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| p.1 #15 · Best 50mm (MF inclusive) for Nikon |
From everything I read, the Zeiss 50 f/1.4 is a good, not great lens. I haven't tried it and likely won't. I own the 50 f/1.2 AI-s, 50 f/1.8 AI-s and an earler 50 f/1.8 AF. I appreciate them all. The 50 f/1.2 AI-s is challenging to use wide open both because the focal plane is so narrow and because, depending on the background conditions, can produce a distinctive jittery bokeh. At f/2 is can't be beaten. But then the question arises whether someone wants to pay the premium required for such a fast lens in order to shoot at f/2. I bought the 50 f/1.8 AI-s for $46 and its a fine lens. There recently was listed a 50 f/2 AI for about the same price. That too is an excellent manual focus lens. Since you're open to shooting manual focus you might want to check out this listing to see if anything tickles your fancy.
That said, it appears the 50 f/1.8G is a first rate AF lens available for around two hundred dollars. That too is a very nice neighborhood to hang out in. And since you want to use this on a FX camera to shoot portraits, you might consider going a bit longer and checking out the Voigtlander 58 f/1.4. That too is a well regarded lens. And remember, kit building is forever, so any decision you make today shouldn't be considered cast in stone. You can count on the fact you'll massage your kit so long as you're taking photos...