light than the same lens at f/1.4
              With that extra light you can get faster shutter speed or lower (better) ISO.
              Also you have less depth of field, useful to isolate the subject from the background.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              I can’t imagine needing the extra light and/or thinner dof, frequently enough to justify the cost of such a lens. I wouldn’t even have an f/1.4 except for astrophotography and, as infrequently as I do that sort of thing, the Rokinon is quite expensive enough! 🙂

            • nwcs

              From what I’ve seen on his other posts he wants his backgrounds unrecognizable so the faster the better for him. I’d say most people probably don’t want or need 1.2.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              I just watched a video in which Scott Kelby was talking about a photo, taken by Joe McNally, and commenting how much he liked the blurred background and mentioned it was taken at f/4.
              Everybody has, or should have, their own style and method for achieving it.

            • fjfjjj

              Not on digital sensors, it won’t. “Designing an F1.6 or F1.8 lens is not so difficult; however, in the case of a digital camera, even if an aperture larger than F2 is used, the light receiving elements on the sensor cannot effectively use the brighter portion of the incoming light because of low incident light gathering efficiency.” (Fujifilm)

            • T.I.M

              You miss understood what Fujifilm said, light-ISO-speed is basic of photography, works the same way for a view camera or a point & shoot digital.

            • fjfjjj

              Okay, tell me something I don’t know about how the incident light gathering efficiency of digital image sensors and its effect on exposure when using large apertures. Beause I understood what Fujifilm said, just fine, thanks.

            • T.I.M

              back in the film days there was a reciprocity law that make us use longer than needed exposure time for shutter speed over 2s
              When you use a f/1.4 lens (or faster) the extra light will be converted on faster shutter speed or lower ISO sensitivity.
              The point is to give to the sensor (or film) the amount of light needed for the right exposure.

            • fjfjjj

              It’s called “reciprosity failure” not “reciprosity law”, you young whipper-snapper.

            • T.I.M

              Goggle is great !

            • fjfjjj

              25 years at Kodak was better. Go shit somewhere else.

            • T.I.M

              you need to moderate your comments, or take your pills…

      • Michiel953

        Get the 50/1.2 AiS, still available new. It’s not really up to 36MP though.

        • SF_Expat

          I bought one for use on my D800 2 years ago. I had not planned on it but the store had 3 which had been ordered a year before but the buyers went elsewhere. It was so beautifully made I got it just for the feel. But 1.2 just is not that good until stopping to 1.8 or 2.0 when it starts looking good. A Sigma 50 1.4 Art runs circles around it but it sure is a marvel of workmanship.. The best for out of focus rendering that I have used is a toss up between the 58 1.4G and 200 2.0. There might be others that are better but I never used any lenses that were better for the creaminess of out of focus area. I have a 85 1.4G which is good but not as good as those two.

      • ss

        I bought the 58mm 1.4g refurbished from B&H for $1500. I’ve never regretted it. The extra 8mm makes a difference. The Bokeh is second to none. Wide open it’s not tack sharp, but it’s still sharp. Stopped down it’s as good as anything, and has a feel unlike any other lens i’ve used.

        • T.I.M

          I’m happy for you, any sample ?
          I already have 13 lenses, including 35,50,85mm f/1.4
          I now have to use a commercial van to carry all my junk, can’t have it all…

    • nwcs

      Depends on who you ask and what you’re looking for. Similar can be said of the 85 1.4 vs 1.8. If it suits your style then the 58 could be magical. But if you want really super sharp pictures that perhaps are more sterile then maybe another lens is what you want.

      • Carleton Foxx

        Not me, I prefer the slightly organic look of an older manual focus Nikkor, but I’m also always on the lookout for what’s new. too, so if they’ve created a lens that gives me the distinctive NIKON look but with awesome coatings and less %#^*£¥¥ purple fringing, I’ve got my checkbook ready.

        • Michiel953

          Just try it, and let your eyes convince you. I’ve had the 58 since it came out almost two years ago (used it on the D800, 800E, now 810, and wouldn’t let it go for any sum. I do long for a small “normal” 50 though every now and then. 😉

    • Espen4u

      My opinion: Better build quality, although feels like a plastic toy (ie not like the other 1.4s). Better AF drive, but still quite slow (because of the aperture). A tad better optics in general, but kind of heavy on the field curvature (see lens rentals blog). Better colors. Gorgeous bokeh for portraits and a great night time performer, way better than the 50 at that. Much bigger than the 50 for no apperent reason, sadly.

      Overpriced? Oh yes, still is. Or is the 50 underpriced?

      • Michiel953

        It’s a great lens. For specific purposes, specific rendering. For everyday work, get the 50/1.8G, even cheaper than the 1.4 (which, I had it for a while, gives a very flat, boring rendering).

        • Espen4u

          I agree. A bit long for general purpose, but neverless I use it for that too. And I sold my 50 shortly after I got mine.

    • Michiel953

      If you can’t see (“see”) the difference in actual images, you certainly shouldn’t spend the extra dollar. So rent one and find out.

    • sperdynamite

      It’s absolutely my favorite Nikon lens. I shoot weddings and it pretty much doesn’t come off my D750. It renders so beautifully and keeps facial distortion low. Basically it offers the practicality of a ‘normal’ and the beautiful rendering of an 85mm, or something in between the two. There are sharper lenses at 1.4 but I can still count individual eye lashes so idk how much more sharpness one needs from this. My client’s don’t need it haha. But yes at f2 and on down it’s super sharp, however the differences (minus the extra 8mm) go away vs the 50/1.4 somewhat. Though I do think it might be sharper stopped down generally with better contrast, that’s a guess though. Also for details it has this way of perfectly framing a subject that really does make them pop out from the page. I was a die hard medium format film guy and I hate to say it but this lens renders really similarly to medium format. With the detail of digital and this lens’s ability to isolate and render a subject, it’s hard to justify the Pentax 67II I would reach for, for certain portraits. The downside I suppose is cost, really expensive. But when you know you need it, it’s nbd. Like I said it doesn’t come off my D750, I don’t own a ton of lenses. It also requires calibration with your focus system to get the best results. I had to get Lens Align, but now it’s a lot better wide open. I also had to upgrade from the Df to the D750 because the 39pt focus system wasn’t cutting it. That was a bummer for me because I really wanted to love the DF. Too many compromises though. Anyway if you’re looking for a lens like the 58/1.4, go for it. If you know you need it, you will love it. If you’re a pixel peeping “super-max IQ blah blah” seeker, get the Sigmalux.

  • nwcs

    Remember back when Nikon was announcing cool stuff? Fun times.

    • sleipnir

      Now it’s all sony with the cool stuff 🙂

      • nwcs

        I dunno, to each their own but most of their stuff isn’t all that cool to me. My “dream” camera would be a performant Nikon with some kind of hybrid viewfinder that’s designed to work seamlessly and simply with a smartphone or computer with fast throughput.

    • Bo Dez

      I’m guessing they are holding off and working on something big.

      • nwcs

        I’m hoping that’s true. But we’ve been expecting something notable for several years.

  • Michiel953

    Very interesting interview on the 58 design process. Good to see that sort of expertise, creativity and craftmanship still has a place in the industry.

  • TheInfinityPoint

    This statement caught my eye:

    “As for the near future, we may be able to construct a system with which
    trial production proceeds through simulations only, enabling a faster
    initiation of actual production.”

    I wonder if that has anything to do with their recent QA woes.

  • Bo Dez

    That pocket wizard looks horrendous. Huge and stupid looking. My tiny Yongnuo wireless triggers have worked flawlessly in the years I have owned them, are tiny and have a hotshot for on camera flash.

  • Mike

    Very interesting interview about the Nikkor 58mm f/1.4 and a very much appreciated message.

    It is 100% true that all major benchmarks (DxO in particular) test lens sharpness on a flat test chart. The chances of shooting flat subjects in real life are slim.

    So you can buy a lens that is optimized for DxO (Sigma comes to mind), or you can buy a lens that is optimized for taking good looking pictures.

    • Nikos Skartsilas

      “So you can buy a lens that is optimized for DxO (Sigma comes to mind), or you can buy a lens that is optimized for taking good looking pictures”
      A good example of the above are the two DC Nikkors.

    • ss

      I have the 58mm 1.4g, and the 35mm 1.4 Sigma. I love them both. They are definitely different, and the sigma seems more “exact” but the 58mm has more character

  • bgbs

    Used to own PocketWizards, switched back to Nikon’s good-old infrared system. Putting another layer between what Nikon CLS does already, is adding another layer of complexity. For 90% of all the shooting situations, Nikon SU800 with remote infrared signal, works just fine…and much easier to setup and start shooting.

    • Patrick O’Connor

      I have, and use, both. Each for specific situations. All things being equal, I agree with you.

  • MonkeySpanner

    Well, I guess this was it, last real opportunity for Nikon or anyone else to come out with any new equipment before the holiday buying season starts. Kinda unimpressive year for new Nikon products. Just my 2cents.

    • TheInfinityPoint

      Really seriously? Nikon released 6 (I think) lenses this year and none of them are stock lenses. In no particular order, 24-70 f/2.8E, 200-500 f/5.6E, 16-80 f/2.8-4 DX, 24 f1/.8, 300 f/4E PF… You can’t say that’s an “unimpressive year for Nikon products.” It’s not like they’re shittin’ gold bricks lol.

      • MonkeySpanner

        yes, sorry, I should have been more specific. They did not produce any products that mortals can afford. Even there DX lens was over $1k! I guess they are positioning themselves as a pro gear company and leaving the consumer level gear to other companies.

        • TheInfinityPoint

          Ah understandable. I guess it just so happens those products that were released this year were targeted more at pros. Don’t forget 1-2 years ago Nikon was pretty much only releasing DX products and everyone complained Nikon didn’t care about the pros ;). Point is it goes back and forth. A lot of what is released is also dependent on the progress of the design teams themselves too.

  • decisivemoment

    Quirks of the Nikon dealer network. Not counting Best Buy’s national network, number of NPD dealers in Des Moines, Iowa — 2. NPD dealers in Chicago — zero. Even if you count all the Chicago suburbs you still only get to two, one of whom (Procam) is in this list only for their primary store in Michigan.

  • Jeffnky

    I received a call from my dealer last Thursday asking if I wanted the new 200-500 f 5.6 that just showed up. I bought it and I am very happy.

  • fjfjjj

    “Actually you would be surprised by what nice of photos even the older NIKKOR lenses can take. It’s almost like our forerunners who designed these lenses knew that eventually cameras like the D810 would appear so they made them adaptable”

    And there goes the Nikon’s ridiculous PR myth about only certain lenses being up to the task on the D8xx.

    • Markus

      Not to forget the other myth, that all new lenses are always much better than the old ones!

      I tried the old 20-35 (stopped down to f8-11) on my D800e. There is not so much diffenerence compared to the 24-70 (without VR)
      Of course Nikon wants to sell ist stuff. And (as far as I see here and in other Groups) there are quite many peaple out there that seem to buy new gear every day

    • MB

      Well I am really surprised by how unexciting “Nikkor Future Vision Lens Design Concept” 58 f/1.4 lens that Nikon “has been thinking of for 30 years” actually is … and especially in comparison with some 30 years old Nikkor lens …

      • fjfjjj

        Exactly. It just has a lot of spherical aberration, and you can get that cheaply from a beautiful old lens, unless you really need AF. The price is absurd.

  • T.I.M

    Once upon a time, it took 3 weeks to have a roll of kodachrome process…

    • nwcs

      It also took over a week to cross the Atlantic for most people. So what’s your point?

      • T.I.M

        The point is that we create needs, more we have, more we need.
        After we reach the speed of light, we probably want to go faster !

        • KnightPhoto

          We DEFINITELY need to go faster than the speed of light 😉

        • nwcs

          Of course. Tachyons can do that so why can’t we? 🙂 But just because things were slower in the past doesn’t inherently make them better or more desirable.

  • MonkeySpanner

    “Nikon partners with social customer engagement specialist CX Company to build brand engagement and inspires photographers via Facebook and Twitter, whatever that means.”
    To bad they can’t partner with a android developer and figure out a better wireless transfer app.

  • MonkeySpanner

    pocket wizard is dead meat if they can’t compete with much cheaper alternatives.

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