Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor
High-end digital cameras can be quite pricey, but when they are compared to their digital SLR camera counterparts, consumers need to cough up quite a lot in order for them to get their hands on a true performer when it comes to taking high quality photos. Nikon has a respectable lineup of digital SLR cameras ranging from the affordable ones that come with kit lenses and the more feature-rich mid-range and high-end ones. These cameras can really drain the budget and it gets worse when they find out that a lens is needed as well. First time users often want a lens that works in all areas and affordable at the same time and that is exactly what the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Lens defines itself as.
Design & Construction
The Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Lens is very small compared to the other lenses and is constructed well with dense plastic and the lens mount being made of metal. The filler threads are plastic as well which is why the overall weight of the lens is just 156g. The small design allows it to easily be placed in any small corner pocket of the camera bag without any fear of it being damaged.
Features & Specifications
The Nikon 50mm f/1.8D lens is also the most affordable lens of the standard category, but it still has some nice features that should make any travel photographer happy. Stopping the lens down to f/2.8 or smaller yields very sharp images. Midrange camera users will witness other positive sharpness effects on the corners and center with f/2.8 as well.
When it comes to chromatic aberrations the 50mm f/1.8D contends fairly well, but isn’t the most impressive on the larger aperture ranges. Fortunately cameras that have automatic chromatic aberration removal like the D3x will suffer no issues from this. Like the other lenses in this category, the 50mm f/1.8 does a great job in eliminating the unwanted distortion. The auto-focus performance depends on the camera body since this is a screw lens. As long as the camera isn’t a D5000, D40, or D60, the focus should be very speedy.
Actual user review:
“Just wanted to share with everybody how much I love this lens. I have shot Nikons for years and got lazy and went the zoom lens only route. Shooting with this lens has gotten me back to what I love about photography. The focus is extremely sharp and the shallow depth of field is absolutely gorgeous. This puts me back in control of the elements needed to make a really good photograph. I received this lens on a Tuesday and used it to shoot a wedding on Saturday. This lens put me back to where I needed to be with my wedding photos. It is an excellent portrait lens and does a really good job in low light situations. I would highly recommend this lens.” – D.Vaughn (USA)
The Nikon 50mm f/1.8D doesn’t suffer from light falloff problems either as the corner shading starts to become visible at f/2 or f/1.8. Full-frame camera users will experience more prominent corner shading, but first time DSLR users with midrange units shouldn’t see the shading as a huge deal. On the upside, the lens has a multi-layer coating that helps minimize ghosting and flare. Stopping down to f/22, depth-of-field control is excellent for an entry-level lens.
Word of caution: Because this lens is not AF-S it will not autofocus on a Nikon D40 or a D60.
At a price just above $100 the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF lens is a no brainer. Putting the sharpness quality into the equation, this is one of the best lenses at this price point. The build quality is also decent and any travel photographer should have fun using the lens without being bogged down with quality issues.
Average User Rating:
- “There are no words to describe how awesome this lens is. I personally recommend everyone have one, no matter what other lenses they have, period. The optics of a prime lens are automatically superior to a zoom lens, and boy does it show in this product. It’s a very fast lens, with very nice optics, at a decent focal length, for a GREAT price. I should also mention that it is very well built and very sturdy with a metal contact mount. You can FEEL how quality this lens versus newer VR lenses made of plastic. It also has an aperture ring and distance scales, very cool indeed.” – M.Bliss (USA)
- “GREAT lens for the $$. I use it on my D300 and found I prefer it to my 18-200 VR. Don’t let the low price fool you into thinking it’s a cheap POS…it’s a very sharp, very fast lens. Only downside for me is that it’s AF not AF-S, so the motor is not silent. Well and it’s f1.8 not 1.4 like some of the others. If you’re looking at getting a fast prime and don’t want to drop the $$ on the 50mm f1.4D or newer 50mm f1.4G just get it, you won’t regret it. You might want to check and make sure the AF works with your camera first.” – G.A.Fiad (USA)
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