The Difference between 50mm f/1.8D f/1.8G Lenses by Nikon

Every photographer who prefers shooting with Nikon cameras knows that this brand produces two very similar prime lenses that are quality and really cheap. It’s a nifty-fifty 50mm portrait fixed lens that comes in two various models by Nikon. They are f/1.8D and f/1.8.

And though the difference in price is not that big—$131.95 for f/1.8G and $216.95 for f/1.8D—and the two lenses are almost equal, there are still some bottlenecks that you should consider before choosing one of them. Today we will tell you what is the difference between the two and why you should go for this or that lens depending on your photography equipment.

Actually, the 50mm f/1.8D is the older counterpart of the 50mm f/1.8G. That’s all there is if you prefer to avoid looking deeper. The former lens was introduced in 2002 and is still in use, whilst the latter was launched a few years ago. Both lenses are FX, meaning that they can be used with both full-frame and crop sensor cameras.

50mm f/1.8D

This one is a very simple and solid lens which is almost entirely made of metal. It has both aperture and zoom rings, but it still lacks the feature of zoom overriding. It weighs just 155 grams and its filter size is only 52mm, which lets you save even more.

Irrespective of its release date and price, this lens is extremely fast and bright. You won’t have time to blink before it focuses, especially if the lighting conditions are good.

Since the lens is compatible with older cameras where the aperture was set using the lens, you will need to lock the aperture ring on its widest. If you don’t do it, the lens will not work with most of modern DSLRs.

Yet another thing you should understand is that the lens doesn’t have a built-in focusing motor and therefore the AF system will not work with cameras that are devoid of the built-in motor like Nikon D5XXX and D3XXX series. Also, the lens may suddenly stop working if it’s used with D7000 camera.

The lens has six optic elements in five groups and seven aperture blades. Its quality and ergonomics are outstanding.

50mm f/1.8G

The newest generation 50mm lens by Nikon has literally the same characteristics, but a newer optics system and a retro design that has an aperture screen. However, the lens doesn’t have any aperture ring. The focus override feature is available.

The lens is half plastic and half metal, but due to some kind of unknown reason it’s bigger and weighs more. Most probably this happens because of the added optics since the lens has seven optic elements in six groups. One of these elements is aspherical for decreased distortion. The lens filter size is 58mm.

It’s weird to tell this, but 50mm f/1.8G actually has more distortion that its older counterpart and its focus system works a lot slower. In comparison with the other lens, literally half of the shots made with 50mm f/1.8G came out blurred irrespective of the lighting conditions.

And though this lens has a built-in focus motor—letting it autofocus even with the most beginner DSLRs by Nikon—and it doesn’t have any compatibility issues when it’s used with Nikon D7000, the difference in price, build quality, and image characteristics make 50mm f/1.8D an obvious choice.

Both lenses come together with a lens hood and lens case and may be purchased from various online photography equipment vendors for $131.95 for f/1.8G and $216.95 for f/1.8D.

We hope that this article was of help to you and we’ll be glad to answer your questions in comments. Feel free to shoot us a message!

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