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Thread: OTUS vs the Nikon 58/1.4

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    OTUS vs the Nikon 58/1.4

    Its unusual that I have difficulty in selecting the next "greatest lens ever " but I am somewhat stumped by the new standard prime lens alternatives for the Nikon DSLR bodies . Let me apologize right up front that my testing methodology isn t rigorous ...but I have been able to take several hundred photographs using my D800E ...so I feel I have enough to draw some conclusions .

    The two examples I can provide were the best examples from yesterdays shoot of my grandson Luke (9months old) . They are not exactly the same ..the Otus is at ISO1600 and F1.4 and the N58 is at ISO800 F2.0 ...so I am giving the Nikon a clear advantage . You can still get the idea of how the lenses render and I should get a little sympathy for trying to shoot a 9 month old ,close up at f1.4-2.0 .

    First the Nikon lens ....its handles as well as any lens on the D800E body ...to my hand it is plenty small enough ..this is anything but a "huge DSLR" when paired with the 58 . The balance is very nice with the weight near the body . The lens is really short and fat with a 72MM filter . AF is silent and once calibrated very precise ....I use the rear AF button and I actually look closely to see if the image looks sharp . My hit ratio is probably better than with any fast standard lens this close .

    The images are of medium contrast (compared to my Zeiss and Leica lenses) but the resolution is excellent . See the LensRental tests for a nice summary . The rendering is quite smooth and at f1.4 its not particularly crisp at close distances . Yet with some reasonable post processing the photographs look plenty sharp and with a nice "glow" . At F2.0 the image looks excellent to my eye . You could be very happy with this lens ..just don t test the OTUS .

    The OTUS image quality on a D800E is the very best I ve ever seen on a FF camera . Really its as close to flawless as I have seen . The images are definitely competitive to my S2 with the 70/2.5 shot wide open ...although my guess is that a full test would still show the MF has an advantage in tone separation . What is surprising is that at F1.4 there appears to be no light fall off in the corners and the image is so sharp across the frame that it appears like you were shooting at f8 .

    The rendering is different ..its perfect ..the rolloff ,the bokeh ,the correction of aberrations take away the "brush strokes " ... You now have a perfect example of 3D and maybe thats the signature . The color has a clarity that I ve only seen in the new Noctilux ...you may not see it in my example but after looking a 50-60 captures compared to the N58 on the same body ....its the impression I get about the color .

    Handling isn t as much of a bear as I expected . The lens size and weight almost exactly matches the 24-70/2.8 AF Nikon lens ..yes its a big lens but certainly not one that requires a tripod . The balance is better than I remembered . The manual focus is just amazing ...a long throw but still very fast with perfect dampening ...as one that prefers manual focus ...as good as it gets . No match for AF with movement but if you can get you subject to hold still for even an instant you can nail the focus .

    Either lens would be a great addition to most Nikon DSLR kits . My analytical side tells me the N58 would get more use but my heart says go with the OTUS .
    Roger Dunham
    http://rogerdunham.com/
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    Senior Member The Smoking Camera's Avatar
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    Re: OTUS vs the Nikon 58/1.4

    A nice well balanced summary. Thanks Roger. If I was half way decent at manual focusing at surfing, performances, events, weddings, street, candids etc. I would be all over the Otus. Simply an amazing optic creation. I'll just have to settle for the "glow" of the 58. Keeping both?
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: OTUS vs the Nikon 58/1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by The Smoking Camera View Post
    A nice well balanced summary. Thanks Roger. If I was half way decent at manual focusing at surfing, performances, events, weddings, street, candids etc. I would be all over the Otus. Simply an amazing optic creation. I'll just have to settle for the "glow" of the 58. Keeping both?
    I will keep OTUS as I expect the sensors to just keep getting better ...not sure about the N58 ...while they share a similar FOV they are so different when you use them . I am still decent with manual focus ...so thats not a deal breaker ...but size and handling make OTUS less practical .

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: OTUS vs the Nikon 58/1.4

    I knew better than to read this report. Damn you Roger. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: OTUS vs the Nikon 58/1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    I will keep OTUS as I expect the sensors to just keep getting better ...not sure about the N58 ...while they share a similar FOV they are so different when you use them . I am still decent with manual focus ...so thats not a deal breaker ...but size and handling make OTUS less practical .
    I totally understand. OTOH, how often will you be in a situation where you want to use the slightly longer 58 focal, and NOT have the OTUS mounted?

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    Re: OTUS vs the Nikon 58/1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Its unusual that I have difficulty in selecting the next "greatest lens ever " but I am somewhat stumped by the new standard prime lens alternatives for the Nikon DSLR bodies . Let me apologize right up front that my testing methodology isn t rigorous ...but I have been able to take several hundred photographs using my D800E ...so I feel I have enough to draw some conclusions .

    The two examples I can provide were the best examples from yesterdays shoot of my grandson Luke (9months old) . They are not exactly the same ..the Otus is at ISO1600 and F1.4 and the N58 is at ISO800 F2.0 ...so I am giving the Nikon a clear advantage . You can still get the idea of how the lenses render and I should get a little sympathy for trying to shoot a 9 month old ,close up at f1.4-2.0 .

    First the Nikon lens ....its handles as well as any lens on the D800E body ...to my hand it is plenty small enough ..this is anything but a "huge DSLR" when paired with the 58 . The balance is very nice with the weight near the body . The lens is really short and fat with a 72MM filter . AF is silent and once calibrated very precise ....I use the rear AF button and I actually look closely to see if the image looks sharp . My hit ratio is probably better than with any fast standard lens this close .

    The images are of medium contrast (compared to my Zeiss and Leica lenses) but the resolution is excellent . See the LensRental tests for a nice summary . The rendering is quite smooth and at f1.4 its not particularly crisp at close distances . Yet with some reasonable post processing the photographs look plenty sharp and with a nice "glow" . At F2.0 the image looks excellent to my eye . You could be very happy with this lens ..just don t test the OTUS .

    The OTUS image quality on a D800E is the very best I ve ever seen on a FF camera . Really its as close to flawless as I have seen . The images are definitely competitive to my S2 with the 70/2.5 shot wide open ...although my guess is that a full test would still show the MF has an advantage in tone separation . What is surprising is that at F1.4 there appears to be no light fall off in the corners and the image is so sharp across the frame that it appears like you were shooting at f8 .

    The rendering is different ..its perfect ..the rolloff ,the bokeh ,the correction of aberrations take away the "brush strokes " ... You now have a perfect example of 3D and maybe thats the signature . The color has a clarity that I ve only seen in the new Noctilux ...you may not see it in my example but after looking a 50-60 captures compared to the N58 on the same body ....its the impression I get about the color .

    Handling isn t as much of a bear as I expected . The lens size and weight almost exactly matches the 24-70/2.8 AF Nikon lens ..yes its a big lens but certainly not one that requires a tripod . The balance is better than I remembered . The manual focus is just amazing ...a long throw but still very fast with perfect dampening ...as one that prefers manual focus ...as good as it gets . No match for AF with movement but if you can get you subject to hold still for even an instant you can nail the focus .

    Either lens would be a great addition to most Nikon DSLR kits . My analytical side tells me the N58 would get more use but my heart says go with the OTUS .

    Many thanks Roger. First LensRentals.com - Otus is Scharf and then your images. The Otus 55/1.4 seems to cost about as much as the classic Noct Nikkor 58/1.2. Would anybody know how the latter compares to the former in the Lensrentals measurements, namely MTF50 in line pairs / image height at the center, averaged across the entire lens, and averaged in the 4 corners.? Or make an educated guess? Thanks again for your posts.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Senior Member JohnBrew's Avatar
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    Re: OTUS vs the Nikon 58/1.4

    Thanks, Roger, really appreciate this posting. Now can you come up with a comparison outdoors?
    Good question, K-H. I am in line for one at LensRentals - promised for mid-December. I'm really chaffing at the bit to slap one on my D800 and take her for a spin around the block.
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    Re: OTUS vs the Nikon 58/1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I knew better than to read this report. Damn you Roger. LOL
    I, in the other hand, are safe from this:

    1. Don't have the money.
    2. Capacity to drown myself in "don't have autofocus, I am not a landscape photographer" comments.



    Jokes aside the lens looks excellent. The 58mm f1.4G suffers a lot, according with DxO mark, of center in one key area: Sharpness even at f/4 (see the field map on measurements).

    It's a very good lens. The Otus, from what I have read and see it's in a different category.

    Maybe we will have black friday offers, like 2000$ of ?

    Best regards,

    J. Duncan

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    Re: OTUS vs the Nikon 58/1.4

    I find comparing both lenses to each other a futile exercise, only setting them apart as different approaches to photography.
    Personally i like the glowing effect of the 58
    to be found in other fast nikkors and other brands also.
    The otus is quite different just because it is more than twice the price
    doesnt mean it is 'better' just different.
    And very sharp clinically so which currently is the trend
    a good example of lensmaking skills anyway.
    Now if i could afford both....

    "My thought's gone on-line".

    to add

    http://www.samhurdphotography.com/20...-sample-images
    Last edited by Fons Baerken; 21st November 2013 at 04:35.

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