Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor
Nikon continues to be one of the leading companies in the photography industry because of their long-term success in bringing the best digital SLR cameras to both professional and aspiring photographers. They have done an exceptional job in keeping the selection wide yet still accessible for different photographers to find which camera is best for them.
However, when it comes to the lenses, things can be a bit confusing especially if their chosen camera doesn’t come with a “kit lens”. There are 8 categories of different lens to choose from and each category has several lenses each with different features and set at a certain price. Fortunately, the standard lenses only has 3 lenses available including the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Lens which is the best of the bunch and remains as a great first choice for general photographers.
Design & Construction
The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Lens is well-built from the ground up with a metal lens mount that is shrouded with a rubber gasket that protects the mount from moisture and dust. It is also built with plastic components that are durable and the ridged pattern on the rubber focus ring makes it easier to grip.
“I always used to have a 50mm f/1.4 on my old film SLRs. But then I started getting seduced by the “zoom” phenomenon. And when I first went digital, I got a 12x zoom point and shoot. Yes, a super zoom is fun. But my pictures never seemed as good as the ones I took with that old 50mm f/1.4. So when I finally decided to go back to my photo roots and get a digital SLR I got the Nikon D60. It came with the kit lens (18-55 zoom) for almost nothing over just the body alone but I splurged (It cost about the same as the D60/lens kit) and got this lens too hoping I’d like it as much as my old ones and could get back to basics with it. I’ve had it now for a few weeks and haven’t put the 18-55 zoom on the camera yet! This lens works so well with the D60 especially in aperture priority mode. I usually set it to wide open or maybe f/2.8 to get that fantastic subject isolating small depth of field and beautiful bokeh. And when the light is dim, I can still take great shots using available light which is almost always nicer than flash. The D60′s “Auto ISO” makes this even better. And the manual focus and Auto Focus override works so well it completely solves any problems where the fast and quiet Auto Focus can sometimes get fooled. What a fun lens! I’ve taken more great photos of people and scenery in the last three weeks than I did in the 5 years before that. I LOVE this lens and camera combo.” – M.Jewell (USA)
Features & Specifications
With the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Lens as one of the prime lenses available, there are plenty of features that make this lens a good all-round performer for any Nikon camera. The sharpness level could be average when wide-open which isn’t really that bad, but the sharpness shows improvement at f/2 and f/2.8. The f/1.4 is fast and extremely useful for indoor low-light conditions and travel photography. Breathtaking sunrise and sunsets can be captured hand held without a problem.
It also does an excellent job in minimizing the chromatic aberration on all settings. Even the professionals that used the lens generally had no complaints because of the CA not being so noticeable at all. On the autofocus end, operation is fairly quick and the AF-S designation shows that. It does not keep up with the speeds of the 70-200mm units, but standard photographers should be impressed with the overall performance because the Nikon Silent Wave Motor makes the autofocus, accurate, speedy, and quiet. The rounded 9-blade diaphragm also aids in improving the quality of elements that aren’t in focus.
Whether the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Lens goes on an FX-format camera or DX-format camera, the photographer will enjoy some added benefits. For FX-format cameras, they get the classic normal angle view while DX-format users get a 75mm angle of view making it an ideal portrait lens. Its versatility expands from there with close focusing to 1.5 feet. The overall quality is also improved with the Super Integrated Coating which improves the color consistency while reducing the flare.
The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Lens may be the priciest standard lens out there, but when compared to the other wide-angle and zoom lenses, the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Lens comes out more affordable yet still having plenty of nice features to keep photographers happy. The lens’s ruggedness and small size also makes it an ideal travel lens.
Average User Rating:
- “I own a D40, and am by no means a professional photographer. However, I honestly think that this lens is fantastic. If you’re a beginner and don’t know why you should have a 50mm prime over the kit zoom lens then just know that this will allow you to have a better focus on your subject. You can effectively take a portrait of a loved one and really isolate their face. Compare that with a picture of them from any other standard lens and you’ll notice right away. All that said, the lens is very sharp. If you want less isolation, use a different f-stop. The bokeh is a moot point. Coming from a zoom lens, it’s leaps and bounds beyond what I’m used to. However, if you’re used to other primes and are more experienced, I’d imagine that it’s nothing special. It’s a plastic body, but it doesn’t feel cheap. Furthermore, the f/1.4 makes taking pictures in low or more dramatic lighting a breeze. You can get more light exposure in less time, which means less noise for you. Please note that this lens has no VR, and you’ll need a steady hand or a tripod for slower shutter speeds.” – DeShaun (NY,USA)
- “I own a Nikon d700 and had a D300 before that. The lens worked beautifully on both. What swayed me to buy it is the fact that it is sharp and contrasty wide open at 1.4. I read many reviews before buying it. Most complaints seem to be about its focus speed and bokeh. I think the Bokeh is beautiful, I tried it against the Sigma and the older D version. I found the Sigma to be less sharp and the older D version to be way less sharp and contrasty. As far as focus speed, it’s fast enough. On the argument of saving money and getting a 50mm 1.8. I have one and honestly would not go back, I definitely prefer the 1.4, I love the shallow depth of field, and the extra stop basically allows me to shoot in almost pitch black dark with my d700. It seems to render colors more naturally as well, my 50mm 1.8D always seems a little warm which I have to fix in post process or use a custom White Balance. The 50mm 1.8 is the best bang for your buck, I keep mine as a back up, but the 50mm 1.4g is better. I’m not wealthy so I don’t try to buy the most expensive gear, I’d rather buy the cheapest if it works, but once I tested it, I had to have it.” – C.Badua (USA)
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