The 50mm was the standard lens that came with camera bodies, until 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 cameras though, like Nikon's DX sized DSLR`s. On a DX sized camera the lens becomes approx a 75mm f/1.4, which is more of a portrait lens then an all round lens like the 50mm. The AF 50mm f/1.4 was
originally manufactured in Japan, but production of this lens has now
been moved to China. The Nikon AF 50mm f/1.4 is more than twice as
expensive as the Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D. The big question is; is it
worth it's price compared to the Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8D?
|| 7 elements in 6 groups
|Minimum focus distance:
|| 0.45m / 1.8'
||Front lens cap LC-52
64.5 x 42.5mm / 2.1" x 2.5"
||255g / 0.49 lb
||7 straight blades.
- Sharp. Even at f/1.4 this lens shows great sharpness.
- Build quality. Built far better then the f/1.8D, it still could be a bit better tough.
- DOF & IR markings. Although the lens is only engraved Infrared, and DOF f/11 & f/16 it is better then none at all.
- Rear cap, Provided rear cap is ridiculous at best. It's really not a
cap, but more a plastic cover that won't stay on.
- IR hotspots @ f/11, not a huge problem un till f/16 tough.
- CA. The 50mm f/1.4 does show higher amounts of CA then the f/1.8 wide open.
The Nikon 50mm f/1.4 is sharper wide open than the AF 50mm f/1.8, it
does show a slight amount of CA wide open though. The f/1.8 shows almost no CA, at f/2 the CA is gone on both lenses. Performance wise the 1.4 is sharper than the f/1.8, until f/4 when both lenses has almost the
same performance. On the D3 the lens shows some softness in the corners
until f/2.8. The softness is minimal, but it is there. On a DX sized
camera this is of course not an issue since only the center of the lens
is in use. The bottom line is that the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 is sharper than
the f/1.8, in fact sharper than any of the Nikkor 50mm's I've tested so
far(this includes quite a few 50mm lenses that have not been reviewed
yet), and the bokeh is nicer in my opinion as well.
Price from: $299.95 USD
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 AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Price: $429.95 USD
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Price From: $119.95 USD
Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AI-S Price From: $459.95 USD
Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S Price From: $679.95 USD
Or if you want a equivalent 50mm on a DX sized DSLR
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX Lens Price From: $194.95 USD
Nikon AF 28mm f/2.8D Price From: $244.95 USD
Nikon AF 35mm f/2.0D From: $319.95 USD
Sigma AF 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Price: $439.00 US
*Prices are subject to change. Listed price is from March 7, 2010
Images have been imported to photoshop CS4 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.