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Nikon 58mm f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor

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Reviews Views Date of last review
6 18703 Feb 4, 2021
Recommended By Average Price
83% of reviewers $1,549.50
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Name: Nikon 58mm f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor
Image Circle: 35mm
Type: Standard Prime
Focal Length: 58mm
APS Equivalent: 87mm
Max Aperture: f/1.4
Min Aperture: f/16
Diaphragm Blades: 9 (rounded)
Lens Construction: 9 elements in 6 groups, including 2 aspherical elements
Diagonal Angle of View
(Based on image circle): 40.8 degrees
Focus Details: Silent Wave Motor (SWM), A (autofocus), M/A (manual-priority autofocus) and M (manual focus)
Front Element Rotation: No
Closest Focus: 0.58m / 1.9 ft.
Magnification Ratio: 0.13x / 1:7.7
Filter Size: 72mm
(Length x Diameter): 70mm x 85mm / 2.7 in. x 3.3 in.
Weight: 385g / 13.6 oz.
Notes: Included Accessories: Bayonet hood HB-68, soft lens case CL-1015, front and rear lens caps
Online Price: US$1,700


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Registered: Feb 4, 2021
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 4, 2021 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: This thing is so unique! I love the extra little bit of compression over a standard 50mm focal length. The bokeh is beautiful!
It's not the sharpest wide open.

I love this lens! The extra little bit of compression over a standard 50mm is lovely. The bokeh is gorgeous. It's not the sharpest wide open, but at f2 it's totally useable. The look it delivers goes beyond technical specifications. It's a wonderful lens!

Feb 4, 2021
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Registered: Jul 22, 2010
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 820
Review Date: Jan 17, 2017 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Maybe no the sharpest wide open, but 'sharpness' isn't the only thing that counts/should count when looking at a picture (if so it would be much easier to take a great picture) Beautiful image rendering, equally, if not more stunning 'bokeh'
Expensive, and rumored to become even more so !! Feels very light, especially considering the size, but fortunately the built quality really is no issue when shooting with it out in the field (or on the beach)

I have for long stayed away from 50mm-ish lenses, considered them useful, relatively low cost, high speed (I also have a 1.4/50 Ai manual, and had a 1.8/50mm AF copy) workhorses
Bread an butter lenses, but really not very useful for more 'artistic' pictures (I a.o. shoot fashion and beauty) so over the years I have owned more exotic lenses like o.a. 85mm, 135mm 200mm, 2.8/300mm, and still own e.g. the 1.4/85 AFD, 135 DC and 2/200mm VR

Like any Nikon user ogled the 1.2/58mm Noct, but given the pricetag that was, even 2nd hand, way out of my range.
The 1.4 58mm AF seemed very attractive too, especially considering the added AF, even if it was not in the same class as the Noct, but the MSRP remained still a bridge too far considering its in my eyes rather common, around the 50mm range, focal length

But after I basically had all the camera's I needed (although of course a new, more attractive one may always appear, and really how many do you really need), I decided, when I found a 2nd hand, prime condition one for a very attractive price, go for the 58mm to complement my lens collection.

Boy, was I surprised.
The lens is tack sharp, despite maybe being a bit 'soft' (but that never is/was the standard for me to judge a picture upon) wide open, making the image rendering reminiscent of pictures shot on film, and 'lacking' the sharp and contrasty at all costs' that seem to be the standard for many digital shooters these days

For all intent and purposes AF is fast enough even for fast moving subjects (try keeping up with models literally dancing in front of the camera during a shoot)
After all, if you're shooting really fast moving subjects like cars, bikes, runners etc you're more likely to use a long, fast focusing lens like e.g. a 2.8/70-200 AF VRII

More importantly, its image rendering (OK, a subjective criteria) makes it ideal for shooting people, formals for weddings etc.
Background rendering is breathtaking, IMO on the same level as the 85mm AFD, 135mm DC and 2/200VR
But although considering its focal length it's very tempting to only use it for full outs and three quarters, its 'slightly more then a standard lens' focal length also make it IMO a perfect choice for even close ups, without risks of facial/optical distortion

Plus of course its 'smaller then eg a 70-200 zoom' size makes it far less intimidating for the model, and allows far more discrete and intimate shooting

Rumor has it the MSRP will, compared to what I paid for it, more then double in February 2017, so if you consider one, be fast

Jan 17, 2017
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Registered: Jun 30, 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 92
Review Date: Aug 14, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Gorgeous bokeh. Fast autofocus. Solid feeling. Super light. Built-in hood (sort of). Perfect focal length for portraits. Weather sealed. Did I mention bokeh-licious?
Soft wide open. Not the sharpest lens, until you stop down past 2.8.

Nikon, you silly guy/gal. This lens is the big pink elephant in the room. It's been knocked up by most reviewers and set aside by everyone else just on the outrageous price alone. Is it really worth $1500+ dollars? In a way yes, but to most people, no.

Hmm.. let's see. It's not sharp below F2. It's got a ton of CA and sagittal flaring. The microcontrast is non existent... There's really very little to love about it in technical terms.

But it's that pink elephant in the room that everyone will learn to love!

For some reason, there must've been an engineer at Nikon who said, "F" everyone and their desire to build the best technical lens and hurrah to beauty, art, and love. The glass on this lens no joke and you can see that when you stop down to f2.8 and down. So it's definitely capable of being a great technical lens, but the project manager said to the engineers, "Screw all that! let's design a lens we think is best for photographers!" And so they built the perfect portrait lens, according to Nikon's philosophy on art, love and all things beautiful...

The bokeh on this thing is gorgeous. Depending on the subjects distance, it casts a buttery, curvature that rainbows behind its subject. The contrast may be low, but it allows the subject to truly "pop" above the buttery, creamy, bokeh.

For what it's worth, it is actually very sharp wide open at the very center of the frame. Perhaps it was Nikon's subtle way of saying that they wanted to create something very unique, and different that goes against the grain and only rewards those who are willing to follow.

So at a cost, it truly does reward the photographers who desire art over technicality, beauty over sharpness, love over pomp.

Thanks for reading.

Aug 14, 2014
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Registered: Sep 1, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: Jan 25, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Tones, color capture are beautiful in low light and challenging lighting situations.
There are some chromatic aberrations when shooting in backlit situations in the daytime. They could have added a couple of ED elements in there. But, then, the lens would be heavier and the light transmission may be reduced and they have to make the lens physically wider.
Jan 25, 2014
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Registered: May 23, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2570
Review Date: Dec 20, 2013 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,699.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Build quality, Fast AF, pretty accurate AF, good range for portraits
Muted colors, low contrast, average bokeh for the price, soft lens unless stopped down

Not sure if I've ever been so disappointed by a lens. First off, I'm not a pixel peeper, however for a portrait lens I want the point of focus to be sharp and a nice transition into a soft but full background. Nikon has for years not had a professional level 50mm lens, and for some photographers, a good normal reliable 50 is important. The 50 1.4D and G had less reliable AF, while the 50 1.8G fixed that but is not a caliber of lens that I would use all day. I even switched to Canon for a while just to shoot the gorgeous 50 1.2L. So when this lens came out, I was excited. But after doing some controlled tests with the Nikon 58 1.4 and the Sigma 50 1.4 at F/1.4, I really could not tell the images apart, except for the fact that the Sigma was sharper!

-Soft lens
First few shots out of the box were soft- and a different soft than what I've seen before. Quickly ruled out hand-shake by increasing shutter speed, and the amazing thing is that even on the LCD it looks like the whole image is soft. So I brought up the images on screen, and even on screen the first impression of the shot is that there's no point in the frame in super sharp focus. In zooming in, you can find where the lens hit, but it's not that much sharper than the rest. If I had to sum up, this lens has a lack of micro-contrast to draw attention to your image in focus. Just a flat looking shot- the lack of popping colors or really engaging bokeh doesn't help.

AF was nice and snappy, but did get fooled more than I was used to with Nikon.

This is where I was shocked- the colors were awful in my opinion. There was a brown/green cast on the images, even images like reds and blues didn't pop out. It seemed like in order to try and compete as a portrait lens, Nikon created "soft focus" by muting the colors. Not really easy to edit in post-processing either. Yuck. Preferred even the $400 Sigma 50 1.4 over this.

People were comparing this to the NOCT 58 1.2. Let's just set the records straight, not even in the same league. The bokeh is very flat (although round wide open), and there seems to be a lack of details in the highlights and shadows.

Stopped down past f2, much better sharpness, and all of the above (AF, colors, bokeh) improve. But at this price point, you want to be able to shoot at f/1.4 (keep in mind I already calibrated the lens to my camera). The focus hits where it should, but just doesn't "pop."

Overall, I guess that's my criticism. This lens does not pop. And considering Canon has a $1300 50 1.2L that is sharper at f/1.2 than this lens is at F/1.4, Nikon shooters are still stuck with the choice of shooting with a sub-par 50mm lens, or just adjusting to shoot with the much-better 35G and 85G lenses. In short, not worth the money- I probably would not pay more than $500 for this lens.

If this was a $500 lens, I'd rate it a 7.

Dec 20, 2013
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Registered: Jun 24, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 15, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,699.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: good image quality over most of field at 1.4, better at 2.0 and excellent thereafter with clean color and high sharpness
slight forward focus shift

very fast and reliable autofocus in studio for use with moving subjects (kids); excellent color correction giving extremely clean colors at f 4.0 and beyond; full sharpness/resolution with D800e...... overall best normal, even if a bit pricey.

Nov 15, 2013
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Nikon 58mm f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
6 18703 Feb 4, 2021
Recommended By Average Price
83% of reviewers $1,549.50
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating