Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.4D

5 January 2011
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

By convention we tested the resolution of the lens using the Nikon D200 reflex camera; our test was based on the strength of RAW files, converted by dcraw program. The graph below presents the results we got.

Nikon Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.4D - Image resolution

The resolution in the frame centre is excellent starting from f/2.0 and on further stopping down it becomes simply outstanding. The maximum relative aperture leaves something to be desired but it is a typical flaw of this kind of equipment. The graph looks practically exactly like that of the Sony and the Pentax. It doesn’t surprise us in a way because all the constructions of this kind of lenses, when it comes to the number of elements and groups, are the same.

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As you can see, the performance by f/2.0 is what we gain buying a f/1.4 model. The Nikkor 1.4/50 reaches the level of over 36 lpmm by that aperture value whereas the Nikkor 1.8/50 got only to 28 lpmm. The difference is significant.

When it comes to the frame edge, the achievements are once again typical for the equipment of this class. Both the Pentax and the Sony, and even the Nikkor 1.8/50 fared the same in the f/2.0-f/5.6 aperture range, lagging behind the level of sharpness they obtained in the centre and getting closer to it again, so reaching a very high level, only by f/8.0.

The interesting thing is that the Canon 1.4/50 USM has chosen a different tactic. The maximum results in the frame centre, which are reached on a 8 MPix sensor, are not record-breaking, although they remain high even after converting to a 10 Mpix sensor. On the other hand the frame edge performance is much better, lagging behind that in the frame centre just slightly.

Conventionally at the end of the chapter we present our test chart crops taken from JPEG files averagely sharpened by the camera.

Nikon Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.4D - Image resolution