Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G AF-S

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Compared to the 50 mm f/1.4 AF-D Nikon introduced in 1993, this new design has an updated optical formula with one more lens element, a larger front element (resulting in an increase in filter size from Nikon's standard 52 mm to 58 mm), and a built in ring-type focus motor.

The lens has a solid, professional feel, with environmental seals. Unlike the 1993 lens, nothing externally moves when it focuses. The SWF motor ensures that auto-focus is fast, silent and accurate.

Despite the updated optical formula, optical performance is in most respect identical to the 1993 design. It even has slightly more barrel distortion. The larger front element results in less vignetting than the 1993 design, but slight vignetting is still present at f/2.0. Bokeh is very nice and soft, and slightly better than the 1993 design. There is still some CA, in particular wide open, but less than the 1993 lens. Flare and ghosting is also improved, and is now virtually non-existent, even with a strong light source in the scene. Otherwise, this new lens performs like the 1993 design, with the same excellent sharpness, punchy colours, and contrast. It is very usable wide open, but both sharpness and constrast improves if you stop down to f/2.8, then starts declining again at f/8.

IR performance is disappointing, with a visible hot-spot at all apertures.

Rating: Ed: 84, User: - (normalized, 0=useless, 50=average, 100=excellent).

Mount: Nikon F.
Format: FX/135.
Aperture range: f/1.4 to f/16.
Close focus distance (CFD): 45 cm / 1.48 ft (from sensor plane).
CFD magnification: 1:6.8 / 0.15X.
Focus: AF (built-in, ring-type).
Groups/elements: 7/8.
Filter diameter: 58 mm.
L x D, W: 54 x 74 mm, 278 g.
IR: Poor IR performance.
Approximate street price: USD 440 (new, w/o tax).
Production: 2008-today.

Company Profile

Key info

Established: 1917
HQ: Tokyo, Japan
Web: Global, EU, US, man

Nikon is a multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan specializing in optics and imaging. Its products include cameras, lenses, flash units, scanners, binoculars, microscopes, measurement instruments, and steppers (used in semiconductor fabrication). The company was founded in 1917 as Nippon Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha (Japan Optical Industries Corporation), and renamed Nikon Corporation, after its cameras, in 1988. Nikon Corporation is one of the companies of the Mitsubishi Group.

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