Nikon NIKKOR Z 50/1.8 S Lens (50mm f/1.8)

Review of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 50/1.8 S Lens (50mm f/1.8).

Overall Rating:

Nikon

This lens is 4 years old and made in Thailand. It has two aspherical elements and two ED elements. This is the first 50mm lens by Nikon to feature ED elements. It features a stepper autofocus motor which means it is silent for video usage. This is an S line lens which means it gets Nikon's weather sealing to protect it against the elements. It's a modern lens design made for today's high resolution sensors. It is not a typical nifty-fifty, and certainly not the AF-S Nikkor 50mm/1.8 G! For a 50mm, it is expensive at $600 USD (2020) which is down from its debut price. This lens was introduced when 45MP cameras were modern.

Nikon
fall colors, f/4 (detail)
Nikon
fall colors, f/6.3 (detail)
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dog, f/5.6 (detail)

Performance

This is one of the best 50mm lenses on the market right now.

There is no color fringing. There is some vignetting wide open, and is nearly gone at f/2.8-f/4. Barrel distortion at 0.2% means it has almost none.

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corner at f/2
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corner at f/5.6

Lens is quite sharp wide-open and sharpest at f/5.6

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f/6.3
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detail from above (crop)
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f/6.3
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detail from above (crop)

There is no focus breathing and just very little coma to be concerned with.

This lens does not have the best maximum reproduction ratio at only 1:6.7 — perhaps a small price to pay for the sharpness.

Infrared

Infrared performance not tested.

Bokeh

The bokeh is good. There is a very slight ring added around points of light, but it's minor.

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bokeh, f/1.8
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bokeh, f/2.8
Nikon
bokeh, f/4
Nikon
bokeh, f/5.6
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bokeh, f/1.8
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bokeh, f/2.8
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bokeh, f/4
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bokeh, f/5.6

Ghosting & Flaring

This lens exhibits very little ghosting when photographing a subject on a bright background like into the sun. It has just a touch of flaring.

Nikon
little ghosting, f/4
Nikon
flaring, f/16

Compatibility

Because this is a Z-mount lens designed for Nikon's latest mirrorless cameras, it is not compatible with older DSLR cameras.

Specifications

Focal length 50mm
Maximum aperture f/1.8
Minimum aperture f/16
Lens construction 12 elements in 9 groups
Angle of view 46°
Maximum reproduction ratio 1:6.7 (0.15×)
No. of diaphragm blades 9 (rounded)
Filter-attachment size ø62mm
Accessories HB-90 hood
Diameter × length Approximately 76 × 86.5 mm/3 × 3.4 in.
Weight Approximately 415 g/14.7 oz.
Price $600 USD

Images

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lens construction legend

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