This compact and fast, f/1.4 lens is versatile and perfect for travel and portrait pictures as well as general photography. Optically, the newer 'G' version is superior, but this older AF-D lens focuses much more quickly on compatible Nikon full-frame and APS-C format cameras.
Nikon 50mm f/1.4 D AF Lens
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|Lens type||Prime lens|
|Max Format size||35mm FF|
|Focal length||50 mm|
|Lens mount||Nikon F (FX)|
|Number of diaphragm blades||7|
|Minimum focus||0.45 m (17.72″)|
|Motor type||Screw drive from camera|
|Full time manual||Unknown|
|Weight||230 g (0.51 lb)|
|Diameter||65 mm (2.54″)|
|Length||43 mm (1.67″)|
|Filter thread||52 mm|
|Hood product code||HR-2|
Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category at the time of review.
|Ergonomics and Handling||
Despite its age, this old favourite still has much to offer for the modern photographer. It's an ideal partner to full-frame DSLRs, but also works well on DX as a short portrait lens. It offers the usual advantages of a prime, i.e. a bright maximum aperture for low light and shallow depth-of-field work, coupled with excellent image quality when stopped down; in both regards it offers users capabilities which simply aren't available from zooms.
Everyday photography on full-frame and APS-C, where its excellent sharpness deliver great results at optimal apertures
Not So Good For
Wide-open use on full-frame DSLRs, where heavy vignetting and poor corner sharpness can cause issues (unless you like the effect) and lack of built-in AF motor limits usefulness on entry-level Nikon DSLRs.
An excellent lens for the money
Excellent lens for the price, provides terrific bokeh. I use it a lot for portraits, and it's light weight make it a great general walking-around lens. I found myself using this lens a lot more that I envisioned on a trip to Europe this summer. I used it almost exclusively for dimly-lit cathedrals and church interiors. The speed and normal perspective were big advantages shooting architecture and night scenes. Reviews say it's soft at f1.4, but I've never noticed it. But then I care less ...
Nothing special to say about this lens. Wide open it's a bit soft and has a little CA but once you reach f/2.8 it's nearly perfect. For its price you can't really get a better 50mm.
My best, least-used lens
Fantastic lens, but rarely worth swapping out my17-55. When travelling light, I'll more often grab the 35mm f/1.8 as 50mm on a DX is a somewhat awkward focal length. Excellent optics. Problems: Plastic filter threads broke when it got banged on something.
Occasional focus issues with Nikon 50mm f/1.4D on a D90
I'm wondering if there's something obvious I'm missing here that someone can help me with ... I have a D90 that I occasionally use with my 50mm f/1.4D where a wide aperture would be great: low light or close ups of my child where I want a narrow depth of field. I get amazing photos out of this lens, but only about 50% of the time when I'm working with the aperture wide open. The other 50%, the focus is slightly off. I understand that the depth of field is about 2 inches at most distances I'm working with, but that doesn't _seem_ to be the issue -- it even happens with objects that aren't moving, like taking pictures of pumpkins on my porch this week. I mostly notice it when I'm taking repeat pictures of the same object with roughly the same composition, with the aperture held at 1.4 (or thereabouts) between shots. Maybe I'll adjust the shutter speed or ISO between photos, or maybe I'll move the object in the frame slightly while keeping the focus point at about the same place, but I ...
You are lucky. I have just gone mine early this year at an incredible price and it does not focus properly on my D800. I believe this must be the phenomenon of all older lenses... I also got a 85/1.4 G AFS and it performs admirably well. So my belief will be ...only the newly designed lenses will focus properly. Continue Reading
From my experience and from what I have read, Lensrentals, etc., expecting AF to be dead on every time is unrealistic. AF variation is especially problematic with wide aperture, low contrast lighting situations. Aloha. Continue Reading
Check out your camera instruction book - the section on getting good results using AF. It explains AF does not always work well with some subjects. Depending on the lighting, how close your are to the subject, and exactly where you aim the AF AF can be good, a bit off, or no good. Camera AF a bit off is more obvious at f1.4 than f8. Pumpkins and faces are subjects where, without special care, AF can be off or manual focus can be more accurate. As you get better results with manual focus the issue is highly likely to be AF subject selection - AF at f1.4 works better with static subjects, If you camera has an auto AF detection mode with face recognition you may get a better keeper rate using it. Otherwise try photographing the children watching a favourite TV show - when they usually sit still. Continue Reading
Nikon D5100 w/Nikon 50mm 1.4 D
I have a Nikon 50mm 1.4 D lens and I would like to know if I can use this lens on the Nikon D5100 camera. If so, will it be able to meter or auto focus?
I think you can meter. But no AF. D lenses require the in-body focus motor. Continue Reading
What are the two pairs of grooves on AF-D lensbarrels?
As seen here and here . I've seen them on most AF-D plastic lens barrel lenses. Does anyone know what they are there for?
Those polycarbon lens barrels can be a little slippery. I think they are for gripping and used to mount / unmount the lens from the body. Otherwise you'd have to use the locked aperture ring to twist them on / off. Continue Reading
Grips but also orientation when you're changing lenses while not directly looking, at least that's how I've used them. Continue Reading
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