Customer Review

209 of 234 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Lens a review from Someone who owns both the 1.8D and 1.8G and a former owner of the 1.5G., July 13, 2011
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This review is from: Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S NIKKOR FX Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras (Camera)
The 50 f/1.8 is a lens almost every FX shooter should have. However, which one of these you should buy is a little tricky. The D is about $80 cheaper, is smaller, lighter, has less distortion, and has manual aperture control. The D doesn't have auto focus but as of right now every FX camera has an autofocus motor built in. What the G really brings to the table is curved aperture blades, better construction, sharper corners, quieter autofocus and instant manual override focus.

On a DX camera it is still a no brainer lens but not as much as on a FX. The 1.5x crop makes this a 75mm lens on a DX. Usually portrait lenses start around 85mm. So this lens, on a DX, is too long to be a normal focal length and too short to be a portrait lens. With that said, those are just generalities. Even at 75mm it will work great in a dark house and great outside. In the house you may find yourself running out of room to back up. However, that can probably help some peoples photography as one of the biggest mistakes most people make is not framing in close enough. The 35mm f1.8 DX only lens is probably a better starting lens to get as it is ~52mm on the DX and the 50mm f1.8 a good second lens.

I used to own the f1.4G but it was stolen from me. I personally don't believe it is worth the extra money over this. It has 9 rounded aperture blades for a smother bokeh and is 2/3 stop faster but has significant distortion. Also, it has been shown that many manufactures have been playing with the ISO on the edges to get the f1.4. At very wide apertures the light hitting the edges of the sensor is not perpendicular to the sensor but is angled. Because digital sensors are very sensitive to the direction of light, camera manufactures have been increasing the ISO at the edges of the sensor to get the same amount of light as the middle. This causes some noise. It is not hugely noticeable but you are paying a premium for a slightly worse image. However, the bokeh is nicer, you can shoot a 2/3 faster in low light, and you have a shallower depth of field. If those are important to you then the 1.4G is the way to go.

Compared to the 1.8D the 1.8G is
Will autofocus on the cheaper bodies with no built in auto focus motor (D3100 and D5100)
A little better optically in the corners but has more distortion
About $80 more expensive
Has full time access to manual focusing
7 rounded aperture blades instead of straight
tops out at f16 instead of f22
has quieter focus

If you have a body that has a built in autofocus motor and you want the smallest lightest and cheapest kit then the 1.8D is a no brainer.

If you don't have the built in autofocus motor and size is not an issue or you want instant ability to manually focus then the 1.8G is the way to go.

The 50 f1.8 is a brilliant lens and one of the true bargains in photography. A must for almost every kit.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 15, 2011 6:43:04 AM PDT
AFL says:
Great review, and you make a good point about the 1.5x conversion of a lens' focal length on a DX body. I just want to point out that despite this lens having a practical length of 75mm on a crop-sensor camera body, it's still a lens worth having if you shoot with a DX body. True, the 1.5x conversion on a DX body does not give this lens the "standard" portrait focal length of 85mm, but it is easy to adapt to using this lens for portrait work. Yes, a DX shooter usually has to back away from their subject to fit their shot in the frame, which can be difficult if you're shooting indoors. However, as problems go, having to back away from your subject is minor. This lens is a workhorse, and I can't think of many situations where it can't be used. As a hobbyist, I am pleased with the results of this lens on my D7000, and at this price point, you really can't go wrong.

I agree that anyone shooting with a DX body would do well to have a 35mm lens in their camera bag. With both the 35mm and 50mm lengths at hand, the average shooter will be well prepared for most everyday shooting situations.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2011 10:01:05 AM PDT
shuTTL3bus says:

Thank you for your comments. I really think way to much is made of the 85-135 being the portrait lens. For groups especially, a shorter lens is desired. I am actually using the X100 23mm (35mm equivalent) as a full body outdoor portrait camera with spectacular results. My saying is "Know the limits of your tool and stay within them or even better exploit them for artistic benefit."

Thanks again.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 5:46:07 PM PST
gg says:
Wonderful explanation for staters like me I have D5100 and I was searching for a differences between 1.8G and 1.8D... and I have found the right answer in right spot.. thanks B.Fuller

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2012 8:35:33 PM PST
shuTTL3bus says:

you are welcome and I love hearing from people at Amazon. If you ever have questions, feel free to ask.


Posted on Sep 6, 2013 9:35:11 AM PDT
T. F says:
Good review, but I think you are confused about blades and bokeh. Roundness or straightness of the iris blades has little if any effect on bokeh. What it does have effect on is out of focus specular highlights, however. These are the little white balls you see coming of of water or leaves, what have you.
Perhaps you are lumping bokeh and specular highlights together, which is fairly common. Bokeh is ANY out of focus features, highlights or not. THere is a distinction that is important to be clear of. Blades having any effect on bokeh is pretty much marketing trickery.

Posted on Feb 7, 2014 2:16:56 PM PST
T. F says:
what do you mean 'playing with the iso on the edges'?
The ISO that a picture is taken with is global across the CCD.

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 11:37:12 AM PST
I am a newby when it comes to photography. Does this lens zoom in? I am looking for a good low light lens w/ good price and thought this might be the one, however I wanted to know if I can zoom in, because I'll be using the lens for traveling (not exchanging lens all the time) and for taking pictures inside, as in birthday parties. I'd be glad if you answered me! Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2014 7:12:32 PM PST
shuTTL3bus says:
The only way this lens zooms is with your feet. A lens this fast with a zoom range would be wickedly expensive and Nikon doesn't even make one. The closest is the 24-70mm f/2.8 (1.5 stops slower) which costs around $2000. This is the lens for taking pictures inside but it still might be too long. Here is something to think about. Panasonic LUMIX LX100 16.8 MP Point and Shoot Camera with Integrated Leica DC Lens (Black) This camera has a largish m4/3 sensor with a very fast zoom lens. Starts at f1.7 and ends at f2.8 and has a zoom range from 24-75mm. Perfect for travel and indoor people shooting. It does not have an interchangeable lens. Just a thought.

I have not purchased one for myself yet but this is a fantastic travel camera.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2014 7:10:53 PM PST
Thank you very much!! :)

Posted on Apr 6, 2015 12:10:00 PM PDT
Julius Titak says:
I have a crop frame sensor which means that for a person that is about 5'5" tall, I'd have to be about 10-12' away to get a picture of this person standing. (I know you understand this / 75mm!) This can make it difficult for use indoors; unless, you are in a large room or studio. Is there another lens you'd recommend that is around 35mm (52.5mm) for close indoor use? A 35mm would allow me to be only about 9-10' away for a 5'5" person standing. Not much of a difference, but that would help indoors! The 50mm 1.8G sounds great for outdoor use, or where there is a lot of room to work with. I am planning on purchasing a lens for portrait use primarily. By the way...I don't have a studio. My thoughts are that a 35mm on a crop frame would work well indoors or outside...your thoughts! I will continue to do a lot of reading in the meantime on lenses and read reviews.
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