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Keywords: Nikon Nikkor Mid Prime 35mm Tested


dw_js

Registered: July 2013
Posts: 3
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by dw_js
Review Date: 7/24/2013 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 4 

 
Pros: has an aperture ring
Cons: soft, soft soft

I purchased this lens new. It was very soft from wide open to F8. Usable from 11 to 16. Maybe I had a bad copy but this was the worst Nikon lens I ever owned. Returned it within days. This copy was made in China. I don't know if that makes a difference in the build/optical quality. It was almost like a slight fog to the image. My 50 1.8 works better.
photospots

Registered: October 2012
Posts: 5
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by photospots
Review Date: 10/22/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Low light, speed
Cons: autofocus speed

This is a great lens that you should consider to buy, but be aware that it doesn't work with all Digital camera bodies these days.


It takes great pictures, but these days you should consider the 50mm 1.8g


http://www.photospots.dk/2012/10/buyers-guide-to-nikon-50mm-lenses.html
mskitty

Registered: December 2010
Posts: 4
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by mskitty
Review Date: 12/1/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: EXCELLENT CRYSTAL SHARP LENS! Nothing comes close.
Cons: NONE

I have had the Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens for two years now. I use it for my studio work. Nothing comes close in sharpness, Bokeh, clear shot making..in the Nikon Family of Lens.


The Nikkor 50mm 1.4 is perfect for Studio Work, Head and Body Shots. I am still amazed how clean from 1.4 all the way up..my own photography is now with the 50mm 1.4.


I recommend this lens to all..who wants to shoot stunning pictures. IT out performs the expensive over priced 24-70...16-35... Nothing in Nikkor's line up can touch this beautiful lens.
andre_

Registered: December 2008
Posts: 29
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by andre_
Review Date: 12/8/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: bokeh at TA, no CA, well built, definition from f2
Cons: out of focus could be better from f2 to closed apertures

It's my preferred partner of both my FF and DX bodies.
I use it until f5.6, never more, and the results are alwais outstanding.
No CA, no flare and high definition.
This lens work better at mid distances, and the general rendition is alwais very high
Keyroo

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 8
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by Keyroo
Review Date: 10/3/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $270.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, fast lens, small, light weight, cheap
Cons: so small it's almost hard to hold on a big camera

Great lens for day to day, great price, best quality lens for the money, highly recommended
lextalionis

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 82
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by lextalionis
Review Date: 2/12/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $290.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Built like a "real" scientific piece of equipment, sharp, fast!
Cons: A little pricy, but you get what you pay for.

If I was to compare this lens with the 1.8 NIKKOR on overall, construction, and image quality I would only give the 1.8 a 9 on construction quality. If you are serious about your NIKKORs, then this lens is worth the extra $$ for a small margin of performance and a good margin of build quality.


Here are some sample shots taken with a D200:


NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4D AF Lens Photo Samples


-Lex
BevanW

Registered: March 2007
Posts: 3
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by BevanW
Review Date: 12/21/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $229.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very fast, sharp...good build quality
Cons: More expensive than the 50mm f/1.8

I struggled with the thought of buying this lens because I already have the 50mm f1.8 which is very fast and very sharp. I finally decided to pick one up when I got a like new copy for $230. First, thing I did was set up the tripod and do some test shots between the 50 1.4 & 50 1.8. In short the 50 1.4 is slightly sharper than the 50 1.8...these results compare favorably with the slrgear reviews. Now this lens is a little sharper at 2.8 than at 1.4, but all of my lenses are sharper when you stop down two stops. I would definately not call this lens soft at any aperture...even wide open. Of note...at f/1.4 the depth of field is very shallow so care must be taken when focussing.


In closing if you want a little better build quality and the extra speed I would get the 50mm f/1.4. If you want to save a few bucks, get the 50mm f/1.8. You can't go wrong with either lens.
bfischer

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 15
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by bfischer
Review Date: 11/19/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp wide open, extremely sharp stopped down, fast AF, cheap
Cons: built like a plastic toy, no IF, no CRC, no AF-S, longitudinal CA, mediocre bokeh, flare

Some people call this lens soft wide open -- I think they are wrong. Ok, contrast is low wide open, you can see a slight degradation in resolution at near limit and in the corners. But detail is plenty. Maybe photographers who call this lens soft at wide open have a bad sample -- maybe their f/1.4 images are not focused properly. The DOF at f/1.4 is ultra thin -- a few mm at 45-70cm distance. The slightest subject or camera movement renders a very soft image.


From f/2 on contrast and corner sharpness are very good, increasing up to f/4. From f/4 to f/11 the image quality is all you can wish for.


Keep the front element aseptic: The lens already has bad flare and ghosts in backlighted situations, and even the smallest dust spot makes it even worse.


There are very few lenses that are performing better (optically) under real life conditions, but not enough for a score difference. So I gave this lens a 10- (optics).


You are a fan of large aperture lenses? Then the 50/1.4 is a must.
acarodp

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 4
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by acarodp
Review Date: 4/27/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $460.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast,sharp,lightweight and small
Cons: some flare, contrast loss and aberrations around poin light sources at 1.4, but nothing unesected at such apertures.

I have the impression that some reviewers forget that build a 1.4 lens nears an optical nightmare. No lens can have high contrast and corner sharpness at such an aperture.
This one fares very well, for its f1.4 images are pretty exploitable (Nikon D200 here). Nevertheless you have to know that contrast is going to be low, sharpness suffers somewhat, flare is a problem, and you should be aware that bright point light sources over a dark background will cast funny aberration patterns around them, especially if off-axis. But stopping down a bit quickly reduces these problems to a negligible level, and the lent is basically OK from f2 onwards. This is actually the main difference with respect to the 50 1.8, that is still suffering a lot at f2.
At f4-f5.6 it fully exploits the D200 resolution corner to corner.


I find this focal length also very pleasant on DX cameras, and like to walk around with only this one. But of course this depends on your tastes and photographic interests. It is also great for low light shots of events. It is not the lens I use more, but when you need it, nothing can really replace it. And it is so small, light and (relatively) inexpensive that I cannot think going out without it.
italy74

Registered: April 2007
Posts: 8
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by italy74
Review Date: 4/23/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $470.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very versatile lens
Cons:

Just to clarify, this is not the sharpest of my lenses but does its work very well indeed. I appreciate so much its compactness and versatility for low light whole figure portraits. It's just a pity that Nikon doesn't supply the related hood
wishbone

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 6
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by wishbone
Review Date: 1/6/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: low-light, sharp, constrasty, good portrait lens on a digital
Cons: soft wide open

This is my favorite lens. On a digital, it turns into a 75 and no longer is a good walk-around lens. However, it is an excellent low-light performer. I plan to mainly use this for the first two months when my daughter is born. The bokeh is nice too. I usually stop it down to f/2.8 for better sharpness.


I wish the minimum focus was shorter but I suppose I could get the 60mm micro too. When I am shooting portraits, I usually carry this 50mm and my 85mm 1.8.
xnecrontyrx

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 3
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by xnecrontyrx
Review Date: 1/5/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Fast, easy to separate subject and background
Cons: soft at most apertures

For the price, its just not worth changing over from the 50 f/1.8. I own both as well as a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and the sigma is sharper all the time, at every aperture. This lens is light, and comfortable on the camera, and its nice to be able to hand hold in low light without resorting to insane ISOs, but it just doesn't measure up for the additional cost over the f/1.8.
Matthew Saville

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 21
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by Matthew Saville
Review Date: 12/29/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $200.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast apeture, size / weight, affordability, sharpness
Cons: non AF-S

I'm so glad I bought this lens, and I don't know what I'd do without it sometimes.


Most people should probably just get the 50mm f/1.8 for half the price and be happy, but when you shoot in insanely poor light, you need all the apeture power you can get. And this lens, aside from getting an AIS f/1.2 lens, is the best thing you can get.


Some complain that it's soft, but mine (an older, non-D version) is amazingly sharp even at f/1.4. It has the kind of wide open sharpness that allows me to shoot at any apeture I want without having image quality ever cross my mind.


The only thing is, I hope and I bet that Nikon is going to release an AF-S version sometime, at which point I'll want that lens instead, because while AF-D lenses are lightning fast on the better Nikon bodies, I dislike the noise and the necessity to flip a switch whenever I want to focus manually.


-Matt-
aryko

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 9
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by aryko
Review Date: 12/26/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $199.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great depth of field
Cons: Soft wide open

It's not an AF-S lens, so it a bit noisier than you'd like; as well, while it's fast to focus, it's no match to AF-S. It's quick and responsive, so when using the lens in the AF-C focusing mode, you won't be let down.


As other posters have noted, I find it's a bit soft at anything less than f/2. That said, the real usefulness of the lens is to be able to shoot at f/1.4 and get the razor-thin depth-of-field that aperture provides, so the softness accentuates that effect.


The bokeh on this lens is very nice.


Is it worth the extra money over the f/1.8? Only if you absolutely want or need the extra 2/3 of a stop for speed or depth-of-field. Otherwise, save your money; you won't be particularly wowed.
catatac

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 1
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by catatac
Review Date: 12/22/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $278.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Crisp Colors, Available / Low Light Photos, Light & Small, Easy Focus Ring for Manual Focus
Cons: Not as Fast Focus as my 18-70 AFS (though still quite good AF), F1.4 should be used with care

I've had this lens for 7 months, and I use it for special occasions where I can not (or should not) use a flash.
I also use it for portrait shots where I want to isolate the subject from the background.


I have been able to take great campfire shots & Christmas play shots where use of a flash is either prohibited or (and) just plain annoying.


I Love the color, contrast, sharpness, & background-blur (bokeh) of this lens.


The only reason I put my 18-70 AFS Lens on is if I need just a little more zoom, a lot more in the picture, or If the lighting allows and I need super-fast focus.


This Lens is very light on my D70s, making it a smaller & lighter kit.


Highly recommend this lens to anyone who needs to shoot low-light or would like to isolate the subject from the background.


[The care to be taken is that your subject can end up being someone's nose; thus isolating the eyes & ears at F1.4 ... but If you focus on the eyes you'll be fine]
stib

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 4
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by stib
Review Date: 12/11/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $290.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: compact; speed of lens; produces very sharp images
Cons: plastic construction; CA at wide open

I own a D200, which I purchased with the 18-200VR. I was a little disappointed with the speed and sharpness of that lens, so I thought I'd try my hand at a fast prime. I bought this lens to take portraits of our daughter.


I was pleasantly surprised by how much more I could shoot in low light compared to my zoom lens, despite the VR. The images produced by the lens are very sharp. And its compact size makes it great to take along for taking pictures on the street.


I was a little disappointed by the build quality of the lens. It is very plasticky, particularly compared to my old Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. That lens just seems much more robust and built to higher tolerance. I can feel quite a bit of play between the plastic pieces of the Nikkor. There is also quite a bit of CA at wide open, but it probably isn't that smart to shoot wide open in well lit conditions anyways.


Overall though, I am happy I purchased this lens, and I'm looking forward to buying more primes in the future.
duffer18

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 3
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by duffer18
Review Date: 12/9/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Low light, decent price, rugged
Cons: Blooming, Lens flare

Looking for a solid prime, you have found it.
This classic is still here and still delivers the goods.
Great for portraits with difficult lighting situations.


Only issues seen are a bit of blooming and very touchy for lens flare... Just watch out for these issue and you will not be disappointed.
mimic

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 7
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by mimic
Review Date: 12/1/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $150.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: huge aperture, portrait lens on DSLRs, quite inexpensive when bought used
Cons: a bit soft wide open, not standart lens on DSLR

very good lens, I used it for only few weeks, and felt in love with it.


the lens is very tiny and lightweight, so a pleasure to handle.
it's a bit soft a wide aperture, but I don't care since I use it mostly for portrait so I can say I like its touch of softness, and its a pleasure to play with its shallow depth of field. However it's sharp stopped down to 2/2.8.
its low light capabilities are fantastic, you can really catch candle lighting atmosphere, but those candles in the frame can lead to flare, it's also the case with streets lights.


Build quality seems a bit cheap, due to plastic but the lens is so lightweight, i don't worry about that.


autofocus is average on my d70, and manual focus is pleasant to use.


To conclude, it's an awesome prime lens, and a really fun toy to play with.



PS : sorry for my poor english.
Neogene

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 8
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by Neogene
Review Date: 11/30/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $280.00| Rating: 7 

 
Pros: f1.4, size, sharpeness
Cons: Flare.

I preferred this lens to the 1.8 because it usable also at max aperture. I always use it at 2.8 because at that value it has the max sharpeness from tests i've seen and from my personal tests.


Flare is really hard to accept in this lens, it's a really mess.


I love it and use when walking around, the 50mm (circa 75mm on film cameras) is nice and i change to my 18-55 only to have a wide angle for landscapes or to the 70-300 if i'm not able to come closer to the subject.


Many pros, and some cons.
ultrafast

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 8
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by ultrafast
Review Date: 11/23/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $270.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: f/1.4, light and small, sharp, inexpensive
Cons: not AF-S, MF is not great

This lens is a lens that no serious photographer should be without, for a variety of reasons. For the indoor sport photographer, there is nothing better than f/1.4. For the nature and landscape photographer it is extremely convenient to be able to pick up two small primes and leave the heavy zoom kit at home while on an overnight or backcountry hike.


The lens is super sharp, when stopped down a bit and entirely acceptable wide open, when keeping in mind that there is very very little depth of field. For the price there are few reasons not to get it. The construction doesn't feel amazing, but the lens survived a drop from waist level to the ground, on a concrete sidewalk with no damage other than a large scuff on the AF distance window.
freundez

Registered: January 2006
Posts: 9
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by freundez
Review Date: 11/22/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $220.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Compact fast prime, good portrait lens w/ 1.5x sensor crop
Cons: Soft wide open

I bought a used sample of this lens, so take that for what it is worth.


The sensor crop on my D70s essentially makes this a short telephoto lens, and most of the keepers I've taken with it have been portrait shot between f/2.8 and f/4. The fast maximum aperature offers great depth of field flexibility, but as has been noted in some of the other reviews, things are quite soft and flat at f/1.4. On my sample, the lens is still soft at f/2, but image contrast seems to pop a bit more than at f/1.4.


Build quality is fine - polycarbonate body keeps the lens light but doesn't have a pro-glass feel that a metal body would.


AF speed is good. My 35 f/2 seems a little bit zippier, but not by a noticeable margin.


Of my current set of lenses, this lens probably sees the least use, but when I do shoot with it I'm typically happy with the results - just don't expect magic wide open.
colourperfect_co_uk

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 18
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by colourperfect_co_uk
Review Date: 11/21/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $200.00| Rating: 6 

 
Pros: fast f1.4, sharpness when stopped down to f2
Cons: flares a bit

Mine is the older non-D version but I believe they are otherwise very similar.


Produces excellent sharpness at f2 and above with f1.4 being really quite soft.


The manual focus is very light but smooth.


Had a few flare problems at f1.4 and f1.8.


Not really found a use for it other than the odd portrait.


May keep it, may not.....
julioalperi

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 15
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by julioalperi
Review Date: 11/17/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $307.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

This is a very good lens. At f/1.4 the borders are a little soft, but at larger apertures the performance is excelent. Distortions are low. CAs are very low and vignetting is med-low at f/1.4 . Good construction and AF.
gerrysnaps

Registered: May 2006
Posts: 5
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by gerrysnaps
Review Date: 5/2/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $160.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast f/1.4 aperture, sharp at the large apertures and smaller, compact and light
Cons: Typical price makes it hard to justify over the f/1.8; maybe not as durable as other f/1.4 Nikkor lenses

The Nikon 50mm f/1.4 is encased in lightweight yet well-built plastics and some metal components. The lens mount is metal, as is the 52mm lens thread. The focus ring is made of grippy rubber. It has an aperture ring which locks at minimum aperture for mounting on most Nikon DSLRs up to the D100. As with other f/1.4 primes, the lens has a window for the distance scale.


Sharpness of this lens has been the subject of much debate, especially when put against the f/1.8. I have found it to hold up well in sharpness at the large apertures against the 1.8, and obviously it has the advantage of going a stop faster. It only gets sharper as you stop down to f/4 and up. Contrast does go away as your aperture gets larger but is not a problem.


On its own, the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 D is a great lens for the candid shooter who likes to shoot in natural light. That said, the 50mm f/1.8 D does the same job but at slightly lesser capability. Put it beside the 50/1.8 which is easily half the price, and it becomes harder to justify the cost, but the quality is there for those who will pay the premium for it.


I wrote a more complete review here:
http://www.gadget-hack.com/2006/04/nikon-50mm-f14-d-af-lens-user-report.html
priller

Registered: April 2006
Posts: 1
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by priller
Review Date: 4/15/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $309.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast!
Cons: Slightly soft at large apertures

Nice, fast lens! Slightly soft at larger apertures, but the images take sharpening very well, so there's no reason to avoid that end. That's one of the main reasons for getting this kind of lens, right? Nice soft bokeh. Metal mount, unlike the plastic mount on the cheaper 1.8 lens. A bit noisy on my D70s when focusing. Overall, an excellent value.
Das Bosun

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 7
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by Das Bosun
Review Date: 11/23/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Creatively a very flexible portrait lens
Cons: Image quality at f/1.4 & f/2 leaves a lot to be desired

AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D lens


All of my lens test/comparisons were performed on a Nikon D2x (reduced frame, 1.5x 12.2MP CMOS sensor). The camera was set to mirror lock-up, mounted on a tripod and fired with the MC-30 cable release. The test exposures were captured as NEF raw files and compared with no image sharpening.


The AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D lens is quite unusable for critical sharpness at f/1.4, as the results look like they have a soft focus filter over the lens. Images created with this 50mm at f/1.4 are useable, but not for critical sharpness.


The 50mm f/1.4D lens starts to become usable for critical center sharpness around f/2.5. At f/1.4 and f/2 this lens seems to be rather flat/ lacking micro contrast. By the time this lens is stopped down to f/2.8 it starts to exceed the center sharpness of the AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G when it is set to 50mm @ f/2.8.


The best results arrive with the 50mm f/1.4D lens set to around f/5.6. Vignetting is noticeable at f/1.4 and f/2, but is all but gone by the time this lens is used at apertures f/2.8 and smaller.


I have no doubt that the 50mm f/1.4D lens can be looked upon as a cheap and creative addition to any photographers arsenal, but just don’t expect the wide open results (micro contrast) that the much more expensive AF Nikkor 28mm f/1.4D is capable of.


Mounted on a D2x the auto focus of the 50mm f/1.4D is not too far off the quiet and speed offered by an AF-S lens. Mounted on the Nikon D70 the same lens becomes noisier and is more prone to ‘searching’ in low light.


Note: these are subjective results that may not reflect your particular sample OR use of this lens.


Das Bosun
WCranston

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 4
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor review by WCranston
Review Date: 11/3/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small & Super Fast
Cons: None

This is plain a simple a great prime lens. It is small and super fast. You can really use that speed & really lets you take ambient light shots indoors w/out flash. Full open looks great, but you of course get the shallow DOF. A great creative addition for someone with only slow zooms!


 






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