If one looks up Zero Optik online and read their “About” section on their website they’ll read this: “Zero Optik is a creative design and engineering firm dedicated to bringing unique optical tools to a film and television industry saturated with one-size-fits-all equipment.” This is a massive understatement. I mean who else makes a 35mm Pinhole lens as their initial product to sell to customers? In front of the NAB 2018 booth for Arri we met up with Zero Optik to look at, or maybe even drool a little over, the hot off the presses one of a kind rehoused lens, the Nikon 58mm f/1.2. This lens rehousing project started in March and in record time competed without any painting on the all new metal housing. On a NAB convention floor, a bright metal lens stands out. To say Zero Optik drew attention on the floor might be kind of an understatement. Good buddy and NAB 2018 coverage partner Nathan Thompson of Contrast Visuals & Consulting took the mic for this interview because he is an unabashed vintage lens lover. Btw, for curious lens lovers, the question often asked was if the lens’ focus ring rotated in the right direction, yes it did.
This lens looked gorgeous on the A7R II mirrorless camera. I can only expect it to deliver some unique looks on a Full-Frame cinema camera. Right now this lens specific is already spoken for and if you want to hunt down your very own Nikon 58mm f/1.3 Zero Optik will be interested in rehousing it for you. Personally, I hope Zero Optik keeps this lens in its brushed rare metal finish.
NIKON NOCT-NIKKOR 58MM f/1.2 AI
Let’s talk about the original lens, or what’s left over after the complete rehousing by Zero Optik. NIKKOR is Nikon’s brand name for their lenses and Noct means that this lens is optimized for nocturnal use.
The 58mm f/1.2 Noct-NIKKOR was specifically designed for photography that involves brilliant points of light against dark backgrounds at large apertures. This lens was intended to be used at f/1.2 for hand-held night or astrophotography. A good used version of this lens will set back a buyer for a price hovering near $3,000 to $4,500.
Zero Optik Nikon 58mm Lens Specifications:
- Lens: Nikon Noct-Nikkor 58mm f1.2/T1.3
- Mount: PL (EF and others available soon)
- Front Diameter: 95mm
- Weight: 2.88 lbs
- Length (from PL Flange): 3.36″
- Close Focus: 1′
- Price (for Rehousing Only): TBD (likely around $4k)