Nikon 50mm 1.2 AI-S lens/bokeh King

It’s all about the lens character.





By: Smari S Smarason

 

This is a high-performance lens and is still a production lens from Nikkor.

Sometimes I think sharpness is not the most important factor when comparing lenses wide open, there is something else, and I think it’s all about the beautiful dreamy softness bokeh wide open and that special character that this lens has.

Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AI-S
Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AI-S

Advantages of this lens

Maximum aperture f/1.2 and Minimum aperture f/16

@f/1.2. you can capture images with shallow depth-of-field that lets you isolate subjects from the background.

This lens is Manual focus lens with very nice – smooth rotation on the focusing ring from closest focus to the infinity.

This is a good lens for video shooters, the lens is very sharp in low light and the focusing ring is perfect for this lens.

The lens has a lot of vignetting Wide open, but it can look good in some cases and is one of the lens charms, and the Bokeh turns into a nana-con shape when the lens is stopped down.

When you stopped the lens down to f/2 the vignetting almost disappear and this lens becomes very sharp with great bokeh.

Nikon 50mm f/1.2 is the sharpest of all Nikon 50mm lenses from f/2 to f/5.6.

This 1.2 lens is nothing but steel and glass with focus ring made of rubber.

Nikon 50mm 1.2 AI-S
Nikon 50mm 1.2 AI-S
Nikon 50mm 1.2 AI-S
Nikon 50mm 1.2 AI-S
Nikon 50mm 1.2 AI-S
Nikon 50mm 1.2 AI-S
Nikon 50mm 1.2 AI-S
Nikon 50mm 1.2 AI-S

What I was most afraid of when I bought this lens was how easily can I get sharp focus Wide open because of the shallow depth-of-field on f/1.2, well it turned out to be much easier than I thought.

Nikon is still selling this lens new on Amazon.


Nikon 50mm 1.2 AI-S…..T stop lens test.

Nikon 50mm 1.4 AI lens on the left Nikon 50mm 1.2 on the right
Nikon 50mm 1.4 AI lens on the left Nikon 50mm 1.2 on the right
T stop is the light that is outputted from the back of the lens.

Transmission – T stop

Nikkor f/1.2 AI-S – T stop 1.2

Disadvantages of this lens (in my opinion)

Manual focusing on a moving object is not gonna help you get the job done with this manual focus lens, you will miss a lot of shots, so you are not going to use this lens for professional work were you need to be following kids or pets around were everything needs to be in sharp focus, but this lens is the most fun lens to use for your private work.

Manual focusing is not a problem for landscape photographers or still life photography manual focusing actually make things much easier.

Bokeh Test

Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/1.2
Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/1.2   
50mm 1.2 @ f/2.0
Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/2.0

Somehow the Nikon 50mm 1.4G renders a little bit bigger bokeh effects like the ones down below then the Nikon 50mm f/1.2 lens, I guess that has something to do with the focusing distance of both lenses.

Bokeh Test Nikon50mm f/1.2 vs Nikon 50mm 1.4G Wide open
Bokeh Test Nikon50mm f/1.2 vs Nikon 50mm 1.4G Wide open
Bokeh Test Nikon 50mm f/1.2 vs 50mm 1.4G on f/2
Bokeh Test Nikon 50mm f/1.2 vs 50mm 1.4G on f/2
Nikon D810 - Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/1.2 - ISO 110 - 1/100 sec
Nikon D810 – Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AI-S @ f/1.2 – ISO 110 – 1/100 sec
Nikon D810 - Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AI-S @ f/1.2 - ISO 100 - 1/100 sec
Nikon D810 – Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AI-S @ f/1.2 – ISO 100 – 1/100 sec
Nikon D810 – Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/1.2 – ISO 64 – 1/5000 sec
Nikon D810 – Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/1.2 – ISO 64 – 1/5000 sec

Portrait

To own this lens is like having two lenses, one lens is on aperture f/1.2 to f/1.4 that lens is all soft glow and dreamy bokeh, and the other lens is from f/2 and down, that lens is all sharp with a lot of contrast.

Nikon D810 50mm 1.2 AI-S @ f/1.2 ISO 100 1/5000 sec
Nikon D810 50mm 1.2 AI-S @ f/1.2 ISO 100 1/5000 sec
Nikon D810 50mm 1.2 AI-S @ f/2.0 ISO 100 1/5000 sec
Nikon D810 50mm 1.2 AI-S @ f/2.0 ISO 100 1/5000 sec
Nikon D810 - Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AIS @ f/1.2 - ISO 200 - 1/250s
Nikon D810 – Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AIS @ f/1.2 – ISO 200 – 1/250s

Is there a difference between soft images or out of focus images, yes there is, the Nikon 50mm f/1.2 lens it’s all about beautiful creamy softness wide open and not all lenses can do that.

Sometimes the pictures can look like it’s not in focus when shooting wide open because of the shallow depth-of-field on f/1.2.

Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/1.2
Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/1.2
Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/1.2
Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/1.2
Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/1.2
Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/1.2

long exposure

This lens is, in my opinion, is one of the best lens that I have tested for long exposure photography

the images are so crispy clean and sharp, especially around f/5.6 to f/11.

 The 50mm 1.2 AIS lens has 9 straight diaphragm blades, but in the older 50mm 1.4 D lens have only 7 diaphragm blades, that means, for example, Starburst in long exposure photography is gonna be 18 stars on the 50mm 1.2 AIS and only 14 stars on 50mm 1.4D.

Nikon D7000 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/8.0 - 30.0 sec ISO 100
Nikon D7000 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/8.0 – 30.0 sec ISO 100
Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/4.0 - 8s.
Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/4.0 – 8s.

On the images below there was a neon sign on a building behind me and that’s why the colors are like that.

Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/8.0 - 6s
Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/8.0 – 6s
The images below is taken with Nikon D810 / Nikkor f/1.2 lens @ f/2.8
Nikon D810 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 @ f/2.8

Conclusion and recommendation

This lens is my favorite when it comes to still life and landscape photography – long exposure and low light shooting, but when it come to professional photo work I like to use the Nikon 50mm 1.4G lens and mainly for the AF-S.

when you hold this lens you can feel the build quality is fantastic. This lens is freaking sharp and one day I’m gonna compare this lens with Sigma 50mm art lens.

You might also like

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

Nikon 50mm 1.4D lens review

Nikon 50mm 1.8G lens review

Nikon 50mm 1.8D lens review

Nikon 20mm 1.8G lens review