How Much Depth-of-Field Do You Get with Nikon’s 58mm f/0.95 lens?

How Much Depth-of-Field Do You Get with Nikon’s 58mm f/0.95 lens?

Along with the announcement of Nikon’s new mirrorless Z-system was the development announcement of a 58mm f/0.95 Noct lens. The Z-mount’s huge inner diameter of 55mm (the F-mount has a 44mm diameter) means more light collection capability, which enables ridiculously fast lens design. Nikon’s F-mount 58mm offering tops out at f/1.4.

Of course, the larger the aperture, the shallower the depth-of-field. If you’ve ever shot headshots with a longer lens wide open you know how frustrating it can be to nail focus on the eyes when dealing with razor-thin DOF. The sway of your body can easily mean the difference between awesome and garbage.

For non-macro photography, DOF is affected by lens focal length, aperture, circle of confusion (which is linked to sensor size), and distance to the subject. There’s a number of online DOF calculators like this one from pointsinfocus.com.

For a headshot (~2.11 ft/0.644 m), the DoF is 6.18mm. As a point of comparison, the average eyelash is about 10mm.  At f/1.4, the DoF is 9.08 mm – nearly 50% greater!

For a head and shoulder shot (~3.7 ft/1.13 m), the DoF is 19.8mm, which is about a long fingernail’s length.

In other words, shooting wide open for a headshot is likely impractical, but other creative possibilities are ripe for exploration. So if you can get over the speculatively rumored price tag of $6,000, we’ll be excited to see what you come up with.

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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter.

There is 1 comment for this article
  1. Tom Casey at 4:24 pm

    Stopping by the camera repair shop near my studio, last week, the owner showed me a used 50mm f1.2 he had just acquired. I started thinking about if it made sense to add this to my bag of lenses, replacing the f1.4 I find I rarely use any more. I cannot remember needing to use the lens wide open for many years now and tried to imagine when that might be down the road… a sunrise or sunset set at infinity someday like what I found myself needing a few weeks ago at a national park… but then I needed a wider view anyway

    I always find it interesting as to why the manufacturers desire to produce certain lens configurations and I sometimes think it is more for marketing hype than filling a wide need. And at $6000? Ouch! Is that price because it was hard to manufacture or that they don’t expect to sell too many?

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