Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm 1:1.8 D Lens (f/1.8)

Review of the Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm 1:1.8 D Lens (f/1.8).

Overall Rating:

Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm 1:1.8 D

This lens is made in China and is 20 years old. It debuted at a price of $125 USD. Around the introduction of this lens, the six megapixel D100 was a popular Nikon DSLR.

This compact performer is MORE than a half-stop slower than the Nikkor 50mm/1.4, but the speed difference hardly matters. Optically, it is excellent with high sharpness (until f/16) and great contrast. This is the D version of this lens which means it transmits distance information to the camera. Now, supposedly, this lens is multi-coated when the earlier, pre-D version — still an AF lens — is just single coated. This makes no sense, however, as the Ai and Ai-S 50mm/1.8 manual focus lenses were multicoated.

See the 50mm/1.8 Ai-S N lens review since the optical performance of this lens is identical.

Distortion is well controlled with about 0.1% pincushion. Color fringing is pretty much non-existant. Vignetting is gone by about f/4.

This lens is compared in the comparisons section on this site

Mechnically, it is quite poor. Except for the lens mount, it is all plastic. The focus is noisy and bothersome, and the focus action is loose as it has to be so that the camera's focus motor does not strain. This makes manual focusing a really unpleasant affair. The front element does NOT rotate during focus and, thankfully, it does have a focus scale with depth of field scale.

This lens' autofocus is not compatible with camera bodies without the focus motor built-in. This means it will not autofocus on the Nikon D40/D40x/D60/D3XXX/D5XXX cameras but it will manually focus and these cameras will confirm when the lens is in focus.

The infrared performance is perfect with sharp, clean and contrasty images so long as the aperture does not close down too much.

infrared at f/8

The bokeh is pretty decent/not too harsh.

bokeh at f/1.8
bokeh at f/2.8

Diffraction has begun by f/8. Use greater stops than this (smaller number) for maximum performance.

Because this lens requires a focus motor in the camera body, the non-comprehensive list of cameras it will autofocus on is D7000-D7500, D100-D500, D1-D6, D600, D610, D700, D750, D800-D850. It will not autofocus on the D3000-D3500 and D5000-D5600, for example. Also, it will not autofocus on Nikon Z cameras (which require the FTZ adapter to mount this lens).

Nikon construction legend


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