The Noct Nikkor 58mm/1.2 is one of the few lenses I’m really interested in but never owned or had any experience with. Slightly inflated prices around $3000-$4000 for a used sample might have something to do with that… 😉
When Bjørn Røslett posted a thread at NikonGear about the ‘CPU surgery’ of his Noct Butchering a Noct-Nikkor 58 mm f/1.2 AI with pictures of the procedure (a must read!)
I browsed through Ebay and found a Noct Nikkor 58mm/1.2 AiS with a missing rear lens element. I was immediately interested, to say the least.
Not a man who let the bargain of a lifetime go by, I placed a sensible bet and called Nikon Germany’s NPS service inquiring spare parts and possible repair costs. The answer from the Nikon service technician was quite sobering. There are no spare parts for the Noct Nikkor left in Germany and the Noct was one of the few lenses that had to be sent to Japan for proper calibration. Not a problem one might think if there where the calibration tools and able specialists left at the Nikon lens plant.
But the tools are gone (earthquake, tsunami?) and the specialists seem to be retired. What looked like a €500 Ebay bargain for the buyer might turn out to be a pricy paperweight. It seems the Noct is nonserviceable nowadays.
Since my trusted photo dealer got a pristine looking used Noct Nikkor 58mm/1.2 AiS at a mere €2600,- for sale right now, I had to go and give it a little run in front of the shop.
Very cool lens but 2 1/2 grand is ‘slightly’ out of my range this Christmas. It’s damn hard to focus this little gem precisely wide open on the D700 without enough practice. CA’s are substantial around bright edges but Capture NX 2.3 cleans them up nicely with a simple click. Surprisingly CNX2 does a one-click distortion correction of the Noct as well.