AFS58_D800

Although a reference to the famous Noct Nikkor was made at the official launch, the lens does not actually carry that designation.

So to all intents and purposes, It is just another AF-S Nikkor.

But the 58mm focal length, it’s use and historical predecessor, make the comparison obvious. Although the f/1.4 aperture of the new lens against the F1.2 of the earlier optic on paper, seem a small retrograde step.

This lens should perform well. Better than obvious alternatives wide open and at moderate apertures. It should be highly corrected against coma, resistant against flare, making it particularly suitable for low light and long exposure photography.

So I have expectations of this lens. The implication was certainly that this goes ‘beyond’ Noct Nikkor in capabilities.

The slightly longer focal length could also suit those working in PR press and sports situations compared say to the AF-S 50mm F/1.4 or AF-D F/1.4, which many will on first thought see as the obvious alternative. Especially with the cost difference.

While those shooting video should find its optical character pleasing.

I have been looking forward to such a possibility as this new lens. And although a fine lens the AF-S F/1.4 option wide open, still does not quite do it for me in overall ‘character’.

Physically the AF-S 58mm F/1.4 Nikkor is a nice lens, a decent size, and enough to handle without being a lump.

Manual focusing is typical pro AF-S feel. Yes a bit more resistance like the manual only focus lenses, may have been even nicer, but this seemed very usable.

I like the receded front element at both near (58cm) and at infinity. Add the HB-68 hood and combine that with the Nano Crystal coating, and to me on initial inspection, the result should be really good flare resistance and very well controlled contrast loss.

On DX format camera the angle of view also has real potential interest and uses. Add in weather/dust proofing and you appear to be getting a very thought through option.

But this is a lens costing £1600.

So unless you have specific needs for its optical characteristics, and for whatever reason, do not fancy the 50mm f1.4 options, another excellent lens around this focal length the AF-S 60mm Micro Nikkor should be worthy of serious consideration. This is also a fine all round high quality lens and may suit your more often shot situations more?. Ah – the problems we have as Nikon users – too much choice. Not overlooking the ‘third party’ alternatives.

However, well done Nikon’s design team on this one, as it has some fine sounding characteristics and time will tell.

It is I suspect however, a lens that after the initial flurry of worldwide attention, will sit in the line-up quietly and be available for a very long time.

And of course, that is one reason why the majority of professionals in the world shoot Nikon or Canon as they are true camera systems with more ‘specialist’ items available.

And Nikon it seems may have cemented a solution to some specific and demanding needs with this one, let alone for more general shooting.

Comments on its actual use may follow.

End.