Nikon 58mm 1.4G Review

Here it is, Nikon’s 58mm 1.4G.

To keep things simple, I’ll just say that I love this lens. There, we’re done.

To give you some insight in my perspective: Although I’m a stills photographer, I’ll say that my style is very “Cinematic.” My first love for video and motion pictures is a very big influence to my work (even music choice. no joke, I listen to cinematic artist like M83 and Explosion in the Sky). In the world of motion picture, there are some things that matter far more than sharpness (bokeh, quality of flare, focus breathin). I fall into this category of thinking.

Initial Thoughts?

When I first heard about his lens, I heard a lot of people expressing different opinions. I assumed that this lens was one that you’d either love, or hate. This sparked my interest.

Something that was consistent in all the other reviews was that the it rendered out of focus areas beautifully. After looking at some sample photos, I was sold!

In the box?

The lens naturally came with all the complimentary items that Nikon includes (Lens hood + Bag). Nothing to get excited about.

Size + Weight + Build?

This is where I was surprised. For a $1599 lens, I expected it to be super heavy and built like a tank. Of course, as other users of this lens might say, that is clearly not the case. It was a bit plasticy and much lighter than expected. Here are some photos of it on my D600.

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Nikkor 58mm 1.4G Review-1

Quick Thoughts on Image Quality?

Sharpness – It’s not the sharpest, but it’s decent. The Sigma 50mm Art Series lens would be a better option (at almost half the price) for you if this is your main concern when looking to buy a lens. For my work (portraits and weddings), I don’t need the sharpest lens since often times I’m trying to clean up people’s blemishes anyways.

CA + Vingetting – There’s some at f1.4 (as expected) but is gone at f2 +.

Bokeh – IT’S AMAZING!!!!!!!! This was the selling point for me. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen bokeh as good as this in any other 35mm/Full Frame lens, other than the Helios 44 and Jupiter 9 lenses that are swirly and killer (Canon’s 50mm 1.2 is a great contender, but doesn’t have the unique swirly look like the 58mm)! Being that my style is very cinematic, the beautiful bokeh justifies the hefty price. Seriously, if I’m watching a show or movie I can spot out good/bad bokeh and will be completely turned off or engaged. Yea… I’m picky with my bokeh. But if bokeh is not important to you, then I wouldn’t recommend this lens.

Can I recommend this lens?

Yes: If you are a professional portrait photographer I would definitely recommend this lens if (IF, a big “IF”) you would like to see immediate superiority in bokeh and don’t care too much for extreme sharpness. You’ll see that it pays for itself rather quickly.

No: If you’re not concerned for bokeh and an amateur with no plans of making money with photography, then this isn’t the lens for you. Unless you have a lot of money lying around, you would be perfectly happy with Nikons other 50mm primes (G versions) and if you want super sharpness, I’d steer you away from this lens and point you towards Sigma’s 5omm. You could get that and another $600 lens!

Quick reminder: Great photos don’t come from great gear, they come from photographers who know how to use their gear.

Sample Photos

All shot at 1.4

Engagement-50 Sample-1 Sample-2 Engagments-1

Nikon 58mm 1.4G Review