So, the Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct finally has a spec sheet, price and release date. First glimpsed at the launch of Nikon’s full-frame Z Series, and referred to pretty much constantly since as an example of what its Z mount is capable of, the 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is a wonderful thing, but with a pricetag of £8,299 it’s surely something that most photographers will never even lay their hands on – a bit like a enough time to shoot what they want on holiday, an Aston Martin DB5 or Scarlett Johansson/Chris Hemsworth (* delete as applicable).
The Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, is a super-fast, standard prime, manual-focus lens for the Nikon Z camera – the Z 6, Z 7, and the new Z 50 – where that camera’s crop factor makes it a possibly-even-more-enticing 87mm f/0.95 – and obviously you can get that by using the full frame cameras’ DX crop mode, too.
As you’d expect, there’s a lot of glass in it. And it’s damn good glass, too. The lens is constructed of 17 elements in 10 groups of which four are ED glass elements and three are aspherical lens elements including, according to Nikon, “new large-diameter ground aspherical lens elements made of high-refractive-index glass materials molded with great precision.” On top of that, there’s a full suite of Nikon’s exclusive anti-reflection coatings – ARNEO Coat and Nano Crystal Coat – adding up to what it says are “incredibly sharp and clear images.” Plus there’s a fluorine coating on the front and rear elements to make it easier for your butler to clean it.
That f/0.95 aperture is the fastest maximum in Nikon’s history, and will generate seldom-seen shallow depth-of-field along with large, beautiful bokeh, as evidenced in some of the example portrait images below. But as it achieves amazing levels of sharpness, with “incredible point-image reproduction characteristics that render points as points,” Nikon is also making the case for the Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct as lens for night landscapes and starscapes.
Build wise, it’s billed as having “dust- and drip-resistance,” and has two rings, one a programable control ring, which you can set for functions including exposure compensation or aperture, as on other Z lenses, and the main focus ring, which is said to “rotate smoothly and quietly, and with the proper torque, for optimal operability with still-image and movie recording.” The Noct also has a lens info panel to confirm info like aperture value, shooting distance, and depth of field, and there’s an L-Fn (lens function) button to assign further custom functions.
The Noct comes with a felt-lined lens hood, the inside of which is designed to reduce reflections off the inner surface of the hood, and you get a dedicated trunk case. It can all be yours from the end of October.