First Nikon AF-S 58mm f/1.4G lens sample images

David Charlesworth ( sent me few sample images taken with the just released Nikon 58mm f/1.4G lens ($1,696.95) and several comparisons with the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens ($216.95). You can find all full resolution photos in this Flickr set. I wanted to get the images out ASAP and did not have time to group and label them properly - you will have to look at the EXIF data for more information. I will have more detailed testing and comparisons with the Zeiss OTUS 55mm f/1.4 APO Distagon T* ZF.2 lens once I receive them in the next two-three weeks.

Here are few words from David:

"First impressions: its lighter than I imagined, but balances like a dream on the D800. Holding just the lens, its very "mount" heavy. A lot of empty plastic out the front. It almost wants to tilt out of your hand when you're holding it. Focus ring is perfectly located and smooth as silk. Lens is made in Japan, the hood in China. Autofocus speed is acceptable, won't win any competitions. Shot a number of single focus and continuous focus samples. Seemed to lock quickly in low light and keep up nicely with continuous AF. The first sample files are shot handheld, then toward the end I did more comparison shots from a tripod, mirror-up, etc. It was dark when I started, so the shots are more limited than I wanted, but should give some people something to start with."

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  • TC

    Yawn. Sorry, but just don’t see it. No sharper than I expect any 50mm to be. Isn’t knocking any socks off. Certainly not worth the thousands of dollars Nikon is trying to squeeze out of consumers. I’ll stick to my 50mm 1.4 Zeiss and Summilux lenses thanks.

  • Bruno Delzant

    I have asked Nikon Belgium this lens in test a week ago. My first test was quite dissapointing due to the fact that on my D800 there is a front focus problem when using the standard AF. It’s more sharp when using Liveview AF, but nothing to say woaw.
    As far as I know, Nikon has not pretend that this lens is razor sharp and it’s not the case.
    I compared it to my 50 1.4D (so quite old one) and at 1.4, my 50mm is more sharp.
    Now what Nikon has said me is the quality of the bookeh, the distorsion control, vigneting and colors franging. As far as I have seen (more test this week-end), it’s good.
    But will I invest so much money compared to what I get with my old 50 ?
    Definitevely not.

  • Broseph

    I don’t see any difference between those images and what I get with my 50 1.4D. I’m sure there is a difference, subtle as it may be, but “bokeh” isn’t worth $1200-1400 more to me. This is no NOCT. That being said, the 85mm 1.4G is a supurb lens too, costs the same, but has what many consider the “best” bokeh because it benefits from the longer focal length. I got the 1.8G instead and it’s equally supurb, wide open, and $1200 cheaper without the gold ring, that silly “N”, or the one-third stop in maximum aperture. I’m not a pro, so I don’t need those things. The only 1.4 lens I own is my 50 AF-D, it’s cheap. Both the 85 1.4G, and this lens are for pros, or people who don’t care about the money, but if you want a good lens, the 50 1.8G is perfectly suitable, is way cheaper, I’m guessing a very similar build quality because all new nikkors are RoHS compliant anyway, which means they won’t last beyond 10 years (in a perfect world), and makes really nice pictures.

    • Joel Coulson

      For the rest of us:

      What is RoHS?

      RoHS (Restriction of Use of Hazardous Substances) regulations limit or ban specific substances — lead, cadmium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), mercury, hexavalent chromium, and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants – in new electronic and electric equipment.

      • Broseph

        You are correct, Joel. It’s one of the worst things to happen to consumer and industrial electronics. In this case, the substitution of lead solder for silver solder, which degrades circuits over time due to a phenomenon known as silver migration degredation. I’ve worked in the consumer electronics industry for almost 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like it. The compliance specification says 10 years, but I work in compliance, and I do the accelerated life tests on silver-based circuitry, and I can tell you that estimate is 5-7 years at best.
        This is the reason I prefer AF-D lenses, personally. I do own an 85 1.8G, which I enjoy, but I don’t think it’s going to last as long as my older lenses.

        • Sahaja

          So manufacturers can have planned obsolescence and blame it on the regulations.

          • Broseph

            Correct. And who do you think lobbies governments around the world for these regulations? The manufacturing industry. It’s not because they want to protect the “environment”, it’s because the procurement and disposal of hazardous waste has become prohibitively expensive. Over 90% of the world’s lead is recycled, but it’s expensive to process leaded solder products for recycling. There’s little impact to the environment. Planned obsolescence is the reason people are so eager to buy a new cell phone every 6 months. My wife’s samsung galaxy sIII is a piece of junk after 2 years.

            • Global

              My Samsung Galaxy S II is a piece of junk after 2 years as well — right at the end of my contract with the phone company, its starting to die on its own all the time. I think they have very, very refined tests of product life, and they are linking them to the Phone Contract cycle. It actually makes sense. But is too bad. I’m quite curious how these new lenses will do.

        • Sahaja

          So manufacturers can have planned obsolescence and blame it on the regulations.

        • saywhatuwill

          You’re so right about that. My Sony Playstation 3 died because of the lousy solder. I’m not going to be happy when the motors in my lenses start failing because of the solder points cracking.

        • saywhatuwill

          You’re so right about that. My Sony Playstation 3 died because of the lousy solder. I’m not going to be happy when the motors in my lenses start failing because of the solder points cracking.

        • Scott M.

          What about the “tin whiskers?” Tin solder is worse than silver/lead and is now dominant element being used today.

      • FredBear

        Ah but is it REACH compliant?

      • Guest

        Is there any D34.E compliance? I remember reading that the latest Nikon and Canon lenses needed to be KEEN2014 or better.

    • robert

      It’s a typical scaremongering…Broseph.
      And it appears many here have had already fallen for it.

      • Pablo Ricasso

        Exactly. RoHS on a low-power DC and battery powered equipment is a non-event. High-powered and AC would be different story, though.

        No reason to loose sleep over this guys…there’s many more important issues that could/should keep us awake at night.

        • JakeB

          True. Tin whiskers issue is indeed real but far less prominent than what some would lead you to believe. The issue has been around for many years and while more accentuated and possible these days with non-lead soldering methods used in electric and electronic devices, not even close to something we should be worrying about.

          Your lenses will be fine in many more years to come…

        • Broseph

          I’m not sure where you got your information, Fukwit (appropriate name I suppose), but I work almost exclusively with low-power DC and battery powered devices (at µA current levels) designed to operate 20 years on two 3.2V batteries, I can safely say that you are mistaken my friend. I’ve seen dentritic growth between circuit pathways (tin wiskers, if you will) on conformal coated PCBA’s (silicone and parylene), particularly in high-humidity level accelerated-life testing at the 5-7 year mark with lead-free and no-flux solder manufacturing processes unlike anything I’ve seen using previous manufacturing techniques. While you may not believe this is anything to lose sleep over, planned obsolescence is definitely something that should concern you.

    • callibrator

      Been Ken Rockwell-ing much?

      • Broseph

        I work in electronics, dillweed.

  • Guest

    used it for the last week, it’s a dream. definitely sits with 24.1.4 and 85 1.4 rendering and it’s an interesting focal length workflow.

    • Marc W.

      Then why didn’t you provide samples?

  • Oh, I sure am excited for my copy 🙂 I think it ships tomorrow! My 50 1.4 has been through so much, I can barely read the gold wording anymore!

  • Guest

    Look at the size of that. And the price. I’m not even going to bother reading the comments; I know what they’ll be. On both sides. I’ve seen it all, said about another brand’s very expensive lenses.

    So have at it folks, and welcome to the club.

    • Marc W.

      You’re wrong.

      Wait, maybe you’re right.

  • Very entertaining, some comments here sound like quotes “straight” from a round table discussion in Bellevue’s closed ward section. I know, I have been there 😉 on a more serious note: thanks for the samples David. I think we should look at this lens as a special application lens like a 60mm macro or 200mm f2 or a 14mm. This lens is not to replace your standard 50mm. It will appeal to commercial photographers who find themselves going back and forth between the 50mm 1.4 and the 85mm 1.4, photographers who like the 85mm bokeh characteristics but would prefer the shorter distance to the subject obtained by the 50mm.

    • Jon McGuffin

      I think this is exactly who this lens is designed for. Not the masses.

      • hmmm, now why is my comment above awaiting moderation after being visible for a couple of hours? glitch? and this is what I posted….
        …..This lens will not replace your standard 50mm, however, it will appeal to photographers who find themselves going back and forth between the 50mm 1.4 and the 85mm 1.4, photographers who like the bokeh characteristics of the 85mm but prefer the shorter working distance when
        shooting with the 50mm.

  • RxGus

    Did anyone actually look at the EXIF data? A LOT of those pictures metadata shows a 50mm/1.8… Admin- that needs to be cleaned up ASAP. It reflects really poorly on your business.

    • Jon McGuffin

      This is moronic, if you would actually take the time to READ what the admin wrote above you’d see he mentions this. The OP was showing a comparison between the 58 1.4G and the 50 1.8G.

    • Fukwitabovewarning

      It’s a comparison! WAKE UP idiot.

    • Marc W.

      “It reflects really poorly on your business.”

      I suggest you ask for your money back.

      • Global

        Hilarious comment, lol… I hope that “Guest” buys something from NR links to B&H/Adorama, at least!

    • lol!

    • Did you read my post? It’s a comparison between the 58mm f/1.4 and the 50mm f/1.8.

      • Global

        I don’t know about “Guest”…. But I read your post, for one. Maybe I was too excited to see sample images and didn’t realize there were 50/1.8 images randomly mixed in the set. I don’t use Flicker so dont know where the Exif data is.

        It is easy to get confused when clicking through links. But “Guest” can’t exactly whine about something thats free.. haha. Thanks for posting them. I’ll wait until there a more clear comparison though. I’m not sure what I’m looking at in that set….. hovering over the image doesn’t give exif.

        For the average user, its confounded.

  • jack r

    what a useless lens

    • BroncoBro

      …for you.

  • BroncoBro

    I don’t find this comparison very convincing. Several of the “comparisons” are no such thing. You don’t compare two lenses shooting the same scene, but then using different ISO, shutter speed, f/stop. You can toss this all out the window as far as I’m concerned. If you doubt me, just take the time to look at the data and see it for yourself. If there is a disconnect between the labeled information and the EXIF data, it should be corrected. Few will take the time to look that deeply and instead will be led the wrong way.

    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I don’t really see the point of comparing a $200 and a $1700 lens. It’s like doing a comparison of a Noctilux and a Summarit. Similar lenses on different ends of the playing field.

      • BroncoBro

        Well, I think a lot of people are familiar with the f/1.8 because it used to be the “kit” lens that shipped with the camera, so there are tons of them around. I found it useful to see what another $1,400 buys (evidently, not much). If the person doing the test had thought it out a bit more ahead of time they could have done things like taking a step back when shooting the scene with the 58 so as to frame the subject the same way. Although the difference would be slight, the comparison of DOF between the two lenses would have been more exact. And, of course as I state above, use the same ISO, f-stop and shutter speed. Sheeesh!

        • J. Dennis Thomas

          Well, most people don’t know what they’re looking for anyway. They see dollar signs. They repeat rhetoric from the internet.

          If you have to ask “why is better?”, then this isn’t the lens for you.

  • Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

    People, if you feel like this lens is overpriced, it is just as good as the 50/1.4, its 1.4 and not 1.2 or something along those lines, then stay with your 50/1.8-whatever and go out the shoot, because that is what you clearly need.
    If you feel like you want a top performing 50mm and the 58/1.4 isn’t that, then look at the zeiss otus 55/1.4.

    This lens is NOT aimed at amateurs and its NOT a less pricey version of zeiss 55/1.4.
    The sharpness on the 50/1.4G was good enough, the sharpness on the 50/1.8G was good, but the aberration on these two was horrible or really bad. The 58/1.4 has great sharpness and great aberration correction, this is what you get from this lens.
    This lens is not about the best sharpness and contrast in the world, its about correction all those things that makes most 50mm unusable under f2.

    To sum all this up, when you become good enough to understand that theres more to lenses than sharpness, you will understand why this lens is “pricey”, and you might be able to justify it if you want a lens like this.

    I’m currently waiting on mine, but I can’t do much of a comparison because the only other 50mm I own is the 50/1.2 AIS.

    • Very well said! I do like the 50mm F/1.8 G though and probably won’t buy/need this lens, but I’m disappointed by the obsession with sharpness, and sharpness only. So many coach photographers looking at charts and deciding whether a lens is good or not based on sharpness alone.

      I love sharpness, but micro-contrast, colour rendition and flare resistance are equally important to me. Generally, nano-coated lenses have that special pop or “personality” that others don’t. That’s why I love the 24-120 F/4 lens while so many reviewers poo-poo it, though interestingly, most negative reviews come from non-photographers with questionable focused test charts, while real photographers (see review on photographylife or ishootshows) love it.

      Same goes for this new lens. We’ll see people obsessing over MTF charts and ignoring all other aspects of lens performance. Quite sad.

      • BroncoBro

        Or, they’ll wait to see the DxO review before they decide to buy it or not. Hopefully this lens will be in stock to rent soon and we can do tests in our own environment and shooting situations…then decide.

        • fred

          The 58mm wont do that well at DXO.
          Sharpess will be average.

          The 58’s ‘overall’ figure slightly higher.

          DXO don’t care about bokeh because they cant put a number on it.

          There is more to a lens than numbers.

          • BroncoBro

            I was being facetious. I think DxO is a complete waste of time.

    • Global

      I don’t see aberration control at all in the sample images. Most of the 58/1.4 images are aberrated and mushy like crazy. View them at “original” size (not the smaller screen sizes). They are very mushy and have aberration all over. And the bokeh is a bit onion-y (not flat and smooth like the Sigma 35/1.4).

      Am I looking at different images than others??

      • Global

        I didn’t realize this wasn’t a pure 58/1.4 set. It seems there are 50/1.8 images mixed in. I don’t see the exif data. So I’ll hold my tongue, until the images are organized better.

        • Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

          Some are out of focus as well or stuff like that.
          I’ll do some testing when I get my lens, but by that time I guess there already 100’s of test images just like mine.

      • Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

        If you compare to something like the 50/1.4, you might see the difference.
        The lens is not aberration free, its just alot less.
        At 100% on a D800 you will see aberration on any lens, even zeiss 55/1.4 is not perfect, but its alot cleaner than nikons 58/1.4.
        the 50/1.4 was unusable at f1.4, and I haven’t tested the 1.8G, but from the samples I’ve seen from this lens, it do look alot more usable than any nikon 50mm.

  • Rafa R

    interesting but not tempting (in my opinion) goes low in to my priority list

  • Reilly Diefenbach

    Looks like a 50mm lens alright :^)

  • neonspark

    The bokeh is beautiful. wow. The hideous bokeh of the 50 1.8 scarred me for life and this heals me. nice.

  • bgbs

    that 50mm f.18 looks sweeter and sweeter considering the price and size. Thanks NikonRumors for helping me make up my mind

  • Nick
  • EAJ

    At f1.4 coma performance is not impressive; unless it’s drastically improved by f2.0 or 2.2 I think the emperor has no clothes. Sagittal flare aside, I would be interested in this lens if its bokeh rendering is truly fantastic, but I’m not seeing it. I remain hopeful…

    Thank you for going to the trouble of taking these shots David, and posting them admin. It looks as though you caught a satellite, or perhaps a meteor in the center of 023.

  • jk

    well, it is actually worse than the Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8, which I tried at Sony event a week ago.
    I was debating replacing my Nikon 85mmf1.4G with this new 58 mm f1.4 G but I think I will keep my 85mm f1.4G and get the Zeiss 55mm f1.4.
    next week , I will have time to try this one at Nikon show room here , so I guess I may be able to compare this 58mm f1.4 vs my own 85mm f1.4G (if Nikon guys allow me to do it there).
    just wish the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 ZF2 was a bit smaller , then it would be a no brainer for me.

  • robertkrasser

    OK guys, stop fighting and discussing nonsense. I would like to know who of you already have the new 58mm 1.4? And who already has it may he please do a.s.a.p. some comparable night shots with a nikkor 50mm 1.4 and the 50 mm 1.8a on a trypod. Absolully same ISO and same aperture and same camera settings. than we are going do discuss the advantages of the 58mm again.

  • Sam

    Look at the chromatic aberration on the second shot! I didn’t really look any further after seeing that, It looks really soft too.

  • Spike

    My impression of teh example I was today, is that it produces a very bright, high contrast image- but i’m not impressed with the build quality for the cost- compared to say something like a Zeiss or Leica.

  • JJ10

    Just because the sharpness at full aperture is not a priority, I don’t understand why Nikon doesn’t make a f/1.2 for $ 1,600 …?!
    This will be for sure a very good lens, but too much OVERPRICED for me.

    • Smudger

      Be careful what you wish for!
      The small diameter of the F mount is the stopper for f1.2 AF lenses……….

  • I MAY have to retract my previous doubt because of this sample image:

    • Neopulse

      Cot damn….. at 1.4??? Son of a gun. Wish I had a D800 still and get this lens.

  • B.

    The Rant
    The whole world was waiting for a 1.2 lens from Nikon.

    The fact that THIS 1.4 lens has come out means:
    1.that Nikon will NEVER make a 1.2 lens (how would they sell yet another 50mm+ lens for $2k after this has come out ?)
    2. that Nikon cannot make a 1.2 autofocus lens (even if they can)
    By the way don’t we already have a Voigtlander 58mm 1.4? Beautiful bokeh for $500.

    Now we have a sea of 50mm lens with 1.4 to choose from, and we were just waiting for another one ! (3 from Zeiss, 3 from Nikon, Sigma , Voigtlander, ecc. ecc)

    Now Nikon has put a limit on itself: Canon can makes a 1.2 lens and Nikon can’t. Many are buying Canon just to use the 85mm 1.2.
    To me, in the end this is bad marketing. Nikon had a reputation for building lens that no one else could or would.
    Leica for instance builds a 0.95 10k lens to show people that it can, and nobody else can, and it sells and everybody knows that Leica makes the lowest FF aperture lens . And this lifts the brand’s appeal.

    This 58mm turns out to be what the 50 1.4 should have been from the beginning.

    End of Rant :))

    • Global

      I don’t think that you can knock Nikon too hard for not having an f/1.2. Canon’s mount is larger and accommodates that kind of design much easier. Nikon’s smaller mount (established before the age of all those electronics that need to fit into it) just is not easy to work with. Nikon said they tried it, but the compromises were too great, so they went with the f/1.4 with AF. Their current f/1.2 lenses don’t have AF.

      You’ll notice that no third-party company has tried to make an f/1.2 AF lens for Nikon either. But clearly there’s a market of buyers. So its likely just not that easy. Who knows, maybe Sigma will do it someday as an ART lens, but no one has indicated that.

      • B.

        Yes I know about the issues and you are probably right !
        In the end I will probably get the Ais 1.2 and be happy with that. Yes, Sigma has been doing some smart things lately (35mm 1/4) so maybe there’s some surprises coming… 🙂

    • RogerDodger

      Nikon’s 50mm f/1.2 AIS is still very much alive and sold new. Nikon will provide it as an AFS lens sometime, I am sure. The MF version we have now is excellent.

      • B.

        Really hope so !

  • Global

    The “original” sized images of those samples look…. fairly awful to me. Every one that I opened looked soft, mushy or highly saturated with chromatic aberration that scattered edges.

    Did that lens have focusing problems??

    • Global

      I didn’t realize this wasn’t a pure 58/1.4 set. It seems there are 50/1.8 images mixed in. I don’t see the exif data. So I’ll hold my tongue, until the images are organized in a clearer way.

      • EAJ

        From the Flickr set click on an image and then click on the ellipses dots in the bottom right hand corner – the EXIF link will appear. Not the easiest presentation but the data are there if you’re interested in viewing it.

  • Back Hurts

    What I want is the medium-format look from my D800. Will this lens help me achieve that? Will this provide that same Zeissy goodness?

    • saywhatuwill

      I already get that with my D700. I just use a Hasselblad lens adapter, slap on the Carl Zeiss lens of choice, stop down a couple stops and suddenly my out of focus blobs are 5 sided.

  • fred

    I can’t remember the exact number , but Ken R says he takes something like 50000+ photos a year. A lot would be generated testing lenses etc but some (the few that make it to his web page) of his landscapes are ok. I wouldn’t say no artistic skill, just very little.

    His portraits used to be REALLY horrible, the persons skin was orange because he shot with camera settings ‘vivid’ color and +3 or +5!
    I notice he has backed off on the vivid color for portraits. Maybe that plugin he uses now fixes up the orange skin tones. I read his site for the technical stuff and lens sharpness comparisons.

    • robert

      His photos are nice but a boring and to “square” because hes an engineer everything he shots is based on precision. Get my drift. He makes sure everything is perfect. Lighting composition exposure. But an artist uses his mind to go crazy and deliver different angles. He doesnt have that. He knows specs VERY WELL. But artistic wise, no.

      50k pics is not a lot per year. Its a lot for a regular person but not a lot for a pro. I shoot double that in a year. But im a pro.

      I love how people get so worked up and pissed off at his comments just cause he says x lens is better than x lens. He plays people like puppet. Its the reason why he succeeds.

      I love hoing to his reviews of products and i respect him because he tells it like it is. For good and bad

  • MB

    After seeing all this I must say that I was lucky enough to get my hands on a new 35mm f/1.4 Sigma Art lens after considering overpriced 35 f/1.4 and really lousy 35 f/2 that Nikon has to offer.
    So now I just hope for something similar in 50mm (from Sigma of course) because Nikon has obviously gone berserk.

  • Nic1123

    Hi Im just an hobby photog, i own a d4, 14-24, 70-200ii and a 50 1.4g. Im considering buying sigma art 35, or nikon 85 1.4 or maybe this 58 1.4. Or wait for sigma art 50, if there will be one. For me the rendering of the image is the most important, the overall perceived image quality. I shoot 1.4-5.6 and mainly center image quality is the most important. I like the pov of 35-85 mm and is not happy with the iq of the 50 1.4g. Which one should i buy if i have to buy one of them? If all of them cost the same. And (center) sharpness is not the single most important factor when chosing a lens for me, though a part of the iq. Mostly indoor or natural light, not so much the darkest scenes.

    • delayedflight

      I’d say you’ll like the 35mm it’s a good inbetween focal length. Good for just wandering around or everyday use. I use a 35mm f/1.8g DX on my D800 fun lens that was a bargain for me to buy and is weirdly enough very sharp and super contrasty.

      Here’s a sample

  • jon

    My copy shipped today. I like the 85 and 35 and 24 so why not add the 58? The 50 is not so great, but works on my D300s, the others are for the D4.

  • lorenzo

    Uhm, unless my memory has gone it is the first gold ring prime lens where filters aren’t 77 mm. Maybe it is also made in China? 🙁

    • EAJ

      Filter rings on the 28mm f1.8, 35mm f1.4 and 105mm Micro ≠ 77mm.

      I imagine Nikon USA offers a 4-year extension and BHPV simply need to amend their description.

      • lorenzo

        Thanks to refresh my mind. I am getting too old.
        I do have a 35 f/1.4 and that has a 67 mm filter. Is the 28 f/1.8 considered a prime lens too? It would be easier if Nikon had standardized all prime lenses on 77 mm filters, so one doesn’t have to carry many of them… actually the UV on mine are sort of fixed on the lenses. I would like to see the comparisons and if they promise well I will call B&H and possibly change my mind on this 58mm. I currently own a 50mm f/1.8 (Mansurov said it was better than the f/1.4) but it is made in China it feels/looks just like a $215 lens 🙂
        Beside the lack of AF I can’t afford the latest Zeiss.

  • KnightPhoto

    I realize there is quite a bit of discussion about coma, which is great for you night scene and astrophotography shooters. For me I’m looking for an f/1.4 I can shoot in Theatre/Concert with some confidence wide-open for when my f/2.8 zooms can’t cut it due to low light levels.

    From what I can see the 58mm looks like a decent tool, sharp enough and contrasty enough out to the 15-18/22 radius of the image circle. Much better than my Sigma, and the two Nikon 50’s too. So there’s more than one use for this thing:
    – high-end wedding, fashion, and portrait shooters;
    – Theatre/Concert;
    – Astrophotography;
    – Night scene.
    – any photo where nice bokeh is concerned;
    – shoot wide-open with confidence.
    The OTUS due to MF would not work for me so the Nikon 58mm is probably the best tool out there compared to any current competition.

    Yeah it’s a few bucks as are all the high-end pro tools in Nikon’s kit. These things are priced and sold as pro tools so it’s not a slam dunk to go out and get one, you have to have a use for it, but it certainly looks decent. I don’t think I can shoot my Sigma wide-open with confidence. The subject would have to be pretty centrally located and even then the current Sigma 50 is really more of an f/2 lens in the real world.

    Edit: Thanks David for the examples!

  • jsvfoto

    Enough talk about this lens. It’s great. Video #5 is out! Dang it! I want that camera! It’s got an AF/MF selector! I have no idea what that button on the side does, and it’s got a shutter dial!

  • leonrenstfeld

    Hey Robert, I agree that Matt Grangers photos aren’t much to rave about. Then again, I only said I’d like to see a comparison between the two lenses by someone like him. As far as Mr Rockwell, he writes like he’s the pro, extremely detailed technical analyses of the tested gear BUT when he bring his personal opinion it’s often bull, in my eyes. That kinda makes me not trust his opinion. I’ve never seen his pictures though. Judging from the looks of his website it might just be he doesn’t care too much about creating art.

    Speaking of which, feel free to pay my website a visit 🙂


  • Markus Arike

    Some samples are better than none, but wide open snapshots inside the camera store and out of the car window at night are hardly worthy of discussing at all, expect for possibly judging vignetting, bokeh, and color/contrast.

    Way too many factors to draw any conclusion about resolution from these grab shots, no offense to the uploader.

  • Neopulse

    This on a 12-24MP DX would make a nice portrait lens 🙂 (aprox. 87mm)

  • PhotoLaw

    Well, I would have liked to post a few test shots after receiving my copy today, but it’s exhibiting massive (real-world, not tripod/chart) back-focus characteristics. I’m at +20 on my D4 and D800e at f2.8 with subjects that are 6-8 feet away in decent natural light (which auto-focus should be able to nail), and it’s still back-focusing. My gut says +32 to +36 would be about right… which is totally unacceptable for a lens of this supposed caliber. Yes, the bokeh is nice, but not nicer that the 85mm f1.4 (taken from a few steps back). Again… gut feeling, it doesn’t focus any faster than the 50mm f1.4 (assuming the copy I received “only” has calibration issues, and not larger af motor issues).

    The back-focus issue is why I’m returning it… the build quality is why I’m not exchanging, it and just getting a refund. It just doesn’t feel good. I know that’s subjective, but you want a lens like this to “feel” like the 14-24mm or the 24-70mm. Heck, even my 24mm f1.4 feels more solid and it has the same plasticy bits everywhere. The build quality and the massive out of the box back focusing issues do not instill a lot of confidence. Even after just one copy, I don’t think I’d ever be able to just grab it, and trust that it’s working, like you can with the 85mm f1.4 … unfortunately, it just feels like a fatter 50mm f1.4. The kind of lens you toss in your bag “just in case”.

    I suspect there’s going to be a whole bunch of these puppies available as refurbs very, very soon. You would have thought that with a limited number of these things coming off the line, they would have taken the time to inspect and hand calibrate them… especially at this price point. Maybe… maybe… if I saw a solid working refurb at $950 price point, I’d give it a go again, but not new at $1700.

    • saywhatuwill

      OH NO! Thank you for your post. Now I know to save my money. I was going to try it out before seeing your post.

    • Carlos Pereira

      I think you ended up with bogus copy my friend…see Christians photos in the link posted above by Drazen B.

    • callibrator

      Yours is definitely a dud…the lens is great, I just got it and will post few test photos – no back or front focusing, sharp corner to corner at F1.4 focused to infinity, great bokeh, snappy AF, no hunting at all.

  • Drazen B

    Another preview of sort and few test shots:

    • Pablo Ricasso


      Thanks for the link.

    • Cantabrian

      WOW! I see now why Christian is keen on keeping it…great depth and contrast…sharp baby…:-)

    • Robert

      Great lens indeed…I’ve started saving!

  • Sam Obeid

    I’ve had the lens since Wednesday and just posted a bunch of images on my blog.

    • Marco Andreottim

      Wow – I think I just peed in my pants…that lens is simply spectacular.
      Just look at those sharp corners, object isolation, 3D effect, color tones….?!? I own 85mm f/1.4 from the same series and it ain’t as good as this one…

    • callibrator

      Holy crap brother….is that lens for real?

      That stuff is out of this world!

    • Matador

      Thanks for posting those photos, you should have a ‘buy here’ link on you web site, sit back and enjoy the sale proceeds trickling in…

    • robert

      So what’s your feel about it? I have to admit your photos are starting to swing me towards it…who knows I may end up with one of these new 58mm soon 🙂


      Nice S5, there…hehe.

      • Sam Obeid

        Not my S5, I wish!

    • PhotoLaw

      Yeah… clearly you have a great copy of the 58mm and mine was a dud (see post below), I’d hold on to that one. I am curious though, because you have a picture of the 24mm f1.4 there and the 85mm… I have those lenses as well, and the focus rings are precise. Not quite as good as the 24-70mm feels, but they’re pretty accurate… like you could actually use them to focus on subjects in critical (f1.4) situations.

      The focus ring on the 58mm I received (aka “the dud”) felt exactly like the 24-120mm… there’s no way you could actually use it to focus anything because of the plastic on plastic friction. Would you say the focus ring on your 58mm is as smooth an accurate as the 85mm and the 24mm?

      I guess I’m still just staggering in disappointment. The gold ring used to mean something, and with my serial number having been in the mid 1600’s, you would have thought they might have taken extra steps to insure that at least the first 2500 were dead accurate. I mean, this isn’t exactly a kit lens.

      • Claude Ghirelli

        PL, shouldn’t the focus ring on those gold-ring f/1.4G lenses be metal, i.e. magnesium alloy?
        I’m kind of disappointed if you say about plastic ring is true…heck even my 24-120 f/4G zoomer comes with metal zoom ring and metal barrel-extension section.

        • Drazen B

          It’s plastic…at leas it is on my 35mm and 85mm f/1.4G lenses. Nothing exterior on these Nikkor f/1.4G series primes is metal, only the brass Nikon name plate that surrounds the focus distance window.
          That said, I still love them to bits, and will most likely reach for the new 58mm sometime in th efuture, just not now.

          • JakeB

            That’s correct…no metal focusing ring on the Nano f/1.4G prime lenses from Nikon…and I own three of them 24, 35 and 85mm.

        • PhotoLaw

          Yes, it “should” be, but as DrazenB and JakeB have just posted… it’s not… it’s plastic. Which, I guess is fine… it works well on the 24mm and the 85mm (I don’t have the 35mm, but I assume it’s the same). My fear is, that on the 58mm, it’s the physical placement of the glass. It all seems to be behind the focus ring, and if it’s the same mechanism that’s on the 24mm and the 85mm, maybe that’s the problem. Or, it could just be that one bad copy in a million. We’ll have to wait and see. I am spoiled by the way the 24-70mm and the old “D” series primes felt. The focus rings were like tumblers on a fine safe.

    • KnightPhoto

      Super – thanks for the examples.

      Looks like a very nice lens to me…

  • robertkrasser

    Hi Guys,
    I have a question to all in the US. I was today in Austria and the 58mm 1.4 costs 1729,00 € including the Ausrian VAT Tax of 20% this means 2232,07 US Dollar.
    The Price in US is listet with 1699 USD which is 1260,00 €uos obviosusly without tax, so it depence in which state I am buying the tax will get addet? isnt it?
    There are states without sales tax like Delaware. Is it worth go to buy there?
    Thank you for your answers.

  • From the Fro, more samples and a comparison vs. 58 1.2 Noct.

    Downloadable Raw files:

  • Yann Maas
  • Richard Servello

    The images render way too close to even my 50mm 1.8d to merit any notice at all! My voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 blows this thing away for $1100 less! And it’s a full metal barrel with a dampened focus ring. More nikkor crap.

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