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Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
38 154961 Jul 15, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
87% of reviewers $257.87
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.23
8.77
8.9
1902NCP_180

Specifications:
Fast enough for shooting in just about any type of light.
Distortion-free images with superb resolution and color rendition.
An ideal first lens, perfect for full-length portraits, travel photography or any type of available-light shooting. Accepts 52mm filters.

Filter Size 52mm
Lens Mount Nikon F-Bayonet
f/Stop Range 1.4-16
Minimum Focus Distance 1.5' (0.45 m)
Reproduction Ratio 0.15x (max.)
Angle of View DX format: 3030'
FX format: 46
Focus Modes Auto
Manual
Compatible Formats FX
DX
FX in DX Crop Mode
35mm Film
Elements/Groups 7/6
Number of Blades 7
Dimensions (Diam. x L) Approx. 2.5 x 1.7" (64.5 x 42.5mm)
Weight Approx. 8.1 oz (230 g)


 


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Mark K
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: China
Posts: 115
Review Date: Jul 15, 2013 Recommend? no | Price paid: $249.99 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Inexpensive, light weight, fast
Cons:
faint colour, less contrasty,

Having owned Minolta 50/1.7, 50/2.8 Sony 50/1.4, Canon 50/1.4, 50/2.5, I came to my own conclusion that all 50mm lenses are super buy with good quality and feather light weight.
After websurfing for months, I came to my own Nikon 50. This one came to me as surprises. The first was its price. The second was its build quality and the last was its optical quality.

It is not sharp unless you step down to f4.0. Unlike Sony/Canon counterparts, the colour is very faint and contrast very low. I suspect this must be the same in all the D lenses I have....from 20/2.8, 85/1.8, 85/1.4 to 105/2.8 macro.

I have to admit digital cameras have bought us new challenges in lens quality and only a few legend can survive. Obviously this one is not


Jul 15, 2013
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Oskar
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Registered: Mar 16, 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 25, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light fast sharp cheep
Cons:
There are none

The most underrated lens on the market , blows most so called fast lens out of the water one of the few lens I have that actually perform across all numbers , I have been able to get a sharp point at 1.4 unlike other lens that have to be set at 2.8 up to get anything sharp , why makers put such inaccurate claims is a joke why pay money for under f 2 ratings
When all you can get is a soft image , that aside why pay big money for a brag sized 50 to go with a 30 pocket vest when you can buy this gem for peanuts , stick it on a D3 or D800 and you have a lethal weapon .


Dec 25, 2012
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paparazzinick
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Registered: Jan 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7390
Review Date: Nov 12, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp
Cons:
again, like the other 50mm, it needs fine tuning in camera

One of my go to lenses of all time. I look shooting weddings in Pittsburgh with this lens. To view some images taken with it, check out my site. A lot of the images on the site were taken with it http://nbombichstudios.com


Nov 12, 2012
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E.Kase
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Registered: Feb 12, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 7, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, great for low light
Cons:
Focusing will be a little bothersome if you're used to SW lens, not as fast and doesn't seem as accurate

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. Nikon 50's are great, and I prefer this to my 35 1.8 DX because of the extra speed and lack of distortion. They're cheap on the used market which is great. Build quality seems good, but these lenses seem like they could be sealed up better to keep from haze/fungus. But really, this is a great lens purely for its IQ.

Apr 7, 2012
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wolfbreath
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Registered: Feb 4, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 17, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great combo of speed and image quality.
Cons:
Color is not horrible, but a little dull compared to a couple other lenses

This lens has some great quality. I use it all the time for anything... daily photography, food, portraits, events, travel etc.

Open wide, it's sharp. It's sharper than most other lenses I tried, including the 1.8d. Depth of field is pretty smooth. Bokeh looks good, but it isn't creamy like the longer telephoto lengths.

I only have one minor issue. For some reason mine seems to have a little bit dull color rendition compared to my other lenses (except 85mm 1.8d). It's not horrible (it's not even bad), but I have enough experience with it to be knit-picky. This is not an issue for portraits, because I turn down saturation. I like to bump up saturation on the camera settings for other types of pics anyway, so it's no big deal.

Anyhow, I'm overall pleased with this lens's quality and performance. It's great. I highly recommend it, especially over the 1.8D.


Feb 17, 2012
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jessi74
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Registered: Aug 22, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Nov 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros:
Cons:



Nov 5, 2011
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Marc de Wit
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Registered: Apr 3, 2010
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 25, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast AF , sharp wide open , bokeh
Cons:
None


This lens is a musthave for each Nikon shooter.
Fast AF . Supercomfortable lightweight yet very allround especially on FF
Very nice bokeh
Fantastic sharpness starting at 2.0 but allready very good at 1.4
Out of 10 shots at 1.4 really 5 or 6 are keepers.
Compared to my very expensive 24-70mm I rate this little monster AAA+
Buying this lens will never end up in a disappointment , if it does then you probably have a bad one , just return it for another .


Feb 25, 2011
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macvolkz
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Registered: Feb 9, 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 9, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $270.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: very light to carry, easy to use, my copy is sharp @ 1.4 (2.0 and above, very sharp)
Cons:
hunts a little in very low-light condition but not a problem



Feb 9, 2011
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Vandergaze
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Registered: Mar 19, 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 10, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: $270.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: a benjamin cheaper than the af-s, pretty sharp from f2.8 onward on APS-C
Cons:
way too soft at 1.4, cheap plasticy quality

Price is no genius...optics aren't overly great or suck either

Jun 10, 2010
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phiggys
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Registered: Apr 7, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 25
Review Date: Aug 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Speed and extra light gathering power beautiful Bokeh wide open.
Cons:
I have owned a number of 50mm f1.8 versions which IMO are sharper with more contrast

This AFN lens came with a Nikon FM2n I purchased.
And a friend was after a 50mm for his D70 so I sold my AFN 50mm f1.8 to him. "Wish I had kept it now though"


Aug 28, 2008
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lextalionis
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Registered: Jul 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1076
Review Date: Apr 17, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $290.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built like a "real" scientific piece of equipment, sharp, fast!
Cons:
A little pricy, but you get what you pay for.

If I was to compare this lens with the 1.8 NIKKOR on overall, construction, and image quality I would only give the 1.8 a 9 on construction quality. If you are serious about your NIKKORs, then this lens is worth the extra $$ for a small margin of performance and a good margin of build quality.

Here are some sample shots taken with a D200:

NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4D AF Lens Photo Samples

-Roy


Apr 17, 2008
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traveler
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Registered: Jan 8, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3435
Review Date: Feb 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $285.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Speed/Wide aperture essential for low light Amazing Contrast Light weight and size Good Focus accuracy
Cons:
Not AF-S

There must be some sample variation on this model so I guess some caution may be in order for having return ability in case your copy doesn't match up. On my copy the center is very sharp in the center and all over by f2......I don't think it's a freak as others have reported this kind of good result. The contrast beat the pants off of a copy of the f1.8 I sent back for this....and glad I did. The build IMHO is considerably better as well. There is a small amount of flare possible if not being careful shooting wide open, but I've found by f2.0 its a non issue. I have found it to be very accurate in focus as well as being instant to lock with my D300 body. I hesitated to consider this lens over the 1.8, but I can vouch (for my copy anyway) this is a wise move for the long term. It is clearly superior to the 1.8.......not as close as I thought it would be........and this is a good thiing...

Feb 3, 2008
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Josh Bennett
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Registered: Nov 2, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Dec 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $270.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very sharp at f/4. Small, light, compact. Relatively fast autofocus despite being driven by on-body motor. Inexpensive.
Cons:
Lots of flare at f/1.4 & 2.0. Clunky, sloppy build quality. Loose center barrel. Non AFS. With my copy, it looks like contrast starts to fall at f/5.6 and smaller. Vignettes pretty bad at f/1.4 on FX

I use this lens a lot for work. I know I can rely on it to perform when I need it to. I use it at f/4 for critical work when I need absolute image quality.

Not bad in the studio.


Dec 23, 2007
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Carl Feather
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Registered: Oct 26, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 578
Review Date: Oct 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, light weight, solid. Fairly cheap
Cons:
Noisy focusing, not very smooth. Made in China.

It's the sharpest lens I own, and I have the 85 f/1.4, 70-200 and 17-55. This is the lens I reach for when I'm shooting billboard images or need that tack-sharp bridal portrait.

Bokeh is pretty decent, not up to the 85mm, but I get very nice results at f/2-2.8. I'm not afraid to shoot this at 1.4 at wedding receptions to get nice images.

The focusing is very noisy compared to SW lenses and takes some getting used to. It sounds like a blender.

Every photographer should own one of these. Wish it were not made in China, however.


Oct 30, 2007
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James Harringt
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Registered: Apr 13, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness and color rendition are very crisp and contrasty. Light weight, and great for low light
Cons:
Manual focus not smooth, I've exprienced unusual flare in high key settings

This is a recent copy of the venerable 50mm 1.4, and was made in China. Now I've owned other lenses made in China such that were excellent, but in the higher priced Nikon glass I'm surprised to see this. I've also in the past used a Japan-made 50mm 1.8.

The lens is sharp enough for what I do wide open, and just excellent when stopped down. I'm normally burning or blurring the edges and cropping in from the 4 x 6 Dslr ratio to a 4x5 print ratio, so a bit of softness at the eges is not of concern to me and what there is has not been objectionable. The color rendition has the snap and contrast you expect in Nikon's pro line, and is, to my eye, nicer than the 1.8 I have. But that may depend on the user's preference.

Build quality is not what I expected from Nikon. The manual focus is not very smooth. I also use a fairly light Lindahl lens hood in the studio, and the auto-focus mechanism of this 50mm and the D200 can't handle focusing with the hood, I think due to the added weight of the hood. I don't have this problem with the 85 1.8, 80-200, or 20-35 that I also use.

If you are purchasing from a camera store, I would reccomend trying several samples from the shelf and make sure you get one with smooth manual operation, and maybe shoot a few test images to make sure your copy went through good quality control. I didn't do this, but will on all future Nikon purchases.

In high key settings I've found the lens a bit prone to flare. When it's not just been poor light placement on my part, it's been due to brightness on the white background causing the flare. Adjusting the lighting to proper ratios solves the issue, but the 50mm has more flare than my 85 or 20-35.

Outside or in low light, I can't say enough good things about the images I get with this lens. For those of you who still use a D100, as i often do, try this lens on the D100 in low light and high ISO's. The D100's low light performance may surprise you (especially if you were a fan of the high ISO BW films from Ilford and Kodak).


Apr 13, 2007
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FryingPan
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Registered: Apr 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Mar 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $269.99 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, sharp, compact, lightweight.
Cons:
It makes the rest of my lenses feel inadequate.

After owning this lens for over a year now, I feel like I can finally write an appropriate review.

This lens is on my camera almost 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time, I'm feeling like my other glass just isn't as fun to shoot with. It's my absolute favorite by far. The bokeh is outstanding, the images produced are razor sharp, and the versatility of the wide open f/1.4 aperture is incredible. The 50mm (75mm on a digital body) focal length is narrow enough to force good composition, but wide enough to not be restrictive.

I shoot everything from portraits, landscapes, macros (coupled with extension tubes) candids, etc with this lens. It truly does it all.

Using this lens on a digital body makes for the ultimate available light photography combo.

I truly love this lens, and highly recommend it to anyone.


Mar 24, 2007
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Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
38 154961 Jul 15, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
87% of reviewers $257.87
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.23
8.77
8.9
1902NCP_180


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