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Thread: Nikkor AF-D 50 f1.8 Mini-Review

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    Member Calxoddity's Avatar
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    Nikkor AF-D 50 f1.8 Mini-Review

    Hi,
    I was looking for a "nifty fifty" for my Nikon D40, and had extreme difficulty getting over the asking price of the Nikkor AF-S 50 f1.4 and Sigma 50 f.14 HSM lenses. So, for less than a third of the asking price of those lenses, I bought the Nikkor AF-D 50 f1.8.

    After using the Sigma 17-70 HSM and even the kit Nikkor 18-55 non-VR, this lens is tiny. The outside diameter of the 1.8 is less that the filter diameter of the Sigma...

    Construction is high-grade plastic with a metal mounting ring. The front element of the lens is well recessed - about 1.5cm, so I've decided to run it without a filter. Handling is very smooth and light, with the focus ring being very progressive. There's an aperture ring with a little aperture lock slide that you engage to make it work with auto cameras. Otherwise, very simple and clean - not much to see at all.

    Focus Ring??? O noes! The AF-D lens doesn't have a motor in it! You'll have to focus manually! Luckily for me I still have thumbs and fingers on my left hand, so I proceeded to use the focus ring, mk1 eyeball, and the little green focus dot in the viewfinder of the D40 to take pikkies.

    Whilst this is supposed to be the lens for low light and portraits, the test photos below were taken down at North Wollongong beach at lunchtime today (this is NEF straight out of the camera with no sharpening or modification of any kind):

    First Photo: North Wollongong beach from Flagstaff Hill reserve. 1/1250sec @ F8-ish

    Second Photo: 100% (maybe 110%) crop of the surf skis and people in centre of shot. (EDIT: just checked again and it's 120% - my exporting needs some work!!).

    Third Photo: 200% crop of the group around the jetski in the upper left of the photo (it was supposed to be a 100% crop but I got carried away).

    For $200 it was a bargain - am very happy with the result. The lack of auto-focus is a non-issue, but I have been caught out by the much narrower depth of field at wide-open (nose in focus, eyes not etc). That's more an issue of me learning how to best use it though.

    If I can get one of the cats to stay still for long enough, I may be able to test the portrait aspect of it....

    Regards,
    Calx
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    Last edited by Calxoddity; 05-03-2009 at 2:50pm. Reason: captions in wrong order...
    Calxoddity
    Concert Pianist, Test Pilot, Pathological Liar


    Nikon D40, Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4.5 HSM, Nikkor AF-D 50mm f1.8
    Post Processing: Aperture 3 & Photoshop Elements 6

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    Kitteh Pikkeh - Nikkor 50 Review Update

    Hi,
    Sorry for the delay, work got in the way of life again. Without further ado, here's a photo of my model Nikkie, taken in low light from close up, using the Nikkor AF-D 50 f1.8 at around 1/100 second and f5.0.
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    Yeah the 'nifty fifty' has great IQ for the price. Your 100% crop in the OP looks a bit soft to me, though the full frame image looks fine. It's a great portrait lens on a DX body. Used mine alot on the D70s.

    Cheers
    Leigh

    D70s, 1/125, f4
    Nikon D600, 24-70, 300 VR1 2.8, Tamron 60 f2 macro + Kenko tubes. SB800.



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    It's a nice lens to take to the park

    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    Nice shots! I think your model may have been just a fraction more manageable than mine??

    You're not wrong about the crop shot - I screwed up on that and the 100% crop and the crop is more like around 130% I think. Here it is again... this time at 100%! (I could blame Aperture, but it was my setting of the export ratio that was at fault)

    Regards,
    Calx
    PS - oooh! Just noticed - I've just cracked the ton for postings. "My photos are going to look so much better now" he says as he watches +3 aura of competency descend unto his brow...
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    Last edited by Calxoddity; 18-03-2009 at 3:59pm. Reason: more words

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    Ok that 100% crop looks more like it

    Cheers
    Leigh

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    It's a nice lens to take to the park

    i love this photo, did you use Photoshop or not to change the tone?

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    Thanks, I actually used LR to do this, a high key colour punch preset

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    Hi, First day on this forum and what did I find. A thread about the lens I was thinking about buying and great snaps of the beach I lived on (Cliff Drive). Shame you couldn't get the old canons in the forground, but then the sharpness of the beach would be lost. You sold me on the lens, I will order one tonight for my D90 ; @ $119 delivered- it's a steal.

    Regards Mark

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