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Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G Lens Review

Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G lens


July 7th, 2011: The Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G is a reasonably priced fast prime lens designed for Nikon digital SLR cameras. When attached to a digital SLR camera with a DX format size sensor, the lens offers approximately a 75mm field of view in full frame 35mm equivalent terms.

The Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G presents itself as a good portrait lens as a result, although it can just as easily be used for other types of applications such as low light and fine art photography.

By providing a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture, the Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G offers both an extended depth of field control, and the ability to shoot at higher shutter speeds than would be possible under the same conditions with a slower aperture kit lens attached.

Defocus background by setting aperture to F/1.8
 
Less effective background blur possible with 18-55mm kit lens set at F/5.6

The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 G lens offers a solid feel, and incorporates an AF-S type auto focus motor providing full AF compatibility with all Nikon digital SLR camera's and quieter and faster focusing. Although it is not as rugged as some of the higher-end lenses in the Nikkor lens line up, the Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G is a well built lens considering the fairly reasonable price point.

Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G sample image at 1/1600 sec at F2
1/1600 sec at F2.0, ISO 400 Using Nikon D5100 (Full size in gallery)
 
Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G image taken at 1/1000 sec, F8.0, ISO 640

The Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G features a metal lens mount and incorporates a rubber seal to help minimize dust from entering the camera. The lens also offers a focus scale information window.

The AF-S 50mm F/1.8G Nikkor provides a wide manual focus ring, and the front of the lens does not rotate when focusing making it more suitable for using filters like circular polarizers.

Nikon AF-S 50mm F1.8G vs. AF-S DX 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 VR Zoom

Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G test
 
Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6G VR test
 
Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G
Image crop viewed at 100%
Aperture Priority, 1/30 sec at F5.6,
ISO 2000
 
Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6G VR
Image crop viewed at 100%
Aperture Priority, 1/30 sec at F5.6,
ISO 2000

While the difference in optical quality provided by the Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G versus the standard Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm VR zoom lens is not very noticable at smaller image sizes, the enhanced sharpness and resolution capabilities provided by the Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G lens become more obvious when the images are compared at a larger size. (As seen in the image crop comparisons above.)

For the Nikon DX format series of SLR users in particular, the Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G provides a great solution to taking your photography further at an affordable price. While the lens is also suitable for full format SLR camera bodies, those users might also want to consider the higher end Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.4 prime lens.

The Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.4 lens features tougher construction, and offers enhanced performance in terms of certain optical characteristics. It is also considerably more expensive compared to the Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G.

Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G lens included accessories

Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8G Prime Lens Major Features

  • Fixed focal length lens. Offers approximately 75mm field of view in 35mm terms when mounted on a Nikon DX format sensor type of camera like the Nikon D3100, D5100 and D7000 SLR.

  • Provides a fast F1.8 maximum aperture. Allows for extended creative versatility by delivering shallower depth of field capabilities compared to a standard kit lens. Can also be used as a fast lens for low-light photography or when higher shutter speeds are required

  • Incorporates an AF-S motor offering full AF compatibility with all Nikon digital SLR's. AF-S technology also provides for faster and quieter focusing.

  • Sharp image quality (noticably sharper than the Nikon AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR kit lens)

  • Focus as close as .45 meters

  • 52mm filter thread for attaching optional filters

  • Comes supplied with bayonet hood HB-47, lens pouch and front and rear lens caps.

  • Metal lens mount and solid construction

  • The lens weight is 185g and the dimensions are 72.1 x 52.4mm (Diameter x Length)


  • Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G rear metal lens mount  

    We have no hesitation in recommending the Nikon AF-S 50mm F1.8G Nikkor prime lens. The inclusion of an AF-S motor is a welcome addition, with the new lens now offering full AF compatibility with Nikon SLR camera's that do not incorporate an AF motor in the body, like the Nikon D3100 and D5100 and earlier models in the same class.

    Serving as a practical tool for many different types of photographic opportunities, we feel that the Nikon AF-S 50mm F1.8G provides very good value for the money.

    The ability to control for shallow depth of field, combined with the low light versatility, enhanced sharpness and general optical quality being offered, the Nikon 50mm F/1.8G can be considered a step above the standard Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm VR kit lens.

    Check out the Nikon AF-S 50mm F1.8G image samples below and decide for yourself. If you are looking to buy the Nikkor AF-S 50mm F/1.8G prime lens we recommend Amazon Marketplace



    Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.8 G Lens Sample Image Gallery


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