Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.8 D - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published April 2006


Welcome to the first Nikon Lens Test Report here in OpticalLimits! Few lenses are sharper than those classic 50mm standard lenses at medium aperture settings so let's start with the Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.8 D, a lens which surely has its place in many photo bags out there thanks to its very low price tag and marginal weight.

All upcoming tests will be performed using a Nikon D200, a 10MP APS-C DSLR with a 1.5x cropping factor. The field-of-view of the Nikkor is equivalent to 75mm on classic full frame SLRs so the standard lens is transformed to a moderate tele lens within this scope.

The optical construction is made of 6 elements in 5 groups without any special elements. The minimum focus distance is 0.45m resulting in a max. object magnification of 1:6.6. The filter size is 52mm. As hinted above the lens is very compact (64x39mm) and light-weight (155g). The aperture mechanism feature 7 aperture blades.

Despite its very low price tag the build quality of the lens is very decent. The outer barrel is made of polycarbonate combined with a metal mount. The rather small rubberized focus ring operates very smooth. As you can see above the lens extends a little bit towards closer focus distances. The front element does not rotate so using a polarizer is no problem. The lens has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. As a result AF operation will generate a moderate degree of noise. The AF speed is very decent on the D200.

Equiv. focal length75 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/2.7 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction6 elements in 5 groups
Number of aperture blades7
min. focus distance0.45 m (max. magnification ratio 1:6.6)
Dimensions64 mm x 39 mm
Weight155 g
Filter size52 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNikon HR-2, barrel-shaped rubber, screw mount (optional)
Other featuresLens provides distance (D) information to the camera

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