If you are looking for a budget-friendly lens then Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime is the best lens from the Nikon brand which is suitable for almost all types of cameras. In this article, we have tried to give our best on Nikon 50mm f/1.8G review prime lens while comparing it with some other lens brands of this type.

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Without wasting time let’s dig deep…

Expert’s Review On Nikon 50mm f/1.8G

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Overview

nikon 50mm f/1.8G review

The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G prime lens was launched in the year 2011. This is a great prime lens for portrait photography as far as the price is concerned.

It has a large aperture of f/1.8 which draws maximum light which is eventually is best for low light photography. 

The aperture gives a better shallow depth of field which helps in the isolation of subjects from the background quite nicely. The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G prime lens has 7 optical elements in 6 groups. Out of which one aspherical element is for the reduction of chromatic aberrations. It was the first 50mm prime lens that introduced the aspherical element in its optical design.

It has a great optical design and a larger lens barrel. During autofocus, the front element does not move or extend outward which makes the lens easy to use. Besides that, it has a silent wave motor (AF-S) which is meant for silent operation when used in Nikon D3100 and Nikon D5100.

The autofocus feature has the ability to override the manual focus. Apart from that, the lens is coated with a super integrated coating which significantly reduces ghost and flare. 

This Nikon 50mm f/1.8G review lens is quite comfortable with both Nikon’s FX and DX sensors. Out of the two sensors, this lens is better suited on FX-format. This lens is equivalent to a 75mm lens when used in the DX-format which is great for portrait shots.

The lens has seven-bladed diaphragms which are better for the bokeh for the aperture above f/2.

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Specification

  • Focal length : 50mm
  • Mount type : Nikon F-Bayonet
  • Max. aperture: f/1.8
  • Min. aperture : f/16
  • Max. angle of view on DX-format : 31 degree
  • Max. angle of view on FX-format : 47 degree
  • Max. reproduction ratio :0.15x
  • Optical design includes 7 elements in 6 groups
  • Compatible with : DX, FX, FX in DX crop mode
  • Diaphragm blades : 7
  • Aspherical element : 1
  • Great in super integrated coating
  • Autofocus : yes
  • Silent wave motor (AF-S) : yes
  • Min. focus distance : 1.48ft
  • Focus mode : auto, manual, auto/manual
  • Filter size : 58mm
  • Accepts filter type : Screw-on
  • Weight : 185g

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Design and handling

nikon 50mm f/1.8G

The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Dslr Lens has a solid build and most parts are plastic made with metal mount features. The lens is provided with the rubber gasket found on the lens mount region which can prevent the dust from the environment. The rubber gasket can potentially remove the dust which generally moves inside the lens in large amounts.

Though the frontal part of the lens does not move outwardly while focussing, the lens elements move in and out inside the lens barrel by which dust can reach inside the lens barrel. To overcome dust go for the B+W 58mm MRC clear filter and use this filter on the lens at all times.

Sometimes it is very difficult to clean the front lens element present inside the lens barrel. So, this filter can protect your front lens element and the lens in an easier way. 

The lens has a filter of 58mm size which is great for the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Dslr lens so that you will not purchase another filter which is generally seen in the case of Nikon’s older 50mm f/1.8D Dslr lens as it does not contain a 58mm filter.

With so many significant features the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is not a weather-sealed lens. So you need better care of the lens and of course, use a protective filter in front of the lens. If you use the filter there would be no issue while using it in various weather conditions. During extreme dusty conditions take extra precautions while changing the lens.

As the rear lens element moves in and out during focusing you should have good control over the use of the focus ring to the infinity point before mounting or dismounting the lens. As the focus ring is on the front of the lens barrel you can manually focus with the index and thumb finger very easily.

The lens is provided with the HB-47 lens hood. The lens hood is good in design and is very tight to protect the optical glasses and keeps the lens a bit compact like some other expensive Nikon lens hoods. 

The M and M/A switch on the lens ensures great autofocus which can override the manual focus and allows better full manual focus operation. When this lens is used in Nikon D5100 it immediately recognizes the focus position which is generally indicated with the “I” button on the screen.

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Performance

The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G has a fast autofocus ability compared to the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G. The accuracy level of the indoor and outdoor shooting of Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G is way too better than the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G and 50mm f/1.8 is a bit louder than 50mm f/1.4G. In very low light situations particularly in dim light both the lenses hardly control the dark subjects as far as the autofocus is concerned, which is okay. If you can bring some light to the subjects it significantly improves their autofocus ability. You can achieve those things by turning the AF-assist lamp on in AF-S mode.

In comparison with the Nikon 50mm f/1.4D, the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is also better in autofocus ability and noise reduction. Apart from that Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is also great in autofocus ability when compared to the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM.

Be careful when shooting under dim light conditions as the autofocus is not consistent and accurate so you have to bring some light before shooting excellent shots.

The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is an excellent performer throughout the aperture range. The lens is very sharp in the center and the mid-frame and corner are a bit soft in looking. As you move down to the f/2.8 the sharpness takes a boom throughout the frame and gives maximum sharpness at the f/5.6 which ensures great overall performance.

So, there is no issue in focus shift with the aperture range from f/2.8-f/5.6 which is normal for most of the lenses of this class. Due to its best focus ability, it has also a good bokeh effect and it is an important characteristic of this lens.

Compared with the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D, the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G offers a better blur effect. Whereas the Sigma lens of this class definitely has the worst bokeh effect compared to the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G prime lens.

At the max. The aperture of f/1.4, edges are circular on the 50mm f/1.8G lenses. But in the case of Sigma, the background is not circular. So Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is great on bokeh when compared to the Sigma lenses of this class. When the aperture stops down at f/2.8 the benefit 9 bladed diaphragm comes to the scene which offers a great bokeh effect in Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G lenses. This is due to the rounded diaphragm blades of the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens. Generally, most photographers need rounded bokeh which this lens can fulfill those requirements. Overall, the bokeh quality of the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is very good.

Most of the prime lenses contribute heavy vignettes on wide-opening shots. The same thing also goes for the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens. In this, the vignetting decreases significantly near f/2.8 and at f/4.0 it does not show any vignette. When this lens is mounted on the DX cameras the amount of vignetting is less pronounced and shows slight dark edges at max. Aperture.

In comparison with other lenses, the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G vignette is more than Nikon 50mm f/1.8D but the 50mm f/1.8G can outperform the 50mm f/1.4G which shows heavy vignetting. If we compare Nikon 50mm f/1.8 with the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens then undoubtedly the Sigma is the winner. The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens shows more vignetting at infinity focus compared to close focus.

Talking about the ghosting and flare in this Nikon 50mm f/1.8G DSLR lens review, the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens has good control over it. The AF-S lenses show no ghost and flare as the front element on the 50mm lenses is much deeper inside the lens barrel. The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens is best in reduction of ghost and flare while comparing with other 50mm lenses. You can better images with a reduced amount of ghosts and flare when shooting in bright light.

If we talk about the distortion then the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens shows a slight amount of barrel distortion which seems okay to most of the users. Besides that Adobe has provided a lens correction module by which the distortion can be removed effectively.

Even in high contrast situations the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens can control lateral chromatic aberrations quite nicely compared to longitudinal chromatic aberration of expensive lenses like Nikon 35mm f/1.4G. The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens is great at removing chromatic aberration compared to the Nikon 50mm f/1.4D and Nikon 50mm f/1.8D.

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Pros

  • Sharp, compact and fast
  • Low in price
  • Great bokeh effect
  • Autofocus ability is great
  • Well control over chromatic aberration
  • Easy to carry

Cons

  • No vibration reduction

Conclusion

With so many great features at a reasonable price, this really is a good prime lens that one can go for it without any hesitation.

There might be some features that Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is lacking like other expensive lenses have. But with this price range and portrait images, this would be a great choice.

Talking about the image quality, the image quality is amazing which we have mentioned in the performance section. However,  it is a better lens than other 50mm lenses. So I hope this Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Expert’s review would have helped you in choosing the best!

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