LensTip.com

Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 58 mm f/1.4G

14 February 2014
Arkadiusz Olech

11. Summary

Pros:
  • high image quality in the frame centre from f/2.8,
  • very good control of the lateral chromatic aberration,
  • not bothersome distortion,
  • very good coma correction in the corners of  APS-C/DX,
  • nice blur images,
  • moderate vignetting,
  • sensible work against bright light.

Cons:

  • too much plastics in the casing for a top-of-the-range 50 mm device which is supposed to be a successor of the Noct-Nikkor,
  • weak image quality in the frame centre near the maximum relative aperture,
  • very weak image quality on the edge of the frame,
  • longitudinal chromatic aberration could have been lower,
  • noticeable coma in the full frame corners,
  • strange performance of autofocus,
  • disastrous price quality ratio.

Perhaps I am naive but I admit when Zeiss announced their Otus 1.4/55 and Nikon – the Nikkor AF-S 58 mm f/1.4G I though we were going to deal with two lenses which were a match for each other. It seems, though, that only Zeiss was serious about it and Nikon was joking all along, trying to sell you a rough piece of trash for a lot of money under a cover of a storied Nikon legacy. I really don’t intend to torture the tested Nikkor any longer because it is not worth the time and trouble. However, in order to finish this test with a comical accent let me quote the words of one of Nikon company representatives, published on the day of the launch as the official press release.


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"The area of optical construction has progressed rapidly over recent years and the constant improvement of optical and mechanical efficiency of NIKKOR lenses guarantees an excellent quality of photos. Still, despite the incessant innovation process such a lens as the AF-S NIKKOR 50 mm f/1.4G appears just once in a while. Its properties and parameters exceed standard measurement conventions. A unique character of that model can only be appreciated when you look at the photos. Few lenses go down in history as »classic« but the AF-S NIKKOR 58 mm f/1.4G deserves that name." (Zurab Kiknadze, European Product Manager in the lenses, accessories and software department of Nikon Europe)