Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AIS

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by pete_s., Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Just got a new 50mm f/1.2 AIS and just wanted to share my hapiness over my new toy!

    From what I can see it's really good and sharper than my 50mm f/1.4 AI and my
    50mm f/1.8 AF-D at their corresponding maximum apertures. At f/1.2 it doesn't
    look bad at all and I will have no problem shooting it wide open when needed.

    Shooting at f/1.2 is not as difficult as some imagine when it comes to DOF. DOF
    is dependent on magnification which is a function of focal length and distance.
    At 20 ft with a 50mm DOF at f/1.2 is about 1 feet in front and a little more
    than 1 feet behind (DX).

    Shutter speed will be almost 6 times faster than your typical pro zoom at f/2.8.
    For instance if you shoot at ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/8s, with f/1.2 you can use a
    shutter speed of 1/45s instead.

    If you need something for low light photography and you can live with manual
    focus it may be something you'd want to consider. Price is from $500 and it is
    in stock at B&H right now.


    PS. I might post some pictures later.
  2. Definitely intersted in seeing some pictures with this lens. but im not sure I understand the AIS in the name. But this is a manual focus? I would assume the 1.8 is autofocus, but the 1.4 isnt as well?

    But for sure post up some pictures.
  3. Peter, congrats on your new lens...


    AI-S is Auto-Index-Speed, on DSLR no much difference from an AI or AI'd, coated are the only difference, no difference in functionality.
  4. AI-S is Auto-Index-Speed ...
    Auto-Indexing-Shutter (linear aperture actuation for Shutter Priority or Program exposure modes) actually IIRC. Not that it really matters. :)
    Functionally, all AI-P, AF, AF-D, AF-S and G lenses are also AI-S, but the term is generally used to designate non-CPU manual focus lenses.
  5. I tested my Nikon 50mm AIS f1.4 against my AI 50mm f2.0 and my AIS 55mm f2.8 Micro-
    Nikkor lens. The results were interesting. The f2.0 is the best, followed by a tie between the
    Micro-Nikkor and the f1.4. These were each tested on a tripod at f8. I also tested my Nikon
    18-70mm DX zoom lens, which also beat the 50mm f1.4. All in all, I'm not too impressed
    with the AIS 50mm f1.4 lens at this time...
  6. Dave, I've heard through the grapevine that the 50mm f/2 was a better performer than many other 50's. I have the 50mm f/1.8 AIS and have been thinking of getting the 50mm f/1.2 AIS. If not much better optically than f/1.8 AIS it would seem that the f/1.2 would be better in terms of manual focus due to more light thru the viewfinder. Tough decision though, my $70 f/1.8 AIS vs a $350 upgrade to f/1.2 AIS. Guess it's not so tough for my wallet though.
  7. Personally I don't need to shoot at f1.2, even f1.4. I think f2.0 is pretty fast, f1.8 is a little
    faster even. When I had the 85mm f1.4, I never shot with it at f1.4 other than testing. 95% of
    my photography is in daylight so f2.0 is enough. I usually shoot at f8 or f5.6, and I am
    satisfied to keep the f2.0 50mm AI Nikkor. I will be sending it off to my friend in Spokane for
    a complete regrease and cleaning to make it like new. If I bought the f1.2 AIS 50mm I
    wouldn't want to spend more than $250 or so. Anything more and it's not worth it for me,
    and I know I wouldn't find it for that cheap most likely. Well, if you get the f1.2 AIS, do share
    with all of us your impressions!
  8. I got a 50 1.2 AIS the week before I got my D3. On the D3 even wide open it shocked is simply outstanding!! And it is a joy to focus on the D3 as well. Here it is at F/2, ISO 1600...
  9. A couple months ago I also purchased a 50mm 1.2. I got it for $430 gray market from adorama. They were being sold for more on ebay used, crazy! There were other lenses that I wanted, but I went with this despite some lapses in focal lengths in my lens arsenal. After seeing my first batch of slides on the light table, I was in love! I mean it really did look good! I only have experience with the 1.8 AIS, and this 1.2, and they both have their place for certain situations. I chose the 1.2 over the 1.4 for its smooth backround renditions, 9 blade aperture, and smooth solid feel, the difference in speed is negligeable I think. And for the people that think this lens will be easier to manually focus because of a brighter viewfinder: that will only be the case with an old camera like the FE, F3, or older. Even my FE2 is too modern to take advantage of that. It has to do with the "Brite-screen", plenty can be researched on this weird subject. I just always use the focus confirmation dot on my F100, and things are good. People also think that this lens is some magic night-vision lens, it's not. I've learned that slow shutter speeds don't work well with slim DOFs, motion blur makes the DOF non-existent. After using it, I realized that there were many misconceptions that I had, probably from reading people's opinions that have never used it. In conclusion: I share Peter's enthusiasm for this lens. If you don't mind manually focusing with the confirmation dot, the 50mm 1.2 is one of the best for shooting at wide apertures, and has a wonderful 'bokeh'. It's the nicest nikkor I've ever used.
  10. Some selected 50f1.2 pics
  11. Film B&W 50f1.2 @f1.2
  12. Film B&W 50f1.2 @ f1.2
  13. Just did some shooting with the 35 f1.4 @ f1.4 on the D300 earlier this evening. I haven't tested the 50 f1.2 on the D300 yet, but the 35 f1.4 is a spectacular lens. I also have some with the 45 f2.8 AiP with the D300, another fantastic portrait lens.
  14. Here is one with the 45 f2.8 AiP @ f2.8 with the D300
  15. I've used one for a few weeks on my D70. Contrast and top resolution is lower than on my 50/1.4 AF-D. The 50/1.4 has so high resolution when stopped down that on a D70 you won't get more resolution in real life (this should also apply for the D3). Nevertheless, the 50/1.2 is still good and I mainly use it at f1.2-2.8. It renders streetlights much better than the 50/1.4 with no purple fringe and overall the rendition is very pleasant.

    Bottom line: if you want a fast toy, like I did, this lens is good. If the rendition of this lens suits your style, this lens is good. If you don't routinely shoot at large apertures and you value high resolution and contrast, then a 50/1.8 or 50/2 is a better choice. Personally, I like the lens, but it's not my only 50.

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