Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G £190/$220

Not the sharpest , but a great lens for the money

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

This isn’t the cheap­est Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens on the mar­ket: there’s also an AF-D ver­sion, which is about half the price, but it can’t aut­o­fo­cus on bod­ies like the D3400 and D5500. The AF-S ver­sion is much newer, and fea­tures a ring-type ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem that works on any Nikon body.

Though only slightly smaller than the f/1.4 ver­sion (see right), it’s 50 per cent lighter, but build qual­ity feels pretty good, right down to the weather-sealed metal mount­ing plate. Op­ti­cal fin­ery in­cludes an as­pher­i­cal el­e­ment. The front el­e­ment is deeply re­cessed, es­pe­cially at longer fo­cus dis­tances.


As with the f/1.4 ver­sion, AF speed is a lit­tle pedes­trian, but sharp­ness and con­trast are im­pres­sive, even at wide aper­tures. De­fo­cused points of light take on a vis­i­ble geo­met­ric shape at smaller aper­tures, as the seven-blade di­aphragm isn’t that well rounded. Bar­rel dis­tor­tion is also a lit­tle worse than with the other lenses on test, but is much re­duced when the lens is used on a DX body.

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