Nikon’s previously announced Nikkor Z 58mm F0.95 S Noct is set to ship at the end of the month (31st October) for a shade under $8,000 in the US ,and around £8,299 (in VAT) in UK.
The ultra-high speed Z-mount lens takes the Noct monikor from the AI/AIS 58mm F1.2 from the 70’s and early 80’s respectively. That lens was originally designed for low-light reportage and featured a single large diameter, hand-ground aspherical element in its optical design, where the brighter viewfinder image and reduction of sagittal coma flare (or reproduction of point light sources) was an important consideration for photo-journalists.
The new manual focus only lens, revealed yesterday to the press in London, is faster still at F0.95 but boasts no less than three aspherical elements, including large diameter ground and precision moulded elements made with high-refractive glass which promises extremely high correction of coma and SA (spherical aberration). Four of the 17 elements in total feature ED glass for CA correction, which I would assume also to effectively remove troublesome longitudinal CA, but that’s not specifically mentioned in the PR and not a given with such a wide initial aperture, despite the high price.
Nikon also updated their lens “roadmap” yesterday, but with no other high-speed F1.2/1.4 lenses detailed, other than a 50mm F1.2, it’s not a stretch to think that they’re unwilling to commit fully to those designs in-order to protect sales of the F-mount versions. Time will if that’s the right decision, but with Canon not holding back, it’s difficult to reconcile.