Nikon 50mm f/1.4 D AF Lens

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87% Gold Award
This is a lens which offers a great deal for the money, but is naturally not without its faults. 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 truly excellent image quality when stopped down.”

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Key Features

  • 50mm focal length
  • 75mm equivalent focal length on DX cameras
  • F1.4 maximum aperture; F16 minimum
  • AF via camera body motor
  • 52mm filters
  • 0.45m/17.72" minimum focus
  • Nikon F mount for FX and DX DSLRs

Product Description

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.


Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 50 mm
Image stabilisation No
Lens mount Nikon F (FX)
Maximum aperture F1.4
Minimum aperture F16.0
Aperture ring Yes
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Elements 7
Groups 6
Minimum focus 0.45 m (17.72)
Maximum magnification 0.15×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Screw drive from camera
Full time manual Unknown
Focus method Unit
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale Yes
Weight 230 g (0.51 lb)
Diameter 65 mm (2.54)
Length 43 mm (1.67)
Materials metal mount
Sealing No
Colour Black
Filter thread 52 mm
Hood supplied No
Hood product code HR-2
Tripod collar No


DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build Quality
Ergonomics and Handling
Image Quality
Gold Award
Gold Award
87 %
Overall Score

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.

Good For

Everyday photography on full-frame and APS-C, where its excellent sharpness deliver great results at optimal apertures

Not So Good For

User Reviews

  • pjman792, Dec 4, 2012 GMT:
    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 ...

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  • O5iris, Apr 21, 2012 GMT:
    Amazing lens

    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.

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  • BryceM, Jan 2, 2012 GMT:
    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.

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Questions & Answers


Sony α7 + Nikkor AF 50mm F/1.4D = Blue Glow

Hi! I'm using Sony α7 + Voigtländer F adapter + Nikkor AF 50mm F/1.4D combination and just noticed that there is quite strong blue glow/halo around some bright lights. I just wonder what might cause this kind of effect? Chromatic aberration? Why it's so big and blue? And why it affects only some of the spots? Example of blue glow. This is just small crop from original image. I have been using that same lens with my Nikon FM3A film camera without any problems and with great image quality. Now with Sony camera, I have those blue spots and that's not nice. What I'm doing wrong?

Wiltteri asked
1 month ago



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 ...

atibbetts asked
1 year ago


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

Mark K answered
1 year ago

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

NikonHaoleboy answered
1 year ago

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

Leonard Shepherd answered
1 year ago


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?

Pitata asked
1 year ago


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

overniteman answered
1 year ago

Grips  but also orientation when you're changing lenses while not directly looking, at least that's how I've used them. Continue Reading

Nikonparrothead answered
1 year ago

I always assumed they were decorative. Continue Reading

paulski66 answered
1 year ago

Warranty Information

"No registration or "warranty" card is included or needed with a Nikon D-SLR or Coolpix camera. Keep your original, dated proof of purchase from the Authorized Nikon Inc. dealer in case warranty service is ever needed. These products do include either a mail-in form or a paper with a web link to our registration page:
It's advised to register your product with Nikon so that we can send you information about future updates or service issues that may arise.

Nikkor lenses come with a standard one year warranty and Nikon Inc. lenses sold by authorized Nikon Inc. dealers will have a Nikon Inc. Five Year Extension. To register for the five year extension, one copy of the included form must be mailed in as indicated. Keep the Customer copy of the form as well as the original proof of purchase (sales receipt)."

Read the full warranty.

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