Nikon’s AF NIKKOR 50mm 1: 1.8D
“Start with a 50mm fixed focal length first!” For a long time, the council was talking to photography novices when they were looking for a suitable lens for their first SLR camera. And even in times of cheap, (supposedly) great zoom lenses, this tip definitely remains valid. Because the 50mm lens corresponds to a full-frame camera almost the normal focal length, resulting from the diagonal of the film or sensor format. In 35 mm cameras, it would correspond to 43.27 mm, but it has largely naturalized in lens construction 50 mm. Lenses with normal focal length are relatively easy to construct and therefore often combine a low price with high light intensity. In the Nikon system, the AF Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8D is the representative of this class.
Scope of Delivery, Equipment and First Impression
When unpacking you need to be prepared for any surprises, except the lens with lid LC-52 is only a white cap on the back. Optionally, a rubber lens cover for screwing and a bag are available. I have never missed them for the past five years.
Like the 35mm 2.0, this lens has a normal auto focus (no AF-S), which is why the latter does not work on all Nikon camera models. More details of the AF Nikkor 35 mm 1: 2D . The 50mm 1: 1.8 is 160g lighter than its 35mm counterpart and the dimensions are more compact. The lens barrel is made of plastic, the bayonet made of metal. So you need not worry about excessive wear due to frequent application and removal from the camera. The foremost lens is located far inside the lens, which not only protects it very well against dust and scratches, but also virtually eliminates the need for a sun visor. Visually, the AF 50 mm 1.8 looks more modern than the related 35mm lens, it corresponds to the Nikon design of the late 1990s and early 2000s. In this price range, the imprint “Made in China” does not surprise.
In the Photographer’s Everyday Life
The special feature of a fast lens is its versatility. It allows you to take pictures in poorly lit places, such as night streets, in the evening in indoor events as well as in broad daylight. When the aperture is open, you can make it clear with sharpness and blur, because the spatial depth is so particularly intense. Due to the relatively neutral focal length of 50 mm, the lens is suitable for a variety of subjects. Street scenes can be captured just as well as small details (minimum focusing distance: 45 cm). It only reaches its limits when it depicts interiors and large buildings. If you can not go one step back, you finally have to resort to a wide-angle lens. The autofocus works quite reliably in a dimly lit environment, the annoying autofocus auxiliary light of the camera practically never has to be used. In the light of street lamps, with a Nikon D700 at ISO 3200 – 6400 and aperture f / 1.8, you can still take good pictures, allowing the lens to shoot without a flash and tripod at almost any time of day or night.
At aperture 1.8 vignetting is clearly visible, but it is rarely disturbing.
All comparison photos were taken with a Nikon D700 as RAW (Nikon NEF) with ISO 200, converted to Capture NX2 and optimized in Photoshop CS5 for web display.
The existing edge blur is much less noticeable in practice than on the test subject below, because with open aperture, the focus is rarely placed on the corners of the image. As fluffy and soft as the top left corner appears at first, it dimmed on f / 4 makes a really good impression and at f / 5.6 it shows off its best side. The center of the picture, on the other hand, is pleasingly rich in contrast and sharp even at aperture 1.8, so the potential for improvement due to dimming is therefore small. You do not have to be afraid of crooked lines with this lens, because it has a very small distortion, which you practically do not notice.
The AF Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8D is an excellent, bright and cheap lens. Its focal length is also versatile, so that the advice from the beginning of the article is still current today. As a single or powerful addition to a zoom lens – for owners of a Nikon analog or FX camera, there is no way around this lens. Finally, it is the absolute value for money under Nikon’s fixed focal length.
Photographers with DX camera get a lightweight telephoto lens with high luminosity, which is well suited for portraits. However, you should pay attention to a built-in camera auto-focus engine, such as the Nikon D90, D300 and D7000 is available. A true standard focal length for DX cameras is Nikon’s AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm 1: 1.8G .