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  1. #1

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    Talk me out of a Nikon 55mm f/1.2

    I was offered a near mint Nikon 55mm 1.2 lens. I already have a 1.4 on my F that is my standard go to lens for the handful of times a year I shoot 35mm (I'm a MF and LF guy). But I'm looking to shoot more 35mm this year, mostly museums and outdoors at night.

    Does anybody have any firsthand accounts of this lens? How does it perform wide open and at f/2-ish? Is it really worth the extra 1/3 of a stop?

    FYI, its an uncoated, non-AI version. I'll be shooting Tmax400 and FP5 90% of the time and Portra 400 and Provia the other 10%.

  2. #2
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    You don't need it.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #3

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    If you want shallower depth of field, shoot a larger format. If you want photograph in lower light, push the film instead.

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Film cameras need these fast lenses more than cameras that use other technology. I'd get one and use it with film. At least that will spare us more blurry digital photographs posted on the internet.

  5. #5
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Depends what it costs and where you shoot.

    Pushing film is not a substitute for a fast lens. For film in low light, you most often need both. Or just go to another technology which, no matter how much less fun it can be, just works better in very low light.

  6. #6
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Sorry I'm a photographer, not a psychiatrist , but I can tell you that to expect a 1.2 lens to have a good performance at full aperture is contrary to the laws of physics.
    Ben

  7. #7
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    You don't need it.
    +1, and you'll rarely get the focus point right wide open...
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  8. #8

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    yeah 1.2 is very hard to focus and has barely useable depth of field unless your subject is far away. I suppose it would be slightly useful for aerial shots at infinity. and if you pushed the film a third of a stop you would probably be better off since that is barely a push.

    for what it's worth this is what Bjorn says about the 55/1.2:

    This lens is impressive to behold, but image quality is modest when it is used wide open. There is a veiling flare from internal reflections that softens the image and coma is apparent at f/1.2. Residual optical aberrations lend a softness to the corners until the lens is stopped down to f/4-f/5.6, at which point it becomes a capable performer in terms of sharpness. Image contrast picks up beyond f/2.8 and is very good at f/8 to decline when the lens is stopped more down than this. Note that the 55/1.2 is susceptible to knocks from the side, such abuse can misalign the optical elements.

  9. #9
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I.2 lenses rarely throughout the whole their aperture range perform as well as 1.4 lenses because the design has been stretched, I have a Canon FD 1.2 lens that I rarely use ,because aperture for aperture the f1.4 is a better performer.
    Ben

  10. #10
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    buy it but ,don't use it;give it to me.I'll test it for you and let you know what you've missed.oh,I can be so cruel.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

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