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REVIEW: Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8 ai-s

Reviews
Posted by Bengt Köhler Sandberg 2014-06-23

Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8 ai-s

Three versions of this lens was made and the one I have here are the latest mark III which is the smallest and lightest.
All of these have the same optics but some of the older and bigger versions is has not a plastic exterior plus have a better closest focus.

Specs:

Focal length:
50mm
Weight:
150g
Optical design:
6 elements in 5 groups
Mount:
Nikon F-mount (ai-s)
Aperture:
f/1.8 to f/22
7 bladed aperure
Covers:
Standard 35mm film size
(24×36 mm negative)
Closest Focus:
0.6m (2ft)
Filter Size:
52mm (non-rotating)


Image quality


Analogue B&W film
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s


Bokeh
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s



Digital
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Download full size image. Here
f/1.8 - f/2.8 - f/4 - f/5.6 - f/8 - f/11 - f/16 - f/22

Youtube clip showing test images above cropped at center and corner.
These are also in there original res.

Nikon NIKKOR 50mm
                                              f/1.8 ai-s



Bokeh
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s


Flare / Backlight
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s Nikon NIKKOR
                                                      50mm f/1.8 ai-s



Extra Sample
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s

Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s
Nikon
                                                          NIKKOR 50mm
                                                          f/1.8 ai-s




Filming
Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8
                                            ai-s



Build quality

The focus and aperture ring are plastic but the filter and lens mount are metal.
Think most of the inside mechanics are also metal.
It is well built and quite solid but the feel is not as good as the all metal Nikkor lenses.


Conclusion

Image quality of this lens is great at any aperture.
Of course it is not perfect wide open but still very good.
It also renders well and has good bokeh.

The only thing I find not so great is the plastic exterior and the 0.6m (2ft) closest focus.
But that depend which version of this lens you have.
Some of the older have a all metal body plus can focus down to 0.45m (1.5ft)
Still have the same optics but are however bigger and heavier.

But this smaller and plastic one do go very well together with the somewhat cheaper SLRs from Nikon with about the same age.
I have mostly used this with the Nikon FG20 which is a very nice match.
Of course no problem to use it with somewhat fancier SLR.
But a big or all metal camera body with a very light plastic lens don't usually feel like the best match.
And the older one will probably look and feel better there.

Lovely lens and I like that it's possible to find it with a bigger or smaller body.


Thumbs up:
Image quality
Renders, Bokeh
Size and lightweight

Thumbs down:
Plastic
Closest Focus: 0.6m (2ft)


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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
Auto White Balance and ISO 100

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