Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4G review
The AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4 G is Nikon's latest take on the classic 'standard lens' concept, and was introduced in September 2008. It's a replacement for the older AF-Nikkor 50mm F1.4D which we reviewed last year, with revised optics to better meet the demands of modern high-resolution full frame sensors. The optical formula is an updated version of the classic 'double Gauss' design, with an additional element placed towards the rear to give an 8 element, 7 group configuration. According to Nikon, this improves correction of off-axis aberrations, which promises better performance towards the edges of the frame particularly when using large apertures.
The AF-S designation indicates that the lens features a built-in 'Silent Wave' motor for fast and quiet autofocusing, which also provides full compatibility with Nikon's entry-level DSLR bodies such as the D60 and D5000. A further benefit afforded by this ring-type motor is the 'manual priority autofocus' mode, which allows the user to adjust focus manually after autofocusing. There's also a circular aperture design which employs 9 rounded blades, for a more natural rendition of out-of-focus backgrounds.
Of course all these improvements over the older lens come at a price, and the AF-S 50mm F1.4G is significantly more expensive than its predecessor. It also has to compete with the other new kid on the block - the impressive (if slightly more costly) Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. So lets find out how it compares to these two lenses, and whether it's worth your hard-earned dollars.
- 50mm focal length; fast F1.4 maximum aperture
- Silent Wave Motor allows autofocusing on all Nikon DSLRs
- Full-time manual focus override
Angle of view
The pictures below illustrate the angles of view on FX (35mm full frame) and DX camera bodies:
|50mm (FX 35mm full-frame)||50mm (DX; 75mm equivalent)|
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4G specifications
|Street price||• $485 US
• £300 UK
|Date introduced||September 2008|
|Maximum format size||35mm full frame|
|35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)||75mm|
|Diagonal Angle of view (FF)||46º|
|Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C)||31º 30'|
|Lens Construction||8 elements / 7 groups|
|Number of diaphragm blades||9 (rounded)|
|AF motor type||• Ring-type SWM
• Full-time manual focus
|Image stabilization||• None|
|Filter thread||• 58mm
• Does not rotate on focus
|Supplied accessories||• Front and rear caps
• Lens Hood HB-47
• CL-1013 Lens Pouch
|Weight||290g (10.2 oz)|
|Dimensions||73.5mm diameter x 54.2mm length
(2.9 x 2.1 in)
|Lens Mount||Nikon F only|
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area
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