Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Arts & Entertainment
  3. Arts & Exhibits

Ken Rockwell tests Nikon 58 f1.4 lens

See also

Sometimes controversial Nikon guru Ken Rockwell has just posted an in-depth review of the much-hyped Nikkor 58 f1.4 lens, which the manufacturer bills as the successor to the legendary 58 f1.2 Noct Nikkor. The new lens even features the same optical layout as the old.

So, is the new 58 a worthy successor to the old?

Optically, the lens is good, so good in fact that Rockwell says that it's just about as good as a macro lens. For a more in-depth analysis, the center is good from the get go with only slight softening in the corners, which improve a little when stopped down. However, according to the review, any lack of sharpness with this lens is more due to missing focus and diffraction caused by stopping down too much. As for vignetting, it is very well controlled on FF cameras and virtually disappears by f2. Chromatic aberration is also virtually nil, not that it even matters (according to Rockwell) because current Nikon cameras can correct false color automatically. Distortion? It's there, and worse than other Nikon 50s, but is not that bad overall and is, like CA, possible to be corrected in-camera.

Mechanically, the lens uses Nikon's sonic-drive AF-S technology, which results in silent AF. As for speed, it's right on par with the other AF-S 50 Nikkors. The lens also has full-time manual focus capability, too, which allows for instant manual override of the AF without actually having to flip the lens from AF to MF mode. As for construction quality, the lens is made of plastic and based in a metal mount, nothing special.

Overall, the lens is good. Performance in terms of sharpness is outstanding wide open, even drawing comparison to macro optics (which are about as sharp as any lenses can be). As for chromatic aberration and distortion, both are well-controlled, with distortion being present but easily corrected (in-camera or with software). The lens uses the latest in AF technology, but is nothing special in terms of build quality. So far, the lens sounds pretty good, and then there's the price: about $1700, which causes Rockwell to avoid recommending it because the new 50 f1.4G works just as good, for a quarter of the price.

Bottom line: the 58 f1.4 is a waste of money and is nothing more than a rich man's show piece lens.

Want to buy Nikon gear in the Cleveland area? Well, there's Cleveland-based Dodd Camera, with its downtown superstore. In addition, there are many smaller Cleveland metro area chain stores in the Cuyahoga County area, too. Dodd is an authorized Nikon dealer.

For more info:
Ken Rockwell

Like this?
Hit the 'subscribe' button for automatic email updates when I write something new!

Why not check out my other columns?
National Space News Examiner
National Photography Examiner
Cleveland Astronomy Examiner

Want even more? Check out my personal websites:
The Nightly Sky
Bodzash Photography & Astronomy

Advertisement

Today's top buzz...

  • NBA point guards
    The other guys: NBA's top 5 underrated point guards
    Camera
    NBA Buzz
  • Gwen Stefani
    From Snoop Dogg to Gwen Stefani: The special Coachella guests we loved seeing
    Camera
    Music News
  • The Ultimate Warrior
    An autopsy on the Ultimate Warrior reveals what suddenly killed the wrestling hero
    Video
    Fight Sports
  • Marlon Wayans
    Exclusive: Marlon Wayans dishes on 'A Haunted House 2' and getting sexy with a doll
    Movies Buzz
  • Scott Harnell
    Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell has been fined $5K for spearing
    NHL Buzz
  • Game of Thrones
    The stars of 'Game of Thrones' react to the shocking purple wedding
    Video
    TV Buzz

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!