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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

8. Vignetting

As we mentioned before, the Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2.0 is a small device and small dimensions often mean bad results in the vignetting category. Here this rule was proven to be totally correct. At the maximum aperture, which is, after all, not very fast in the case of a classic standard, we lose as much as 54% of the brightness in the frame corners (-2.22 EV). On stopping down by one stop the vignetting decreases to the level of 32% and by f/4.0 it reaches 20%. Only by f/5.6 the vignetting becomes imperceptible - it decreases to 14%.

Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - f/1.8
50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Vignetting
Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2.0 - f/2.0 Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - f/2.0
50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Vignetting 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Vignetting
Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2.0 - f/2.8 Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - f/2.8
50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Vignetting 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Vignetting
Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2.0 - f/4.0 Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - f/4.0
50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Vignetting 50 years of Nikon F-mount – Nikkor-S 5 cm f/2 vs. Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D - Vignetting

Against such a background the Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D looks more presentably. Although not much bigger, it is a bit faster and its light fall-off is significantly lower. At the maximum aperture the frame corner brightness loss is 41% (-1.54 EV). This value is not low but taking into account the fact that on full frame fast lenses can lose as many as 2-3 EV we really shouldn’t complain. By f/2.0 the vignetting amounts to 38% and by f/2.8 it decreases to 20%. By f/4.0 the aberration stops being a problem as it reaches only 11%.


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In this category, then, the advantage of the new lens over the old is clear.

The picture below shows the vignetting measurement results for the Nikkor-S 5cm f/2.0 wide open.

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