Posted April 2007, Updated August 17, 2008
The Nikon 50 1,4 AI-S is one of the few manual focus lenses left in Nikon's lens line-up. The 50mm was the standard lens that came with camera bodies, un till the 1980`s when zoom lenses took over the market. The 50mm lens is said to be the lens that comes closest to the human eye`s perception of distance and depth, Thus labeled as a "normal" lens. This does not apply to a APS-C type camera though, like Nikons DX sized digital SLR`s. On a DX sized Dslr the lens becomes approx. a 75mm f/1.4, which is more of a portrait lens then a all round lens like the 50mm. There are however quite a few lenses that will give you a normal lens on a DX sized camera these days, check the alternatives at the bottom of the page.
|| 7 elements in 6 groups
|Minimum focus distance:
|| 0.45m / 1.5ft
||HS-9 or HR-1 (not included)
||Front lens cap
Rear lens cap LF-1
1.6" x 2.5" / 63 x 40mm
||9.2 oz (260g)
|| 7 straight blades
- Build Quality.
- DOF/IR markings.
- Center sharpness, even wide open center sharpness is awesome.
- Contrast. great contrast even wide open.
- Prize, costs more then the AF 50mm f/1.4(it is built allot better though)
- Ghosting/Flare, the MF 50mm flares quite a bit easier then the newer AF 50mm f/1.4.
- Light Falloff(vignetting) on a full frame camera like the D3 this lens does show a bit of light falloff wide open.
Performance of the Nikon50mm f/1.4 AI-S is almost at the top of the line. The lens does have some problems with ghosting and flare, more so then the newer AF versions. Center sharpness wide open is stunning, the corners are somewhat not on the Nikon D3. Corner light falloff improves at f/2 on the FX format and at f/2.8 it is minimal. From f/2.8 the lens really performs well. Sweet spot of the lens is f/2.8 - f/8. The best value for money if you want a 50mm lens for a Dslr is the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 it is however slightly softer wide open then the manual focus version reviewed here.
Purchasing items through these links helps me adding more content to this website. The links takes you to B&H's website, which is my recommended store to get equipment from. I've used B&H personally since 2005, and I get all my equipment from them these days(including the lenses used for these reviews). Thanks for your support, Fredrik.
Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S From $679.95 USD
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D From: $119.95 USD
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D From: $299.95 USD
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G From: $429.95 USD
Zeiss MF 50mm f/1.4 ZF Planar T* Price: $550.00 USD
Sigma AF 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Price: $499.00 USD
For an equivalent normal lens on a DX camera:
Zeiss 35mm f/2 ZF Distagon T* Price: $826.00 USD
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX Price From: $194.95 USD
Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2.0D From: $319.95 USD
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Price: $439.00 USD
Prices are subject to change. Listed prices is from March 6, 2010
Images have been imported to photoshop CS3 through Capture NX 2 thus leaving the original image settings as shot, I. E white balance, sharpening, etc .etc. Full resolution sample images are in RGB color mode. Check out my copyright page for information about usage of these images.