The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is going to cost $7,996.95 USD and it will start shipping at the end of this month.
The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is a full frame, manual focus only, large aperture, standard 58mm prime. It is the fastest lens in Nikon’s history. The inspiration for building this lens dates all the way back to 1977 when the original AI Noct-NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 standard prime lens was released. The name Noct comes from “Nocturne” (a musical composition inspired by or evocative of the night).
The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is positioned at the very top of the S-Line. Nikon was able to build this lens because of the advanced design flexibility afforded by the Z mount.
According to Nikon, the optical design incorporates a large-diameter ground aspherical element, which reduces spherical aberrations and distortion in order to achieve high sharpness and accurate rendering. An ARNEO coat, along with a Nano Crystal Coat and fluorine coat, has also been applied to individual elements to greatly suppress flare and ghosting for clean, color-accurate imagery when working in strong lighting conditions.
The Noct has 17 lens elements, 10 lens groups, and 11 aperture blades. It also has an 82mm front filter diameter and the minimum focus distance is 64 ft. (0.5m.) from the focal plane.
Nikon also says that their engineers have achieved optimum continuity of bokeh with Noct. But it’s not just the bokeh that’s so impressive—it’s the ideal smooth transition from the tack-sharp focal plane to the beautifully blurred background. Even when your subject-background distance is inadequate, Noct produces stunning depth and emphasis.
I got to have a quick play with the lens back at CP+ in February. The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is a beast of a lens and it weighs in at a whopping 70.6 oz. (2kg).
From my short time using the lens these were my takeaways:
- Exceptionally sharp, even when used wide open at f/0.95
- Very round bokeh
- Beautiful soft fall off and rendering of out of focus areas
- Nicely weighted focus ring
- Very solidly made
The lens is nice to use and despite it only being manual focus it is easy enough to get sharp focus at f/0.95. The focus rotation of the barrel was quite big for a stills lens, but it certainly helps when getting focus at wide apertures.
Just like other Nikon Z mount lenses, the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct has a small electronic display on the top of the lens which allows you to quickly confirm aperture, focus distance, and depth of field settings. Also, like other S-series Z-mount lenses, there is a programmable control ring that can be set for intuitive adjustment over a variety of camera and exposure settings.
The Noct has also been updated with an assignable Fn button for lens-based control over shooting settings.
In a nice touch, Nikon has included both feet and meter markings on the lens barrel.
In a lot of ways the lens reminded me of the Zeiss Otus, both in terms of feel and look. I have a feeling Nikon is making this lens in the hopes that it will be optically better than any other full frame lens that is currently available.
For $7,996.95 USD the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens comes complete with the custom Trunk Case CT-101 and HN-38 Hood.
The limiting factor of this lens is that it is only available in Nikon Z mount. Who knows, maybe someone will try and do a PL mount conversion.
If you own a Nikon Z6 or Z7 and have deep pockets, as well as a penchant for the ultimate optical performance, this lens is probably for you.