Among the wide range of products on display at the Nikon booth, visitors to CP+2019 were particularly interested in the company’s newest 58mm f/0 lens.95 S Noct, which should be the flagship lens of the S line. Its development was announced at the same time as the announcement of the mirrorless Z-series cameras last August, but Nikon still does not give an exact release date and does not disclose its specifications. However, at its booth the company showed several working samples, as well as a longitudinal section of the lens, which reveals its optical scheme.
Full review and test shots of Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera
Want to check out the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.The 95 S Noct was so much in demand that it gradually attracted a huge lineup. To at least smooth things over, the booth staff had to limit the viewing time to three minutes, after which the person was politely asked to make way for the next visitor.
The lens was demonstrated with a Nikon Z7 camera and was mounted on a tripod with the corresponding slot in its housing. The fact that it has a tripod mount means that the Noct isn’t going to be the lightest of lenses. This is also evidenced by its optical design which you could see in the presented cross section of the body.
In an era of extremely lightweight materials such as magnesium alloys and polycarbonates, the amount of glass used in the optical circuitry has the most impact on weight. On closer inspection, you can count about 17 elements in the design, which have a fairly dense arrangement.
This also partly explains why Nikon decided not to use an autofocus system when developing the lens, as installing a motor to move the lens in autofocus would have increased its weight and increased the size of the body, which is already quite compact.
So the lens adjusts focus manually using a wide knurled adjusting ring with a distance scale on the bevel. the maximum focusing distance is set by turning the ring 360 degrees, with 3/4 of a turn being in the range of 0.5 to 1.2 m.
The base of the lens has another adjustment ring, which, like the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, should be responsible for silent aperture control or adjust exposure compensation. The lens also has an L-Fn button that can be assigned various functions and an OLED screen that displays the default aperture value.
The display can be changed with the DISP button, though it is not clear what else is useful if the lens has a fixed focal length and focus distance scale.
Summing up, we can say that the design of the lens and its light transmission capabilities, thanks to the aperture number f/0.95, truly impressive. Whether the impressive weight and immodest dimensions are justified is still a question.
Obviously, the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.The 95 S Noct is designed for professional use only and was created to show Nikon’s ability to develop complex optical systems, which will certainly have a positive effect on the advancement of the Z system as a whole.