Nikon 55mm f/1.2
Posted 24 December 2008 - 07:05
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Posted 01 April 2009 - 21:45
Yes, the later 50 f1.2 is overall a better optical performer. Figure on slightly better performance with the newer lens in the usual areas: contrast and edge sharpness. Center sharpness is about equal.
Be very careful with this lens. The rear element construction is rather delicate and subject to damage or optical misalignment. Also beware of filter vignetting. It peeks in at the extreme corners.
I find that I like the slightly longer focal length of the 55 versus the 50, so it tends to get used more. In a way, that says for me, there is no real compelling reason to favor the 50 over the 55.
I am talking about real-world photos under available darkness conditions. In that arena, I doubt many would find a significant difference. I would not recommend it, not do I ever use it, as a normal lens for daylight photos. It is an f1.2, you use a lens such as that at full throttle. Otherwise, why bother?
Posted 06 April 2009 - 16:52
As mentioned above, it can be fragile, and it also can't be mounted on an F4.
Still, it's fairly cheap for such a fast lens and will get you the shot at f1.2 if you really need it.
Posted 16 April 2009 - 18:44
But if you want f1.2, this lens will get it done, at minimal expense for the breed. Maybe not my first choice, but I would rather have it than not. This lens is not junk.
Don't forget that an f1.2 lens is often used specifically for the selective focus aspect. That means a whole lot of stuff in the frame is going to be out of focus. So, what does it matter if the out of focus parts are affected a bit by coma and field curvature? Chasing our tail here.
I think people overly obsess about lens quality. Instead, they should spend more time studying photographic composition. Sure, there is some undefined minimum acceptable level of quality. But optical quality does not have to be perfect for every kind of use. Your subject matter is a major deciding factor along with your photographic style.
- FrankF likes this
Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:09
Posted 01 July 2011 - 13:18
Optically the 50mm is superior, but stopped down it is very good. I do regret selling it, and would buy it again if I could find one at the price I sold it for. Here is an example of what it can do almost wide open...
Posted 21 January 2012 - 03:18
Posted 07 November 2013 - 03:42
I obtained a nice copy of the multicoated "K" version of the 55/1.2 earlier this year.
I got it because of the very strong hazy effect that it has when shot wide open.
The haze effect gets stronger the closer you focus, but disappears when you stop the lens down to f/2.8 or f/4.
It has been said elsewhere that the wide open haze produced by the later designed 50/1.2 looks like a mistake, but the haze produced by this lens seems very intentional.
Also, you can add TC-14A or TC-201 extenders and still get the wide open haze effect at longer effective focal lengths.
Posted 08 November 2013 - 00:47
My sample (also a multicoated K lens, AI converted) also shows a strong hazy effect when shot near wide open. It almost looks like a soft focus lens. Unfortunately the background bokeh is rather nervous, especially at medium far distances (unlike the Noct). As the article says, the bokeh does improve at close range. I always assumed that was because the background goes so out of focus the quality of the bokeh becomes less relevant, now it seems the bokeh actually improves as well.
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