AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D lens review




Advantages

Lens Specifications

Bokeh test

Portrait photography

long exposure photography

Disadvantages

Conclusion and recommendation

By: Smari S Smarason

 

Advantages

The AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D lens is a very reliable workhorse and sharp. This lens is probably better for video work then the 1.4G. The Tstop of  the Nikon 50mm 1.4D is – T 1.4 – so this lens does not lose any light, the sharpness is very good also, sharpest @ f/3.5 – f/5.6

Nikon 50mm f/1.4D Lens has 1.4 Tstop
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D Lens has 1.4 Tstop


 Lens Specifications

Maximum aperture f/1.4

Minimum aperture f/16

Lens construction 7 elements in 6 groups

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.

The 50mm focal length has long been considered ‘normal’ on full-frame / FX camera

50mm becomes equivalent to the perception of the naked eye, on a cropped-sensor camera / DX-camera, the 50mm becomes equivalent to 75mm on FX camera.

Nikon 50mm 1.4 D lens
Nikon 50mm 1.4D

 Bokeh test

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.

Nikon D810 50mm 1.4D @ f/1.4 - 1/500s - ISO 100
Nikon D810 50mm 1.4D @ f/1.4 – 1/500s – ISO 100
Nikon D7000 50mm 1.4D @ f/1.4 - 1/80s - ISO 200
Nikon D7000 50mm 1.4D @ f/1.4 – 1/80s – ISO 200
Nikon D7000 50mm 1.4D @ f/1.4 - 1/100s - ISO 200
Nikon D7000 50mm 1.4D @ f/1.4 – 1/100s – ISO 200

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1.4Gvs 1.4D f2

 Portrait photography.

I find this lens not as sharp on maximum aperture as the Nikon 1.4G, it’s a little bit on the softer side, the Nikon 50mm 1.4G has more sharpness – more contrast and smoother bokeh effect wide open.

Around f/3.2 the start to look alike.

But this is still a really good lens and if you get a chance to buy one for good price then buy it, this Nikon 50mm 1.4D was my very first 50mm prime lens before I bought all the others Nikon 50mm prime lenses, so this lens made me fall in love with 50mm primes.

Nikon D810 - Nikon 50mm 1.4D @ f/1.4 - ISO 100 - 1/8000 sec - HSS Flash
Nikon D810 – Nikon 50mm 1.4D @ f/1.4 – ISO 100 – 1/8000 sec – HSS Flash
Nikon D810 - Nikon 50mm 1.4D @ f/3.5 - ISO 100 - 1/2000 sec - HSS Flash
Nikon D810 – Nikon 50mm 1.4D @ f/3.5 – ISO 100 – 1/2000 sec – HSS Flash

long exposure photography

I found only one difference between the Nikon 1,4D and Nikon 1,4G lens, and that was doing long exposure photography, the difference is the starburst that appears on the street light, in my opinion, the starburst looks better on the D lenses.

star burst

Nikon D810 / 50mm 1.4 D @ f/8.0 - 13.0 sec ISO 100
Nikon D810 / 50mm 1.4 D @ f/8.0 – 13.0 sec ISO 100
CROP
CROP
Nikon 50mm 1.4G CROP
Nikon 50mm 1.4G CROP

Disadvantages

Nothing major in my opinion.

The lens will not auto-focus on Nikon camera bodies that do not have the mechanical auto-focusing screw, such as the D5000 and D3000 models when the 1.4 G-lens has Silent Wave Motor SWM / AF-S making it possible to use on entry-level Nikon DSLR like Nikon D3000 and D5000 models.

For auto-focus to work on this lens on all other cameras then the D5000 and D3000 models you need to set the aperture ring to f/16 and locked there.

Set aperture ring to f/16 and locked there
Set aperture ring to f/16 and locked there

When bought new, Nikon 50mm 1.4D lens does not come with lens hood, but Nikon 50mm 1.4G lens dose, you will need to buy lens hood for the Nikon 1.4 D and Nikon 1.8 D lens models

 

I always recommend using lens hood
I always recommend using lens hood

Conclusion and recommendation

This lens is a very reliable workhorse, very sharp just like Nikon 1.4G, this lens is probably better for video work then the Nikon 1.4G, DXOMark have measured the Tstop of this lens and it’s 1.4 so this lens does not lose any light, the sharpness is very good also.

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