Ever since I got this lens earlier this year, attached to a very early Nikon F, it has become one of my go-to lenses for photographing people (my favourite subject matter).
My copy was a little worse for wear when I got it, with some minor fungus and a little edge separation. The focusing and aperture rings were also very stiff in use. However, after a strip down to clean everything, it is now very smooth to use and the glass, while not perfect, is good enough that it doesn't seem to affect the photographs in any noticeable way.
What I love the most about this lens is the way it is very sharp in the center, even when used wide open, but then softens in a very pleasing way towards the frame edge. I realise this may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for what I use it for, it is close to perfect. The slightly long focal length also means I can get in a little closer on head shots before noticing too much distortion on facial features.
Here are a few samples, all shot at F/1.4 on Tri-X.
#1. "RE: Nikkor 5.8cm F/1.4" | In response to Reply # 0Leonard62 Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Mon 14-Oct-13 05:16 PM
Very nice Dave. The 5.8cm f1.4 lens and the 55mm f1.2 lenses are my favorite normal mf lenses. I have two of each. One of each is mint and I don't use those. I use the 5.8cm on a digital D5100 body. I just love the way it renders wide open and how sharp it is stopped down. I have been using it for the last 3 days. I've had them for a couple years now but don't believe I've used them on a film body.
Here are two photos of a Honeysuckle blossom. They were shot at the minimum focus distance and are only slightly cropped.
The first was shot at f1.4, the 2nd at f5.6.
One of these days I'll put it on one of my F film bodies and shoot a roll of b&w.
Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)
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#2. "RE: Nikkor 5.8cm F/1.4" | In response to Reply # 1davecarroll Registered since 29th Sep 2013Mon 14-Oct-13 05:32 PM
Nice shots Len, and they really show the dual character of the lens. It really is pretty special. I made the mistake of letting my girlfriend use it on her Sony NEX and now I have to hide it from her or I would never get to use it myself. My fault for buying her the Nikon adapter in the first place!