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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:37 am 
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*****************UPDATE****************
My complete review is now up here.
******************************************

Nikon announced a new fixed focus lens covering FX sensors (and smaller): The AF-S NIKKOR 58 mm 1:1,4G.
The technical data look pretty similar to the existing AF-S NIKKOR 50 mm 1:1,4G but for the 8mm extra in focal length.
But looking at the list-price of 1719 EUR (1700 USD) for the newly announced lens vs. around 330 EUR street price for its smaller brother you know that there must be more pronounced differences than 8mm. See them side-by-side with the new lens on the right:
Image
Nikon AF-S 50f1.4 vs 58f1.4 by Thomas, on Flickr

Well, yes: there is the coveted gold-ring on the more expensive brother and it looks bigger too. No surprise there because with 16% longer focal length you could expect some growth. So let's see how these lenses compare. To match the sequence in the image above I'll put the data for the 50/1.4G first and those for the 58/1.4G second:

lenses/groups: 8/7 vs. 9/6 (incl. two aspherical lenses)
Minimum focus distance: 0.45m vs. 0.58m
Maximum magnification: 1:6.7 vs. 1:7.7
smallest aperture: f16 both
Diameter x length: 73.5x54mm vs. 85x70mm
Filter thread: 58mm vs. 72mm
weight: 280g vs. 385g
Nano coating: no vs. yes

Here're some buzzwords from the marketing material: "homage to the acclaimed original Noct NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 lens", "edge-to-edge sharpness", "overwhelming rendering performance", "Virtually no sagittal coma flare or light falloff", "beautiful bokeh".
Here's an image of the designs plus the MTF-curves, again left the 50/1.4G with the 58/1.4G on the right:
Image Image
Image Image

Availability of the new lens is expected end of October. Want to read more?
Here's the announcement in English and in German.
And there are the product pages in English and in German.
Interview with a Nikon designer in charge of the design.html]English[/url] and in [url=httphtml]English[/url] and in [url=http

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:21 pm 
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There will certainly be some extensive digging into the question whether the Bokeh of this lens lives up to high expectations.
Here's one testshot from Nikon's website with nicely blurred point-light sources in the background:
Image

In my experience there are four factors controlling the quality of Bokeh. I listed them in order of importance:

1. Homogeneity of the circle of confusion (coc) that a point-light source behind (or of practically less importance in front of) the focus plane:
The most annoying error being a strong outlining of the coc. But some lenses (esp. with cheap aspherical elements) also produce brighter rings inside the coc. These effect not only look ugly but there bad influence multiplies as soon as multiple cocs overlap. That produces ugly pattern often called "nervous". Of what we can see in the testshot, homogeneity seems pretty good.

2. The amount of cat's-eye effect:
This effect causes the circle of confusion to be less circular and more elliptical for point-light sources outside the optical axis. many times the effect does not show in a linear fashion but becomes progressively worse the closer to the borders/corners of the image you get. There are two factors in play, the worst being clipping of light-rays entering from a steep angle by the mechanical construction: you're sort of "seeing" the lens-barrel. This is called "mechanical vignetting". You can see some amount of deformation in the upper left corner of the testshot. It doesn't look too pronounced, but without proper testing and comparing to other lenses it's hard to say how good the new lens really is in this respect.

3. The amount of astigmatism:
In my experience astigmatism plays a role in oof areas too: it reproduces objects/lines oriented along "in favor" of the astigmatism sharper than objects perpendicular to that. This also works against a smooth Bokeh. The new lens' MTF-curve above indicates that it has little astigmatism.

4. spherochromatism (also called Bokeh CA or not quite exactly Longitudinal CA):
This effect produces green halos around bright objects in the background (magenta halos in the foreground). So it introduces colors that are not there. is a real nuisance and not very easy to correct: neither in lens-design nor in post-processing. Unfortunately many of Nikon's large-aperture primes below 100mm focal length suffer from spherochromatism. Up to now I've seen no indicator of it in the test-shots, but the material so far is not well suited to properly judge the effect.

Btw.: Sagittal coma flare (or the absence thereof, which Nikon is touting as a strong point of the new lens) has nothing to do with the quality of Bokeh. It is relevant for rendering of point-light sources in the corners of the image-field that are in focus. De-focus a bit and the strange bird-like shape that is indicative of sagittal coma goes away.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:09 am 
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Being one who has dreamed of someday finding an "affordable" Noct 58mm 1.2 AI or AI-S, probably meaning decent glass but a worn exterior, this announcment of an AF-S 21st-Century Noct certainly has my attention. It may not work too well on an FM3A, but will be fine on an F6, and on any future Nikon DSLR I may acquire. (A D800E is on my "road map," but not an imminent acquisition.)

I shoot often at night, frequently with points of light in the image, so saggital coma flare is a concern. This would become even more relevant if I should start using a Nikon for evidentiary photography; being able to testify that an image is "true and correct" is simplified when aberrations are not present.

I had noticed that no current Nikon 50mm is on Nikon's list of recommended lenses for the D800E. I presume the 58/1.4G will be on that list. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:19 am 
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"I presume the 58/1.4G will be on that list."
I'd bet, RexGig!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:50 am 
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For those looking for the large original sized images on Nikon's website:
http://www.nikon-asia.com/en_Asia/produ ... 4g#gallery

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:24 pm 
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Bjørn Rørslett has published first comparisons with the 58 mm f/1.2 Noct-Nikkor at 1.35m distance. Findings:
Both lenses have comparable loCA (clearly visible), Noct has more field curvature, the AF-S has more focus-shift, micro-contrast seems to be better with the AF-S although overall contrast is better with the Noct, Bokeh of the AF-S seems to be more "mellow".
These statements are only first findings from two (published) one-on-one comparisons.
---
Btw.: Availability in Germany and Austria seems scarce/nil.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:46 am 
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The Sigma 50mm F1,4 EX DG HSM might be a nice addition to compare performance across f1.4 "normal"-lenses.
Image Image Image

It is a design with 8 lenses (one aspherical) in 6 groups, has a max magnification of 1:7,4 and a 77 mm filter thread, is 85mm in diameter, 68mm long, and weighs 505g. So it's the heavyweight of the group.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:27 am 
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Here's a side-by-side of all of Nikon's current f1.4 lenses from Sam Obeid:

Image

from left to right: 24/1.4G, 35/1.4G, 50/1.4G, 58/1.4G, 85/1.4G

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:15 pm 
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Ha, and what about throwing in some comparisons to the fabled Zeiss Otus 55/1.4?
The test-images (all availabel in high-rez on a D800) are pretty impressive I must say. But at twice the price of the new Nikkor (and no AF) that should be expected...

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:24 pm 
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The new lens is on its way to me. Also hope to get a Sigma 50/1.4 in time to compare it to in addition to the comparison to the Nikon AF-S 50/1.4

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:56 pm 
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Plus I hope to get my hands on a copy of the fabled Zeiss 55/1.4 Otus as the master benchmark.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:08 pm 
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I would certainly like to see the results from the Zeiss 55m Thomas. Hope you can get your hands on one of them.

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:43 pm 
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Yes, I'll get one for testing.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:15 pm 
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To quote patti: Whooooohoooooooo! I'll stay tuned here Thomas!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:11 pm 
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Nikon AF-S 58/1.4G arrived!
Don't hold your breath for an unboxing-video :twisted:

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