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Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 7 blade vs. 9 blade

Seiji Kamiya , Jun 11, 2006; 11:05 a.m.

What are the mechanical and optical differences between the two versions of the Noct. So far, I have read and am led to believe that the 7 blade is mechanically superior for the following reasons.

- Ai body has a lens mount that is secured with 5 bolts instead of 3. - Aperture connecting lever is steal instead of aluminum. - Some weight savings changes were done that may affect durability. - Helical pitch of the focus mechanism is slower allowing for more fine tuned focusing.

Optically, the 9 blade maybe superior: On the other hand, the 9 blade version might produce a slightly better bokeh stopped down because of a more circular opening of 9 blades. I don't know if there are any other improvements.


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Christiaan Phleger - Honolulu , Jun 11, 2006; 11:43 a.m.

I believe the 3 screw vs 5 screw may make a difference long term slightly for the relatively heavy optic, although my 50mm 1.2 Ai has only 3 screws and seems to support the weight OK. I do prefer the Ai series for the longer thread pitch especially with such a fast lens with a narrow angle of depth of field. However, I think most of the differences may be on the order of purely argumentive, since this is such a rare and worthy optic, they all are great. I tested one for sale 10+ years ago and am still kicking my self for not getting it at the measly sum of 750.00!

Seiji Kamiya , Jun 11, 2006; 12:35 p.m.

It's hard to tell what is a good value with this lens.

I think many people probably passed on the Noct just like you while it was still cheaper than it is today. How can you predict that one lens out of many will suddenly become valuable instead of depreciate like 99% of the lenses produced today.

Nikon lens technicans tell me that the Ai is the better lens. Probably so few people have an opportunity to use one that nobody knows for sure, or maybe care.

Just for comparisons, the photo below shows what the blades look like on a 7 bladed Noct.

Attachment: DSC_0546.jpg

robert milloy , Jun 11, 2006; 12:47 p.m.

I would be happy with either....this lens is made to be shot wide open....number of blades not a huge factor....whatever I could get my hands on for reasonable price.

Seiji Kamiya , Jun 11, 2006; 12:56 p.m.

There might be other changes though other than the obvious difference in the aperture opening. But you are right, doesn't make sense to use a Noct at say f-stop 8.

Vincenzo Maielli , Jun 11, 2006; 02:24 p.m.

Hi, dear friend. The nine blades are very good for nice bokeh, but also seven blades work properly. The differences in bokeh quality are insignificant, from nine blades to seven blades. Ciao

Vincenzo Maielli Italy

Seiji Kamiya , Jun 11, 2006; 03:01 p.m.

Any other improvements or changes?

I guess to sum it up, does the 9 blade take a better picture than the 7 blade? Is the difference undetectable in everyday usage and more or less just an academic difference?

Bjorn Rorslett , Jun 11, 2006; 08:08 p.m.

Highly academic. Seven or nine won't matter when you shoot the lens wide open, which is _the_ way to work the Noct. I own an early AI (7-blade) and it is a fine performer when you understand its quirks.

Seiji Kamiya , Jun 11, 2006; 09:13 p.m.

Thank you Bjorn, so little information exists. I recently purchased a mint 7 blade at the recommendation of others over the 9 blade, but have been very curious about the facts.

Yaron Kidron , Jun 12, 2006; 12:53 a.m.

Let's put it this way: if you can tell the difference between 7 and 9 blades, you're in the wrong format. Upgrade to medium or large format.

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