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Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2s Photos and Discussion

tcdeveau

Well-known member
Sorry for the mediocre pics in bad light. I’ll get some more over the next couple days.

And yes haha no cat pic filter, prob more to come...

One thing I noticed - with AF, it definitely doesn’t feel like a 1.2 lens. It’s just as snappy as the 24-70 2.8, maybe even snappier. Wide open it focuses pretty damn fast. Touching the touch screen AF is almost instantaneous....and that’s on a gen 1 Z6. I wonder what they could do with the rumored Z9....

Along those lines and regarding size, the aperture diaphragm is pretty far forward in the lens - it seems like a lot of the back end is dedicated to AF and only smaller elements that are moved for AF? I think the Fuji 50mm f1 XF takes a similar approach but I could be wrong.
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
This seems to be a marvellous piece of glass!

It is on my Wishlist for 2021!

Congratulations on your new lens and many years of fun!
 

Darin Marcus

Well-known member
The just released 3.20 firmware updates for Z 6 & 7 appear to add some sort of "support for NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S lens"
 

tcdeveau

Well-known member
The just released 3.20 firmware updates for Z 6 & 7 appear to add some sort of "support for NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S lens"
Ahhh, interesting, thanks for the heads up.

Yeah I wonder what support they added?

I’ll do the update at some point today and see how it goes
 

tcdeveau

Well-known member
Indeed. That's bigger than a (fast) medium format lens!
And it actually weighs a smidge more than the 80mm 1.9 XCD. I've never tried out that one, but I've put my money on the 50mm 1.2s being better for my needs than the 80 1.9/X1D when it comes to family snapshots at the moment. No regrets so far...
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
And it actually weighs a smidge more than the 80mm 1.9 XCD. I've never tried out that one, but I've put my money on the 50mm 1.2s being better for my needs than the 80 1.9/X1D when it comes to family snapshots at the moment. No regrets so far...
:D

I don't do much in way of "family" snapshots any more, and the iPhone 11 Pro camera does just fine for what of that I do! And here I was arguing to myself that I'd rather have the XCD 90mm f/3.2 vs the XCD 80mm f/1.9 because the 80mm was almost twice the weight of the 90mm... LOL! I was really remarking that this Nikon lens is ginormous. If it performs well, you don't mind hauling it around, and you use the ultra-fast lens opening a lot, eh? Then it's a fantastic lens. :)

G
 

tcdeveau

Well-known member
Oh of course. You can’t go wrong with the 90mm XCD either! I’m currently down to only the 21 and 90 XCD....had planned to pick up the zoom to fill the gap, but honestly my X1D just sits in the dry box unused these days so I’m not sure I can justify it (have thought about selling my kit). Im sure the 80 1.9 is stellar as well though!
 

tcdeveau

Well-known member
Well, Santa just dropped by so here’s a few more fun size comparisons....not going to surprise anyone but useful for scale:

DC83E27A-C2F5-4FFA-9284-F239FC3FD519.jpeg

F27B60B2-7417-4476-99F1-ECFC05D9B4E1.jpeg

Also some good news it appears my third copy of the 85mm 1.8 works as it should. Went with a different vendor, and perhaps B&H just got a bad batch?
 

Jan Brittenson

Senior Subscriber Member
Really looks like an exceptional lens. The size means it's going to be something for special occasions, especially when traveling. I think it'll stand out in evening and night photography, so would probably spend most of its time in a hotel safe and then get taken out for pre-scouted shots. Basically locations you see and think might be interesting to revisit with it.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
I'm scratching my head a bit here, wondering what this lens is for. It's easy to figure out who it's for, since photo and camera enthusiasts are apparently queueing up to buy it, but how would it make a photo better compared to a 50mm lens that one can actually carry around?

I had some of the same thoughts when the 105mm f/1.4 in F-mount was launched, and when the 1.5 kg Sigma competitor came, I was flat out laughing. But those are telephoto/portrait lenses with twice the focal length.

There are some pretty cool 50mm lenses around, and even the somewhat bulky, not as sharp but very nice, 58mm f/1.4 is less than 400g. Is this about photography, or is it a question of having the sharpest, biggest knife, no matter what?

Please don't see this as an insult if you have already bought this lens. We all have different needs and urges. I'm just wondering...
 

tcdeveau

Well-known member
I'm scratching my head a bit here, wondering what this lens is for. It's easy to figure out who it's for, since photo and camera enthusiasts are apparently queueing up to buy it, but how would it make a photo better compared to a 50mm lens that one can actually carry around?

I had some of the same thoughts when the 105mm f/1.4 in F-mount was launched, and when the 1.5 kg Sigma competitor came, I was flat out laughing. But those are telephoto/portrait lenses with twice the focal length.

There are some pretty cool 50mm lenses around, and even the somewhat bulky, not as sharp but very nice, 58mm f/1.4 is less than 400g. Is this about photography, or is it a question of having the sharpest, biggest knife, no matter what?

Please don't see this as an insult if you have already bought this lens. We all have different needs and urges. I'm just wondering...
It’s a fair question, one I’d say that isn’t specific to this lens, but to the world of lenses in general. Why in general do people go for 1.4 lenses over 1.8, or 2.0 over 2.8, or f2.8 over f4, when the latter is “good enough” at a lower price point in a smaller price package, and why do manufacturers continue to scratch people’s itch?

I’d say the Nikon lens designers are taking the “biggest, sharpest, knife no matter what” approach. It seems part of the bulk is they are going for no compromises. AF is super snappy, there’s little to no vignetting wide open, and little to no chroma in the highlights. That’s pretty impressive in my book. They probably could have compromised in any of those 3 areas and made a smaller lens, but they didn’t, and here we are. I imagine we’ll see something similar with their upcoming 85 1.2s, which also looks huge. To be fair though, the Canon 50mm 1.2 RF and 85mm 1.2 RF lenses aren’t exactly small and light either, although I have no experience with either of those.

This lens, compared to the 50mm 1.8s, probably makes no sense for 9 people out of 10. I only picked up the 50mm 1.8s yesterday. From my limited comparisons so far, the results are about what you’d expect: sharpness seems on par, with the 1.2s blurring out the background a little more. The 1.2s seems to focus faster. One can get to probably 90-95% or more of the performance of the 50 1.2s in a much smaller package and save a lot of money. I probably plan to keep both the 50 1.2s and 50 1.8s because I’m not going to want to carry around the bulk of the 1.2 all the time, and my wife is more likely to want to use the 1.8s.

I don’t have the 58mm 1.4g, but I do have the 50mm 1.4g. I tried it out adapted to the Z6 and didn’t really care for it. Not that it isn’t capable (heck I did my family’s Christmas card photos with a D800 and 50mm 1.4g), but the 50mm Z lenses are in a different world.

For me, most of my photos with the Z system are indoors with fast moving subjects (my two year old), so I value the extra light gathering ability and faster AF (I haven’t done any scientific comparisons and do not plan to but AF seems faster with the 1.2 anyway). The extra OOF blur and subject isolation is a bonus. I borrowed my brothers 50mm 0.95 noctilux for a time this year and got hooked on faster lenses. The noctilux of course has no AF, and while I appreciate its character, also exhibits a lot of chroma. If Nikon had released a 1.4s at the same time as the 1.2s, I probably would’ve bought that instead, but they didn’t, so 1.2s it was.

Our second son is due next month, and this lens will get a lot of use on family photos that hopefully will last a lifetime. I don’t mind the extra weight, and the differences over the 1.8s are worth it to me.
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
@Jorgen: Historically, I've always owned some fast glass. Usually whatever was the fastest in the 35 through 85 range. Here's what I can tell you from my experience -- and advance apologies for the length:

Once I got to 85, anything wider than f2 was useless because DoF was so thin on a head & shoulders portrait I couldn't keep nose or ears in focus with the eyes; f4 was my goto for 85 and 105 portraits because --and my biggest point-- most clients didn't like anything with less DoF even though I might have, though f2.8 was quite usable on the Leica with its 75mm lens, f2 marginally so. Once I got to 28, anything wider than f4 looked overall OOF or poorly focused rather than "arty" and wasn't really very useful. 35 was a bit of a tweener -- f1.4 worked pretty well for very low light lifestyle captures, but focus was difficult at best and most of the time f2.8 was a better choice for me...

Which brings me to the 50's... I admit that f0.95 was near impossible to utilize on my Leica M's -- it was virtually impossible to nail focus, and when I did I could not stand still enough to avoid bobbing and weaving the teeny amounts that took me outside the exact PoF I was trying to nail. Even f1.2 was tough until I got LCD focus confirmation, either via the DSLR "green light" or mirrorless "ziggies." For *me* the rear DoF falloff of f1.2 was just notable enough over f1.4 to justify, but the harsh reality was that in the case of the Leica M, the weight and focus-throw penalties of the Nocts were not worth it as compared to the Lux (f1.4) lens. Enter Nikon and the relatively compact 50/1.2 Ai-S lens. Finally I got the f1.2 look and benefit at reasonable weight. But by then AF was improved to the point where it was better than me, so I opted for 1.4 with AF for what I did with the 50.

So now I'm at a crossroads; my f1.4 AF options require an adapter and are not as good optically as my f1.8 direct-mount optic, and I do not find f1.8 as limiting as I thought I would, at least compared to f1.4 -- meaning I've realized I'd rather have the stellar f1.8 performance of the S lens than lesser f1.4 performance from anything else. The 58/1.4 G lens renders a unique enough look at f1.4 through f2.8 and is enough longer than the 50 for a different feel, that it would probably be my first choice for a faster AF 50 going forward, even FTZ adapted -- it is a killer lens for portraiture for example with "women of a certain age." But then I do already own an adapted Petzval 60mm and that is pretty cool for portraiture as it sits, plus I still have the 50/1.2 manual lens. But those choices don't even get me into the same country optical-performance-wise as compared to this new 50/1.2S. So a long way around to my main point: if I still did a lot of people, I could and probably would justify the f1.2S lens. But my personal reality is I don't do not do enough of that anymore. Yet ;)
 
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tcdeveau

Well-known member
I think it's even bigger than the Canon's RZ 50mm 1.2, but at least it's cheaper!
Yep, ~1.6” longer and 0.3 pounds heavier if I did my math correctly. The canon is a few hundred more and 0.04” thicker. Another notable difference is the canon has a close focusing distance of 1.3” while the Nikon is 1.5”

I’ve thought long and hard about moving over to Canon simply because of lens size (70-200mm RF in particular compared to the 70-200mm Z). I like using the Z and wasn’t ready to sell it and switch systems right before a huge stressor in my life though (second child and taking care of a newborn in a pandemic).

Thought about buying a R6 and the canon anyway, but that seemed more ridiculous to me than dealing with the extra size of the 1.2s, plus my wife said she didn’t want too many different camera bodies laying around haha (lately weve had her Fuji X-A7, the Z6, and the M10 Monochrom out and about).
 
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