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Thread: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Diglloyd has obtained a new 58/1.4AF Nikkor and has been critical of its focus shift . Having followed lloyd s tests pretty closely I have no doubt that the lens he has in hand exhibits some level of focus shift ...but my question is "so what ?"

    Evidently its not all that unusual in fast lenses and comes from a common aberration . Every lens design has trade offs (even the uber Zeiss ) and the Nikon lens designers accepted some focus shift to produce the new lens .

    Personally when I have a lens that has focus shift ..I try to set it up to slightly front focus . The older 35/1.4 M asph had this problem ..but set it for dead on at F2 and with a little thought you could avoid any real impact .

    I don t generally shoot at F1.4 unless I need to or am seeking some very limited DOF . If I did of course the lens can be set for perfection wide open .

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Diglloyd has obtained a new 58/1.4AF Nikkor and has been critical of its focus shift . Having followed lloyd s tests pretty closely I have no doubt that the lens he has in hand exhibits some level of focus shift ...but my question is "so what ?"

    Evidently its not all that unusual in fast lenses and comes from a common aberration . Every lens design has trade offs (even the uber Zeiss ) and the Nikon lens designers accepted some focus shift to produce the new lens .

    Personally when I have a lens that has focus shift ..I try to set it up to slightly front focus . The older 35/1.4 M asph had this problem ..but set it for dead on at F2 and with a little thought you could avoid any real impact .

    I don t generally shoot at F1.4 unless I need to or am seeking some very limited DOF . If I did of course the lens can be set for perfection wide open .
    I expect to receive mine on Wednesday. I will let you know. Also remember that there has not yet been a camera body lens correction update for this lens.

    Actually, I don't think I have seen a lens that didn't have some degree of focus shift, especially any lens over f/2.8
    -bob

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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Roger - excuse my ignorance but how do you "set up" a manual focus lens to overcome focus shift?
    Thanks in advance
    David

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shac View Post
    Roger - excuse my ignorance but how do you "set up" a manual focus lens to overcome focus shift?
    Thanks in advance
    David
    The 58/1.4 is an AF lens and can be "calibrated " thru the menu on the D800/D4 etc . With an M lens ...its done thru the RF coupling . But you are right if you have a manual lens (like the older 58/1.2 Ai Noct Nikkor) ...you will always be viewing wide open (and focusing in most cases ).

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    We always used to get to know our lenses and their quirks.
    It became second nature where to focus depending on the lens and aperture.
    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    The 58/1.4 is an AF lens and can be "calibrated " thru the menu on the D800/D4 etc . With an M lens ...its done thru the RF coupling . But you are right if you have a manual lens (like the older 58/1.2 Ai Noct Nikkor) ...you will always be viewing wide open (and focusing in most cases ).

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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Roger and Bob - thank you

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    Senior Member Hulyss Bowman's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    I do not like this lens at all. This is my opinion but for that price and the samples posted around the web, so far, nothing impress me. The actual 50 f1.4 AFS-G do the same, the SIGMA do better. Bokeh wise, it is close, very. This lens do not have any magic like the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2. It is a cold technical lens.

    Ok, you might have some color fringing with those lenses but you HAVE color fringing with this new "58" too (I spotted some with the Otus as well).

    For video, I would not use it at all over the f1.2, period.
    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    I think a 1.4 lens (or faster) is not for everybody, so who does not like a bit more care and work should not get these lenses.

    On the other hand they will allow you some stunning photos if used the right way. From what I have seen of DL's samples I am happy and would say this is a winner. Maybe too expensive, but this is another story.

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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    I think a 1.4 lens (or faster) is not for everybody, so who does not like a bit more care and work should not get these lenses.

    On the other hand they will allow you some stunning photos if used the right way. From what I have seen of DL's samples I am happy and would say this is a winner. Maybe too expensive, but this is another story.


    Let's wait and see. I am not impressed at this moment, but web examples are difficult to gauge. it seems like colors could be especial. If it proves to be a technical feat I will be satisfied. It could be sharpness that match the D800E, or distortion or something similar.

    Best regards,

    J. Duncan

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulyss Bowman View Post
    I do not like this lens at all. This is my opinion but for that price and the samples posted around the web, so far, nothing impress me. The actual 50 f1.4 AFS-G do the same, the SIGMA do better. Bokeh wise, it is close, very. This lens do not have any magic like the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2. It is a cold technical lens.

    Ok, you might have some color fringing with those lenses but you HAVE color fringing with this new "58" too (I spotted some with the Otus as well).

    For video, I would not use it at all over the f1.2, period.
    I should know this week as my copy is scheduled to arrive on monday or tuesday . We have both the 50/1.4G and the 58/1.2 NOCT to compare . Diglloyd has done a writeup on the bokeh and his examples look excellent . This lens was designed to be an update of the NOCT 58/1.2 with special consideration given to the "character" .

    I expect it will be similar to when Leica updated the Noctilux (1.0 to 0.95) they corrected some of the aberrations to improve overall image quality (which in turn changes the character of the lens ) .

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    I actually like what I am seeing. I am going to get one just have to wait a bit.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Not much in the way of focus shift that I can see. Maybe a small amount going from f/1.4 to f/2, but nothing dramatic.

    I'd expect Nikon to update the L firmware for it.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Just a couple of brief thoughts. Roger is correct. Focus shift in a fast lens such as a f1.4 can be minimized by optimizing accurate focus at f2, thereby exhibiting very slight front focus at f1.4 and a very small amount if that when shooting at f2.8. The increasing depth of field at smaller apertures covers any focusing discrepancy.

    As for this new 50 f1.4 G, I like what I see, but as it appears additional optical corrections were made for this lens to enhance certain performance characteristics, other optical attributes and anomalies that made the 58mm f1.2 so desirable inevitably had to change. I think careful consideration was given to this but it's impossible to have it both ways. The example of the older Leica 50mm f1 Noct vs. the current 0.5 Noct is one such example. There will be fans of one more than the other.

    Having been impressed with the Sigma 50mm f1.4, especially at it's price point, it would be both interesting and fun to see some comparative images made with the Sigma vs. the new Nikon although I'm certain significant differences will be readily evident.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Imo, trying to overcome a discrepancy by stopping down and increasing DOF, negates the purpose of a 1.4 lens The 58mm is not a very interesting FL to me either. Sigma has really surprised me with the 35mm 1.4, so their 50mm should be interesting. Add the USB dock and Sigma has the nod...so to speak.

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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    The shift is small enough that the regions of critical focus on the D800E overlap at f/1.4 and f/2, so it can be tuned for consistent critical focus at any aperture. However, with a new lens database this should be a non-issue since the camera will be able to adjust for it automatically. There's no way on earth to get critical focus at f/1.4 or even f/2 with this lens at 3-5'. At f/1.4 it's about 1/4", which means if you or the subject exhales they go out of focus. The only way to manage it is with AF-C locked onto an eye to track these fractional distance changes. (But then again, f/1.4 isn't terribly useful at such short distances so the discussion is academical.) Since for the shift to be relevant you need the consistent focus of AF-C, the AF system can apply the L firmware data to adjust for it, making it disappear completely.

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    I'd like to see how color fringing behaves at 1.4. My 85mm/1.4 is loaded with it wide open, but I try to not shoot towards bright, high contrast areas.

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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    I'd like to see how color fringing behaves at 1.4.
    Didn't try it at 1.4, but this was shot at f/5.6. No profile corrections applied, or lens fixes as the LR doesn't yet have any for this lens. The lens is very well behaved - usually spherochromatism shows up in images like this (because the sky isn't in good focus and so is prone to bleed).

    http://www.rockgarden.net/download/n..._4726-full.jpg

    D800E, ISO 100, handheld, f/5.6 1/1000s.

    One thing clear from this is that it easily pushes the D800E to aliasing in high-contrast details. I noticed this in some other images as well.

    This is one freaking sharp lens.
    Last edited by Jan Brittenson; 9th November 2013 at 22:41.
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Impressive, thanks for sharing Jan.

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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Focus shift is a very real issue if you shoot both wide open and stopped down. As a wedding shooter who varies from wide open for more arty stuff and f2.8 for almost everything else, the focus shift on my 50L drives me crazy.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    There is 'focus shift', but not enough to be a problem. It mainly manifests itself as DoF building disproportionately behind the plane. Since you don't really lose critical focus on even the D800E (although you might on future cameras) it's not really accurate to characterize it as a focus shift.

    Here's a demonstration. Shot from 8 feet, which is basically the furthest distance where the center AF point comfortably fits inside the left side of the target - the focusing part. It's probably also a reasonable working distance for this lens. It was aimed with live view, then racked out and refocused using PDAF AF-C (since that's what I use). It's AF tuned for the 0 line.

    No lens profile was used for this. The settings for the first shot was copied to the others, so they use exactly the same processing. Even though it still has some glowiness to it at f/1.7 it still manages to drive the D800E to aliasing. Which nicely punctures the myth that a high-resolving lens needs to be high contrast or highly corrected for every aberration.

    Note the spherochromatism. (No lens profile or correction for it was applied.)

    f/1.4


    f/1.7


    f/2


    f/2.8


    f/4
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Great tests ..but they don t support the premise that focus shift isn t relevant. If you look at the example shot at F4 ..you can easily see that plane of focus lays around the +10 . If the D800 was adjusted for this setting the lens align target would be sharper ....so you are giving up some of the resolution possible with the lens due to focus shift .

    On a flat surface (as the lens align target shows ) this would certainly be relevant . On a 3 dimensional surface it may not .....as the DOF shows acceptable sharpness over a range that covers the target .

    I have several lenses that exhibit this type of focus shift and you can adjust your shooting in most cases to work around it . But its easier if you optimize the focus point around F2 and accept that at F1.4 you would be slightly front focused ...or just keep in mind that at f2.8 and f4 you might be a little back ..

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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    You need to be more specific with what you mean by "sharp". This lens is high-resolution, but it's not high-contrast. The f/4 zero plane above outresolves the D800E, but the contrast isn't high enough to give a sense of crispness. Nowhere within the critical DoF (defined as outresolving the camera) will it produce high contrast, which is a good thing for a lens like this.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    You need to be more specific with what you mean by "sharp". This lens is high-resolution, but it's not high-contrast. The f/4 zero plane above outresolves the D800E, but the contrast isn't high enough to give a sense of crispness. Nowhere within the critical DoF (defined as outresolving the camera) will it produce high contrast, which is a good thing for a lens like this.
    I follow your observation ...but I can see that the 10 is higher contrast than the 0 ..which normally implies that its sharper . Isn t the point of highest contrast where the exact plane of focus resides ?

    If I can see it in the example ..not sure I follow you statements ..they imply that the sharpness with be the same throughout the critical DOF .

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    Ok I reread your statements and you appear to be saying that ..as long as the plane of focus falls with the critical DOF (which is dependent on the sensor) ...the impact of the focus shift will not affect resolution .

    Its differences in contrast within the CDF that I am observing and these can be adjusted in post ?

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    Imatest of the 58mm f/1.4


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    Re: New 58/1.4 has Focus Shift?

    MTF50 represents a 1-stop attenuation, so is a measure of contrast more than resolution.

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