Nikkor AF-S 58mm f/1.4 G (FX) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Nikon / Nikkor (full format)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff and Markus Stamm, published October 2014
Special thanks to Dr. Roland Rudolphi for providing the lens!
The wide- to short tele prime lens market is currently in a bit of a turmoil. Driven by Zeiss and also Sigma, the manufacturers are exploring extreme quality designs ... as well as corresponding price tags. In the standard prime lens segment, Zeiss started the game with the Otus 55mm f/1.4 followed by the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM DG "Art". Obviously Nikon felt the heat and released the Nikkor AF-S 58mm f/1.4 G. At 1700 US$ this is clearly not for the faint-hearted although this is almost affordable by Zeiss Otus standards.
"58mm" may sound like an unusual choice but this is actually not a first for Nikon here. Back in the old days, they offered a Noct-Nikkor Ai-S 58mm f/1.2 - a legendary lens renowned for great performance at max. aperture. We'll see whether the current AF-S 58mm f/1.4 is capable of following this guidance.
While just as fast as the much cheaper AF-S 50mm f/1.4 G, the AF-S 58mm f/1.4 G is a massive lens in comparison although, again, it's compact when thinking of the Zeiss Otus.
The build quality is high which is, of course, something you can expect considering the price tag. However, the lens is actually quite a bit lighter than you'd expect by its size. This is partly because the lens body is made of high quality plastics (based on a metal mount) and also because the actual optical system is quite short and compact.
The broad, rubberized focus ring operates smoothly. The mount is sealed by a rubber ring albeit the lens is not weather-sealed.
As for all new Nikkors for many years now, the AF-S 58 is a G-type lens and thus does not offer an aperture ring.
The AF is quite fast and near noiseless. However, the motor shifts the whole optical system (linear extension system). Nonetheless, the physical length of the lens remains constant because the optical system is deeply recessed in the lens body. Manual override is possible without switching to manual focus mode.
|Optical construction||9 elements in 6 groups including 2 aspherical and 1 Nano Crystal Coat element|
|Number of aperture blades||9 (rounded)|
|min. focus distance||0.58m (max. magnification ratio 1:7.7)|
|Filter size||72mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||petal-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)|
|Other features||Lens provides distance (D) information to the camera, Silent Wave AF motor|