Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50 mm f/1.4G

15 May 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The lens makes good first impression. It starts with a metal bayonet and its barrel is upholstered with a layer of hard, black plastic which looks quite solid. Anyway, even when you press hard nothing bends, moves or creaks. Moving on, we find a plate with the name and the parameters; in the middle of it there’s a distance scale under a small glass. On the left, there is an autofocus mode switch (M/A – M). Further on, we find a manual focus ring. It’s not as small as in Nikkor DX 1.8/35G or AF 1.8/50D so you can use it comfortably. It is maybe not as convenient as in good manual lenses but you can’t complain about it either.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50 mm f/1.4G - Build quality

It is worth notice that, with the autofocus mode switched on, the ring doesn’t rotate but, in the same time, it allows to correct the settings manually. Focusing takes place inside the lens and the front lens system is at rest all the time, which makes the attachment of filters of every kind practically problem-free. Filters are, in this case, 58 mm in diameter.

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At the very end there is a lens hood fastener; lens hood comes with the set. The front lens system, taking the aperture size into consideration, is rather small in diameter and positioned deep into the casing. You might wonder if it will have any influence on vignetting and the performance against the light. We are bound to find out soon.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50 mm f/1.4G - Build quality

The picture above shows the tested lens between a cheap 50 mm, f/1.8D and a Sigma 17-70 mm. The following table compares the new Nikkor with its competitors with similar parameters and an ultrasonic autofocus motor. It shows clearly that Nikkor is the lightest and the smallest in its class. If you feel tempted to compare the tested lens to other Nikon lenses with similar parameters, please consult the next table.

The inner construction consists of 8 lenses in 7 groups. Inside the lens there is also a circular 9 diaphragm blades aperture, which can be closed to f/16.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50 mm f/1.4G - Build quality

The buyer gets both caps, a lens hood and a soft case.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50 mm f/1.4G - Build quality