NIKON AF-S 50MM F1.4G

Digital Photograper - - Reviews -

Some­thing of an old-timer com­pared with the lat­est crop of Nikon lenses, the 50mm f1.4G still has some­thing to of­fer

Like the com­pet­ing Canon lens on test, this Nikon has a very tra­di­tional de­sign based on rel­a­tively few op­ti­cal el­e­ments. Un­like many Nikkors, it has no as­pher­i­cal or eD (ex­tralow Dis­per­sion) el­e­ments, nor Nano Crys­tal Coat. Nikon does make a more so­phis­ti­cated 58mm prime, but that’s a bit long for a ‘stan­dard’ op­tic and vastly more ex­pen­sive at around £1,700/$1,600. This is def­i­nitely the most ap­pro­pri­ately priced Nikon stan­dard prime for en­thu­si­ast pho­tog­ra­phers.

Build qual­ity feels marginally bet­ter than in the com­pet­ing Canon lens and ben­e­fits from a weather-seal ring on the mount­ing plate. Un­like in the Canon lens, the phys­i­cal length re­mains fixed but the in­ner bar­rel ex­tends to­wards the for­ward end of the outer bar­rel at shorter fo­cus set­tings. This makes the front el­e­ment less well re­cessed at short fo­cus dis­tances but, again un­like the Canon lens, this one comes com­plete with a hood. The aper­ture is also more well-rounded than in the Canon lens, based on nine rather than eight di­aphragm blades, but de­fo­cused lights can still be a bit prob­lem­atic when stop­ping down a lit­tle.

De­spite hav­ing a ring-type rather than mo­tor-based ul­tra­sonic sys­tem, aut­o­fo­cus speed is quite slug­gish, and clearly audi­ble. on the plus side, aut­o­fo­cus ac­cu­racy proved much more con­sis­tent in our tests, com­pared with the Canon lens.

sharp­ness is very im­pres­sive across the whole frame at apertures of f2.8 and nar­rower, and it doesn’t drop off as much as with the Canon lens be­tween f1.4 and f2. How­ever, vignetting is a lit­tle se­vere and bokeh fring­ing at wide apertures is sim­i­larly dis­ap­point­ing as from the Canon lens. over­all, the Nikon is a bet­ter per­former but its higher ask­ing price makes it sim­i­larly av­er­age value for money.

RightHood included The in­ner bar­rel ex­tends at shorter fo­cus set­tings but the over­all phys­i­cal length re­mains fixed. A hood is sup­plied with the lensBe­low Solid per­for­mance A lit­tle sharper at f1.4 than the Canon lens, bokeh is sim­i­lar in terms of goodsmooth­ness and un­wanted fring­ingBot­tom Nikon vs CanonThe lack of round­ness for de­fo­cused lights to­wards the edges and cor­ners of the frame is un­can­nily sim­i­lar to that of the Canon lens

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