The 50mm f1.4 AF-S - any further thoughts?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Ian Rance, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Yesterday, I went to collect some money that my local camera shop owed me and as they had just had in some of the new 50mm Nikkor lenses I took one of those instead of the cash.
    I went out with it on my Pronea S today, and it felt great to use - the viewfinder was bright, the focus action smooth with no hunting and the lens has good build quality. However, I will not be able to get the roll developed until next week now so I will not know how the actual results are for a while yet :-(
    I have read a little about this lens here in, but there have not been any postings for a while now, and almost no examples. Is this lens not proving popular? To those who have had it for a while, is there anything you have found out further about it - like where it is best used and at what aperture? Does it have any weak areas in the performance?
    I have never owned a f1.4 lens before - but it seems good. I am a bit worried about the metering issues that prevent my cameras from reading below f2, but I have tried some 'wide open' shots and I will see what my camera makes of them.
    All info welcomed, Ian
  2. Forgot to add the photo of my new lens on my Pronea S.
  3. Hi Ian!
    I am also so curious about that lens. I live in Japan and here, I noticed how many USED 50 mm lenses 1.8 and 1.4 are for sale now. before they were harder to find. Also many stores don't have the new AF-S. It seems that it is selling well.
    On the net I just hear about people complaining about the price and I haven't found one good and well tested result. I think we have to keep waiting. Let's see how you like it.
    PS. And more than tests I am interested in seeing shots taken with that lens in real normal use but maybe not too many people have it yet.
  4. Rene' - I will be happy to share the results I got (tried it in all types of conditions) after D&P is complete. I will ask for FAST service to speed it up :)
  5. I think people are just busy using it; seems like a great lens, but not the great savior of normal lenses -- older designs still have their place. Nevertheless, photozone figures do look solid, with optimum aperture being around f4-5.6.
    Pronea S? You know that some of the Nikon D3X promo shots were shot with the 50/1.4, this lens needs a higher resolution format to really come to justice ;-)
  6. I'm a bit worried about the metering issues that prevent my cameras from reading below f2
    I've never heard of any such issues.
    The 50/1.4 AF-S is an excellent lens. There really isn't much to talk about it - it's the current state of the art.
    If you really want to find something to complain about I can say that the 50mm f/1.4 ZF ghosts less than the AF-S in extreme backlighting (i.e. a halogen spot pointed directly into the lens). This might be seen in a practical shot if you have the sun in the image. Also, the 50mm AF-S has more distortion than the 50/1.8D.
    For me, the 50mm AF-S is easily the best 50mm that I have experience with. Even at f/1.4 it is quite good and by f/2 it is excellent. If you use a 50mm at small apertures, the 50/1.8D and 50/1.4 AF-S are about equal in sharpness and contrast, but the 1.8 has less distortion. The 1.8D barrel wobbles when I touch the manual focus ring and the image moves visibly laterally, which I find annoying. The 1.4 AF-S doesn't have any such mechanical issue and it's very easy to manual focus precisely, which is a major improvement over previous autofocus 50mm Nikkors.
  7. I came across this ridiculous price for the AF-S 50mm at Amazon:
    US $965.99 and a 1- to 3-week wait for $29.99 shipping?
  8. My local store has them for £279 - a fair price, especially after the price hike.
  9. I bought it the day it came into my local store, and it has been on my D700 more than any other lens ever since. I am entirely happy with it.
  10. Not taken with the AF-S version but with an earlier version of the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 AF. The only sin I can find in this earlier lens is a tendency (not shown here) to ghost in difficult against the light conditions. But oh my God, look at the color rendition and bokeh.....I have a couple of versions of the Nikon 50mm f1.4 (mainly manual focus) and love them all to pieces.)
    Nikkor 50mm f1.4 AF (first version) Shot wide open)
  11. I forgot to add, that if the latest version is better than this then ......WOW!
  12. A few recent shots...
  13. Another...
  14. Here is one more
  15. Sorry, here is the 3rd photo.
  16. Needless tod say, I am very pleased with the lens. The above shots were taken with the 50mm AF-S lens on a D40, no flash.
  17. Here it is on a D60 (sorry for the small pic but I can't link to the regular one for some reason). Very sharp (compared to the 18-55) and I like the bokeh. I'm not so sure I am happy with the speed of the autofocus though - the Sigma 30mm runs rings around this one but I don't know if it gets it right first time like the Nikon does.
  18. [​IMG]
    Here it is on a D60. Very sharp (compared to the 18-55) and I like the bokeh. I'm not so sure I am happy with the speed of the autofocus though - the Sigma 30mm runs rings around this one but I don't know if it gets it right first time like the Nikon does.
  19. Thank you for those - it does look good. Now I must just wait for D&P to see my photos.
  20. Would the 50mm F1.4 AF-S retain full functionality on a Nikon F100?
  21. Yes George - it will be 100% compatable.
  22. Uhmmm! interesting!
    You know what!? I like this. I can see samples of what other people can do with the lenses or even cameras. I know people like Thom and Bjorn (sorry if spelled your name wrong) work very hard to bring us their reports and reviews but I am not very smart, (my fault or maybe mom's fault) and when I see all the graphs and comparisons to lenses than I don't have, well, I just get confused! I just wish I was smarter!
    But this, I see normal shots and can actually visualize what the lens can do. Gives me a very good idea to what it can be achieved!
    My own opinion: I don't think Nikon would downgrade a lens. I am sure if it is new it must be better. Price? Uhmm! well, you get what you pay for. You want the best and the newest you have to pay the price.

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