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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G review

This 50mm prime lens is a great choice for Nikon users

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G
The Nikon 50mm f1.4 has consistently good resolution

Our Verdict

The Nikon produced amazingly consistent definition across its whole range. It does dip a little at f2 and f/1.4, but not by much, and the results still look crisp – though you do need perfect focussing technique because the depth of field is so shallow. There is a fair amount of corner shading at f/1.4, but this is largely gone by f/2 so it's not a big problem


  • Consistently good definition
  • Well-made with good control

The first thing to note is that the AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G must not be confused with the older 50mm f/1.4 'D' lens. The 'D' lens dates back to the days of Nikon film cameras and includes an aperture ring on the lens barrel.

The brand new 'G' series lens tested here is designed for the latest digital SLRs. With this lens, aperture control is handled by the camera body.

This lens has a plastic barrel but, like other Nikon lenses, does feel very well made. Nikon's Silent Wave autofocus motors are every bit as smooth and quiet as Canon's, though this lens doesn't seem quite as quick to focus as the Canon.

Like the Canon, though, it has full-time manual focus override and the focus ring has a slightly smoother, firmer feel too.

There's a distance scale under a window on the lens barrel, and it's marked in feet and metres. There are depth of field markings for f/11 and f/16, which is just about worth having.

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Rod Lawton is Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography magazines, including Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus, Professional Photography, Photography Week and Practical Photoshop.