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Nikon formally announces AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens

Apr 27, 2011 at 04:03 GMT

Nikon has formally announced the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens for both DX and FX DSLRs. The lens, whose details had previously been revealed by the company, features a totally new optical formula featuring an aspherical element - an unusual feature for this type of optic. The 50mm F1.8G features a built-in AF-S focus motor to allow autofocus with all Nikon DSLRs. The company says it expects the lens to retail for around $219.95/£199/€229 including a lens hood, pitching it around the same level as the Nikkor AF-S 35mm F1.8G and making it an accessible (if slightly short) portrait lens for owners of Nikon's APS-C DSLRs.

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Press Release:

EVOLUTION OF THE CLASSIC: THE NEW AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F/1.8G LENS

MELVILLE, N.Y. (April 27, 2011) – Nikon Inc. today announced the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens,  a fast, compact lens that affords photographers the versatility of the classic 50mm focal length and the benefits of a fast aperture for photos and D-movies.  Whether a new D-SLR enthusiast or a seasoned pro, users will appreciate the tack-sharp image quality, extreme low-light performance, shallow depth of field and Nikon core technologies that improve upon the original to make a great lens even better.

“The 50mm lens has been a staple for photographers since the 35mm film days, and this new lens enables Nikon customers that shoot photos and movies to discover the creative benefits of this traditional focal length,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc. “This f/1.8 prime lens offers exceptional image quality and control, and benefits from modern Nikon technologies to enhance performance such as the Silent Wave Motor and use of an aspheric lens - it’s a very attractive package for any shooting discipline.”

Lightweight, compact and affordable, this lens will easily become a favorite and find a home in any photographer’s gear bag. With the unique ability to mimic the focal length of the human eye, the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens is ideal for travel, general photography, low-light, landscape shooting and portraiture. This lens continues the tradition of NIKKOR precision optics to provide photographers with sharp, high-resolution images and the ability to focus as close as 1.48 feet, with amazing depth of field control for intimate details.  The integration of an ultra-compact Silent Wave Motor ensures fast, whisper-quiet AF operation, which is essential when recording movies.  Optimized for Nikon FX-format cameras, this lens is also a great option for Nikon DX-format photographers seeking a fast, sharp lens for capturing images with amazing color and contrast.

The new 50mm f/1.8 lens construction consists of seven elements in six groups, with one aspherical lens element to reduce instances of coma and aberration, even when shooting wide open.  A rounded diaphragm opening combined with the seven-blade aperture contributes to a substantially more circular bokeh for a more natural appearance of out-of-focus background elements.  Additionally, instances of lens flare and chromatic aberration are suppressed using Nikon’s exclusive Super Integrated Coatings, which also help ensure vividly accurate color balance.

The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens is scheduled to be available at Nikon authorized dealers beginning June 16, 2011 at an estimated selling price of $219.95.* For more information, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

About the NIKKOR brand

With a comprehensive assortment of FX and DX-format lenses and focal lengths, from the ultra-wide 10-24mm to the super telephoto 600mm VR, Nikon photographers have come to rely upon the NIKKOR core technologies that contribute to their optical superiority. NIKKOR is the brand name for Nikon’s photographic lenses, which are precision crafted to the most exacting standards in Nikon’s own glassworks. In 1933, Nikon marketed its first camera lens under the NIKKOR brand name, the "Aero-NIKKOR” for aerial photography applications. Since then, NIKKOR has been used as a brand name for Nikon’s lenses that symbolizes durability, high image quality and optical excellence.

About Nikon

Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics. In 2011, production of NIKKOR lenses surpassed 60 million, creating a new milestone in Nikon’s heritage of superior optics.  For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit http://www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers to the Web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities. Connect with Nikon and other photographers on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nikon and get the latest news and information from Twitter by following @Nikon_USA.

AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8 G specifications

Focal length • 50mm
Maximum aperture • f/1.8
Mninimum aperture • f/16
Lens construction • 7 elements in 6 groups (with one aspherical lens element)
Angle of view • 47° (31°30' with Nikon DX format)
Minimum focus distance • 0.45 m/1.48 ft
Maximum reproduction ratio • 0.15x
No. of diaphragm blades • 7 (rounded)
Filter-attachment size • 58mm
Diameter x length (extension from lens mount) • Approximately 72 x 52.5 mm/2.8 x 2.1 in.
Weight • Approximately 185 g/6.6 oz
Supplied accessories • Bayonet Hood HB-47
• Flexible Lens Pouch CL-1013
• 58mm snap-on Front Lens Cap LC-58
• Rear Lens Cap LF-4
The 50mm f1.8G differs from the design of the existing 50mm f1.8D in using 7 elements in 6 groups (as opposed to 6 elements / 5 groups) and including an aspheric lens element - a first for a 50mm F1.8 lens.