Nikon 55mm f/1.2 + D3s wow!

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Just got this lens today and who would've thought that a vintage lens on a modern body would perform so well? :eek:

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I really enjoy this lens as well on my d700, I have a 55 1.2S. SSSHHH don' tell anyone. I want the AI version and I want the price to stay down… :)

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Very nice Johnny. Good luck with the lens....some chunk of glass, huh?

I was recently shopping(again) for a 50 1.2, and noticed a few of the 55's being offered in really nice condition on Ebay. As it turns out, I ended up buying a Voigtlander 55 1.4 instead.

Mike
 
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Always buy the best lens you can afford. It will stay with you for a lifetime and more. 58/1.2 is an example of that. These best of the best not only increase in value over time, but you can have fun with it at the same time. Why not
 
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Interesting. Never knew they made a 55 1.2. I knew of the 50 1.2 and 58 1.2. just read up on it. Now I want one.
The 55/1.2 started as the Nikkor-S 55mm 1:1.2 at the end of 1967. It went through a few changes including the addition of multicoating in 1972, a modern barrel style in 1974 and upgrade to AI in 1977. The optics also had some minor tweaks to improve performance over that time. It was replaced by the AI 50/1.2 in 1978, and by the much more expensive Noct 58/1.2 around the same time.

In my experience it is rather soft and low contrast wide open, which can produce some nice dreamy portrait effects. By f1.8 the sharpness and contrast have really picked up and the results are similar to other 50mm lenses. Unfortunately the bokeh is rather harsh unless you get quite close and completely blow the background away. The Noct is much smoother from what I have seen. It's still a lens with a unique and interesting character, worth giving a try.
 
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Thanks for the complements on the capture. Very Kind. The 55 1.2 is a old gem. Mine needs a CLA but I still love it. It also works well with a PK-13 on it. It is a hard lens to use at 1.2 just because of the DOF, when you nail it you nail it. But I am still learning so it is more often than not that I miss it..

And ya the 58 1.2 is on my wish list after the 28 1.4D :). My pal NikkorAIS has both and he is magic with them. Truly two of the greatest Nikon Lens ever made in my book.

55 1.2 w/ PK-!3 and maybe a 5T as well or just a 5T.. Can't remember..
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And some more standard shots.

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I would pick one up and give it a try. I have a rule that I won't pay over 300 for a lens so it takes me a while to get them at that price. But I have managed to get all that I have with that rule :). Worst case is you turn around a sell it, not like the price will drop any time soon.
 
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I have not used the 50 1.2 but from what I can tell the 55 has a very unique bokeh and a more dreamy soft focus to it. As mentioned above the Bokeh is harsh unless blown all the way. I do not mind this and just consider it part of what I will get when using it. If I want cream I will go with the Sigma 50 1.4 but I have been embracing the old glass as of late and find it very enjoyable despite the nervous nature of the bokeh.

I have also had to invest in a used super cheap 3 stop ND filter as the Sun has made a guest appearance in the Pacific Northwest as of late so that is also fun to use a 1.2 wide upen in full sun, just exploring is a blast.

The lens does have the same wonderfull and build as the 50 1.2, this I enjoy.
 
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I just sold my 50 1.2 AIS, i miss it already. How does it compare to the 55?
Technically the 50/1.2 (AI and AIS) is a better lens - slightly sharper, better contrast and better (but not great) bokeh wide open. The AIS 50/1.2 also has a nicer 9-blade aperture (not rounded though) compared to 7 blades for the older models. But I still like the 55, it has a charm of its own. I also like the slightly longer focal length.
 
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Brad, love your work with the Nikkor 55 1.2. It's so awesome that you're really showcasing what this lens is capable of. For years I heard nothing but negative reviews/comments from the experts about the 55 1.2. And while I have never personally used the Nikkor 55 1.2, seeing your work with this lens shows that the experts may be able to shoot a test chart and that has little or nothing to do with photographs that inspire and amaze.

The fact is, Nikkor AIS glass has a unique signature all its own. There are no better, only different brushes to see the world.
What I see with your work is someone who is getting the most out of the lens and using it to its full advantage. You seem to bring the magic to whatever lens you've got in front of you.
Very cool.
I hope you get "your" Noct and 28 1.4 AF-D in the near future.
And if that isn't possible, let's make some plans to meet up so you can use mine.


Gregory
 
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Sep 9, 2006
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Wilkes Barre, PA
The 55 f1.2 has a lot more coma than the Noct, and as long as you keep that in mind, you can do some great things with it.

One thing to keep in mind with it is that the lens elements can get knocked out of alignment if it suffers a blow to the side of the barrel. So take care of your copy and be wary of used lenses sight-unseen. I keep mine in a dedicated hard case when I am not using it.

The last weird note is that you can't use it on an F4. Not that it bothers most people, but something to remember if you happen to have that body.

JCA
 
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Thank you Gregory. Very kind of you.

And yes Jeremy I have read this about knocking the 55 1.2 and having a problem. Mine seems to be ok still and I am not easy on anything. Hope it holds out, it has for the last 43 years :) Just to think of all the light that has passed thru this glass is fun. It is my hope my kids will use it one day. Maybe I will around for when it turns 100. Hope so anyway.
 
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