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Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50 mm f/1.8G

5 July 2011
Szymon Starczewski

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Nikkor AF-S 1.8/50 was based on RAW files from the D3x reflex camera which were developed by dcraw program without sharpening. Let’s remind here that in the case of tests performed on the D3x the decency level is situated near 30-31 lpmm and the best fixed-focal lenses can reach as high as 46-47 lpmm.

First, we would like to present here the results of the tested lens’s predecessor, so the Nikkor AF 1.8/50D, on the D3x . To tell you the truth it didn’t have good resolution near f/1.8-2.0, where it reached results on the level of 22-25 lpmm. Fortunately, on stopping down its performance improved very quickly and by f/2.8 we already had a value near 37 lpmm. The peak of its possibilities was reached by f/5.6 - 44 lpmm or so.

Now let’s check how the new Nikkor 1.8/50G compares.

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Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50 mm f/1.8G - Image resolution

As you see the results are better and they improve right from the maximum relative aperture, where the performances is perhaps not good but still by several lpmm higher than in the case of the predecessor. Fully useful images are achieved somewhere near f/2.2 and then, on further stopping down, the results improve very swiftly, getting to 38 and 45 lpmm by f/2.8 and f/4.0 respectively. From f/5.6 relative aperture the values reached by both Nikkors, compared here, are, within the margin of error, the same.

When it comes to the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor once again you can notice a decisive advantage of the new lens by f/1.8-2.0. That advantage, however, disappears completely by f/2.8-4.0 and on further stopping down the results are once again almost similar.

An interesting situation can be noticed on the edge of full frame. Near the maximum relative aperture the new lens prevails slightly. By f/2.8 and f/4.0 the older version of the lens is better and from f/5.6 once again both models fare more or less the same.

To sum up for the majority of combinations of parameters the new Nikkor gives us a better image quality than its predecessor which, taking into account its price, was rather beyond reproach. Both instruments offer us really good price/quality ratio when it comes to image resolution results.

At the end of this chapter we traditionally present our test chart crops taken from JPEG files (frame centre).

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50 mm f/1.8G - Image resolution