Nikon Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Review

November 11, 2019 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Nikon Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens is a hard one to come to a firm conclusion about. It exists almost completely to prove a concept, and it seems as if Nikon doesn’t actually expect anybody to buy one in reality. That said, with a strong rental market currently operating in many markets, it could be something that photographers may wish to borrow for a specific shoot or need.

Using it is a completely different experience to any other Z mount lens. Without the benefits of autofocus, you’re forced to work in a slower, more considered way. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can certainly take some getting used to - and it won’t be practical for many subjects either, such as unpredictable animals and the like.

That said, thanks to this being a lens for mirrorless cameras it’s easier than you might expect to get focused images thanks to an electronic viewfinder or screen which displays focus peaking. The fact that you can choose different colours for the focus peaking display also helps tremendously when you’re photographing certain subjects - such as red flowers. You may find you still miss the odd shot if the subject moves ever so slightly, especially when shooting at the very widest aperture,

This is a lens which portrait photographers will love with thanks to the quality of results. Sharpness is superb, while the bokeh created by having such a wide aperture goes beyond dreamy into ethereal territory. We can also see it appealing to still life photographers, those who might typically work on a tripod and can afford to work slowly and carefully.

Indeed, a tripod comes in very handy when considering the size and weight of this lens. It’s not one for travelling light with, and it’s not particularly comfortable to shoot handheld with for long periods of time.

There’s no denying the optical excellence of the Nikon Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens, but with an £8,299 price tag and its awkward handling it’s not one we - or indeed Nikon - expect to see flying off the shelves. It proves exactly what Nikon can do with its new mount, but it’s more of a curio than anything else - if you can pick one up to try for rental, you might just find you fall a little bit in love with it.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 5
Value for money 2.5