Also Known As: Noct NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 Ai-S
Lens Type: Prime Lens
Format: Full Frame / FX
Focus: Manual Focus
Lens Mount: Nikon F
Release Date: 1977-01-01
MSRP Price: $4000
Made in: Japan
Production Status: Discontinued
Lens Description: A legendary 6-group, 7-element lens created for low-light / nocturnal use. The original version came out in 1977 and Nikon updated it with an Ai-S version in 1982
Photography Life Review Summary: Without a doubt, the Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 is a very special and truly legendary lens. Almost forty years have passed since Nikon first invented the Noct and to date we have not seen a true equivalent – the latest generation 58mm f/1.4G cannot be considered as a replacement, because it lacks the sharpness the Noct is able to produce, particularly at the maximum aperture. Read the full Nikon Noct NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 Ai-S Review by Photography Life.
Nikon Noct NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 Ai-S Specifications
|Lens Type||Prime Lens|
|Mount Type||Nikon F|
|Format||Full Frame / FX|
|Compatible Format(s)||35mm, FX and DX|
|Compatible with Teleconverters||No|
|Maximum Reproduction Ratio||1:6.7|
|Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization)||No|
|Maximum Angle of View (Full frame or larger format)||40.8°|
|Built-in Focus Motor||No|
|Minimum Focus Distance||0.5m|
|Accepts Filter Type||Screw-on|
|Weather / Dust Sealing||No|
|Available in Colors||Black|
The only real downside of this lens is the price.
Otherwise, I find it surprizingly versatile, even for daylight shots. It will reward you with:
– an ideal focal length (58mm instead of 50 makes it much more suitable for portraits, and still usable for general purposes);
– high contrast where the focus lies, yielding “punchy” images, in combination with the bokeh (see below);
– better bokeh (compared to other Nikkor 50 lenses);
– tolerable aberrations, distortion, flare, field curvature, etc., so publishing “straight out of the camera” remains an option in most cases;
– relatively small size and weight! a quality that is often underestimated, especially for street shots.
For night shots, you might be better served by the Tamron 45/1.8 for instance.
Can I manually use this lens on Nikon z7 Camera?
Thanks for your answer
Yes. I did, with an FTZ adapter. The Z7 provides very helpful focussing aids (by the way, when a shot made with the Noct does not look sharp, blame the focus rather than the lens). But I stick with my Df + Noct combo that admittedly requires some training.
This is a very specialized lens. For general photography, a Nifty-Fifty (at 3%-10% the price of this one used) will serve you much better and will have AF besides. What can this lens do that a typical Nifty-Fifty can’t?
1) Render points of light at night as points of light, not as blobs
2) Go the extra mile in very low light. (The manual f/1.2 will too, at one fifth the price.)
3) Go the extra mile for an exceptionally shallow DOF. (Again, the f/1.2 does this, but is less sharp.)
I owned a copy in the 90s, and own a copy now. Obviously I love the thing for cityscapes after dark and stars. I always shoot it wide open–if I’m stopping down, my 50 f/1.4D is much, much more convenient (lighter, AF).
If at all possible, try before you buy.
Usefulness for ultra-shallow DOF: 5/5
Usefulness at night: 5/5
Usefulness for general photography: 2/5 (fine, but Nifty Fifty is lighter and has AF)
Value for money:
If you need points of light in the darkness as points: 5/5
If you need super-shallow DOF: 3/5 (if the 50 1.2 is sufficient for your needs, get that instead)
General Photography: 0/5
Also Compare to: 58mm f/1.4 G, less than half the price, does have AF (and hence half a stop slower). I have not had a chance to test this new offering so I can’t comment.
Perhaps Compare to: similarly priced Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4–not released at the time of this note.