Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D Review

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f1.8D Review

This Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D is one of the most popular options you can get when you want to upgrade the kit lens on your Nikon FX camera. The 50mm focal length is so popular and so versatile that’s it’s been called the “nifty fifty”. What’s great about this is that you can also use this for your DX camera, too. In other words, if you have a DX camera and you’re thinking about upgrading to an FX, this won’t be useless for your new camera.

This is the first choice for upgrading the kit lens for many Nikon FX owners because it’s just so versatile. At the same time, you don’t even have to spend a lot of money on it. The Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D is often mentioned among the best Nikon lenses, and in those lists it’s often the one with the lowest price.

Features of the Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D

So, why exactly should you get this? Take a look at the features:

  • Just so we’re clear, this can be used with both the FX and the DX cameras, along with 35mm film cameras. On the DX camera, the image angle is like using a 75mm lens on a Nikon FX.
  • This offers autofocus, as you can probably tell from the AF designation. It also has manual aperture control, as well.
  • This is a prime lens, which basically means it doesn’t zoom closer to your subject. If you want to make your subject look bigger in your pictures, you’ll have to get closer.
  • While we already know that the maximum aperture is f/1.8, the minimum is f/22.
  • It’s very compact, measuring 2.5 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches in length.
  • The weight is virtually negligible as well, as it weighs in at just 5.5 ounces.
  • You can stand to be really near your subject, as its minimum focusing distance is just 1.5 feet. This comes with distance information as well, which is displayed during the flash and ambient light exposure processes.
  • This also features Super Integrated Coating on the lens. It makes the light transmission more efficient. This reduces the flare and you get more consistency in your colors.

Pros

So, why buy this? The advantages you get from this lens may make you ask “Why not?” instead.

  • First of all, this can be used for several different types of cameras. This is primarily for the FX, but if you also have a DX then you can still use it for that camera. In fact, if for some reason you’re still using a 35mm film camera, you can still use this as well and get excellent results.
  • The versatility of the 50mm lens is renowned among photography enthusiasts. It’s not just about the many types of cameras you can fit this in, but also about the many types of photography you can use this for. You can use this for daily use, or when you’re traveling. Part of the reason for that is because it’s so lightweight and compact. It’s a good lens when you’re doing a portrait, as well.
  • The fast and wide aperture allows for lots of light, so you can also use this indoors where you have low light conditions. Add the fact that you have a fast shutter speed that can minimize blurring, and it’s a great lens for indoor sports and parties. Just tote this around and you can take a snap of every exciting moment.
  • Then, there’s also the natural production of bokeh, which is basically a natural blur for the background. It creates a visually interesting effect that accentuates the clarity of your subject in the foreground.
  • You also have nice manual control for the aperture, and this is great for Live View shooting.
  • Another reason for the extraordinary quality of the shots you take is the SIC (Super Integrated Coating). This is the multilayer coating that Nikon applies to this lens. With more consistent colors and a reduction in the flare problems, the quality of your images really shines.
  • Using this on a DX camera also makes it a great lens for portraits. That’s because the image angle is like having a 75mm lens on an FX.
  • Basically, the sharpness you get is among the best you can find among lenses in any price range. Check out lenses that cost 10 times as much, and the sharpness they provide may not match what you get with this lens.

Cons

There are of course several limitations here which enabled Nikon to offer this with such a low price:

  • This is an AF lens and not an AF-S lens, so the autofocus isn’t as quiet.
  • Hopefully you don’t have shaky hands, because there’s no image stabilization.
  • If your DX camera doesn’t have a built-in autofocus motor, then you don’t have autofocus with this lens.

Verdict

Buy this right now if you just bought a Nikon FX camera. If you bought a DX camera (with a built-in autofocus motor), buy it too. Once you upgrade to an FX, this will be your default lens anyway. The Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D is basically the go-to lens you want, once you realize that the kit lens on your FX isn’t quite what you need.

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