Weekly Nikon news flash #410

New focal reducer lens adapter announced - it mounts Nikon F-mount lenses on Fujifilm X cameras.

→ Sigma 85mm f/1.4 HSM DG ART lens ($1,199) for Nikon F mount tested at Photozone:

"The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 HSM DG Art is awesome. Full stop. Albeit still not perfect. 😉 In terms of resolution it is amazingly sharp at f/1.4 already and the quality is breathtaking between f/2.8 and f/5.6. Low lateral CAs are the cream on the cappuccino in terms of subjective quality perception. Speaking of cream - the bokeh is generally very smooth although you may spot some rough edge transition in the image foreground and, yes, you still have to live with “cat eye” highlights in the image corners. It also suffers from some bokeh fringing at large aperture settings. Image distortion is practically none. There is the usual amount of light falloff at f/1.4 but it's no real issue from f/2 onward. Based on what we've seen out there, we'd also state that the Sigma is comparatively resistant to image flare in back-light scenes.

All results taken into account, the Sigma easily beats the Nikon AF-S 85/1.4G, however the real contender is the AF-S 105mm f/1.4E, the current benchmark of AF portrait primes. The Sigma comes very close to this one, the minor differences in the lab results are likely irrelevant in the field. The best news about it is that it delivers almost the same high quality for roughly half the price of the Nikkor."

DxOMark tested the Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/2 ZF.2 lens for Nikon F-mount ($1,117):

With an irreproachable reputation for quality, Carl Zeiss lenses have long been the desire of many a photographer. Historically and unfortunately, they’ve often been out of financial reach of many of us, but the new Milvus range looks to address that with some competitively-priced models to challenge the high-performance optics from both own-brand and third-party manufacturers.

Featuring an all-metal construction, manual focus, and Zeiss precision engineering, the Milvus 35mm f/2 is the type of lens that should last a photographer a lifetime. Performance is outstanding, with excellent low-light results, consistently good edge-to-edge sharpness at all apertures, and minimal distortion. All that helps the Milvus 35mm f/2 rank above the more expensive Nikon 35mm f/1.4G and Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/1.4 lenses, making it a good value option if you can live with the one stop slower f/2 maximum aperture. It’s pretty much neck and neck with the cheaper Tamron SP and Sigma Art alternatives, however, both of which are giving Zeiss a run for its money in the modern market. These third-party equivalents come with extra features, too, such as autofocus and image stabilization (in the case of the Tamron). If you want some first-class German engineering to attach on the front of your Nikon DSLR, though, the Carl Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/2 is a beautiful lens and delivers top results.

Nikon published a gallery of entries that passed the 1st round of their Nikon Photo Contest.

→ Nikon Nikkor 13mm f/5.6 AI-S lens is listed for sale on eBay and Amazon for $25k. Only 350 pieces were produced. Additional info on this lens can be found at:

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  • Benjamin Brosdau

    yeah, I have the Milvus 35 on the D800 and it is awesome. I traded my Sigma Art in for that since I wanted a lens that works on my older Nikon FE 2 and F3 as well. One thing to note is that Zeiss left out the tiny aperture markings on the barrel so you cannot read the aperture values selected through the viewfinder on film cameras any more, while you can on Zeiss classic lenses.

    • Viktor

      At least Zeiss left there the aperture ring which many manufactures omited 🙁 It is pitty, because the aperture ring is so ergonomically better then using some in-camera-built setting wheel….

      • Benjamin Brosdau

        yeah, thank goodness for that!

      • Pat Mann

        Actually, I find moving my shooting finger over to adjust the aperture much easier than shifting my support hand from the focus or zoom, but no harm in having both options.

      • I think it’s ergonomically worse personally. For lenses where I can adjust the aperture with the ring or with the rear wheel I NEVER use the ring on the lens.

  • Pat Mann

    And for all those keep telling me I can just use the FX equivalent on DX to get fast wide primes, here is the FX lens that gives me 20mm f/5.6. Just what I was looking for.

    • Viktor

      For $25,000? 😀

      • RONIN

        I’ll go straight to the car dealership!

    • MB

      This lens is collectible item … well that and lack of distortion …
      For actual use you could go for excellent Samyang 14/2.8 …
      But you are right of course, people saying one could use wide FX lenses probably never compared the size of for example 35mm:
      Not to mention the price difference …

    • Bob Thane

      20mm f8 if you’re looking at overall depth of field and light levels. 😉

      The Sigma 14mm f1.8 will yield a 21mm f2.5 lens though, which is decent. Though it’ll probably cost more than twice as much as the Nikon 20mm f1.8.

      • Pat Mann

        I’m looking for 12, 16 or 18 and 24. The 24 f/1.8 G I may wind up getting since I can use it on my D810, but I’d rather have a nice compact 24 f/1.4 designed for DX.

        • Spy Black

          Get a Sigma 8-16mm if you want DX wide.

          • Pat Mann

            I have considered the Sigma in the past. I have the Nikon 12-24 f/4, which is not terrible, (but only marginal at 12mm), close enough to the Sigma where Photozone.de compares them that I wouldn’t bother to replace it, and covers a range that works very well for me (though not as wide, of course). It also takes 77mm filters. A polarizer is often very useful to get full color depth in stone and other materials used in architecture, an effect that cannot be well simulated in postprocessing. While 24 on DX is a general use reportage field of view where corner resolution is less significant to me, at 16/18 and 12mm I am looking for lenses that provide significantly better resolution and fewer strange optical effects across the frame for architecture, interiors and small urban spaces. In my experience, that generally means prime lenses. If Nikon or some third party doesn’t come through on APS-C wide prime lenses, I will probably be looking at Fujifilm and the 12mm Zeiss f/2.8, which Photozone.de shows performing much better than the Nikon zoom at 12mm, and with f/2.8 as a nice bonus. The 24mm f/1.4 for the Fujifilm system looks excellent as yet another bonus of adopting the Fujifilm system as a travel kit for applications other than birding.

  • br0xibear

    “Nikon Middle East FZE today announced the launch of Nikon Professional Services(NPS), a Nikon organization designed solely to provide reliable and dependable services to qualified, full-time professional photographers using Nikon equipment, in the United Arab Emirates.”


    • br0xibear

      Japnese giants Nikon and Canon fight it out in the big game of D-SLR cameras (in India)…

      “Kazuo Ninomiya, Managing Director, Nikon India, admits that due to supply constraints the India business of the company hasn’t seen much movement. For 2014-15, the company booked a revenue of Rs 1,000 crore. Nikon India hopes to close the financial year ending 31 March, 2017, with a total revenue of Rs 1,000 crore, says Ninomiya who took charge of the company in June 2015.”


      • I think Nikon is doing very well in India.

        • It is. Actually I am seeing the mindset of professional wedding photographers shifting towards nikon of late.

        • Chaitanya

          Sony is the worst of the lot. Both Nikon and Canon have excellent aftersales service presence in India. When it comes to wildlife/action though Nikon still suffers from appalling presence.

      • thanks, I will mention this online

    • Allan

      And the rest of you are not entitled to reliable and dependable services.

    • Allan

      What’s the difference between reliable and dependable?

      • br0xibear

        Google said this…

        Well, reliability is the trust you have on someone to do something. While dependability means that you want someone to do something because of your inability
        to do so yourself. Example: You can rely on your best friend to help you out in tough situations, but you are not necessarily dependent on her for that.

        • Allan

          Because the service is reliable AND dependable, they can charge more.

  • Joshua Boldt

    I swear I saw a 13mm Nikon lens exactly like that at a flea market for $50 about 15 years ago. I am going to buy every oddball lens I see from now on if I really could have sold that for thousands. Funny that there is one on Amazon for only $2000 right now. I wonder if it’s the same?

    • Pat Mann

      Looks like three from the same just-launched seller on Amazon for a little over $2000. Caveat emptor.
      The flea market lens was more likely a 15mm, possibly not in working order. Looks similar, but a lot smaller.

      • Spy Black

        Still definitely worth fifty bucks.

  • nwcs

    I liked my Milvus 35/2 when I had it but the lack of AF is what convinced me to sell it. It’s not a focal length I use often and for my chosen subject matter AF is very helpful.

  • br0xibear

    Some new just broke, not specific to Nikon, but to all photographers travelling to the U.S…New TSA requirement blocks passengers from bringing laptops, iPads, Kindles and cameras…

    “US authorities have secretly required airlines from 13 nations to
    forbid passengers from carrying any electronic or electrical device
    larger than a cellphone.
    The new edict was distributed in an email described as “confidential”
    from the US transportation safety administration (TSA) on Monday.
    The requirement forbids passengers from bringing laptops, iPads, Kindles
    and even cameras larger than mobile phones into the cabin. All such
    devices must be checked.”


    • Allan

      Whew. Now I feel safer.

    • Aldo

      How sad and embarrassing this current situation is…

      • br0xibear

        The UK are set to announce similar restrictions.
        Emirates are on that list, a hell of a lot of people use Emirates and Dubai as a hub to travel to other countries. I’ve used it to to go places, and now I’d not be able to have my camera equipment as cabin luggage. Are people going to trust that their gear is going to be safe checked in ?
        Political and ideological fear mongering.

        “BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said the UK announcement was expected this afternoon and would affect direct flights from several Middle East cities. He said – like the US ban – large electronic devices including laptops, tablets and DVD players will not be permitted in aircraft cabins but will be allowed in checked baggage.
        The airlines affected by the ban are: Royal Jordanian, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.”


      • decentrist

        tell us how you really feel

    • harvey

      its all countries in the Middle East and on direct flights. There is some sort of conference in the US with a lot of Middle Eastern government people about to happen so they think there is a tie-in.

  • Matthew Fulghum

    I’ve got one of those Mitakon Lens Turbo II reducers. Been very happy with it on my X-M1. No real flare issues to speak of, unless you point it directly at a really bright light source. Not sure why they’re announcing now, I bought it from amazon months ago.

  • Gregory Roane

    “The best news about it is that it delivers almost the same high quality for roughly half the price of the Nikkor.”

    The crux of Nikon’s problem, IMO.

  • jojo

    Surely the past high prices for the Nikkor 13mm were because it was the only lens ever made that wide? Now there are viable alternatives as wide,
    or even wider, how can these silly-bugger prices continue?

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