d800 lens: 50mm f1.4 or f1.8? D or G???

Started Apr 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
Marc S
Marc S Regular Member • Posts: 343
Re: d800 lens: 50mm f1.4 or f1.8? D or G???

I've owned the AF 50/1.4D for several years (along with two AF 50/1.8, a 50/1.2 and several manual 50mm 1.8 and 1.4). So far it's the overall best Nikkor 50mm I found. The AF 50/1.8D has less distortion but is way cheaper build.

The AF 50/1.4D is soft wide open, very prone to flare and produces a nasty hotspot in backlit situations. A lens hood is mandatory to keep the flare at bay.

The AF-S 50/1.4G is noticeably sharper wide open without veiling flare, sharper across the frame at any aperture, resistant to flare and I never found the picture ruining hotspot in the last 3 years I'm using it. Bokeh is better as well (still not great).

Only stopped down max sharpness in the center of the frame is higher in the AF 50/1.4D. Nikon designd the AF-S 50/1.4G for more even sharpness across the frame compromising max center sharpness slightly. It suits my style better this way.

There was a time when I used three 50mm depending on the situation. I kept the 50/1.8D for white background studio shots to avoid the hotspot of the 50/1.4D, the sharper 50/1.2 for apertures from f/1.4 to f/2.8 (despit the ugly bokeh at times) and the AF 50/1.4D for everything else stooped down at least to f/2.5.

Since the AF-S 50/1.4G I own only one 50mm and it does a rather good job between my 35/1.4G and 85/1.4G at any aperture. Granted I rather use the 50 at f/1.8 or f/2 while the others look fine at f/1.4 on the D700.

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