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REVIEW: Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 ai

Reviews
Posted by Bengt Köhler Sandberg 2014-07-27

Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 ai

This ai version was made between 1978-1981 and was after this made with the ai-s mount which is still being made today.
The optics have never changed but the ai-s version has a 9 bladed aperture.

Specs:

Focal length:
50mm
Weight:
395g
Optical design:
7 elements in 6 groups
Mount:
Nikon F-mount (ai)
Aperture:
f/1.2 to f/16
7 bladed aperure
Covers:
Standard 35mm film size
(24×36 mm negative)
Closest Focus:
0.5m (1.7ft)
Filter Size:
52mm (non-rotating)


Image quality


Analogue B&W film
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai


Bokeh
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.2 ai


Distortion
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai








Digital
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Download full size image. Here
f/1.2 - f/2 - f/2.8 - f/4 - f/5.6 - f/8 - f/11 - f/16


Bokeh
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai


Flare / Backlight
Nikon NIKKOR 50mm
                                              f/1.2 ai


Extra Sample
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.2 ai



Filming
Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2
                                            ai



Build quality

Like most NIKKOR lenses this is very well made.
All metal and are very well put together so it's solid as a rock.


Conclusion

This have been one of my favorite 50mm lenses for some time now and I love it.
But that's not to say that it doesn't have its problems.

Sharpness is quite good even wide open and are well corrected it is for a flat focal plane.
So not much corner softness but do have some color fringing and a lot vignetting.
Glow can also get quite noticeable and this gets worse the closer you focus.
However stop it down to f/2 and you can get a really clean and good quality image.

Bokeh looks great wide open or stopped down but would guess that the 9 bladed ai-s version would have a slight edge over this 7 bladed.

Usually not crazy expensive compared to many other f/1.2 lenses sold new today.
This is also a bit to the heavy side and many of the standard f/1.8 lenses have about half the weight.
However 395g for a lens like this is not too bad and some are +500g.

Also like that it still uses the Nikon standard filter size of 52mm.
Makes things way easier when you don't need to have filters with different sizes etc.


Thumbs up:
Image quality
Build quality
Bokeh
52mm filters

Thumbs down:
Glow wide open


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Technical Info

Analogue
Camera: Nikon FE2
Scanner: Plustek OpticFilm 7600i
Film: AGFA CINEREX (X-ray film)
Developer: Kodak Xtol

Digital
Canon 500D with lens mount adapter

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