It seems as if we've known about the Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens for practically years now, but today we finally have some solid specs – and they don't disappoint. Positioned at the very top of Nikon's premium mirrorless 'S' line, the Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is designed to flex the sheer optical power that Nikon is capable of.
Inspired by the 1977 AI Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 standard prime lens, this latest iteration of the Noct has a maximum aperture of f/0.95, which is the fastest in Nikon history. Once you delve into the specs for the Noct, you can see that this is a piece of glass designed to inspire lens-envy in every photographer (and perhaps even a couple of other manufacturers too).
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The optics for the 2019 Noct are constructed of 17 elements in 10 groups, including four ED glass elements and three aspherical lens elements. The lens also uses Nikon's exclusive anti-reflection coatings, ARNEO Coat and Nano Crystal Coat. The combination of these two coating technologies effectively reduces ghosting and flare to produce incredibly sharp images.
With metal exterior components and a yellow engraved 'Noct' logo, Nikon clearly aims to match the Noct's powerful interior with a suitably impressively designed exterior. Interestingly, this 58mm prime has two rings – one for focus and one control ring. We assume that this control ring will enable you to adjust aperture, exposure compensation and ISO – just as the two new Nikkor Z APS-C lenses do.
The reason the Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct has a separate ring for focus will be because it's a manual focus lens. This lack of autofocus may be a turn-off for many photographers, but we can't even begin to imagine the size and weight of the Noct if it had AF. Happily, focus peaking works particularly well on the Z 6 and Z 7, so this will complement the 58mm f/0.95 S Noct nicely.
Another interesting feature for the Noct is a lens info panel that will display information such as aperture value, shooting distance and depth-of-field without having to look through the camera's viewfinder. Able to be used even in dark surroundings, we imagine this will help photographers navigate the manual focus nature of the lens.
While this is undoubtedly an extraordinary lens, there are a couple of fairly sizable drawbacks. The first is the price. With a $8,000/£8,299 price tag, this is a seriously premiumly priced product. While the full frame Z lenses aren't particularly known for their affordability, the Noct definitely tops the list in terms of price.
The second drawback is its weight. At approximately 2,000 grams, we almost feel like we should recommend hitting the gym before investing in the Noct!
However, despite any potential drawbacks, this is still an incredible piece of glass. Available from 31 October, we can't wait to get our hands on it and see how this beauty performs.
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