Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G £190/$220
Not the sharpest , but a great lens for the money
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.