209 of 234 people found the following review helpful
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
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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