Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm 1:1.8 G Lens (f/1.8)
This modest little lens is 12 years old and made in China. Its debut price was $220 USD. It has one aspherical element and no ED elements. Due to the aspherical element, its design is relatively modern. It is a good lens to partner with the AF-S 28mm/1.8 and AF-S 85mm/1.8. This lens does not have much of a reputation probably because it is an inexpensive 50mm. When it was introduced, the Nikon D700 — a 12MP camera — was modern.
There is almost no color fringing to be found. There is some vignetting to be found wide open only, and is gone by f/2.8. A little barrel distortion is there (around 0.4% — probably too much for a prime 50mm) and there is pretty much no flaring to speak of.
This lens is sharp and constrasty in the center but the corners improve only a little bit when stopping down.
The autofocus is relatively zippy meaning it might be able to capture a toddler zipping around. It is silent as it focuses. It doesn't hesitate like the AF-S 85mm/1.8 does.
Because it is a prime lens, it lets more light in than a zoom lens meaning the shutter values will be just a little faster than a zoom given the same scene and aperture, plus the lens has a greater maximum aperture than a zoom lens.
Diffraction begins around f/8.
Color fringing detail at 3-to-1:
This lens is poor for infrared photography. It exhibits a strong hot spot at f/16. It will be fine if shooting wide-open or nearly so.
Ghosting & Flaring
There is not too much ghosting for a design like this, and the same for flaring.
The bokeh is good wide-open but this is to be expected. It does not hold up as the lens is stopped down. The bokeh becomes pretty harsh by f/6.3.
"G" lenses like this are not compatible with older cameras, but they are compatible with all Nikon DSLR's and Z cameras (with FTZ adapter).
This is a sturdy all plastic lens design. The manual focusing feels good and there is no slop. It focuses beyond infinity to accommodate the UV wavelength.
This lens has a focus and depth of field scale but it's usefulness is limited because it is so small no doubt to help make the autofocus faster by making it travel less.
|Lens construction||7 elements in 6 groups (with one aspherical lens element)|
|Angle of view||46° (31°30' with Nikon DX format)|
|Minimum focus distance||0.45m/1.48ft.|
|Maximum reproduction ratio||1:6.7 (0.15×)|
|No. of diaphragm blades||7 (rounded)|
|Diameter × length||Approximately 72 × 52.5 mm/2.8 × 2.1 in.|
|Weight||Approximately 185 g/6.6 oz|
|Price||$220 USD (2011)|