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Keywords: Nikon Nikkor Mid Prime 35mm Tested


babka08

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 6
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by babka08
Review Date: 12/6/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $135.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small, bright, cheap
Cons: noise

The positive thing about DSLR 'cropped' sensors is that no longer does one have to spend several hundred dollars on a fast portrait lens. Suddenly, all 50mm primes become adequate for good portraits. I often serve as the family paparazzi at events. I hate flashes. And I do it for fun, so budget is a concern. This 1.8 does the trick. My first SLR was a Nikon FG with a manual 50mm, and I guess it's still in my blood. It's sharp and very competitive with the f1.4 in terms of image sharpness. The bokeh is good, though perhaps one might prefer the shape of f1.4 out of focus objects. Bottom line: it's small, affordable and of adequate quality for pretty much anything.
Tosiek

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 5
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by Tosiek
Review Date: 12/6/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $160.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small, lightweight, inexpensive, f/1.8
Cons: No AF motor

A great little lens. I'm a new DSLR user and this is the first lens I bought (except for the kit one - 18-55 for my D50).
F/1.8 is my solution for "special" tasks, like weddings in dark churches, or concerts. It's not very sharp, though.
Af f/2.8 sharpness is much better, and at f/4 it's excellent. It makes this lens great for shooting products (like for ebay).
I bought a reversing ring for super macro, but since then, I haven't found any interesting spiders or insects to test it "in action".
There is no sign of CA, vignetting, or distortion. At least I can't see any.


The main problem with this lens is its lack of AF motor (but D40 owners aren't probably interested in such lenses).
danwatson

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 7
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by danwatson
Review Date: 12/5/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $120.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Super sharp, Super cheap low light performer
Cons: Focus is a bit slow

I purchased this lens a few months back for my D50. I wanted pro quality, but I couldn't afford pro prices. This 'normal' lens is often praised as super sharp glass at a super cheap price.


In use I found the 50 very versatile, in fact I recommend this to newbie’s because they will learn to 'zoom with their feet' which helps teach composition and creative shooting. This lens is sharp even at f1.8, but keep in mind that DOF is extremely shallow so I tend to reserve f1.8 for creative effects. This lens does very well from 2.8 on, but f4-f8 seems to be the sweet spot. Color and contrast are very good and the lens produces amazingly sharp pictures (you might even need to turn down in-camera sharpening with portraiture!). Probably the only weak point is that focus is a bit slow, but not horrible.
VIDKEY

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 4
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by VIDKEY
Review Date: 12/5/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $100.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SPEED, WEIGHT, FOCUS SPEED, DOF
Cons: SLIGHTLY PLASTICKY FEELING, NOTHING ELSE

FOR THE MONEY THIS LENS IS WITHOUT PEER. THE BOKEH IS GREAT, THE DEPTH OF FIELD IS WONDERFUL. PEOPLE SHOULD USE PRIMES LIKE THIS MORE AND REDISCOVER THE JOY OF PHOTOGRAPHY.


FOR AVAILABLE LIGHT AT ONE THIRD THE PRICE OF THE F/1.4, THIS GLASS CAN'T BE TOUCHED
JoeSchu

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 5
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by JoeSchu
Review Date: 12/5/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $90.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Portraits in any lighting cond's, weight
Cons: Occasionally hunts for focus on a D70

Beginning SLR shooters would greatly benefit from this lens. Learning to push down that pop-up flash, compose a scene with your feet (not your zoom) and carefully manage focus is a true joy and will build any photographer's skills. For me the 50mm f/1.8 opened up a world of indoor shooting without the intrusive and harsh flash. I love the soft pictures I can take with this lens that capture natural light in most daytime indoor scenarios. The soft backgrounds also make for stunning portraits. Beginning amateurs must remember that f/1.8 doesn't leave much for DOF, so managing the focus point is critical with this lens. At $90 (or better) this lens is a MUST for any Nikkon DSLR owner wishing to hone their skills. Professional level aperture at cheap amateur prices - can't beat it!
f1maj2

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 3
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by f1maj2
Review Date: 12/5/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $140.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, fast
Cons: none

Excellent prime lens. Very sharp for its price range. Good for portraits with a 1.5 crop factor camera. My favorite for shooting in low light.
spuelijah

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 9
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by spuelijah
Review Date: 12/2/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $90.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact size, Very Sharp, Very Affordable Price
Cons: None

After many recommendations from other Nikonians on the DPreview forums, I decided to get one. The 1.8 aperature helped dramatically in my indoor social scene shots. I use this very often when i don't want to use flash. It's true, you can't go wrong if you get this lens, especially if you do a lot of low light shooting.


It's range is perfect, except for tight spaces like small rooms. And it's compact size makes a perfect combo with my D50 when I want to go light, like on hikes.
finalcut

Registered: October 2006
Posts: 2
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by finalcut
Review Date: 11/29/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $140.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp, high quality build, enjoy 1.8
Cons: none

I absolutely love this lens. This lens is so sharp and I love shooting with it. It his on my D80 maybe 80% of the time!


A must have
lseguy

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 4
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by lseguy
Review Date: 11/29/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $130.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: ultra light & compact, great value for money
Cons: None !!!

This lens should be in any nikon' bag ! Very light and compact, mine delivers great sharpness from f2.8. AF might be on the noisy side (on a D50) but remains very fast. This might be the greatest value for the money (I paid my used one around 130$...). Great for close portrait and shoot indoors with poor light. On the other side the DOF can become quite 'thin' and specific attention should be paid when shooting wide open !
Fahza

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 3
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by Fahza
Review Date: 11/28/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $200.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small, cheap, sharp, f1.8
Cons: Noisy when focussing, front portion of lens moves sideways

This lens is a "must have" in every photographers bag. It's cheap, very light and surprisingly sharp, considering the price.


The f1.8 comes very handy indoors when you don't want to use flash.


The focussing is somewhat noisy but that not too annoying.


The front lens sometimes moves sideways when the lens focusses. You see it as the image in the viewfinder also moves slightly sideways, especially at small focussing movments. It does not seem to effect the sharpness of the image however.


Overall a very good lens.


Hans
nohm

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 11
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by nohm
Review Date: 11/27/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

If I could start over, I would have gotten this prime with my initial dSLR.


The lens build is acceptable and doesn't feel cheap IMO.


Color seemed a bit cool on my copy, but contrast was superb.


The bokeh is a tad unrealistic, but creates beauty in it's own right.


Since this is has no SWM, the lens does produce some moderate focusing noises.


Metering indication comes out a tad overexposed, so adjustments will likely have to be made.
tamd50

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 2
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by tamd50
Review Date: 11/21/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $100.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent image Quality, Cheap, Fast (f/1.8)
Cons: AF is a bit noisy

This lens is the gratest bargain offered by Nikon. Amazing image quality at a very affordable price point.


The GOOD
1> At $100US this is a must have for any Nikon user
2> Fast f/1.8 comes in very handy when shooting in low-light. I take a lot of pictures indoors and this lens never fails to deliver. Wide aperture also gives very shallow depth of field.
3> Excellent image quality. Photos are sharp with good color and contrast.
4> Compact/light so easy to carry around
5> Front element does NOT rotate.
6> 52mm filter thread means inexpensive filters


The Not so Good
1> AF is noisy. After using Nikon's Silent Wave Motor Lenses this lens seems loud when focusing.


I'd recommend this lens to any Nikon DSLR user at any level. Lens is great for portraits, anything indoors and anything that will require a shallow depth of field.


Too bad Nikon has dicided to discontinue this little gem. I hope they replace it with one with the Silent Wave Motor. Wouldn't that be fantastic :-) !
julioalperi

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 15
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by julioalperi
Review Date: 11/20/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $154.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Center resolution,distortion,vigneting, price
Cons: none for the price paid.

At wide open aperture it is soft at borders, contrast is a little low too. Resolution is exceptionally high at medium aperture settings especially at center . Distortions are very low and vignetting above F:1,8 is very low too. Construction quality is good as it is the AF performance.
audioguru1

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 7
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by audioguru1
Review Date: 11/20/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $120.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: cheap
Cons: none for $120

If you had to buy one lens to use for portraits this would be it! This is sharp, and cheap. You can spend thousands on a zoom, only to get similar quality.


For portraits I find it works best stopped down to 2.8 which is still acceptably fast.


It doesnt have AFS, but it focuses quietly and efficently. No complaints.


I feel the only real drawback is the contrast compared to the 85mm and other lenses is a bit flat. This can be easily fixed is pp.
afukuda

Registered: January 2006
Posts: 3
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by afukuda
Review Date: 11/19/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $90.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp at all apertures, lightweight, compact size, cheap, very fast (1.8)
Cons: just a bit slow to focus (autofocus)

This is an excellent lens, its even sharper than the old Nikon Kogaku 50mm f2.0, its small, lightweith and fast, very fast.
At f1.8 is a bit soft but at f4.0is sharp from corner to corner, the perfect portrait lens.
The autofocus is fast but not as fast as AFs lenses.
The built quality is good enough for the price.
Im totally satisfied with this lens.
jeans

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 15
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by jeans
Review Date: 11/17/2006 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $100.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: f/1.8, wight, price
Cons: build, 50mm on a DX-format camera isn't the most useful focal length

Pros:
Sharpness - it's great, especially at f/2.8 and above
Wide aperture - gives great results at f/2.8 and can be very useful for available light shooting
Small, light and inconspicuos, unlike zooms a-la Nikkor 17-55/2.8
Front element is very much recessed, thus making it less likely to be scratched and minimizing the need for a lens hood


Cons:
Very plasticky (including threads), but then what can you expect for the price
Pretty harsh bokeh, making it less desirable for portraits thus limiting its use significantly


Summary:
Despite being a great performer, this lens seldom leaves my bag as 50mm on a DX DSLRs is not too useful
maddodo

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 1
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by maddodo
Review Date: 11/17/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $168.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, cheap, great image quality
Cons: AF not very fast

It is a great lens for such a price. Great, sharp images above f/2.8 although f/1.8 is also nice.


AF could be a bit faster although it is not terrible. I love this lens. I carry it with myself all the time.


Construction is good although not as good as 50mm f/1.4D
castortroy

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 2
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by castortroy
Review Date: 11/16/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $125.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: cheap, lightweight, sharp
Cons: funky rear lens cap

At 1.8, you'll really need to be careful of what you're focused on, or else you'll be walking away with a lot of unfocused shots (or maybe it's just me). But, at 3.2 and up, you can't miss with this thing, it's razor sharp. I love being able to use low ISO's in combination with large apertures. Best $125 I've spent.


Yeah, the AF noise might turn off some people (like it almost did me), but it really isn't that bad. I let a friend take a picture with my D70s and the AF noise wasn't loud at all.


In funky lighting, the AF will hunt a bit, and it'll sound like the camera is possessed (I think it's awesome).


Even though this is a normal lens for 35mm, the reach with the crop factor on digital can be limiting at times. Kinda tough if you can't step back for a shot.


All that aside, this lens is my first Nikkor prime lens and, by the looks of things, it looks like I'll be investing in a few more prime lenses when I finally graduate.
ronen_we

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 7
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by ronen_we
Review Date: 11/15/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $100.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, fast, great value
Cons: plastic build

fast lens, very sharp (when stoped down a bit). light weight. plastic construction though has a good feel to it. smooth and nice operation to focus ring.


Feels far better to handle than canon equivelent 50mm.


Overall great buy for 100$, well worth it's price.
olaieryk

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 3
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by olaieryk
Review Date: 11/15/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $125.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, cheap, extremely sharp (f/ 4 – 8)
Cons: soft f/1,8

It is small, light, and produces very good image quality even wide open.


at f/ 1,8 is soft Sad
but f/ 4,5-6,3 is extremely sharp !!!


This lens is a great bargain!!!
Zed

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 8
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by Zed
Review Date: 11/15/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: $100, Light, Fast focus
Cons: Soft at f/1.8

I was given this lens as a gift in 2005 and I have not stopped using it since. If you do not own this lens yet, stop reading reviews and just buy it! It is the cheapest lens that can provide the greatest quality.


I own the AF-D version which focuses almost as fast as my AF-S 18-70. Although it is a little soft wide open, you can still produce amazing images. Just stop down to f/2.8 and you will be fine. I have used it for portraits, landscapes, and even sports. There is no excuse why you should not carry this with you in your bag at all times.


I wish I could find a downside other than being soft at f/1.8, but there are none. The only way for this not to be in my bag would be to replace it with something sharper and more flexible, such as the 17-55 f/2.8. Grab it and do not look back!
fjbrad

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 2
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by fjbrad
Review Date: 11/15/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $100.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cost: Image Quality/Speed
Cons: None

At $100, there is no conceivable reason why any Nikon shooter would not own one of these lenses (unless opting for the faster 50mm 1.4 for more$$).
The lens has a metal lens mount, and although plastic, has a very good build quality. It is extremely compact and lightweight.
Despite it's small size and low price, this is one of the sharpest lenses Nikon makes, and I've had very good results using it with my D70. It seems to have a fairly large "sweet spot", meaning there is not a significant falloff in sharpness when it is used at the extreme ends of the aperture range.
On a APS sensor-sized DSLR, the 50 has an equivalent focal length of 75mm, which makes this very suitable as a portrait lens, although I personally prefer a focal length above 100mm for portraits.
A "fast" lens means that by virtue of the large maximum aperture available of 1.8, one can shoot at higher shutter speeds or lower ISO settings than would be possible with other lenses.
Another benefit of being able to use a very large aperture is the tremendous depth of field control one has. Depth of Field (DOF) refers to the part of the image in front of, and behind the subject focused on that is sharp. At small apertures, a deep DOF conveys sharpness to areas near and distant. At the wide end of the aperture range (shallow DOF/small f #'s), the subject will be sharp, but those parts of the image beyond and in front of the focus point will be blurred.
A shallow DOF is very useful in blurring a distracting background behind the subject or as an artistic effect to portraits and still lifes.
The other quality of measure for wide aperture/shallow DOF is bokeh. Poor bokeh is where the out of focus parts of the image appear globby. Good bokeh is when the out of focus objects have nice soft transitions...good blur. I think the 50 has better bokeh than most zooms, and very good when compared to most primes.
When combined with a reverse ring or extension tubes, this lens can be used as an excellent macro lens.
Because it has a fixed focal length, this lens is more of a specialty lens, best used for special occasions, but it is a great compliment to any shooters camera gear
sduford

Registered: August 2006
Posts: 9
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by sduford
Review Date: 8/1/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $100.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, sharp, contrasty
Cons: Plasticy, no AFS

This lens is a great bargain and should be in every Nikon user's bag. It is small, light, fast, and produces very good image quality even wide open.


Focus is via the old arcane screw drive on your camera but it works well enough on such small lenses. It is made of plastic but that means it's also very light.
feadin

Registered: March 2006
Posts: 4
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by feadin
Review Date: 3/9/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Low price, very bright, great image quality
Cons: A bit noisy and a little too short (it's too easy to grab the focus ring accidentally when holding the camera)

Construction quality is OK, feels nice but it's still plastic. Only mount is metal.


Image quality is very good overall, a little soft at less than f/2.8, but still perfectly usable. And anyway soft is OK most of the time when taking portraits...


AF feels fast enough for me, it's not a blast, but it's still faster than my 70-300 Smile


Overall it's a good lens. Bright, sharp and cheap.
Discpad

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 3
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by Discpad
Review Date: 10/25/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $99.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very sharp for both film and dSLR
Cons: Flimsy

The older, non-D (non-CPU) lens was made in Japan, and was more rugged. When you use this lens, there is no mistaking the cheesey it for a classic all-metal Nikkor 50mm. That being said, the image quality is quite nice, with VERY LITTLE chromatic aberration, even when blowing up a print from a Fuji S2 Pro file all the way to 60x90 inches. $99 at B&H for grey market; $129 for domestic.
chimpp

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 5
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by chimpp
Review Date: 10/21/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $90.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact, lightweight, f/1.8, too cheap to NOT purchase
Cons: Terrible flaring, could be sharper at f/1.8, slow AF, plastic construction

Lenses like this can help to convert people stuck on zooms to try out a prime. The price, shallow DOF, and image quality are its major selling points. Stop the lens down a bit to get the sharpness that everybody's talking about. At f/1.8, it's not as sharp when you look at your pictures at 100% but still very usable. AF is slow and noisy. Bokeh is a mixed bag--usually mediocre when you have a very organic background (like trees and foliage). It's more practical for me to use this lens as an all-around lens than my 85mm f/1.4 because of the focal length, but 50mm (on a DX sensor) can still be a bit limiting--too much reach at times.
afs

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 4
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by afs
Review Date: 10/20/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $99.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: inexpensive, sharp, great performance overall, and small
Cons: build a little on the cheap side, focusing ring/distance scale not like most primes.

One of Nikon's sharpest lenses, at a bargain price. The trade off is in the build...the plastic shell feels cheap though i've had worse. I do not like the focusing ring, I prefer a separate rubber encased ring and internal distance scale.
The pictorial results are brilliant. The lens can also be used as a macro lens mouted on the BR-2A reversing ring.
aryko

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 9
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor review by aryko
Review Date: 10/20/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $99.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very inexpensive for the performance
Cons: Loud focus

I have the Japanese version of this lens (AF-N) but it's essentially the same. How can you go wrong with a 50mm prime? Not many lenses will go down to f/1.8 for such a small investment. Every photographer should have one.


It's not an AF-S lens so it's a little noisey (whines) when it focuses. That said, it focuses quite quickly. The lens doesn't rotate during focussing.


It's a little soft at f/1.8, but from f/2.8 on I find it tack sharp. Its minimum aperture is f/22.


It's at home on digital or film bodies, and has an aperture ring so it can be used on older bodies.
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