Beginner photographers often think that good lenses, especially portrait ones like 24-70mm f/2.8, are worth a fortune. But sometimes equipment that performs really well doesn’t cost much and good old nifty-fifty Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D lens is a great example.
Today we’ll review the older version of the classic 50mm portrait lens that creates awesome pictures and is just a tad more expensive than $100. Welcome inside!
We all know that the most important things in a portrait lens are its maximum exposure, focal length, sharpness, and weight. And that’s where this nifty fifty baby beats it all. Firstly, its 35mm focal length equivalent is 85mm, which is perfect for making close-up shots. Secondly, it’s really bright with the maximum aperture of f/1.8, which lets you work easier in a low-light environment. Thirdly, it’s really small and weighs only 175 grams.
And the last, but probably the most important thing, is that this lens is very sharp and it can compete with professional portrait zoom lenses worth up to several thousand dollars when it comes to sharpness.
This ultra sharpness was achieved thanks to its simple fixed design. The lens features only 6 optic elements in 5 groups, ensuring that there is less distortion, chromatic aberrations, and diffraction. Actually, the lens presents almost no visible chromatic aberrations, especially if you use it at apertures like f/4, and therefore creates images with more contrast.
However, there’s one thing about this lens that may not be the best news for those people who own a beginner Nikon camera from D3xxx or D5xxx series. Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D is not an AF-S but a screwdrive lens, which means that it doesn’t have a built-in focus motor and won’t focus automatically on DSLRs that don’t have their proprietary focus motor. The lens is a bit noisy while focusing, but personally we believe that it’s nothing to worry about.
The lens can be used both on full-frame and cropped sensor cameras and is perfect for portrait, lifestyle, travel, and animal photography. It has 7 straight aperture blades and creates awesome bokeh.
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