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Thread: Nikon's new AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Nikon's new AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G

    Little brother to the 50/1.4 G, bigger sister to the 35/1.8Dx lens.. whichever way you want to look at it, it was inevitable and .. well .. late(in coming).

    it seems that someone at Nikon's marketing/advertising department stuffed up tho, as they displayed it on their lens list microsite, and then immediately pulled it!

    A few sources seem to have captured the news before the takedown, so HERE'S the info on the lens on the DPR captured info.

    Another lens I'd be interested in having if it comes in at a good price($200 or less).

    Being AF-S of course it will auto focus on all those millions of cheap compact D40's - D5100's out there in the wild.

    anyhow.. some info for those that can never have enough info to digest!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Another lens I'd be interested in having if it comes in at a good price($200 or less).
    Not a chance. The current AF-D lens sells locally for around $199 retail (I know you can get it for less). Going by how Nikon have priced new lenses with similar spec to old AF-D lenses, I would expect no change from $299.

    As I already have the 50mm f/1.8 AF-D and I have just ordered a Tamron 60mm f/2 macro, I cannot see this one making it into my kit bag. An AF-S version of the 24 or 28mm f/2.8 lenses would be nice and well overdue.

    Anyway, for those that don't have the 50mm range covered, the new AF-S lens would be a good choice as a short portrait lens on a cropped sensor camera.
    Cheers

    PeterB666


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    I think the ´mechanics´ of the 50/1.8 D lens would make it more expensive to manufacture.
    Aperture rings and associated parts and paraphenalia that ar4e required to assemble the body on the production line must surely make it more expensive to produce than a modern counterpart.. so there is still hope, even if not in the immediate future, that one day this lens will be as cheap as the current lens itś supposed to replace.
    Last edited by arthurking83; 16-04-2011 at 8:14pm.

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Little brother to the 50/1.4 G, bigger sister to the 35/1.8Dx lens..
    You pinched that intro from Ken Rockwell, didn't you?

    This is the little brother of the 50mm f/1.4 AF-S, and the FX big-brother of the 35mm f/1.8 DX.
    All constructive criticism accepted with gratitude.


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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I think the ´mechanics´ of the 50/1.8 D lens would make it more expensive to manufacture.
    Aperture rings and associated parts and paraphenalia that ar4e required to assemble the body on the production line must surely make it more expensive to produce than a modern counterpart.. so there is still hope, even if not in the immediate future, that one day this lens will be as cheap as the current lens itś supposed to replace.
    There may be a couple of pieces of plastic less but don't forget the current lens was released a decade ago and optically it is the same as the first 50mm f/1.8 AF lens of 25 years ago and that explains its low cost. There is no need for a further return on investment in the pricing.

    So the new lens has a couple of pieces of plastic less and an AF screw. On the other hand, the new lens has an extra element (an aspherical) and a "Silent Wave Autofocus Motor". I doubt that manufacturing costs will be vastly different - both will be relatively cheap lenses.

    I would expect the new lens to be a little sharper wide open but there is nothing wrong with the old one in that regard. There are a few disappointments in the new lens but this is in keeping with other recent Nikon lenses.

    Depth of field scale is left at a token marking for f/16. It also appears the focus ring rotation is somewhat reduced which may make manual focussing a little more difficult. I must admit that I am not a big fan of burying the rather rudimentary focus scale behind a piece of plastic. I tend to use manual focussing in poor light and this just adds to the inconvenience.

    The use of a 58mm filter is bizarre for Nikon. The old standard was 52, 62, 72 and newer lenses 67 and 77. What’s going on here? The lens isn’t exactly compact and the front element is deeply recessed. You could have reduced the overall length and got away with a 52mm thread. You should be able to make a 50mm lens substantially more compact than a 35mm lens of a similar aperture. The lens diameter is given as 72mm so a 67mm thread would have made sense. It would also match the mid-priced standard zooms like the 18-105mm lens.

    Anyway, the bottom line will be how good a lens this will be and at what price. There will no doubt be a long queue of buyers.

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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    You pinched that intro from Ken Rockwell, didn't you?
    There is a significant gender difference. BTW, how do you determine the gender of a lens?

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    Quote Originally Posted by peterb666 View Post
    ..... I doubt that manufacturing costs will be vastly different - both will be relatively cheap lenses....
    I think I remember reading that the manufacturing process for non G lenses is more expensive. The tooling required adds a bit to it the mechanism is fiddly and removing it all helps to increase manufacturing output(which usually means higher output at the same base cost(of manufacturing, not parts). Aspherics are common as much nowadays and it's most likely to be plastic moulded anyhow.
    The size of the filter is the same as the 1.4 G lens, so I can understand the rational behind this decision. The 50mm's seem to have always had their own filter size anyhow, and distinct from most other lenses, so maybe Nikon feel that owners of the /1.4 will also own the /1.8 version too!

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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    The tooling for aperture ring lenses like the existing 50mm f/1.8 was paid for a decade ago. As Nikon haven't designed a new non-G lens for a long time and are unlikely to ever do so again, I don't think that it ever came into consideration that the next 50mm f/1.8 would be anything other than a G lens.

    I seem to recall the original asphericial Nikkon lenses were plastic lenses. I don't know if there has been any change there. I have no issue with apherical lenses. The claim is that they give a sharper image wide open. Long gone are the days when Nikon hand-finished lenses using craftsmen wearing white gloves. I would expect that modern computerised lens design results in much better lenses.

    As for filter size, having used Nikon SLRs and now dSLRs since the mid 1970s, all the 50mm lenses came with 52mm threads including the 50mm f/1.2. I just think Nikon have lost the plot on standardisation in filter sizes. It use to be something they had as a virtue.
    Last edited by peterb666; 17-04-2011 at 9:47am.

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    I'm just wondering if MOST people are going to benefit from this new lens rather than spend what is probably only a little bit more for the AF 50mm 1.4D which from all accounts is a brilliant lens. Maybe those with bodies that don't have AF motors, but the rest of us......??

    Maybe there is something more I am missing.

    Just thinking out loud.
    Have: Nikon D90; Tamron 17-50mm 2.8; Tokina 50-135mm 2.8; Tamron 18-270 'alphabet' lens; Nikkor 50mm 1.8; 1x Nikon SB-600; 3x Yongnuo YN560 flash, 1x Yongnuo YN465 flash.

    Want: Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro;

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    the MTF charts looked good! i might get one since the charts indicate pretty good performance wide open

    given the price of the 35/1.8 at the moment, i'm expecting $350-450 AUS retail and $300-400 grey import. don't forget the aspherical element.
    it will have a proper rear lens cap, bayonet hood, fabric pouch, so it will not be the cheap as chips 50/1.8D, which will justify the higher asking price.
    Thanks,
    Nam

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    Quote Originally Posted by abitfishy View Post
    I'm just wondering if MOST people are going to benefit from this new lens rather than spend what is probably only a little bit more for the AF 50mm 1.4D which from all accounts is a brilliant lens.....
    I think it's more about cost reduction on a manufacturing scale.

    I highly doubt that this new lens will use a proper ring type SWM, and is more than likely going to use a micromotor type AF-S system which is apparently cheap enough to use on a '$100' consumer kit lens.
    SWM doesn't by default always mean expensive ring type focusing motors... as the very expensive 35/1.4 lens has recently shown(which uses a micromotor, not ring type ultrasonic motor)!

    Nikon really needs to update all of it's screw driven lenses, as they would surely be more difficult and therefore costly to produce to maintain a specific level of tolerances.
    The screw driven system itself would have mechanical tolerances inherent which would show up as focusing inaccuracies in the lens.
    A purely electronic system of focusing really only needs a firmware alteration in the lenses CPU to effect any inaccurate focusing.

    It's simply a modernisation of production with a hint of updated physics, which should give an overall increase in ability(of the lens).. hopefully.

    Either way, I'm just looking forward to the day that the final screw driven AF lens coming rolling off the Nikon production line.
    It must be noted tho that I hate screw driven AF lenses due to their inherent inability for full time manual override.

    While the 50/1.4 and indeed the 50/1.8 D lenses may well be brilliant, is there any harm in making them even more brilliant?

    NAM, I don't think Au retail prices are really indicative of the real retail price of the lens. As per usual we all expect typically high initial pricing, with a gradual decline as the 'hype' settles down and the real price will eventually reveal itself. That seems to take anywhere between 9 months to about a year.

    If Nikon have any plans to modernise all of their non upper end bodies to remove the screw driven system(and that would include any body up to and including the Dxxx series) they at least need to be in a position where all of their current AF lens lineup is AF-S only, and no screw driven lenses exist. Otherwise marketing would be a nightmare!
    They have every reason to see this as a future development for their DSLR range(in a few generations from now) ... apart from the need for backward compatibility, the screw driven system is not vital for good AF performance(as evidenced by almost all ring type SWM lenses).
    Removing the screw drive from the body makes for smaller and lighter bodies or more room for longer life batteries, or alternatively more features placed where the screw drive motor once resided.. (GPS?.. Bluetooth, or other wireless modules.. etc, etc)

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    The 50mm 1.4G has dissappeared from the Nikon site anyways. Seems like premature internet marketing
    NIGH -KON

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    Quote Originally Posted by rogklee View Post
    The 50mm 1.4G has dissappeared from the Nikon site anyways. ....
    typo?

    50/1.4 G is still on the Nikon site.

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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    Worse still, the 50mm f/1.2 manual focus lens has been dropped from the Australian web site.

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    Member nightbringer's Avatar
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    I would be interested in one ... I was considering the 1.8D version before, but at that time I didn't really want to have to use manual focus since my D3100 lacked the screw motor.
    It'd serve double duty for me, both on DX and FX.

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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    The 50mm f/1.8 AF-S was officially announced today with an expected US price of USD219.95. It hasn't found its way onto the Australian Nikon site yet. Expected to appear on US shelves around 16 June 2011.
    Last edited by peterb666; 27-04-2011 at 2:35pm.

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    cool! @ $219(which converts to very close too $200 ATM, as the current exchange rate applies ) this lens seems to be just the ticket .. along with a 35/1.8 just for kicks!

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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    I wouldn't expect that price for Australian stock. Compared to the US pricing of the old 50mm f/1.8, it appears to be around a 50% premium over the old lens.

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    LOL! on the Aussie retail price What's the bet it'll come in at $299, just so that they can then offer discounts in a few months.... such as $50 cash back offer, or $249 reduced from $299 and other such BS marketing tatics

    Once the price settles a little in the US, and the 'street price' stabilises to an acceptable level, grey retailers will be offering it for under $200 locally.

    It was always going to come in at a premium over the old lens in the beginning, all new lenses do.. The price in a years time(or two) will be the true indication of price difference between the two.

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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    Ha ha - Isn't that what I said in post #2 in this thread but someone kept insiting that this new lens would be cheaper than the old one.

    We all know about marketing and prices. D7000 Déjà vu.

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