Nikon normal lens test/review database

Index

NEW AND BETTER ARTICLE INDEX AT NIKON INDEX
(It is only the new index that will be updated. It doesn't have the ranking yet, but is better and more up-to-date)
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NoLensScoreArticlesBuy
1.Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G82,48%23Amazon
2.Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G82,41%17Amazon
3.Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D80,08%13Amazon
4.Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D73,70%13Amazon

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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G

Image quality rating: 82,48%

Overall rating: 87,60%

Main points:
  • Better than the old 1.4 version
  • Autofocus could be better
  • Great Bokeh


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photographylife
'If I did not have a 50mm prime lens, I would have bought the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G, without a doubt. So if you are looking for a 50mm portrait lens now, go for the newer 50mm f/1.8G lens instead.'
byThom
3/5
3/5
'I think you'll have to think long and hard about what the f/1.4G offers you over the f/1.8D if you've got a DSLR that can use non AF-S lenses.'
Momentcorporation
5/5
5/5
'So is it a worthy upgrade? If you own the AF version it can be hard to justify the upgrade. If you use the lens mostly wide open, then the Nikon AF-S 50mm is definitely better.'
Photozone
4/5
4/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4 G is a very good lens that performes on a high level except for slightly soft borders and somewhat busy bokeh at wide open aperture. From f/2 onwards, the lens is able to deliver crisp images that do not leave much to desire.'
Photozone
3.5/5
4/5
'For most applications the silent wave AF drive is fast enough. Combined with the high build quality this results in an attractive package that might not necessarily tempt those who already own an older Nikkor 50 mm AF lens, but probably all others looking for a fast standard prime.'
ePhotozine
4.5/5
4.5/5
'Having owned the older AF-D version for some time, I can say this update is a welcome one. The build and silent focusing are welcome refinements, even if the focusing speed does seem a little slow. Performance throughout the aperture range is very good to outstanding, which is what you would expect from a lens of this type, and as a result this lens should not disappoint even the most discerning photographers.'
Ishootshows.com
'Overall, I think that the new 50mm f/1.4 AF-S is a great little lens, and I’m glad to see that the old AF-D model has finally been replaced. There’s a lot to like about the new and improved lens – better image quality all around and lots of small improvements in the overall design.'
SLR Gear
8.93/10
8.6/10
'Set to ƒ/2 it makes a nice portrait lens - sharp center, soft corners - and by ƒ/2.8 it's a decently sharp lens across the image. We were a bit surprised by the slower performance for autofocus'
Lenstip
'Nikkor AF-S 50 mm f/1.4G is not without flaws. You could expect a better maximum relative aperture work, a lower coma and full frame distortion. On the other hand, the tested lens doesn’t stand out much from Zeiss Planar 1.4/50, which is twice as expensive – it’s really difficult to find a serious cause for complaint.'
DPReview
8.5/10
8.5/10
'In almost all respects the lens is clearly improved over its predecessor, the AF-Nikkor 50mm F1.4D. It's sharper wide open, and provides much more even performance across the frame (especially on FX), with notably better corner sharpness at large and intermediate apertures.'
Stuck in customs
'I use this lens a lot for family, parties, friends, and the like. In my opinion, it’s the best “people” lens in the world… but you just have to be ready to be within 2-6 feet of whoever you are shooting.'
Richard Peters Photography
'I won’t lie and say it’s everything I wanted it to be because it’s not. Focus speed could be faster (but, having said that, does it need to be for a lens such as this?) and I expected it to be sharper, especially wide open. BUT…despite that, I find myself loving this little 50mm. The image quality IS very good once you learn how to get the best from it, and the creativity of shooting at 1.4 is excellent.'
PhotoReview
8.8/10
9/10
'While not being spectacularly smooth and luminous, the bokeh produced by this lens is more attractive than from lenses with multiple aspherical elements and foreground blurring is rather nice.'
Camera Labs
'I’m pleased with this result and continue to be very satisfied overall with the new Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G'
Pop Photo
'Great for low-light and action shots, as well as scenes with strongly defocused areas, this 50mm makes a nice half-length portrait lens on DX Nikons.'
Ken Rockwell
Ken Rockwell
4/5
5/5
'This new 50mm gives even clearer results for real-world available-light portraiture at f/1.4 than the older lenses, and it doesn't chatter away in AF-C mode as do the older mechanically focused (AF and AF-D) 50mm and 85mm lenses. All these lenses are equally sharp by f/2.8.'
Fredmiranda
9.1/10
'Great walk around prime on FX. Perfect for portraits and low-light photography. Very sharp, AF works fast enough (though not fast as 24-70/70-200mm lenses, but still good. '
Bjorn Roslett
5/5
'The new model is an evolution of the older lens, so you don't need to rush out to purchase it unless you can only work with AFS. Anyone looking for an excellently performing normal lens should consider the "G" carefully. It complements the high resolving power of the D3X in a nice fashion too.'
Dxomark
Wexblog
'The 50mm f1.4G is left in a dilemma; entry-level DX digital SLR users will most likely be just as happy with a35mm f1.8G for learning & day to day use, yet at the same time the 50mm f1.4G has a limited appeal to enthusiasts and pros who already own a 50mm f1.4D. To tempt the latter group I suspect Nikon would’ve had to make this lens a little bit more special, adding Vibration Reduction (VR) or an f1.2 aperture to the mix.'
CameraStuffReview
'For a non-zoom lens of 50 mm (since generations already the 'standard' focal length and therefore very popular), this Nikkor is firmly priced of course. Nevertheless, with its extreme sensitivity, it also lives up to that price. The mechanical and optical qualities are very high. The resolution is exceptionally good, and with the exception of some vignetting at large apertures, there are actually no lens errors. The lens is large enough for you to wrap your hand around when shooting. On our wish list for the Nikon 50 mm 1.4G is only vibration reduction.'
Pixelogist
'The main thing here is to remember that this lens is not a “magic bullet” that will create better photos for you. As always, it helps to remember that it’s not your equipment that creates a great photograph, but you. Your equipment will only help you emphasise the great qualities of a photograph – it will not create them for you.'


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

Image quality rating: 82,41%

Overall rating: 89,30%

Main points:
  • Very sharp
  • Some think that it is better than its bigger brother 1.4g version
  • Vignetting can be an issue


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photographylife
5/5
4.5/5
'The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G sets new standards in 50mm fixed lens performance for Nikon mount – it is sharper than all of the predecessors, including the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G at largest apertures. I was very surprised to see such results in my lab tests'
byThom
3/5
4/5
'I'm more than willing to put either on my best body and just shoot. But if I had to make a choice, it would be the f/1.8G, and simply because the focus is a bit snappier.'
Photozone
3/5
4.5/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G is a very solid performer that delivers very good to excellent sharpness across most of the FX frame.'
ePhotozine
4.5/5
4.5/5
'Although this new lens is more expensive than many 50mm f/1.8 lenses, the build quality is excellent and it handles very well. Optically, it is also superb, offering outstanding quality at a reasonable, although not bargain basement price.'
CameraStuffReview
8/10
'The display of blurry parts is nice and the lens is fairly insensitive to back light. Yet, there is not only praise for this fairly inexpensive little lens. A small drawback I mention is vignetting of the Nikon 50 mm 1.8G at full aperture, this should be just a bit smaller.'D3200
CameraStuffReview
7.5/10
'The Nikon 50 mm 1.8G performs very well on a number of issues related to the image quality. Think of bokeh and (in) sensitivity to backlight. The resolution in the center is high from full aperture but comes late in the corners.'D700
SLR Gear
9.43/10
9.29/10
'Out of context, the Nikon 50mm ƒ/1.8G AF-S is a fairly solid performer; stopped down to at least ƒ/4, it offers very sharp, contrasty images with little chromatic aberration and no corner shading. However, when you market the lens with a fast aperture, you have to imagine that people are going to use it predominantly at ƒ/1.8, and that's where the lens exhibits all of its shortcomings: it's good but not especially sharp, offering uneven performance on both FX and DX bodies.'
Lens tip
'To sum up the lens won’t disappoint practically any buyer, no matter whether it is a professional photographer or just a beginner. We wish we saw more such lenses on the market, with such a good price/quality ratio.'
Camara Labs
'So unless you really need the 2/3 larger aperture or the longer focusing throw, Nikon's newest baby should be your primary choice of a large aperture prime with the very useful focal length of 50mm - both for DX and FX shooters!'
Pop photo
'As a high-speed lens, it produces attractively defocused foregrounds and backgrouds, high shutter speeds for stopping action, and transmits lots of light for shooting dimly lit scenes and locations. Its compact profile suits it to travel and street photography—at an incredibly appealing price.'
Ken Rockwell
'This 50mm f/1.8 G lens is super-duper sharp, but sadly has some visible barreldistortion on FX and 35mm. If this is important to you, use the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D.'
Dxomark
Ryan Brenizer
'I think this lens should be in a big percentage of modern photographers’ bags, simply because it’s cheap and incredibly light, and is guaranteed to autofocus with any current or upcoming Nikon camera. '
Joeseph Eckert Photography
'So, long story short: I don’t see any reason to buy the 2x more expensive Nikon f/1.4G over this f/1.8G, given that the 1.8 has faster autofocus and is actually slightly sharper across the frame at most apertures, even on the demanding D800E. If you really need that extra 2/3 a stop of light – from f/1.8 to f/1.4 – then, sure, okay. But in that case I would be tempted, personally, to spend still more money and try the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4, which would give you the extra speed and additional performance wide open (although then you lose autofocus).'D800E
Ramseeker
'Next to my 35mm f/1.8, which on a DX camera offers a normal lens, this normal lens turns into a very fast portrait lens for portrait photography ending up being a 75mm f/1.8 and this is way cheaper than having to buy a 85mm f/1.8G if you’re shooting DX. I think that the DX format, once you get past the idea of not being able to shoot wide might be the best format as you can use cheaper lenses that effectively offer the same results. I like the fact that these modern G AF-S lenses include a hood and that the hood and lens are both textured making the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G easy to hold. I don’t really miss the f/1.4 aperture, nor do I miss the price for the 50mm f/1.8G either, as the 1.4 version of this lens costs double what the 50mm f/1.8G costs and yet this lens offers faster autofocus, and better aspherical lens elements – something the 1.4 version does not offer.'
CameraStuffReview
'Because of in-camera correction of jpg files for distortion and chromatic aberration, this lens has a higher score in combination withe Nikon D3200 in comparison with the Nikon D5100. Als the resolution of this lens is a little higher with the Nikon D3200 than wth the Nikon D5100, even though this review show a larger dufference between center resolution and corner resolution.  The Nikon 50 mm 1.8G has almost the same size, weight and recommended retail price as the Nikon 18-55 3.5-5.6 mm standard kit lens. This 50 mm 1.8G performs much better than the kit lens in terms of distortion, vignetting and resolution. You can also play with the depth of field due to the high speed of this lens. The display of blurry parts is nice and the lens is fairly insensitive to back light. Yet, there is not only praise for this fairly inexpensive little lens. A small drawback is vignetting of the Nikon 50 mm 1.8G at full aperture and AF hunting in low light, this should be just a bit smaller.'D3200
Amateur Photographers
100/100
'Improving on a classic design is often a difficult task, but it is one in which Nikon has succeeded. The new 50mm f/1.8G lens adds some significant features such as a quiet Sonic Wave Motor, curved aperture blades, better image contrast and reduced chromatic aberrations.'


Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D

Image quality rating: 80,08%

Overall rating: 86,90%

Main points:
  • Sweet spot between f/1.8 and f/4
  • Avoid above f/11
  • Great Bokeh, but only almost wide open
  • Flare and ghosting can be a problem


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Nikon Glass
0/
0/
'The Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4D is compact, light, fast focusing, sharp with very pleasing bokeh and doesn't cost an arm and a leg! This is a must-have lens for any camera bag!'
Momentcorporation
4.5/5
4.5/5
'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, and the bokeh is nicer in my opinion as well.'
Photozone
4/5
4/5
'Similar to its cousin (AF 50mm f/1.8 D) the Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4 D is a very good performer. At f/1.4 the contrast is a little on the low side and the borders may be a little soft but from f/2.8 & up the performance is really superb. '
Photozone
3/5
4/5
'On its own, this is a quite capable normal prime lens. However, there is of course also the modern successor, the Nikkor AF-S 50/1.4 G, which at the time of this review (May 2011) costs only slightly more and outperforms the ancient AF-D lens in most regards.'
Imagepower
'As a conclusion the AF 50/1.4 is not a spectacular but nonetheless a very important completion of my equipment'
SLR Gear
9.04/10
8.8/10
'Despite using a 15-year-old optical formula, the lens still stands up to scrutiny: while it's not tack-sharp when used wide-open, it's still quite good, and stopped down to ƒ/2.8 image quality is excellent. At ƒ/8, it's as sharp as sharp gets.'
Lenstip
'The final assessment is by all means positive despite several slip-ups, listed in the cons. '
DPReview
8/10
8.5/10
'So in summary, we have a lens which offers a great deal for the money, but is naturally not without its faults. It's an ideal partner to full-frame DSLRs, especially the D700, but also works well on DX as a short portrait lens'
Ken Rockwell
Ken Rockwell
'This is a great lens. It's one of the sharpest and fastest lenses made by Nikon, and it's reasonably priced. I shoot it all the time on my D3 for family and baby photos.'
Fredmiranda.com
8.9/10
'This is a super sharp lens, esp from 2 up. Plenty good wide open though. It is great for portaits, I prefer it over any other. Focus is a drag compared to new silent motor lenses, but it does the job.'
Bjorn Roslett
4.75/5
'With the FX:D3, performance is excellent but I have reduced the rating a trifle since corner fall-off is slightly more in evidence on this camera.'
Dxomark


Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D

Image quality rating: 73,70%

Overall rating: 93,63%

Main points:
  • Don't use wide open
  • Stop down to f/2.8
  • Can be very sharp when stopped down


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photozone
3.5/5
5/5
'At wide-open aperture it is a little soft at the image borders and the contrast level is a little on the low side. However, at medium aperture settings the resolution figures are exceptionally high and surely a benchmark to beat'
Photozone
3/5
5/5
'If you can live with the bokeh quality, the lens is no doubt a no-brainer, especially given its very moderate price. Those wanting better bokeh quality should get the newer AF-S version of the lens instead, which also offer better resolution towards the image borders and corners'
Utopia photography
'The differences in sharpness and contrast between the Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8D and f/1.4D lens are generally overestimated. For apertures from f/4 to f/11 the Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8D really shines and is at least as good as its more expensive sister'
SLRGear
9.11/10
9.03/10
'While its wide-open performance leaves a bit to be desired, it's hard not to commend this lens for its performance based solely on its price point. Stop it down to ƒ/2.8 and it provides excellent results; by ƒ/8, it's one of the sharpest lenses we've tested.'
Fredmiranda.com
9.3/10
'Bought this because of all the reviews on it how great it was for the price. Yes, I must say i do agree; it is definitely worth the money especially like me if you're just starting out learning photography.'
DPReview
4.44/5
The-Digital-Picture.com
Ken Rockwell
'This lens makes no compromises in image quality. It is inexpensive because it is a very simple lens to make. It uses a classic, proven optical design.'
Momentcorporation
'The Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8 is the cheapest of the"good" lenses.'
Lenstip
'After putting it on and shooting several photos with it the return to the soap reality of cheap kit lenses of different kinds is rather difficult.'
The Phoblographer
Bjorn Roslett
'The modern, plasticky and cheap-looking AF 50/1.8 ("Made in China") also gives excellent central image sharpness, but not so set wide open, you need to go to f/2.8.'
Talkurbex
'This is just one of those lenses that you buy, you keep and are amazed at every time you shoot it. Its amazing that this lens sells for around £100 GBP, there are lenses that cost £1000′s and they are not as sharp as this.'


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