Quick 1st look: The new Voigtlander Nokton 58 1.4 Lens

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Quick 1st look: The new Voigtlander Nokton 58 1.4 Lens

By Steve Huff

I can feel it in the air! Can you? 

It’s November 2016 which means the crisp air starts rolling in, even here in Phoenix AZ, and I absolutely love this time of year. It signals the coming of winter as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas which are two wonderful holidays where family and friends gather for great times. It also ushers in lots of new gear, usually. This year is no exception and we have no shortage of amazing cameras, lenses, bags and accessories on offer to be delivered in time for the holidays.

The holiday rush is about to begin. With cameras like the EM1 II, Sony A6500, Sony RX100V, Canon 5D MKIV, Nikon D500, Fuji XT2 and others, a photographer once again has unlimited options to fulfill their GAS needs. As for me, I usually get to try all of the new gear. My UPS driver and Mail woman know me very well 😉

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Just last week a package was delivered to me from Stephen Gandy at Cameraquest.com and inside was the new Voigtlander 58 1.4 lens for Nikon mount. I quickly e-mailed Stephen and said “I do not own a Nikon” and he reminded me that I could use this on my Sony with the Nikon to E Mount adapter I owned. Lol..oh yea. With so much coming my way over these last two weeks, I totally forgot about the adapter I had sitting on a shelf in front of me!

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So I attached the lens to the camera and snapped off a few test shots, that were not meant for public viewing here but one shot in particular impressed me with its 3D pop and rendering that I just have to share it…

This lens is manual focus, and just look at that detail of her eye. This was shot wide open at f/1.4 as one of my 1st test shots using the lens. I expected somewhat soft rendering at 1.4 but was surprised to see the opposite. Click the image to see larger. 

 

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In the shot above the detail is unreal at 1.4. The old version of this lens was not quite like this wide open. This is a lens that is small, stout, manual focus, has the barrell design of the 1959 Nikon 58 1.4 version, and comes in black or with chrome highlight for only $599. It will work on a Sony A7 series, A6000 series as well as Nikon. It’s a full frame lens, designed for the 35mm format so this is a true 50mm focal length fast prime.

One issue I have doing this work is when I get lenses like this sent to me I want to keep them, which means sending money to Cameraquest to keep this lens. Unfortunately, I just bought the Olympus 25 1.2 so my lens budget for the next 3 months is shot 😉 I will be reviewing and using this lens for the next two weeks and will have a full write up of it soon, but for now just a couple shots and a shout out to say THIS LENS ROCKS on my Sony. 

Two more at f/1.4 and using manual focus on the Sony is quite easy. I shot maybe 40 images yesterday and I missed focus on three of them. That was me trying to be too fast 😉  But this lens is so good at f/1.4!! Bokeh can get a little busy at times depending on the background but otherwise it delivers images like you would expect a lens like this to do, just with a much sharper rendering wide open which is stunning. 

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If you are interested in seeing more about this lens before my full review, check out Cameraquest’s page on this lens HERE. 

17 Comments

  1. This looks like an exact copy of my first lens for Nikon. 58mm f1.4 exact to the outside grip to focus. Same time and same 1.4. I’m talking qoyp timeframe.

    Bob from Chicago

      • Below the f 5.6 marking on the lens barrel there even is a silver piece that exactly matches where the silver piece was that manually coupled the lens to the light meter of the Nikon of that period.

  2. Can someone tell me this: Is there any loss if I use an adapter on another body.

    For example: Is a 24mm Nikon or Canon FF lens with an adpter to a Sony 7, whatever, still a
    24mm lens or does it loose a couple of mm. Help.

  3. Hi Steve,
    What do you think about using the Voigtlander Nokton 58 1.4 on a m43 Body with an adapter? That would be a 116mm lens with f1.4! I could think of using it for portraits.

    • On (high res) digital? The Voigtlander would do a lot better there, it’s a modern design, coatings and all.

      The (vintage? Pre-Ai?) Nikkor 50/1.4 (I have an AiS version) does fine with b&w film, but it’s not really a great performer. I prefer the 1.2AiS and the 1.8AiS for nifty fifties on film. Although…, my (vintage?) Nikkor 50/2.0-H does a really good job on my Nikon F…

  4. Thanks for the article! What about the edges? There are many lenses perfect in the middle-area wide open but have unusable corners.

    • Just a wild guess. Sharp corners are not what you’d buy this lens for.

      Although… some interesting compositions could have the subject sharp in the corner, while the rest of the image would be out of focus.

      Some deeper understanding of the field curvature this lens may have (as have others) would be required. Alternatively, use it on a camera that has a really good focusing screen. It’ll allow you to see exact focus in the corners.

  5. Seems like good lens.
    I wander if (or maybe “when”) Voigtlander will start to make E-mount versions of their M lenses. I’d like to get 28mm f2 Ultron, 50mm f1.5 Nokton, 75mm f1.8 Heliar in native E, with data transmission and adjusted close focus.
    And I have strong suspicion that I wouldnt be the only one with such wish-list. 🙂

  6. I ordered the “old” SL, the S if I’m not mistaken (and should receive it one of these days), partly because the new version is optically identical (is it?), but mainly because I really love the focal length for close up portraiture.

    I’ll use it mostly on my film slr’s for 400 ISO b&w, but it will nicely complement my Nikkor 58/1.4G on my D810.

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