So thursday evening and some time to kill made me think through what my next gear review should be. I am going to try to be consistent with only reviewing things i have actually used for a while, and actually like using. I will always try to review if from my angle, because the way i see it people having the same style or liking the way i shoot will be mostly helped from these reviews. I will not post a lot of technical details but rather give my impressions of the lens and what i feel are the pros and cons of it.
After reviewing the D700 and also the X-T1 which were both two pieces of equippment that i loved using, i feel that my next gear review will naturally be one of my favorite lenses.
Lets just state the obvious for people that knows the qualities of this lens that it is definitely not for everyone. First of all the price itself will put people off. I was REALLY lucky finding this on an auction and getting it for a price you normally would not find it for anywhere. Then if you actually do find it to a reasonable price there is the very specialized quality of the lens. Originally it was a lens for nighttime photography, and the way it renders lightsources like citylights or stars etc are very unique. It is also the fastest lens out there so it is a joy to use in lowlight in general.
Also the odd 58mm might be something to put people off, it is not a ”normal” length to shoot at, slightly short for portraits and alittle too long for street or architecture etc.
Still it has reached a sort of legendary status as a unicorn of lenses that is rare to find and very good to use. I read so much before i had the chance to shoot with it and knowing its characteristics in beforehand i jumped on the opportunity to try it when i at last got it.
Shooting mainly portraits i was dreaming about how the Bokeh would look on the Noct. And after shooting with it a few times i could right away it had something special none of my other lenses have. The way it renders the background when opened wide is just incredible. I know some people out there does not like the ”swirly” bokeh it gives. I love it. Also the character of the pictures that it produce is also so unique. It is a joy to use.
The look and feel of it is also like no other lens i have. The build is great, heavy and solid like an old tank!
Paired with my Nikon DF it feels like it was made for that lens alone. The pairing is perfect.
Balanced perfectly, and blend very well together, i actually have the black DF so it is not my DF on the picture above.
So what are the cons then you ask?
Well, it is manual of course being an old lens. So if you want something fast or modern it is not for you. Also it is a heavy lens for its size, that is actually a plus for me because i preferr the solid built to the new plasticky things they sell nowadays.
Also i use it strictly for portaiture. And if i need to shoot something else i leave it at home.
Or like a street/portrait lens. I sometimes take only that when leaving for a trip to town for example, the 58 lend itself to being quite versatile since its close to a normal. I would not say its the best architecture lens or the best tele lens or even the best normal lens though, as its very best characteristics comes out when you take portraits and make use of the Bokeh which is spectacular.
Also if you do not like the ”swirly” look of the Bokeh you might not like the lens either.
So why do i love to shoot with this lens?
Like with so many other things you just feel right away if it suits your needs. I can see why many think it is a fluke or a pretty quirky thing to get since of its pricetag and its very special use.
For me it really makes me want to shoot with it. I love using it, which for me in itself is a incredibly important thing. Also since of that very special look it makes the picrures very personal and stand out, and not many tools out there does that now in my opinion. So for that alone it earns a very special place in my photography heart.
If you have a chance to try it out, do it if you think it might be for you.
/Over and out.