Review: Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct

Hello, everybody! I was out with my friend Andrew and we’re talking about systems architecture and administration, its design, cost, implementation, security and maintenance. All that talk is good but we all agreed that these don’t mean a thing if we don’t have a vision for it, it’s just money wasted, a resource that’s finite. Making something through the guidance of a vision is not easy because you’ll have to know what it is first and that can come from a limitation or other constraints. The lens that we’re going to talk about was born from the need to have a lens that performs close to its peak wide-open and to surpass its legendary predecessor. That vision guided the engineers at Nikon and they have created a modern masterpiece.

Introduction:

The Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is a proof-of-concept of what Nikon’s new Z-mount can do. It was announced around the same time as the new Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7, it created a lot of buzz online and people were divided on how and why it doesn’t have autofocus and why it has to be so big and all. It is also controversial because it’s so expensive, costing almost $8,000 each. It is now on back-order due to the “demand” but I think that it’s just so hard to produce that Nikon can’t make more of these even if they wanted to. This is a true exotic lens that surpasses what Leica has to offer according to people online who were lucky enough to compare. The optical design is a complex 17-elements-in-10-groups one which is totally-new for Nikon, the elements are huge which makes this a really heavy lens and we’ll find out if the hype about this lens is real in this article.

The barrel is fat with most of the surface being covered by the focusing ring which has a really long focus throw with a minimum focusing distance just a bit below 0.5m or so. This is handy for shooting really blurry backgrounds for little things such as wedding rings or the dolls at the top of the cakes for those of you who shoot wedding photos or videos.

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Repair: Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai-S

Hello, everybody! My head hurts due to stress at work so I am taking some medications to help me with this problem. I am looking for a better option and I was advised to use CBD (cannabis oil) which you can buy from many wellness stores here. I was told that it’s great for a lot of things so I’m doing some tests to see if that’s true. I assume that it is less harmful than the pills, I always wanted the natural option because nature knows best, cannabis is nature’s gift to man anyway. While we’re on the topic of alternatives to any mainstream option I would like to introduce to you an amazing alternative to the electronic lenses that are mainstream these days, it’s old but it’s not a bad lens at all even by current standards and it can teach you a thing about patience and other things that photographers these days forget about.

Introduction:

The Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai-S is a favorite of many photographers. The practical features of this lens makes this perfect for everyone. The decent speed will cover everything from low-light photography to landscapes. This is a really popular lens and it remains in production from 1981 to 2005, an eternity as far as lenses go. It replaced the venerable Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai, making this a viable lens for the Ai-S generation, allowing you to use full-automatic modes with it using compatible cameras. It also incorporates Nikon’s better coating technology, SIC or Super Integrated Coating which helps quite a bit.

The build is typical of Ai-S Nikkors. It’s mostly all-metal and it will outlast all of the plastic lenses made these days. This is a professional tool that’s made for abuse in the field. The only thing I don’t like about this lens is the rather short focus throw compared to the older Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai. I prefer a lens with a slightly longer throw but this is all down to preferences.

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Repair: Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 Ai-S

Hello, everybody! This is my first article in 2020! 2019 started off great for me career-wise but it quickly turned sour by the end of the last year, it was difficult for me and I had to take things slow in this blog. 2020 is a new year, it brings with it new hopes and opportunities, I have high hopes this year so please send me your well-wishes and let’s all have a fantastic year. Since we are on the topic of something fantastic, I’ll show you a fantastic lens in this article. Something that I think every landscape photographer should own if they shoot with Nikon or mirrorless.

Introduction:

The Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 Ai-S debuted in 1981 to replace the aging design that was pioneered by the then-ground-breaking Nikkor-N 24mm f/2.8 Auto. The optical design didn’t change from that point until the Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 Ai. The older design is great but it is clear that it had to be given a new optical formula in order to keep this lens line competitive in the years to come and they have succeeded. This is still being produced today, you can buy it new. This is how good this lens is and a testament to the engineers’ efforts.

It’s a compact lens, not much bigger than the Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Ai-S but it’s packed inside. The build quality isn’t as good as the older Ai series but it is a lot better than what we’re used to seeing these days. It will withstand plenty of beating from professional use and it will outlive any plastic lens.

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Repair: Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 Ai

Hello, everybody! Did you watch the Joker movie? I think it’s a great film, it showed us a different aspect of the character and gave him some humanity. I love this version of the Joker a lot but I think that Jack Nicholson’s version is the better one because it’s closer to the classic depiction of the character. I love both versions, they explore totally different aspects of the Joker. Today, I will show you a version of the lens that I prefer over the newer one. This is just as amazing as the later one but it has a few more things to offer.

Introduction:

The Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 Ai debuted in the late 1970s as a native Ai lens and it replaced the New-Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 as Nikon’s fastest “standard” lens. This is a dream-come-true for Nikon since they have trying very hard to produce something like this for nearly 2 decades now. What filled that gap is the old Nikkor-S 55mm f/1.2 Auto, it was a compromise in the sense that it had to be a 55mm lens instead of 50mm. It was difficult to design something like this for an SLR system at that time because the required technology to make this hasn’t matured yet. The rear element has to avoid the flapping mirror of an SLR and that took some time to solve. This lens was a technical wonder and its design lives to this day in the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 Ai-S which is still made to this day.

The big front element is the showcase of this lens. It’s needed in order to get as much in to the film or sensor. It’s impressive, an amazing feat in terms of optical engineering.

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Repair: New-Nikkor 20mm f/4

Hello, everybody! I was excited when the new Macbook 16″ was announced a couple of days back. The sad part is it’s still missing the function keys and the trackpad is still the new, larger one which requires more effort to swipe across compared to the older, smaller one. I still use the old, original Retina Macbook and I wish that the next one will be just as good as that release. It’s reliable and it still has an SD card reader and the good, older-type charging connector. There are many parallels to this in the real world, a new product that failed to supersede the older one because some people lost a few things in the name of an upgrade. This happens very often with cameras, too. I will show you an example of it when it comes to Nikkors.

Introduction:

The New-Nikkor 20mm f/4 debuted in 1974, replacing the popular Nikkor-UD 20mm f/3.5 Auto which is a fine lens but it’s big, takes bigger filters and a lot heavier than this. The impetus for designing this lens is to make a compact 20mm for the F-mount and Nikon succeeded in doing that with this lens. It’s amazingly compact and light compared to the older lens, a big advantage if you are traveling or hiking because every gram counts at the end of the day. It’s also a great performer optically and it has a cult-status amongst those of use who shoot high-magnification photography. When mounted in-reverse, it is able to achieve an unbelievable 12x magnification ratio which makes it a favorite for bug, coin and technical photographers. It was even mentioned in the user manual or brochures if I am not mistaken.

Despite its size, it’s well-made and will last you more than a lifetime. You’re going to need a step-up ring in order to avoid mechanical vignetting when you use filters with this. I haven’t tested this lens with any filters yet but it’s safe to assume the worst based on my experience. Notice that hole with the broken screw? That caused me a lot of headache when I was repairing this.

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Repair: W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 (LTM)

Hello, everybody! Nikon just announced the Nikon Z50, it is a small camera that’s equivalent to the Nikon D7500 just without the mirror. Nikon sure has earned back the money spent on developing that sensor several times over, Nikon loves to repurpose older flagship sensors and use them on lower-end cameras after a few months or years. Nikon has been doing this thing since the start of their rebirth after the war. Repurposing isn’t a bad idea and I’m an advocate of it when I am designing studio workflows at work. It saves a lot of money but it also ensures repeatability which is important. Speaking of repurposing, our topic for this article is a lens that was sold in 2 different lens mounts, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel but you sure can modify it to fit different needs, so to speak. Please enjoy this article.

Introduction:

The W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 was a game-changer when it came out. It used to be the fastest lens of its type when it debuted in 1952. It was based on an old Nikkor that was used during the war for taking aerial spy photos, it has high resolution and a low distortion profile. It was miniaturized and it ended up being this lens. I have covered the W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 (S-mount) before so read that article if you want to know more about this lens. The lens that’s featured in this article the W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 (Leica Thread Mount). It’s similar to the W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 (S-mount) optically and that’s all. Many people debate to this day on which version came out first. Some say that it’s the Leica Thread Mount version came out earlier as Nikon wanted to get the Leica market which was bigger back then. There’s a lot of merit to it, I think that this lens was aimed at that market where there’s nothing equivalent to it for some time. It was the fastest wide-angle lens when all the competition (Germans) had were f/6.3 to f/8 ones. You can now buy a faster, cheaper lens at the loss of some prestige. This mattered to some people while some folks didn’t even care.

The lens arrived in this state. It was dirty, the paint’s worn and the inside of the objective was oily. I now it looks small in the picture but the lens is a big one as far as slower W-Nikkors are concerned. It’s dense and it reminds you of a hockey puck.

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Repair: Nikkor-UD 20mm f/3.5 Auto

Hello, everybody! I was talking with a colleague of mine about how the old, original iPhone changed how we look at mobile phones these days. It got all the right features and it pushed the limits of miniaturization, enabling it to add as many features as possible within a small housing. It was smart, cute, reliable and responsive for its time, it is one of the high-points of industrial engineering and design that’s being studied to this day by people who make and design tools and software such as me. I’m not an “iZombie” but nobody (I assume) will object to my statement from an engineering perspective. It’s a great design that spawned copycats as a testament to its success. Today, I’ll show you one such game-changing design from Nikon. This lens made a big difference back then and it brought the F-mount to newer heights. Just like the original iPhone, it was expensive when it debuted because it broke new grounds and it pushed the limit of optical engineering back then. Let’s now see what this lens is all about.

Introduction:

The Nikkor-UD 20mm f/3.5 Auto debuted in 1968, it’s the first lens of its class and it was a game-changer. Back when the Nikon F was introduced up until the unveiling of this lens you only have the choice of using your Nikon F in mirror-up configuration since most of the lenses’ optics have to be inside of the mirror-box. You frame with an external viewfinder and focus using the distance and depth-of-field scales. The Nikkor-UD 20mm f/3.5 Auto did away with all those inconveniences and that changed everything for Nikon users since. This is an interesting lens from a historical and technological point of view and is one of the high-points in optical engineering in the past century.

The front element is the largest of all the classic 20mm Nikkors and a 72mm filter size is a must. People who are invested in 52mm filters need to get the bigger 72mm equivalents or just get a step-up ring and adapt their existing 77mm filters. This is the reason why buying bigger filters makes more sense for landscape photographers and adapting larger ones will prevent any sort of mechanical vignetting.

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