This may have gone un-noticed by most, but die-hard Nikon users probably realized what a historical day this is for Nikon. We have the first Nikkor f/1.2 lens since, wait for it….. nineteen seventy eight. In fact, it’s their first f/1.2 lens to have autofocus, EVER. (Historical fact check: click HERE for my favorite Nikon web page ever, the Nikon lens compendiumm) As exciting as this is, I was still kinda hoping that Nikon would do an FX 50mm f/1.2 first. F/1.2 just won’t be the same on this new mirrorless crop sensor system. What am I talking about? Let me explain: Nikon’s mirrorless sensor system is a 2.7x crop, therefore this 32mm f/1.2 gives the same viewing angle as an 85mm prime would on a full-frame camera. However, the depth of field won’t be the same because of the difference in sensor size; the 2.7x crop will make it behave like an 85mm f/3.2 would on a full-frame sensor. Kind of a bummer?
Still, that’s pretty respectable for a compact camera system, especially considering that wide-open bokeh is always very pretty. I’m sure the lens will perform beautifully, and f/1.2 is still f/1.2 when it comes to shooting in low light. If the new mirroless sensors like in the Nikon V2 can deliver a decent ISO 3200 or so, having an “equivalent” 85mm f/1.2 lens would be pretty useful in casual and/or incognito situations, where lugging around a 5D mk3 and an 85 f/1.2 might be a tad overkill.
What do you think? Nikon isn’t the only one designing exotic primes for crop-sensor mirrorless systems; Panasonic and Sony have been churning out mirrorless primes left and right, Olympus has a Zukio 75mm f/1.8 lens for $900, and Zeiss has a 24mm f/1.8 mirrorless prime that costs over $1,000! Here at SLR Lounge, we’re pretty excited to see where this goes.