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Author Topic: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G  (Read 27848 times)

NashvilleMike

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2013, 11:25:38 pm »

Good points Bernard.

I'll be honest; reading some some of the commentary here about the Nikon 58/1.4 saddens me. I guess having researched a bit about the lenses designer (Haruo Sato) and how he often designs for pictorial results/rendering as a goal as opposed to a "we must produce the best MTF and win all test chart battles" approach, I look at this lens as being more of a work of art that is going to be "tuned" (for lack of a better word) to photographers who have moved beyond the "I must see MTF at all apertures" and the test chart pixel peeping stages of their lens evaluation lives.

Reading the brief interview with Sato on the Nikon imaging site, we already can read that at some point in the iterative design process he ended up suppressing resolution slightly in a particular use case in order to better balance other design attributes. To me this shows both some maturity on the part of the designer as well as some, well, straight up balls, given the seeming current obsession by so many with the test charts, sharpness "uber alles" and MTF chart mania.

As for the Zeiss comparisons: I look at the Zeiss 55/1.4 Otus, surely a magnificent lens, as being the first lens in a brand new extreme performance lineup from Zeiss that concentrates mostly, I think, on reproductive image quality as opposed to something with more of a intentional rendering quality; I view the Nikon 58/1.4 as being squarely in the latter category. So, as it often does, it comes down to what each photographer needs. I see both sides of the coin: for my landscape work something like the Zeiss OTUS approach might be more useful (a better marriage of lens performance to task) than the Nikon 58/1.4 approach, while for my personal work in the studio or with people, I could see something like the Nikon 58/1.4 approach being the better fit. I would think if I were wealthy, I would own both, to use for different tasks.  Some photographers are going to be more suited for the Zeiss, and some, I think, with the Nikkor. Even looking at MTF alone, one can see the Nikon is apparently corrected quite well for astigmatism and probably has great bokeh (I say probably because as usual, Nikons sample images leave some meat on the bone in terms of how good they could/should be).

And I certainly don't think there is this onus laid down upon Nikon for this (specialist) lens to be fundamentally perfect in order for Nikon to maintain a reputation as a lens design firm either. This lens frankly appears to be one of those cases in Nikon lens design history, where they gave a senior designer the "go" on a pet project, irregardless of whether the lens will be a commercial super selling success or not. Things like the 300/2, 6mm fisheye, 1200-1700 zoom and so forth have been earlier examples of this, from them. In a way, while I am certainly amongst those who wishes Nikon would produce some better quality updates of common focal lengths that are needed in today's hi-rez DSLR era, I am at the same time happy Nikon still has the cojones to go produce something that might not win the test chart wars but might very well affirm their reputation as a lens design company who still understands that rendering is important too.

Off my soap box.
-m


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barryfitzgerald

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2013, 06:17:34 am »

If the lens is designed for portrait use then that is quite open to debate on the ideal focal length.
I'm not sure this is going to be worthwhile as it's only a bit longer than a 50mm lens.

Had it been 70mm it might have been more appealing to "some"
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LKaven

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2013, 10:49:20 am »

If the lens is designed for portrait use then that is quite open to debate on the ideal focal length.
I'm not sure this is going to be worthwhile as it's only a bit longer than a 50mm lens.

Had it been 70mm it might have been more appealing to "some"

On paper, the 58/1.4g might be the best DX portrait lens available, yielding an 87mm equivalence.

NancyP

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2013, 01:39:22 pm »

It is interesting to compare the Japanese market's love of bokeh and rendering with the current US market's love of maximal MTF. I am trying out my old 35mm lenses, all physically 40 to 45 years old, with designs possibly much older than the lenses (eg. classic Planar design). I have found that one of my old lenses, M42 mount Mamiya-Sekor 1:1 macro lens, has distinctly different rendering and bokeh compared to my modern Canon macro lenses, though the Canon lenses are sharper. I will need more time to learn when to use what macro lens, but I begin to see why people enjoy experimenting with legacy lenses. I also bought a relatively cheap (3/7 of new price)  "user" (ugly) copy of Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 on eBay for experimenting, on the basis of one of Michael Reichmann's reviews. Busy weekend ahead!
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MartinSpence

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2013, 05:17:28 pm »

I have the 50mm f1.4, what is the advantage of the 58mm f1.4?

LKaven

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2013, 07:18:05 pm »

I have the 50mm f1.4, what is the advantage of the 58mm f1.4?

Based on the modified gauss design of the Noct Nikkor, it has a large aspheric element in front, and this update has one more aspheric internally.  It's supposed to be well-corrected for comma distortion wide open.  This lens, in practical terms, is probably more equivalent to the 24/1.4 and 85/1.4 than the 50/1.4G is.  The focal length, at 58mm, is supposed to be a design optimum. 

HarperPhotos

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2013, 08:08:11 pm »

Hello,

Personally I wished the time and effort Nikon put into this new lens was spent bring out a Nikon 17mm PC-E lens.

Cheers

Simon
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bisht

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2013, 08:30:06 pm »

Thank you for writing your well-considered and detailed post Nashville Mike. I've been reading a lot of anguished posts about the new lens, yours was the most mature and balanced.

At one time, I was primarily interested in landscape photography.  Lenses with high resolution and minimal distortion were my choice. I've become more interested in portrait photography over the past few years, and my needs have changed. I've begun to fall in love with lenses that have a unique rendering. I'm hoping for this quality in the new 58mm Nikon lens.
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barryfitzgerald

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2013, 06:13:24 am »

Thank you for writing your well-considered and detailed post Nashville Mike. I've been reading a lot of anguished posts about the new lens, yours was the most mature and balanced.

At one time, I was primarily interested in landscape photography.  Lenses with high resolution and minimal distortion were my choice. I've become more interested in portrait photography over the past few years, and my needs have changed. I've begun to fall in love with lenses that have a unique rendering. I'm hoping for this quality in the new 58mm Nikon lens.


Have a look here
http://www.nikon-asia.com/en_Asia/product/nikkor-lenses/fx-format/single-focal-length/normal/af-s-nikkor-58mm-f-1-4g#gallery


Rendering looks nice, not sure about wide open though
I think the issue is the lens speed v price, you'd expect f1.2 at that price level
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kers

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2013, 06:47:08 pm »

Now more images of the lens appear on the web (diglloyd.com) and as it seems the 58mm Nikkor is a completely different lens than the Zeiss ..
Not designed not to be extremely sharp but to have a character of its own, blending sharp and unsharp parts of the image very fluently.
A special purpose lens that is suited for portraits a.o. It is interesting to have this choice.

« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 08:28:03 pm by kers »
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BernardLanguillier

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Now more images of the lens appear on the web (diglloyd.com) and as it seems the 58mm Nikkor is a completely different lens than the Zeiss ..
Not designed not to be extremely sharp but to have a character of its own, blending sharp and unsharp parts of the image very fluently.
A special purpose lens that is suited for portraits a.o. It is interesting to have a this choice.

Indeed, this lens follows the 35mm f1.4, 24mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.4 in combining a very high level of technical performance with a prime focus on image rendering.

Having owned a copy of the 58mm noct, I can testify that it was plain awful at f1.2 in terms of sharpness, but for sure had a very very nice look. That was enough to have its second hand price sky rock to Otus level of prices... The new lens is miles ahead technically but seems to have retained much of the to die for rendering. I guess that they have decided not to make this lens f1.2 for 2 mains reasons: it would have impacted too much their ability to retain high technical results accross the board, the AF modules of the current Nikon bodies would have had a hard time dealing this this level of illumination.

The Major failure of Nikon marketing compared to Canon (L series) and even Sigma (Art series) is to not have given a distinct name and look to this series of outstanding lenses. They clearly have the intend, planning and engineering focus all aligned towards producing the most pleasing lens rendering in the world... but they don't build this intend in the product line up/look. A staggering level of oversight in year 2013... especially when you consider the focus of the new Df on this very aspect.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 08:33:53 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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DaveCurtis

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2013, 08:13:15 pm »

Yes, it won't win the high contrast/sharpness award wide open. However that doesn't seem to be the design goal.

Wonderful bokeh and has a nice 'look' for portraits.

Seems to have quite a strong focus shift though.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2013, 07:19:50 am »

Lloyd has started a review of the 58mm f1.4.

Pretty much what we would have expected but some interesting findings still.

Cheers,
Bernard

barryfitzgerald

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2013, 03:33:08 pm »

Jared Polin has some samples up from the lens

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaredpolin/sets/72157637227587373/

I have to be honest, for this kind of money you would expect the lens to be at least usable wide open (that means ok it doesn't mean tack sharp)
Looking at those samples the lens deserves a serious tear down for that kind of asking price.

I don't really care if it's crafted from the hands of Jesus  ::)
A poor lens is poor even more so with a crazy price tag. Any normal 50mm would tear that up, be it f1.4 or f1.8 budget glass
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 03:35:47 pm by barryfitzgerald »
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LKaven

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2013, 10:25:35 pm »

I have to be honest, for this kind of money you would expect the lens to be at least usable wide open (that means ok it doesn't mean tack sharp)
Looking at those samples the lens deserves a serious tear down for that kind of asking price.

I don't really care if it's crafted from the hands of Jesus  ::)
A poor lens is poor even more so with a crazy price tag. Any normal 50mm would tear that up, be it f1.4 or f1.8 budget glass

Judging from Lloyd's samples, the lens looks very usable at f/1.4.  It seems much better than the Noct Nikkor in direct comparisons, and better than the 50/1.4G.  And the price is about the price of a pro f/1.4 prime at 35mm or 85mm.  It's got two aspheric elements, including the front element.  I'm not seeing anything wrong with this picture so far.

barryfitzgerald

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2013, 07:27:34 am »

Not sure what samples you've seen. I looked at Jared's and the lens is showing fairly notable Spherical aberration (soft focus effect) for his close up shots and the portrait head shots. You might expect that at f1.4 (a bit that is) but it's not really getting it together even at f2.2, contrast is low esp wide open and at f1.8

I have seen some "further away" shots and full sized samples and they looked somewhat better. I know every lens is unique, and some lenses perform worse for closer up shots (some perform worse far distance), but I assume as it's a 58mm it would be quite a strange choice to compromise closer distance shooting (ie portraits)

I'd also point out yes a lens is far more than pure sharpness and this does seem to have very nice rendering overall. But I have to question how useful the lens is at below f2, and the price tag that it's got seems excessive for a less than perfect optical performance. Not sure about other folks but I'd not be happy with that lens performance at the faster apertures, as half the reason for buying this is lens speed it's going to be a tough sell. There is also a lot of colour fringing which again isn't rare for a fast prime, but disappointing considering the price.

Appreciate portraits you don't always want tack sharp (often you don't) I'm really surprised how weak the lens is wide open. There are lots of 50mm's out there for a fraction of the price that do much better (even the cheaper ones), there are also a lot of choices for portrait lenses too that can do a fine job. Can't see this lens getting good reviews or a positive reception based on what I've seen so far. Not really sure who the lens is aimed at 58mm is strange for a FF lens, maybe DX users? Can't see many DX folks laying down this much for a lens
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 07:40:30 am by barryfitzgerald »
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kers

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2013, 12:35:24 pm »

...
I'd also point out yes a lens is far more than pure sharpness and this does seem to have very nice rendering overall
...

I like the portrait on diglloyds blog (http://diglloyd.com/) of his daughter a lot- the rendering is very nice - a 1.4 shot...
I like it if more special purpose lenses are being developed; gives us more choice...
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2013, 12:42:40 pm »

...
I'd also point out yes a lens is far more than pure sharpness and this does seem to have very nice rendering overall.
...

Indeed.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lomography/the-lomography-petzval-portrait-lens

1.4Pete

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #38 on: November 14, 2013, 06:58:49 am »

I´m an enthusiastic user of my 24mm 1.4G and 85mm 1.4G and I´m quite happy with my 35mm 1.4G. The 50mm 1.4G is not at all comparable to these. I hope and I´m quite confident, that the 58mm 1.4G will meet my expactations even if DxO Test draw a terrible picture. I believe you shouldn´t attach to much importance to theses tests. This new lens is the most urgent lens renewal I´ve been waiting for of all Nikon lenses.
Pete
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Rob C

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Re: Rumor: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
« Reply #39 on: November 14, 2013, 01:02:40 pm »

Unless you are doing full-lengths and consider them portraits, I think the focal length's far too short. I remember seeing very competent portraits (head shots) from Nikkor 105mm lenses, but even then there was distortion of a not very pretty sort. For portraits (head shots) I wouldn't go shorter than 135mm. I am speaking about 24mm x 36mm formats, of course.

Regarding a lens that produces soft images. Why, in this digital age, would you consider that an advantage? You can soften anything and make it look beautiful to the degree that suits your imagination and wishes. Going the opposite way is the difficult one; better your lens gives you that choice in editing/manipulation.

Rob C
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