Nikon 58mm f/1.4G vs Nikon 50mm f/1.4G
Let’s see how the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G compares in terms of sharpness to the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens, which has been in production for many years now:
The Nikon 58mm f/1.4G looks a bit weaker in the center and in the mid-frame when compared to the 50mm f/1.4G. However, in the extreme corners it comes out a bit sharper than the 50mm f/1.4G at large apertures. Stopped down to f/2.8, the 58mm f/1.4G is visibly sharper than the 50mm f/1.4G, but at f/4 the latter takes over with a huge jump in performance. Stopped down to f/5.6, the 50mm f/1.4G delivers better center and corner performance.
Let’s see how the new 58mm f/1.4G compares to the 50mm f/1.8G.
Nikon 58mm f/1.4G vs Nikon 50mm f/1.8G
Without a doubt, the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is one of the most valuable lenses offered by Nikon today. Its overall performance is better than what the 50mm f/1.4G has to offer and at just half the price, it is an amazing buy even for professional needs. My wife loves this lens and it is her primary tool for photographing weddings and events (see this article on its use for wedding photography). Let’s take a look at how the two compare side by side:
Here we can clearly see that the 50mm f/1.8G is optically superb – it is sharper at every aperture, from center to the corners. The only exception is mid-frame performance when stopped down to the f/5.6 range, but the corners make up for the loss here. Due to the field curvature issue discussed earlier, the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G does not do well in the corners, even when stopped down.
Nikon 58mm f/1.4G vs Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4
Let’s take a look at how the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G compares to the Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 at similar apertures. Here are the Imatest results from the two:
The Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 is visibly sharper in the center and much better in the mid-frame, but not in the corners at f/1.4. However, in terms of center performance, the Voigtlander is superior at every aperture, showing excellent sharpness. The weakness of this lens lies in its mid-frame and corner sharpness. Due to a moderate amount of field curvature, the lens does not resolve corner details very well when focused in the center – a very similar problem exhibited by the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G. Still, the Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 does much better in comparison to the 58mm f/1.4G when stopped down to f/8 and smaller apertures in the corners.
An important difference here is autofocus vs manual focus. While modern DSLRs provide guidance for focusing manually, it is extremely difficult to get accurate results at large apertures between f/1.4-f/2. This is especially true for photographing dynamic subjects that constantly move.
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