Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars sharp ... with AF fine-tune adjustment ...., May 4, 2012
This review is from: Nikon 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW Prime AF-S Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras (Camera)
I've been trying to update my prime lenses for a while now. No one (I mean B&H, Adorama, Amazon, etc.) seems to have Nikon 50mms in stock these days. I've been getting by with an ancient Japanese made 50mm f/1.8 that I had from film days, the one that pre-dates Nikon's f/1.8D designation. I wanted to get a f/1.8G but when f/1.4G became available, I went ahead and bought it.

I love the shallow depth of field, bokeh and the warm color. With the old lens, the colors were more muted, not very vibrant and had a bit of bluish cast. However, autofocus is not as fast with f/1.4G as I expected. Not slow mind you, but it just feels more deliberate than quick. In contrast, the motorless f/1.8 seems to focus faster. However, what surprised me the most is that my ancient f/1.8 was sharper across the board open and stopped down, both in the center and the edges. The difference wasn't tremendous but still noticeable. To put it in perspective, I also did comparison with Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, a DX zoom lens with good reputation for sharpness. As expected, both were slightly but noticeably sharper than the zoom lens. At first, I thought f/1.4 lens was slightly front focusing but that wasn't the case. I haven't had a chance to test out a second lens as they just didn't have these in stock. I'm hoping to also test out 50mm f/1.8G and 85mm f/1.8 when they become available.

All in all, I was somewhat disappointed with the overall sharpness but the lens has enough going for it to like it and keep it but I can't say I'm not in love with it.

[Edit] My copy back focused slightly but not enough to send it back. With in-camera AF fine-tune adjustment(-9), I'm able to coax sharper images from this lens and much happier with the result. <Aug. 2012>
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