Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4 AI-s (FX, DX and 35mm coverage, metal 52mm filter thread, 8.8 oz./249g, 1.5'/0.45 m close focus, about $150 used or $470 new). enlarge. My biggest source of support is when you use any of these links, especially this link to them new at Adorama or new at B&H, or this link directly to them used at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Please always use these links when getting any of your gear so I can continue to share what I know. It helps me keep adding to this free website when you get yours through these links — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you buy elsewhere. Thanks for your support! Ken.
50mm f/1.4 G (2008-today)
50mm f/1.4 AI (1977-1981)
50mm f/1.4 NIKKOR-S AUTO (1966-1974)
58mm f/1.4 F (1959-1962)
The Three Stacks, Morro Bay, 4:54 PM, 12 April 2013. bigger. (1977 Nikon EL2, 1983 Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AI-s, Nikon A2 (81A) filter, Fuji Velvia 50, process and scan at NCPS, split-toned print, Perfectly Clear.)
This is Nikon's classic 50mm f/1.4 manual-focus lens. It's almost identical to the previous 50mm f/1.4 AI (1977-1981). The 50mm f/1.4 NIKKOR-S AUTO (1966-1974) and 58mm f/1.4 F (1959-1962) are older, softer optics at large apertures.
THis classic manual focus lenses is marvelously sharp when stopped down a little, and still a competently performer wide-open.
The mostly plastic made-in-China 50mm f/1.4 G (2008-today) is a little sharper wide-open, but won't work on most classic 35mm Nikons, and has more distortion.
This manual-focus Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AI-s works great with most Nikon cameras, 35mm and digital.
On the D4, D800, D800E, D600, D3X, D3s, D3, D7100, D7000, D700, D300, D200, D2 and F6, use the "Non-CPU Lens Data" menu option to set 50mm and f/1.4 to get full color matrix metering, EXIF data and finder read-out of set aperture. It works great in aperture-preferred as well as manual modes on these cameras.
The meters of cheaper digital (D90, D5100 and below) and cheaper film cameras (N80 and below) will not couple (or work at all) with this lens, so you'll be on your own guessing exposure using the rear LCD or an external meter, or get a tiny Gossen Digisix meter and hot shoe adapter, or the free Pocket Light Meter app to meter manually.
See Nikon Lens Compatibility for details on your camera. Read down the "AI, AI-s" column for this lens.
Nikon calls this the Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4 AI-s.
7 elements in 6 groups.
Common modified double-Gauss design.
It's multicoated on all air-to-glass surface, which Nikon calls Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC/NIC).
Front, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 at f/5.6.
7 straight blades.
Stops down to f/16.
Aperture Ring top
Close Focus top
Maximum Reproduction Ratio top
Angle of View top
46° diagonal on FX and 35mm.
31.5° diagonal on small-format DX.
Focal Length top
On a small-format DX camera, this lens makes pictures that see an angle-of-view similar to what a 75mm lens would see on a full-frame camera.
Hard Infinity Focus Stop? top
This is great for astronomy; just turn to the stop and you have fixed laboratory-perfect focus all night.
Focus Scale top
Depth-of-Field Scale top
Yes, colored lines corresponding to the colored f/stops on the aperture ring.
Infra-Red Focus Index top
Yes: red dot in depth-of-field scale.
Filter Thread top
Does not rotate.
Nikon specifies 1.57" (40mm) extension from flange (1.99" or 50.5mm overall) by 2.48" (63mm) diameter.
8.780 oz. (248.9 g), measured.
Nikon specifies 8.8 oz. (250g).
HS-9 snap-in metal.
Made in Japan.
TC-200/201 and TC-14A.
It's softer from spherical aberration wide-open, and built like a tank for a lifetime of great pictures.
f/1.4: Spherical aberration lowers contrast. A lot of coma in the corners making them quite soft. Falloff.
f/2: Much better. Falloff much less.
f/2.8: Quite good, falloff and coma gone. Sharp all over.
It has the typical mild to moderate barrel distortion of all of Nikon's 50mm f/1.4 manual-focus lenses.
Plug these figures into Photoshop's lens distortion filter to correct the distortion. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires a lot of data collection and computation.
© 2013 KenRockwell.com
This is a great choice for any Nikon, especially all manual-focus 35mm Nikons.
If you've found all the time, effort and expense I put into researching and sharing all this, the biggest source of support for this free website is when you use any of these links, especially this link to them new at Adorama or this link directly to them used at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Please always use these links when getting any of your gear so I can continue to share what I know. It helps me keep adding to this free website when you get yours through these links — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you buy elsewhere. Thanks for your support! Ken.
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