Nikon Noct NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 Ai-S

Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2

Lens Summary

Brand: Nikon

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 Specifications
Lens TypePrime Lens
Focal Length58mm
Mount TypeNikon F
FormatFull Frame / FX
Compatible Format(s)35mm, FX and DX
Compatible with TeleconvertersNo
Maximum Reproduction Ratio1:6.7
Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization)No
Aperture Information
Aperture RingYes
Maximim Aperturef/1.2
Minimum Aperturef/16
Maximum Angle of View (Full frame or larger format)40.8°
Optical Information
Lens Elements7
Lens Groups6
Diaphragm Blades9
Aspherical Elements1
Focus Information
FocusManual Focus
Built-in Focus MotorNo
Minimum Focus Distance0.5m
Filter Information
Filter Size52mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Physical Characteristics
Weather / Dust SealingNo
Mount MaterialMetal
Other Information
Available in ColorsBlack

Lens Diagram

Nikon Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 Diagram

Sample Images

Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 Sample Image (10) Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 Sample Image (4) Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 Sample Image (2)

Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 Sample Image (12) Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 Sample Image (7) Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 Sample Image (11)

About Nasim Mansurov

Nasim Mansurov is the author and founder of Photography Life, based out of Denver, Colorado. He is recognized as one of the leading educators in the photography industry, conducting workshops, producing educational videos and frequently writing content for Photography Life. You can follow him on Instagram and Facebook. Read more about Nasim here.


Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Airy Magnien

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.


Good morning
Can I manually use this lens on Nikon z7 Camera?
Thanks for your answer
Ezio Racchi

Airy Magnien

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.

Shawn Young

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.

Optics: 5/5
Construction: 5/5
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.