disclosure: I am not a professional camera or lens tester. The reviews I do are more of a hands on than a technical review. All the shots are edited the way I like to edit my photos. You will see no “shot out of camera” because I don’t believe in that term.
Nikon 58mm F1.4G
When this lens was first released I was really excited. Without knowing all the details I was really excited at owning a modern autofocus version of the F1.2 NOCT. When the details slowly started to emerge many people were disappointed with the F1.4 aperture. An aperture of F1.2 would have been definitely pushing the limits on the F mount but I thought nikon would pull out some magic and make it happen. We all know the difference between F1.2 and F1.4 is minute but every little bit helps when you want to push those backgrounds into a dreamlike state.
So, we were stuck with F1.4. Moving on to other areas, the sample images at F1.4 were just not very sharp. They lacked to me the contrast and sharpness I was used to with my Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art and the Nikon 85mm F1.4G. I loved the look of the bokeh and the rendering but I just couldn’t get past the lack of sharpness. The apparent reduced sharpness combined with a hefty price tag made me look towards the Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art that I was waiting on to be released.
As I waited for my Sigma 50mm pre-order more and more people were getting and starting to use the 58mm F1.4G. There was just something about the images that I loved. The more I looked at them, the more I appreciated what people were talking about. The rendering was sublime. Smooth transitions from in focus to out of focus and the bokeh was sublime. So I did the unexpected. I ordered the 58mm! I figured I would test out both the Sigma and the Nikon and sell the lens that I didn’t like. Well, my 58mm arrived about 2 weeks after I bought it. I was told it would be another month before the Sigma would be in stock. I figured this will be a good chance to try out the Nikon unimpeded by any other lens comparison.
Well, I shot with the lens for a month straight and absolutely loved it. It rarely came of my D800 and I was so amazed at the rendering and even the sharpness that I canceled my Sigma 50mm Art order. I have since been shooting with the Nikon 58mm F1.4 for the past 2 years almost. Thousands of shots later and it is still my favourite lens.