Lens review

Nikon Nikkor Z 50 mm f/1.8 S

19 February 2020
Maciej Latałło

11. Summary


  • solid, mostly metal, weather sealed barrel,
  • sensational image quality in the frame centre,
  • very good image quality on the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor,
  • acceptable image quality on the ege of full frame,
  • moderate longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • negligible lateral chromatic aberration,
  • low spherical aberration,
  • invisible distortion,
  • moderate vignetting on the APS-C/DX sensor,
  • lack of astigmatism-related problems,
  • silent and accurate autofocus,
  • good performance against bright light,
  • blurry areas pleasing to the eye.


  • distinct vignetting on full frame.
After the test of the Nikkor Z 50 mm f/1.8 S the list of pros and cons, published above and my overall impressions allow me to state that it is one of the best 1.8/50 class instruments I have had a pleasure to handle and test so far. Launching a new system with such a well-put-together lens should be considered an excellent Nikon strategy.

Of course you can still complain about the price while remembering fondly the times when 1.8/50 Nikon models could be purchased for less than $150. Still these were, both optically and mechanically, much simpler constructions which offered also lower image quality and poorer standard equipment. If you enter the Nikon Z system you have to spend more but you also get more in return. Mind you, it's just a beginning of a new system; I believe it will feature more and more lenses and set new standards. For example I am pretty sure there will be a 50-55 mm f/1.2-1.4 model launched because the manual Nikkor Z 58 mm f/0.95 S Noct, announced not so long ago with a price tag of almost $8000, is rather a curiosity and a muscle-flexing show. It's definitely not a lens which is supposed to be a workhorse of the whole system.

To sum up: our very long list of pros and just one 'cons' position allow us to award the tested Nikkor our „Editors' Choice” badge.

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Nikon Nikkor Z 50 mm f/1.8 S - Summary