Quote Originally Posted by msbarnes View Post
I guess my question is what makes the noct nikkor so special? i can understand why it is more expensive than the 50mm f1.4, for sure, but what I did not understand is why is it so much more expensive than the 50mm f1.2. I haven't dug into this too much because I figured some Nikon aficionado would chime in.

From ebay, the cheapest 58mm f1.2 lens sold for $2,500 compared to the $329 for the 50mm f1.2 version. The value is rising or has risen too, I think. It seems that the 58mm version is aspherical and the 50mm version is not. I thoguht aspherical designs is somewhat normal these days for fast glass.
Aspherical lens elements may be more normal today, but the this lens was released in the late 70's. The aspherical element on the Noct was hand-ground as opposed to stamped by a machine. It was always a special-use lens and it was always expensive. The priority of the design was to control coma flare, making the lens more suitable for night photography.

I have a 50mm f/1.2 that I have a love/hate relationship with. I don't know if I would prefer the Noct or not. Probably not.

Edit: Mr. Waves beat me to it. Do reference the link below if you want to read more about the Noct:

http://imaging.nikon.com/history/nikkor/16/index.htm