Full review of the Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G and 1.4D vs 1.4G




Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G

The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Nikon 50mm lenses

By: Smari S Smarason

 

 

50mm lens on FX DSLR camera captures a scene with a perspective similar to the way we see the world, so the 50mm focal length is what we call normal, that’s not because other focal lengths are abnormal, because 50mm focal length captures the scene in front of your camera with a perspective that appears normal to our eye.

I compare the Nikon 50mm lenses 1.8D – 1.4D and 1.8G – 1.8G.

There are two popular questions that I have been asked about the Nikon 50mm D lens vs G lens.

The question no 1. Can I use this lens on my camera?

The Nikon 50mm G lenses have Silent Wave Motor SWM / AF-S making it possible to use and auto-focus on entry-level Nikon DSLR like D3000 and D5000 models, basically on all Nikon cameras, even on many older Nikon 35mm film camera.

VS

The Nikon 50mm D lenses do not have a built-in auto-focus motor, that means this lens can only use manual-focus on entry-level cameras such as the D3000 and D5000, series, so if you have D3000 D3100 D3200 D3300 D3400 or D5000 D5100 D5200 D5300 D5500 D5600 you will not have auto-focus with D lenses in general.

The question no 2. Is 50mm focal length good for portrait photography?

50mm lens is fine for group shots, half-length and ¾-length pose on an FX camera.

I recommend 85mm to 135mm focal length for portraiture on both FX and DX camera.

it’s best to use lenses from 85mm to 135mm for regular portraits, the produces a good image without perspective distortion, so medium telephoto in the range of 85mm to 135mm is fine for head-and-shoulder and tight headshots.

It’s best to have a variety of focal lengths.

Click on this links below to read about these lenses in a separate article.

Nikon AF-S 50mm 1.4G

Nikon AF-S 50mm 1.8G

Nikon AF 50mm 1.4D

Nikon AF 50mm 1.8D

Click on the link below if you want to go straight to images test.

 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G image test


Nikon 50mm 1.8D

Nikon 50mm 1.8 D Review
Nikon 50mm 1.8 D Review

This is Probably the cheapest lens available.

Lens Specifications

50mm f/1.8D Portable normal lens.

Maximum aperture f/1.8 – Minimum aperture f/22.

Lens construction 6 elements in 5 groups.

Distortion 0.1%.

This lens has Super Integrated Coating (SIC) for providing high-contrast image even with maximum aperture.

Closest focusing distance 45 cm/1.48 ft.

No. of diaphragm blades 7

The no of diaphragm blades means, for example, the 1.8D lens have heptagon-shaped bokeh effects and Starburst in long exposure photography is gonna be 14 stars on the 1.8D.

Filter/attachment size 52mm.

Weight Approximately 155 g/5.5 oz.

This lens does not have a built-in auto-focus motor so that means that this lens can only use manual focus on entry-level cameras such as the D3000 and D5000 models.

I know you will have auto-focus using this lens on Nikon D7000, D7100, D7200 and all fx Nikon cameras but remember, for auto-focus to work on your camera with this lens you need to set the aperture ring to f/22 and locked there.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G

There is no Aspherical lens element to eliminate the problem of coma and other types of lens aberration – when used at the widest aperture.

Lens flare is probably the only downside with this lens when it comes to image quality from Maximum aperture f/1.8 to f/3.2, on lower aperture then 3.2 you are almost free from flare.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D is probably the cheapest lens available.

Great bokeh effects – Small and light lens.

Good sharpness @ aperture f/3.2 to f/8.0

perfect for long exposure photography.

To minimize flare you should always use a lens hood with this lens.

Nikon 50mm f/1.4 D

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon 50mm 1.4D

Maximum aperture f/1.4  Great bokeh effects.

@f/1.4. you can capture images with shallow depth-of-field that lets you isolate subjects from the background.

 Lens Specifications

Maximum aperture f/1.4

Minimum aperture f/16

Lens construction 7 elements in 6 groups

Distortion 0.4%.

Closest focusing distance 45 cm/1.5 ft.

No. of diaphragm blades 7

Weight Approximately 230g/8.1 oz.

This is the older Nikon 50mm f/1.4 D model introduced in 1986.

This lens does not have a built-in auto-focus motor so that means that this lens can only use manual focus on entry-level cameras such as the D3000 and D5000 models.

I know you will have auto-focus using this lens on Nikon D7000, D7100, D7200 and all fx Nikon cameras but remember, for auto-focus to work on your camera with this lens you need to set the aperture ring to f/22 and locked there.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon 50mm 1.8G

The  Nikkor AF-S 50mm f1.8G is one of the best Nikon’s 50mm prime lens in my opinion.

 I can easily take the picture @ Maximum aperture f/1.8 and get sharp and contrast images.

This lens is well balanced for colors contrast and minimum flare.

Lens Specifications

Focal length Nikon 50mm f1.8G

Maximum aperture f/1.8

Minimum aperture f/16

Lens construction 7 elements in 6 groups with one aspherical lens element.

Distortion 0.4%.

Minimum focus distance 45 cm/1.48 ft

No. of diaphragm blades 7 rounded

Filter-attachment size 58mm

Weight Approximately 185 g/6.6 oz

The Nikon 50mm 1.8G lens have Silent Wave Motor SWM / AF-S making it possible to use on entry-level Nikon DSLR like D3000 and D5000 models.

Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon 50mm 1.4G

The Nikon AF-S 50mm f1.4G is a very reliable workhorse, very sharp and quick to focus.

When I’m doing professional work that requires 50mm lens I always pick up this lens.

Lens Specifications

Nikon 50mm f/1.4G single-focal-length lens with normal picture angle

Maximum aperture f/1.4 – Minimum aperture f/16.

Lens construction is 8 elements in 7 groups when the older Nikon 50mm f/1.4D lens has 7 elements in 6 groups.

Distortion 0.5%

The No. of diaphragm blades in the Nikon50mm 1.4 G lens is 9 and all rounded, in the older Nikon 50mm 1.4 D lens it’s only 7 diaphragm blades and none rounded, that means for example, Starburst in long exposure photography is gonna be 18 stars on the Nikon 50mm 1.4G and only 14 stars on Nikon 50mm 1.4D, all rounded means The Nikon 50mm 1.4G lens have almost circular bokeh effects on all apertures and the Nikon50mm 1.4D lens have heptagon-shaped bokeh effects.

Closest focusing distance 45 cm/1.5 ft.

Filter/attachment size 58mm.

Weight Approx. 280 g/9.9 oz.

The Bokeh on this lens is really good thanks to 9 rounded diaphragm blades, other Nikon 50mm lens has 9 diaphragm blades, the Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AIS.

 The 1.4 G lens has Silent Wave Motor SWM / AF-S making it possible to use on entry-level Nikon DSLR like D3000 and D5000 models.

This is a high-quality lens for professional photographers.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G image test.


Lens flare is, in my opinion, the biggest difference between these lenses on maximum aperture – wide open.

This pictures sample down below is one-quarter crop from a lower left corner of an image from each lens, the pictures were all taken with the lenses wide open and without a lens hood, in my opinion, the Nikon 50mm 1.4G lens is doing the best job.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G

Lens flare test

Lens flare is the light scattered in the lens mechanisms, usually unwanted

but, lens flare can also be useful because it adds a sense of realism in images or video, meaning that the image is a non-edited original photograph of a real-life scene, so it is more up to you what you want or needs.

All lenses suffer from some imperfections especially old cheap lenses.

Almost all modern lenses are coated to minimize flare so when you use some of the old lenses you should always use a lens hood, a lens hood will help eliminates flare if the bright light is slightly off to the side, it won’t help if the light is directly in front of you.

Here, I put my subject between me and the sun, I did not use any lens hood here, and the sun is very low and to the right.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 / 1.8 D lens @ f/1.8
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 / 1.8 G lens @ f/1.8
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 / 1.4 G lens @ f/1.8
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 / 1.4 D lens @ f/1.8
Lensflare
Nikon D810 /1.8 D lens @ f/1.8
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 / 1.8 G lens @ f/1.8
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 / 1.4 G lens @ f/1.8
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 / 1.4 D lens @ f/1.8

1.8 D vs 1.8 G sun flare test.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 /1.8 D lens @ f/2.8
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 /1.8 D lens @ f/1.8
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 / 1.8 G lens @ f/1.8

Sharpness and Bokeh

In the Photographic world, all lenses used properly have sharpness.

Sharpness in lens performance is usually overrated and you need to find your own way and see what is good for you.

Personally, I think the Nikon 50mm 1.4G lens is the sharpest of these lenses and the Nikon 50mm 1.8G close behind.

The first image below has sun flare and low contrast flare on the right side.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 AF 50mm 1.8D @ f/1.8 – 1/5000 – ISO 100 – HSS Flash

The images below have high contrast and no flare.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 AF 50mm 1.8G @ f/1.8 – 1/5000 – ISO 100 – HSS Flash

The images below show a perfect separation from my subject and the background, good sharpness – good contrast and smoother bokeh.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 AF 50mm 1.4G @ f/1.4 – 1/8000 – ISO 100 – HSS Flash

The D lenses are usually less sharp on the focusing area when used wide open than the G lenses.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 AF 50mm 1.4D @ f/1.4 – 1/8000 – ISO 100 – HSS Flash

  long exposure photography.

There is only one thing I found differences between the D-G lenses in long exposure photography and that is the starburst light that appears on the street light, in my opinion, the starburst looks better on the D lenses.

The no of diaphragm blades is 7 – means, for example, the 1.8D lens have heptagon-shaped bokeh effects and Starburst in long exposure photography is gonna be 14 stars on the 1.8D.

The 50mm 1,8D lens really shines in long exposure photography, I find this lens do a much better job than all the other Nikon 50mm prime lenses, I find this lens to be very sharp @ f/5.6, also the starburst is more pleasing than on the G lenses.

Picture is taken in Sønderborg Danmark.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 – 50mm 1.8D lens @ f/8.0 – 13 sec – ISO 100

The number of diaphragm blades is 7 – means, for example, the 1.8D lens have heptagon-shaped bokeh effects and Starburst in long exposure photography is gonna be 14 stars on the 1.8D.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Crop from the picture above 1.8D lens
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 50mm 1.4D @ f/8.0 – 13 sec – ISO 100

The no of diaphragm blades is 7 – means, for example, the 1.4D lens have heptagon-shaped bokeh effects and Starburst in long exposure photography is gonna be 14 stars on the 1.4D.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Crop from the picture above 1.4 D lens
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 50mm 1.8G @ f/8.0 – 13 sec – ISO 100

The no of diaphragm blades is 7 – means, for example, the Nikon 50mm1.8G lens have almost circular bokeh effects on all apertures. and Starburst in long exposure photography is gonna be 14 stars on the Nikon 50mm 1.8G.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Crop from the picture above 1.8 G-lens
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Nikon D810 50mm 1.4G @ f/8.0 – 13 sec – ISO 100

The no of diaphragm blades is 9 – means, for example, the Nikon 50mm1.4G lens have almost circular bokeh effects on all apertures. and Starburst in long exposure photography is gonna be 18 stars on the Nikon 50mm 1.4G.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Crop from the picture a above 1.4 G lens
Bokeh test.

The Bokeh effect like the one you see on the images down below is bigger and smoother on the Nikon 1.4G.

Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Bokeh Test 50mm 1.4G vs 50mm 1.4D Wide open
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Bokeh Test 50mm 1.4G vs 50mm 1.4D on f/2
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Bokeh Test 50mm 1.4G vs 50mm 1.8G Wide open
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Bokeh Test 50mm 1.8G vs 50mm 1.8D Wide open
Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs 1.8G vs 1.4D vs 1.4G
Bokeh Test 50mm 1.8G vs 50mm 1.8D on f/2

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