Bottom line: Impressive lens. It is a Nikon prime lens like the 24, 35, or 85 and as a prime it does not focus as fast or as "accurately" at 1.4 as one of the Nikon 2.8 zooms do at f 8. See my previous article on the prime focusing speed.
IF you are having trouble with AF accuracy on a Nikon 58mm 1.4g , I recommend that you send it in for warranty service and explain the problems that you are having. After sending the original lens in that was used for this article it came back:
CKD AUTO FOCUS OPERATION
CKD FOCUS TRACKING
ADJ DEFOCUS COTROL
(Yes that is how control was spelled on the sheet.) The lens works better than ever. It is now spot on for eye focus for portraits without any AF Fine tuning. I plan on experimenting with optimum distances for the best look. I now look at the 58 f1.4 as the Nikon 200 f2.0 when you can't back up to get the shot. (and you don't want to carry that beast.) The bokeh is just beautiful like the 200 f2.0 and when used properly focus is spot on.
Advice(please read below): For portraits, using eyes as the focus point, using the center AF point, I shoot it at AF Fine tune +20, saving RAW+JPG , with the JPG set at maximum sharpness on the D4 and have the center button on the multi-selector set to zoom medium on press during image review so that I can check the focus on the shot.
As usual, when a new piece of hardware comes out, there are many different initial opinions written on the spur of the moment with little actual use of the new item. That is the case with the Nikon 58mm 1.4g
The naysayers have taken to two issues. The sharpness wide open at 1.4 and the inconsistent focus. I felt like I had heard this before. Well, I did. When the Nikon 24mm 1.4g came out there were the same complaints.Ah and the Nikon 35mm 1.4g as well. So why are some people attacking this lens? Enh - who cares. With any new piece of photography equipment there are always opinions. I recommend that you rent it, give it a try with your camera setup the way you use it and if it works for you, ditch the 50mm 1.4g and use this in its place.
I got the chance to do a quick test on this lens the other day. If you are concerned about any AF front focus or back focus issues, you can look at the below images. The lens was focused on the book to the left of the ruler. The 20cm line was even with the plane of the book.
|Nikon 58mm 1.4G at 1.4 on a D4 full sharpness (crop at 6ft)|
|Nikon 58mm 1.4G at 1.4 on a D4 no sharpness (crop at 6ft)|
I found some good advice on photo.net on AF Fine tune that I figured I would quote: