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Review by Markus Stamm, published May 2011
The Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 is a rather old design. The AF-D version of the lens was introduced in 1995, however the design goes back to the pre-Ai version, which was brought to market in the mid seventies. Since then the lens has been released in several versions, all sharing the same optical formula.
In 2008 an optically upgraded AF-S lens was released, however the AF-D version remained in production and can still be purchased new, at least at the time of this review (May 2011).
In this review we will have a look at how the lens performs on our FX test camera, the Nikon D3x.
The build quality of the lens is very good and in line with most moderately
priced Nikkors. The outer barrel is made of polycarbonate combined with a
metal mount. The small rubberized focus ring is very smooth and only marginally damped, but rotates during AF operation.
Typical for lenses with a linear extension system the whole
inner tube moves during focusing thus extending the lens a little when focusing towards
closer focus distances.
The lens has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera, so AF is not available on the motor-free entry level Nikon DSLRs. As a result of the screw drive, AF operation will generate a moderate degree of noise.
The front element does not rotate so using a polarizer is no problem.
|Optical construction||7 elements in 6 groups|
|Number of aperture blades||7|
|min. focus distance||0.45 m (max. magnification ratio 1:6.8)|
|Dimensions||65 mm x 43 mm|
|Filter size||52 mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||Nikon HR-2, barrel shaped rubber, screw mount (optional)|
|Other features||Lens reports distance (D) information to camera|