Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G £385/$450

RE­MARK­ABLY COM­PACT AND IM­PRES­SIVELY SHARP

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

De­spite the fact that this is the most up­mar­ket op­tion in Nikon’s 50mm line-up, it’s still around 50 per cent cheaper than the com­pet­ing Sigma 50mm and Tam­ron 45mm lenses – and the lat­ter only has a max­i­mum aper­ture of f/1.8 lens. It’s also re­mark­ably com­pact for a 50mm f/1.4: it’s only 1.5mm longer and wider than the f/1.8 ver­sion, and has the same 58mm fil­ter thread. And while it is no­tice­ably heav­ier than the f/1.8, it’s just a third of the weight of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 A.

It feels sim­i­lar to the f/1.8 in terms of build qual­ity and han­dling. How­ever, it fea­tures an ad­di­tional op­ti­cal el­e­ment, plus two ex­tra iris blades, which means the aper­ture is more rounded when stop­ping down.

Per­for­mance

Bokeh isn’t al­to­gether pleas­ing when shoot­ing wide open, as bokeh fring­ing and coma are quite vis­i­ble. How­ever, con­trast and sharp­ness are im­pres­sive, vi­gnetting is fairly min­i­mal, and bokeh be­comes much smoother when stop­ping down to f/1.8, beat­ing the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G at the same aper­ture.

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