Nikkor 50mm AF-S f/1.4G
The Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G is an update of a classic standard lens designed for FX (full frame, 135 format) cameras. The question is, with the 50mm f/1.8D costing only $125 US, is the 50mm f/1.4G worth a $325 US premium?
Build and Handling
The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens is a moderately priced prime. The build quality is acceptable, but not particularly great considering the cost of the lens. It feels about the same as the new Nikon 35mm f/1.8G for DX. It has a metal mount with plastic outer barrel. The included hood is nice and deep to prevent stray light from hitting the lens and it offers a lot of protection.
The lens uses an SWM focus motor, so it can be used on the handicapped bodies that don’t offer screw drive. The focus ring is acceptable for manual focus. It has a clear plastic cover over the distance scale like the more expensive Nikkors, and it has about 2:1 gear reduction so 1/2 turn of the focus ring would turn the focus mechanism 1/4 turn. This helps with precision.
The aperture has 9 curved blades, so even stopped down out of focus specular highlights appear as near circles. Being a G lens it lacks an aperture ring.
The lens is a 8 element, 7 group design, with a minimum focus distance of 0.45m (1.5 ft). The filter threads are 58mm and the lens is a moderate 280g (9.9 oz).
So how does this lens perform on a full frame camera vs the 50mm f/1.8D? Open the 50/1.8 link in a new tab or window and read the next page to find out.