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  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW Prime AF-S Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
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Nikon 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW Prime AF-S Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

by Nikon
| 111 answered questions

List Price: $582.00
Price: $424.94 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: $157.06 (27%)
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DPReview Gold Award
From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 89%
See Review Summary and Sample Images
What is DPReview and its awards?
DPReview

Digital Photography Review is the most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site on the Internet. Our authoritative reviews have earned us the trust of photographers and camera buyers all over the world, for more than 15 years.

Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.


  • 50mm focal length
  • 75mm equivalent focal length on DX cameras
  • F1.4 maximum aperture; F16 minimum
  • Ultrasonic-type AF motor with full-time manual focusing
  • 58mm filters
  • 0.45m/17.72" minimum focus
  • Nikon F mount for FX and DX DSLRs

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Important Warranty Information: All Nikkor autofocus lenses from Nikon Inc. USA include four years of Nikon Extended Service Coverage at no charge. Be sure to look for the Nikon ESC certificate with every Nikkor lens purchase you make.
$424.94 & FREE Shipping. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Nikon 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW Prime AF-S Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras + Tiffen 58mm UV Protection Filter
Price for both: $433.37

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Technical Details

  • all-glass-optical
  • interchangeable-lens
  • zoom

Review summary from DPReview

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Lens
DPReview Gold AwardJune 2009
With this lens Nikon has produced perhaps the best-balanced full-frame fast 50mm autofocus prime we've yet seen.
Andy WestlakeAndy Westlake
89%

Conclusion

This sharp 50mm isn't quite a match for the best of its competitors at F1.4, but it's still perfectly usable wide open, and once stopped down to F2.8 it's more than a match for anything else in its class. When used on full-frame, it produces some of the most detailed, aberration-free images we've yet seen, and our test results suggest there's still plenty to spare for even higher resolution sensors. It's very good on DX too, and an attractive option as a short portrait lens.

Reasons to buy

  • Extremely even image quality across frame, even on FX
  • Improved image quality over 50mm F1.4D
  • Exceptional image quality when stopped down
  • Essentially no lateral chromatic aberration
  • Near-silent autofocus with full-time manual override

Things to consider

  • Slightly soft at large apertures
  • Somewhat susceptible to flare
  • Longitudinal (bokeh) chromatic aberration
  • Vignetting at large apertures on full-frame cameras
  • Slower autofocus than the Nikkor 50mm F1.4D

Suggested for

Everyday photography on full-frame and portrait work on APS-C, where its excellent sharpness and refined handling are very useful.

Not suggested for

Shooting fast-moving subjects, where the AF-S focus might not be quick enough, and shooting into the sun, where (as usual with lenses of this type) flare can be an issue.
PoorExcellent
Build Quality
Ergonomics and Handling
Features
Image Quality
Value
Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category.
DPReview is the world's most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Compare to Similar Items


This item: Nikon 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW Prime AF-S Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Customer Rating (339) (669) (1571) (1210)
Price $ 424.94 $ 216.95 $ 196.95 $ 104.95
Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping
Sold By Amazon.com Amazon.com Amazon.com Amazon.com
Lens Prime lens Prime lens Prime lens Prime lens
Maximum Sensor Size Compatibility 35mm FF 35mm FF APS-C / DX 35mm FF
Maximum Aperture Range F1.4 F1.8 F1.8 F1.8
Min Aperture 16 16 22 22
Photo Filter Thread Size 58 millimeters 58 millimeters 52 millimeters 52 millimeters
Minimum Operating Distance 0.45 meters 0.45 meters 0.3 meters 0.45 meters
Item Weight 0.64 pounds 0.41 pounds 0.44 pounds 0.34 pounds
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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 2.9 x 2.9 inches ; 10.2 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B001GCVA0U
  • Item model number: 2180
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (339 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: June 17, 2003

Product Description

Product Description

Nikon 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW Prime Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

From the Manufacturer

Ideal for travel, event, environmental and general photography in a wide variety of conditions, with superb optical formula and an ultra-fast f/1.4 maximum aperture.

Fast f/1.4 prime NIKKOR lens
Perfect for low-light conditions, general and travel photography.

Normal angle of view on FX-format cameras
Classic, normal angle of view when used on a Nikon FX-format digital SLR or 35mm film camera.

Ideal portrait lens on DX-format cameras
An ideal portrait lens when used on a Nikon DX-format digital SLR, approximating the angle of view similar to that of a 75mm lens on a Nikon FX-format digital SLR or a 35mm film camera.

Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC)
Enhances light transmission efficiency and offers superior color consistency and reduced flare.

Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
Enables fast, accurate, and quiet autofocus.

Close focusing to 1.5 feet
For extended versatility.

Rounded 9-blade diaphragm
Renders more natural appearance of out-of-focus image elements.
50mm MTF Chart

Customer Reviews

Build quality: Good.
J. Thompson
The 50mm is good enough at f/1.8 and below, but the 35mm is better than good enough.
Glenn Carpenter
The bokeh was very beautiful and the images are very sharp!
Mike

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

329 of 339 people found the following review helpful By J. Thompson on March 2, 2009
This lens is very well-made and takes wonderful pictures. To address the most common questions people ask before they take the plunge:

Price: No, it's not usually this expensive. I paid around $400 for mine, but I got it a couple of months ago. Apparently Nikon is having a hard time making enough of these. Rather than rewarding the greedy opportunists who are now charging exorbitant prices for this lens, I suggest calling local and smaller camera shops - they are much more likely to have one sitting on the shelves. It's absolutely worth about $500, but I wouldn't pay more than that. The Sigma (very similar, see below) is a better value at that point.

Image quality: Great. Slightly soft and glowy at 1.4, but that's to be expected. Gets quite sharp at 2.8. The Sigma is even softer at 1.4 than this lens, so if wide-open sharpness is important to you, this is your lens.

Bokeh: Nice, but a little jittery at 1.4 on specular highlights. This means that if you have any light sources or sharp point reflections in the out-of-focus area behind your subject, you will see little light rings around the round blob. These disappear at f2, and they don't really bother me. They are a side effect of correcting spherical aberration in the image - lens manufacturers have to make tough choices sometimes, and Nikon apparently chose wide-open image correction over the absolute best bokeh possible in this circumstance. Compared to other lenses: not quite as nice as the Sigma 50/1.4 wide open, but you get a sharper in-focus area, so it's a trade-off. Not really able to compete with the 85/1.4 or the 105/2 DC, but that's not surprising - those lenses have a much longer focal length.

Focusing: Fast and precise. To be sure, at 1.
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267 of 300 people found the following review helpful By Tom Iancu on December 22, 2008
Intro
I was eagerly expecting this upgrade from Nikon since I have not been very pleased by the old AF-D version. The Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor Lens was a performant lens with careful handling and focusing of static or relatively static subjects. However, for action shooting AF with the D version was lacking the kind of snap needed for those "razor sharp" details. Moreover, very prone to flare and coma and with somewhat low contrast rendition of images, the 50mm f/1.4 AF-D was never my lens of choice even for portraiture. During 2007 I got a Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 APO Lanthar (in Nikon mount), manual focus, that gave me the pleasure of portraiture as I wanted to be (really, for the money that lens is awesome).
However, having a better focusing less flare-prone, high contrast 50mm prime was tempting and, as rumours about an AF-S version started to appear, I decided to sell my old f/1.4 and get the new AF-S version.
However, even this upgrade did not entirely match my expectations. I try to detail below some of my findings.

Subject isolation, sharpness, DOF and bokeh
One of the reasons of getting a large aperture lens is isolation of subjects. Subject sharpness, smooth transitions on D0F interval and pleasant bokeh (see below) is the triad that, usually, influence purchase of such lenses. I have another one: ease of use and reduced weight. The third: getting a prime that has usable AF on D40/D40x/D60 (yes this can be used).
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This Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S lens produces sharp pictures and great color and contrast. It is also perfect for portrait and other general purposes (semi-macro etc). This lens also produces nice bokeh. The picture quality and bokeh quality are comparable with the other (older) Nikon 50mm lens which are famous for being sharp. Overall, this is a very versatile lens.

Many of us (including those who already own 50mm f/1.8D AF or 50mm f/1.4D AF as well) have been waiting for this lens for a long time, and overall it is worth the wait, and it is worth the upgrade to this 50mm f/1.4G AF-S. If you don't own any of the earlier version of the 50mm lens then you should definitely get this lens over the older 50mm non-AFS lens (especially if price is not much of a factor for you or if your camera body is a D40, D40x, or D60 which the autofocus with will work with those cameras as well).

Some of the limitations of this lens are similar to the other 50mm lenses (but some big benefits are added in this lens):

First, being a prime lens, you will need to move your feet a lot to compose your picture. If you are used to zoom lens, don't underestimate this limitation. It takes me a while to get used to it, and sometime I still find people looking at me wondering why I am moving forward and backwards. the good news is that most of the time, they don't think I'm weird, but they are actually wondering if I'm a professional photographer.

Secondly, the focal range of 50mm, which is considered the normal lens and great for portrait lens. but on many DSLRs which is not full frame (unless you have a full frame Nikon DSLR like the D700 or D3, then 50mm is 50mm), this lens become a 75mm equivalent which is in the border of a short tele lens.
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