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50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D

11 August 2009
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Once again, we might treat our comparison as a match and grant two points for a win and one for a draw in each category. The old Nikkor-S can boast of a better build quality, better chromatic aberration, coma and astigmatism correction. The new lens gives us better resolution, lower vignetting; it works better against the bright light and has better transmission results. In the distortion and focusing categories there was a draw. The final result, then, ends also in a 8:8 draw.

The result is very interesting and it shows that the good build quality of a lens does matter and the plastics overuse in a barrel can have bad effects for the lens’s optics. The new Nikkor already has serious coma and astigmatism problems and those off-axis aberrations like “exploding” when the optic elements are misplaced. If we wanted to get a fair result , we should have used both lenses in the same condition for 40 years and then conducted such a test. I am pretty sure that the Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8 D would have serious troubles to defend the same draw.

While we are about it, I wouldn’t get cross at all if, at the present, the Nikon company launched on the market a small f/2.0 50mm lens with a “screwdriver” based autofocus system, a metal-only barrel but with modern optics and coatings. Actually, I would be one of the firsts in the queue to buy it.


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Sample shots taken with Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2.0:

50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/4000 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 7.6 MB
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/1600 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 8.4 MB
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/800 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 8.5 MB
50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/5000 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 8.7 MB
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/6400 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 7.1 MB
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/4000 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 8.1 MB
50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.0, exp. 10 sec., ISO 1600
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 11.3 MB
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 7.0 MB
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 7.0 MB
50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 8.7 MB
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 7.0 MB
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 7.0 MB
50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/1000 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 9.2 MB
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/500 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 9.7 MB
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/1000 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 8.3 MB
50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Summary
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/8000 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 7.2 MB
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/800 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 7.1 MB
Camera: Nikon D3x
Parameters: 50 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/100 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 6048x4032 pix, 7.8 MB



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