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Author Topic: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95  (Read 1538 times)

Michael Erlewine

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The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« on: November 06, 2019, 11:23:17 am »

So far, so good.  I very much like the 95-NOCT. It is a little like having a built-in focus rail because of the long focus throw, but we should keep in mind that the now classic Cosina Voigtlander 125mm APO Lanthar has a focus through or about 630-degrees and the Leica 100mm Elmarit R is some 720-degrees, while the new NOCT95 has only about 360-degrees. So, the focus throw is not THAT long.

For focus stackers, this new NOCT95 is (seemingly) a perfect lens for focus stacking, due to the speed (and sharpness) of the lens wide-open. It is WAY expensive, but probably replaces my need for a number of other fine lenses, if I would sell them, which I probably wonít. LOL. I might sell my NOCT f/1.2 which is a very good copy.

This is a studio lens unless you want to haul it around, which I probably will (with a clear filter) next spring, but mostly I will not. As for all the extra bells and whistles on the lens, they mean little to me. The ability to rotate the barrel from horizontal to vertical does mean a lot, a great deal.

So, here are a couple of shots (stacks) made in the very early morning light, with my eagerness to check the lens out. I believe I have got the general hang of it. I like it a lot.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 11:33:30 am »

These are indeed very nice shots.

kers

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2019, 12:49:32 pm »

Gorgeous! Yes it shows its quality even on a website...
I guess you did not use f0.95 to do the stacking..?
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2019, 12:57:26 pm »

Gorgeous! Yes it shows its quality even on a website...
I guess you did not use f0.95 to do the stacking..?

I used the NOCT95 to take the photos and Zerene Stacker to stack them.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2019, 12:59:01 pm »

I used the NOCT95 to take the photos and Zerene Stacker to stack them.

I think he meant f/0.95

Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2019, 01:17:07 pm »

I think he meant f/0.95

I did use the lens wide open, if that is the question.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2019, 01:24:01 pm »

I did use the lens wide open, if that is the question.

Even more impressive.

BernardLanguillier

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2019, 02:55:14 pm »

Hi Michael,

Thanks for posting this.

How do you rate the Noct vs the Otus in terms of color correction?

Also, are these images shot with the lens on a macro extension ring of some sort?

Cheers,
Bernard

Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2019, 03:20:46 pm »

Hi Michael,

Thanks for posting this.

How do you rate the Noct vs the Otus in terms of color correction?

Also, are these images shot with the lens on a macro extension ring of some sort?

I like the bokeh better than any lens I have and I have a bunch. LOL.


Cheers,
Bernard

This lens will not take extension kindly. I tied. It is good for what it is.

As for color, too early for me to know. However, so far, as you can see, the color seems fine. As for comparing it to the Otus series, it is faster and probably sharper or as sharp. So, far I like the NOCT95 very much for the kind of work I do. I mostly stack focus, so the worst feature (for me) of the NOCT95 is that the helicoid is a little stiff, which makes stacking more difficult. I could put it on a rail, but I don't want to do that either. How do the images look to you. My guess is that I will use this almost exclusively in the studio from now on for my regular stacking. I just got it, we shall see in a few days and longer.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 03:28:38 pm by Michael Erlewine »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2019, 03:28:43 pm »

Thanks!

The images are stunning!

Cheers,
Bernard

Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2019, 03:38:32 pm »

Thanks!

The images are stunning!

Cheers,
Bernard

I knew when this lens was announced that it was THE lens for me. I would like it to be a little closer focusing, but as I age, I like context more and more, so a wider angle lens is OK with me. Folks, as usual, have poo-poohed this NOCT 95, but I shrug them off. Yes, it is a lot of money, but you get (in this case) what you pay for. I have a great many exotic Nikkor lenses, like four variations of the Printing Nikkor, Relay Nikkor, several kinds of CRT lens, etc. They all do well, but they lack the overall range and coatings that this lens has.

I am selling a lot of lenses, including one of my Otus lenses. This new NOCT is a HEAVY, massive lens, that is VERY well built, better than I could have dreamed. It is good Nikon made this because I am tired of their lesser lenses, aside from the exotics or the very large teles. This shows me they can do it they want to it and we pay for it. It is a bargain that this kind of lens even exists!

I almost didn't buy it because of the price. That would have been a mistake. LOL.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 04:50:30 pm by Michael Erlewine »
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Rob C

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2019, 05:51:01 pm »

Reminds me very much of my 8/500mm Reflex Nikkor...

;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa1geHcBM5c&t=

Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2019, 12:28:43 pm »

Some more comments on the NOCT95. This is a heavy lens (4.4 lb./2000g) with a 4Ē wide barrel. The tripod foot that is built into the lens is just secure enough to avoid shake, but not quite as secure and stable as I wish. Itís OK.

The stiffness of the helicoid is my only complaint (so far) with this lens and I am going to install one of my focus-pulling gears on it with a lever and see it that helps. I have my doubts. The problem is with stacking 100 images and turning that helicoid which disturbs the camera a tiny bit with each shot, after which it returns (hopefully) to where it was before. LOL. Perhaps it will loosen up with use.

The build is all I could hope for and more. Optically, the colors seem fine and although some reviewers say it is not as highly corrected (APO) as we might prefer, so far, its APO quality is good enough for my work. Itís aperture collar (and whatever) works but I see no use for it so far. As for all the buttons, digital-windows, etc. on the lens, they donít bother me, but neither do I find them helpful for my kind of work.

IMO, you will need a solid tripod for this lens, at least for focus stacking. I will use an RRS tripod, with either the Arca C1 Cube or the Burzynski ďProtecĒ ball head on it. The unremovable tripod foot on the NOCT lens, as mentioned, is OK, not as sturdy as it could be. I mounted an Arca quick release plate on the foot and the stability of the foot is not quite as unmoving as I would like for stacking images. It is just inside of the limit that I would complain about, so I am not quite complaining.

The hood allows for a clear filter to be mounted within it but, because the lens moves, it will not allow external filter holders to be mounted except in a very limited range of motion. This will be a serious problem for some photographers.

The bokeh is probably the best I have ever used, with its 11 blades and very fast aperture, smooth and subtle. 

As someone who stacks focus, this is a perfect lens because it allows me to shoot wide open and have a lovely out-of-focus background. Then, using the very narrow slice of focus at f/0.95, I can paint focus on objects in the foreground, stacking layers of focus to create whatever I want to be in perfect focus. Since it is 58mm, this additional wideness allows for subjects with considerable context surrounding them. I wish it were a macro lens since it is already quite flat, but we canít have everything. I am glad it can do what it does.

This lens does NOT take extensions well at all, although I donít have an extension available to me that is ultra-thin. If you know of one, let me know, but even then, it would be like painting graffiti on a Ferrari.

In summary, the lens is for me a keeper. I will use it for much of my in-studio work and when spring arrives, slap on a clear lens, and take it outside, but not too far because of its weight.

 I would like to hear from other users with their experience of this lens.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 01:52:22 pm by Michael Erlewine »
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D Fuller

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2019, 02:54:07 pm »

So far, so good.  I very much like the 95-NOCT. It is a little like having a built-in focus rail because of the long focus throw, but we should keep in mind that the now classic Cosina Voigtlander 125mm APO Lanthar has a focus through or about 630-degrees and the Leica 100mm Elmarit R is some 720-degrees, while the new NOCT95 has only about 360-degrees. So, the focus throw is not THAT long.

For focus stackers, this new NOCT95 is (seemingly) a perfect lens for focus stacking, due to the speed (and sharpness) of the lens wide-open. It is WAY expensive, but probably replaces my need for a number of other fine lenses, if I would sell them, which I probably wonít. LOL. I might sell my NOCT f/1.2 which is a very good copy.

This is a studio lens unless you want to haul it around, which I probably will (with a clear filter) next spring, but mostly I will not. As for all the extra bells and whistles on the lens, they mean little to me. The ability to rotate the barrel from horizontal to vertical does mean a lot, a great deal.

So, here are a couple of shots (stacks) made in the very early morning light, with my eagerness to check the lens out. I believe I have got the general hang of it. I like it a lot.

I love your thoughts on the lens.

But... how do you have iris blooming now?
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D Fuller

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2019, 03:03:49 pm »


The stiffness of the helicoid is my only complaint (so far) with this lens and I am going to install one of my focus-pulling gears on it with a lever and see it that helps. I have my doubts. The problem is with stacking 100 images and turning that helicoid which disturbs the camera a tiny bit with each shot, after which it returns (hopefully) to where it was before. LOL. Perhaps it will loosen up with use.


Michael, your detailed impressions of this lens are most welcome. Iíve been impressed by nearly every image Iíve seen from one, but yours are among the most impressive. It draws beautifully.

I wonder if a good lens tech, or Nikon itself could change the grease in the lens to make it less stiff. This is fairly commonly done with Cine lenses if the manufacturerís choice doesnít suit a DP, might it solve your issue?
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2019, 04:10:27 pm »

I love your thoughts on the lens.

But... how do you have iris blooming now?

Studio and florist..
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Alan Klein

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2019, 04:32:43 pm »

Very nice shots.  Sharp, colorful, great bokeh almost dreamy.

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2019, 04:53:55 pm »

Studio and florist..

I suspected something like that, but your "morning light" comment made me wonder.
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2019, 06:11:26 pm »

I suspected something like that, but your "morning light" comment made me wonder.

I am using all natural light most of the time, south-facing windows and skylight.
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon S NOCT f/0.95
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2019, 07:57:59 am »

As for the NOCT95, there is not a lot of reason to use this lens for high-aperture images. The moment I lose the bokeh, there is still the sharpness, but I have many sharp lenses for high-aperture shooting. I am sure different photographers will have different ways of using this lens.

IMO, wide-open is the only way (or most usual) way I will use the NOCT95. The ability to separate a subject from a background bokeh is what this lens is made for, as far as my work goes (portraits of flowers). It would be ideal for product photography, where a more subtle tone needs to be established. In-the-studio work (products) is made for a lens like this and a certain style of portrait photography would also make sense.

Since I specialize in close-up nature photography (with very little macro), I will use this lens to provide context because of the 58mm focal length. And I will use it wide open for the bokeh, and then paint focus on foreground subjects by stacking focus. This lens seems ideal for that recipe. 

Here is an image with just three stacked shots, using f/5.6, just to see how that goes. It is OK, but without the incredible bokeh wide-open, many other lenses would suffice.


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