Replacing my AF-S 50 f/1.4 G with a lens to be named later...

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Chad Gladstone
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Replacing my AF-S 50 f/1.4 G with a lens to be named later...
11 months ago

I detest even the thought of getting rid of lenses. Almost without question, I have lived to regret selling them, if even just for sentimental reasons.  I am still overcoming the ambivalence of the sale of my 35-70D and my 24-70 (neither of which I used much, either - but when I go a season, or a year and never reach for a lens, I cannot justify keeping it around just because it may possess pleasing aesthetics or instantly allows me to recall pleasant memories that its use assisted in capturing).

When the latest AF-S 50mm f/1.4G lens was finally introduced, I just knew it was going to have stellar optics (and it did) and promised ultra fast AF-S focusing (which, emphatically, it did not).  It also produced some of the harshest bokeh I have had the displeasure to witness.  I am not to the point where I am seriously considering just tabling the 50mm FL altogether until a replacement is announced that is ultrafast focusing, well corrected optics that implements ED elements, Nano coatings and can render smooth bokeh as well as the sharp images (a strength of which this lens certainly delivers on, but at the expensive of other, equally important image attributes).

I envisioned this lens to be perfect for under the basket shots for indoor basketball.  It has proven to be the perfect FL for this application, but the focusing is too slow (extremely accurate, though).  It make no little sense to sell it, but I just feel like I am depriving someone of the use of such a fine, low light lens. Its utility is utterly wasted by my willful failure to make any use of it whatsoever.  It is bound to make someone who needs this FL extremely happy, (especially if that someone favors sharpness, above all else).

I previously disregarded the Sigma 50 because it was too large for a 50, but with the recent chatter of a possible Sigma "Art" 50mm version and the recent Nikon 50 & 58mm patent filings, it has perhaps given me false hope of the possibility of a fast 50 that I can love without making excuses for its shortcomings.  Within reason, I am not even price or weight conscious anymore, as long as the performance it there.  No more excuses.  Someone please produce a 50 that has the look of the Canon 1.2 and the focus speed of the Sigma with the bokeh of the Zeiss 55 in an AF version.  Since this is arguably the simplest optical formula to engineer, it is a travesty that Nikon will not market a modern G worthy of its pedigree.

I do not believe I am alone in sharing the consternation associated with this FL.  I bow to those shooters immeasurably superior to me that have the skill to shoot this, and other longer FL's, in MF especially if they are attempting to replicate the type of shooting that I attempt.  Either my technique or my eyes are just not good enough to consider this an alternative.  Nikon has proven they have the engineering prowess to engineer such a lens.  Just look at the 14-24, 24 1.4g, 28 1.8g, 35 1.4g, 85g'(s) and 70-200 VR'(s) which are all supremely capable.

Since this is FL is in nearly everyone's bag (distinctly capable on both DX and FX formats), I dearly hope it is considered worthy of replacement.  It is the lone modern G lens that did not make the recommended list for suggested lenses that pair well with the D800.  I do not believe this was an oversight, but hope Nikon, itself has marked this FL, next to be redesigned.

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Chad Gladstone

 Chad Gladstone's gear list:Chad Gladstone's gear list
Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +7 more
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon D800
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