Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 58 mm f/1.4G

14 February 2014
Arkadiusz Olech

10. Autofocus

The tested lens is equipped with an ultrasonic Silent Wave Motor, so the work of the mechanism is noiseless. Still it can hardly be called quick. Running through the whole distance scale takes a bit over 1 second, no matter from what end you start. It is hardly an impressive value.

When it comes to the accuracy of the autofocus, the matter is quite complicated. If you set the distance scale at infinity before pressing the shutter the lens practically never misses. When you position the scale near the minimum focus for a change, the number of misses increases to a quite high level of 16%.

In order to show it better we decided to position the lens before our testing chart and take several dozen photos by f/2.8, where maximum results in JPEG files reach less than 1500 LWPH. First we took photos with the focus scale set at infinity as the starting position – there were no problems whatsoever and 94% of shots featured resolution in the range of 1400 – 1500 LWPH. As soon as we started taking photos with the focus scale set at the minimum distance, the situation changed completely and our histograms show it perfectly well.

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Nikon Nikkor AF-S 58 mm f/1.4G - Autofocus

Only 6.4 % of all shots were in the 1400-1500 LWPH range, almost 50% of photos provided MTFs ranging from 1300 to 1400 LWPH and 29% were in the 1200-1100 LWPH range. Additionally some really weak results, ranging from 1000- 1100 LWPH, happened as well (over 3% of all photos). It’s obvious that, with the focus scale set at the minimum distance, there are definitely more problems with getting sharp images and the distribution of results is much more dispersed than with the focus scale set at infinity. To be honest it doesn’t look good.

When it comes to the front or back focus tendencies it seems that the lens showed a slight back-focus when attached to the D7000 camera. In the case of the D3x we didn’t notice such an effect but we admit that the weak image quality made it hard to assess unanimously where the depth of focus started or finished.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 58 mm f/1.4G - Autofocus

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 58 mm f/1.4G - Autofocus