Filter Size: 52mm
Some lenses are
well known for reliable performance. But what about cult lenses?
Despite flaws and relative
obscurity, cult lenses remain popular in a small niche. The Nikkor-S
5.8cm f/1.4 is a cult lens. Produced in a short run from 1959 to 1962
with slight external variations, you don't see too many of these
around. From what I've seen they're generally either beat to hell or
pristine collectors items. My first was in terrible shape, stiff
focusing, scratched front element and it wouldn't even focus to
infinity. The filter threads were all dented up, so I took the glass
out of a cheap UV filter and permanently screwed that in. The dented
filter seems like a common problem with these aluminum nosed lenses, as
my second one has a whole new filter thread grafted on with epoxy.
Seriously, people must love these lenses to put that kind of work in.
down it's pretty boring, standard 50mm range stuff, sharp all over. One
thing that's nice is a lack of any color fringing.
Farrell in Japan.
Sony NEX-5N, Nikkor-S 5.8cm f/1.4 @ 1/4000 f/4 ISO 100
NEX-5N, Nikkor-S 5.8cm f/1.4 @ 1/4000 f/4 ISO 100
Most of the image stays decently sharp from f/2.8 and beyond. Still
impressive with the color fringing. The 24-70mm f/2.8 envies this sixty
year old lens.
NEX-5N, Nikkor-S 5.8cm f/1.4 @ 1/800 f/2.8 ISO 800
NEX-5N, NikkorS 5.8cm f/1.4 @ 1/800 f/2.8 ISO 800
The lack of fringing makes this lens nice enough, and it's sharp
stopped down. But what makes it a cult lens? It's totally ambiguous and
subjective. It draws in a unique way at f/1.4 and f2.
Daniel Brasuell in Japan at f/2
NEX-5N, Nikkor-S 5.8cm f/1.4 @ 1/250 f/2 ISO 1600
The background blur or as people love to say, bokeh, can swirl at wide
Sony A7, Nikkor-S 5.8cm f/1.4 @ 1/160 f/1.4 ISO 100
At 1.4 there is a small sharp section in the central area but sharpness
quickly falls off.
Sony A7, Nikkor-S 5.8cm f/1.4 @ 1/2500 f/1.4 ISO 100
because it has so little contrast, there is no purple fringing in high
contrast areas, but there is some green longitudinal chromatic
aberration as we leave the area of focus.