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11-05-2008, 03:46 AM   #301
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I had a few minutes to do a little un-scientific test with my 58mm Nokton today.

I was mainly playing with aperture openings and comparing clarity of the image. I concluded - very unscientifically - that this lens is most sharp around f5.6 to f8. But really, I don't find that very shocking or even pertinent to the qualities of this lens. Like others have stated, it isn't about the sharpness, it's about the bokeh! (I get it, really I do!) But I like to know the limitations of my lenses, that's all.

What I did notice was some purple fringing on the white gables of a house. Nothing sever, but it was there none the less. There were other areas where I thought I'd see CA's - white birch tree trunks against the sky, etc. - but did not. The purple did disappear at apertures smaller than f8 (f8 to f16).

Have owners of this lens also noticed some CA's at times? I'm just curious.

11-05-2008, 03:54 AM   #302
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
I wanted to reinterate on my feeling that Cosina has done everything right with this lens. They've taken a basic concept, a fast fifty but made it just a little 'more' in every angle I analyze it.

Its 58mm, not entirely uncommon, but different. It helps in the oof area to have that bit shallower dof and the minimum distance is at the accepted minimum for the range at .45m so its sitting in a bit of a sweet spot there. Its as well built as one could possibly hope and at a totally reasonable price ($379 new). Perhaps most importantly, the optics are great (and its an 'A').

I'm not sure how much Cosina makes off these lenses vs the work they do for Zeiss, but I truely belive they have found a great balance of value for product which seems to resonate far and wide. I see this thread and realize all of our different styles and gear - the Nokton finds its way into that. It represents a really good business practice by Cosina, I hope they stay true to that and give us a few more goodies with the same philosophy behind it:

Take an existing niche, find the sweet spot. Produce an optic that is worthy of peoples time, money and consideration (and camera bag real estate) and price it for everyone. Thats how legends are born.

If this is indeed how Cosina consider to produce future lenses, what niche do you think is next?
First of all, I'd like them to reissue the 125 and 180.
Maybe they could come up with an awesome hand built zoom for us to play with or maybe a TC.
11-05-2008, 03:56 AM   #303
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QuoteOriginally posted by J.Scott Quote
Have owners of this lens also noticed some CA's at times? I'm just curious.
I've noticed it a couple of times in bright light but only when the sky has been hazy and white, I haven't noticed it when the sky has been clear and blue.
11-05-2008, 04:42 AM   #304
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QuoteOriginally posted by J.Scott Quote
The purple did disappear at apertures smaller than f8 (f8 to f16).
That indicates that the PF is caused by longitudinal chromatic aberration and that the effect can be mitigated by stopping down or slight defocusing. -> Chromatic aberrations

11-05-2008, 04:47 AM   #305
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
I wanted to reinterate on my feeling that Cosina has done everything right with this lens.
Any reason why it shouldn't be an AF lens?

I'd use it without AF as well, but sometimes AF can be handy, no?
11-05-2008, 05:26 AM   #306
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You would realise that most pentax users are into optical quality.

After all, manual focusing is more reliable and probably faster than autofocus at f1.4
11-05-2008, 05:29 AM   #307
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
S'more to keep it rolling -

That is very beautiful, Kelly. I missed this shot. Such a wonderful feeling and dreamy feel from this shot.
11-05-2008, 06:23 AM   #308
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Any reason why it shouldn't be an AF lens?

I'd use it without AF as well, but sometimes AF can be handy, no?
I wonder if they can pull off an AF version with the same feel and quality of the MF in the current lenses.

11-05-2008, 06:25 AM   #309
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I just ordered a split-type focusing screen and getting a magnifying eyecup for this lens It's just too amazing to use with my ME Super that I want something similar for my K20D
11-05-2008, 08:29 AM   #310
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Any reason why it shouldn't be an AF lens?

I'd use it without AF as well, but sometimes AF can be handy, no?
I do think that there is a market of people who appreciate classics, but have either failing eyes or need speed, and are willing to give up quality manual focusing and pay dearly. I'd suggest Sony, who have hired Zeiss (who have in turn hired Cosina to produce excellent manual focus version of their classics (the Z line)).

By now, all main manufacturers offer a good quality, fast AF 50 for a reasonable price. Unless somebody hired Cosina to mass produce an AF Nokton that could compete at that price point (like a Samsung for example) it would struggle for two reasons. Firstly, it costs more. People who get into this without knowing why a Nokton exists aren't going to appreciate why they're paying double, AF or no. Secondly (and mainly) it would alienate the people who DO care, the manual lens afficianados (Cosina's CEO included) who are being catered to with these classic reinterpretations.

Adding AF means comprimising the best features of a manual lens - a long (read: precise), smooth damped helical. Its just too much drag on a miniature motor whether in camera or lens. I have not found an AF lens that feels anywhere even near a manual one. Simply put, native manual lenses are a lot easier to manually focus, and if you're like me - you come to the realization you must sell the FA31 and buy some Takumars because you'll actually use them.

Aside from my earlier points of the Noktons success - perhaps even more importantly is that while it is meant for a specialty minority, Cosina produced such a quality item for such a reasonable price (compare to any other modern manual lens) they're actually attracting new fans into the fold. People see the bokeh and think, "Hey, for 379, that looks like fun". I think its going to find its way into a lot of camera bags, maybe as a first manual lens, maybe as its only manual lens, but its in there and theres a reason.

QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
That is very beautiful, Kelly. I missed this shot. Such a wonderful feeling and dreamy feel from this shot.
Well thanks for saying so James. I've been very busy of late and have not had the chance to shoot in a couple of weeks, save for a random shot on the way too or from somewhere. I look forward to this thread to keep my bokeh fires burning until I can get back out there.

QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
First of all, I'd like them to reissue the 125 and 180.
Maybe they could come up with an awesome hand built zoom for us to play with or maybe a TC.
I think it may be a distinct possiblity (the reissue). FWIW, I can see them doing something different with them (ie, silver, or with a different style hood) to rekindle everyones fires. A modern manual zoom would be a first so the odds of that couldn't be calculated. I think they'd leave the TCs to the main brands knowing their specialty.

I'm hoping personally for a big aperture lens under the Voigtlander banner, priced for the masses. They've already made a 35/1.2 for rangefinder for under a thousand... I would like to see something like this. Something not otherwise available, except in M-mount for many thousands of dollars.

I predict, based on the success of the Nokton as a 'gateway' bokeh drug, that a sub $1000, f1.0 or f1.2 could theoretically be the next step in a serious bokeh addiction.

Last edited by thePiRaTE!!; 11-05-2008 at 10:20 AM.
11-05-2008, 05:01 PM   #311
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
You would realise that most pentax users are into optical quality.
Of course.
You are not saying that anyone using AF is not into optical quality, are you?


QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
After all, manual focusing is more reliable and probably faster than autofocus at f1.4
It depends I guess. With the standard focussing screen I'm not sure for everyone. And I wouldn't go as far as to say that anyone not up to the job of focussing a Nokton at 1.4 manually, shouldn't be using the lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
Adding AF means comprimising the best features of a manual lens - a long (read: precise), smooth damped helical.
Yes, I guessed that.
Apparently there is no way of getting the best from both worlds?
I could image two different gears being used and an automatic decoupling of the AF motor while the manual focus ring is used. Pentax's quickshift system must accomplish this somehow? I haven't used it, so I cannot comment on how smooth the MF action is on a quickshift lens.

Thanks for all the input anyhow. Regarding the price, though, I have to say if you are producing for a niche market (MF buffs with perfect eyesight) it can sometimes be better to demand premium prices. Raises the perceived value of the lens and makes everyone want one even more. This "inflated price" strategy works wonders in the audio industry where you can buy amplifiers, loudspeakers, etc. for the price of a (small to very expensive) car, while the parts or workmanship certainly do not justify the cost.

P.S.: The shot featuring the red maple leaf is beautiful indeed. Very apt for a Canadian as well.
11-07-2008, 10:42 AM   #312
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Quite a challenge using MF with this lens! But I'm loving the results. I just ordered a split-screen from jinfinance (ebay) and am scrounging up money for a KPS magnifying eyepiece (1.3x).
11-08-2008, 09:31 PM   #313
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wow got to try out lbam's nokton today, super impressed.
it also felt lighter than the A50 1.2 which feels like a solid block of glass
that helicoid focus ring is ridiculous, better than takumar smooth. damn thing has put thoughts in my head now.

11-09-2008, 12:36 AM   #314
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I used Nokton on Olympus E520 today. Wow, the bokeh is equally beautiful and it is a very light set up! I had fun with the lens on the light body.

I cannot wait for k2000d any more...
11-09-2008, 02:50 AM   #315
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Question..

Just curious, how would you compare the Pentax 50 f1.4 AF to the 58?

Thanks

Ben
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