The Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G is a product that has taken everyone by surprise. Prior to an unfortunate leak on the Nikon website, no one had a clue that the company was upgrading the old, yet very popular AF-D 50/1.8. There were, rather, many other items in Nikon’s kitty that needed an upgradation over this. Nikon however has a good logic behind this move. Since Nikon’s ordinary lenses are pretty inexpensive, most people buy them as their main, initial lens. As a result, these lenses sell like hot cake.
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Also, since 50mm lenses are very commonly used for portrait photography on DX cameras, the sales go up. And because the AF-D 50/1.8 came without an integrated motor, it had almost no AF when it was used with Nikon’s existing digital SLRs at the entry level. This in turn made the lens a less desirable option for many people. With the new AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G, this issue has been tackled. The lens is built with good quality products. The tube on the outside is made from plastic of a superior quality.
The ring used to focus is made out of rubber and feels slightly damp. This makes it smooth and easy to use. There are some drawbacks about the focus function that must be mentioned here. While you try adjusting the focus ring to zoom in on an object, you have to bear with some millimeters of shifting before it gets stabilized. This tends to get very frustrating if you are trying to focus on an important object. Sadly, this is a problem seen in most Nikon models in this category.
The size of the lens stays the same, irrespective of the changes in settings of focus. However, it isn’t a real internal focus (IF) design. The tubes on the inside shift in the outer barrel. This is also known as the ‘Linear extension Focusing System’. The lens comes with a number of accessories. Among these, you get a pouch to carry the camera around in and a special hood with a bayonet mount. You may not even need to use the hood as the lens is already well guarded due to its design and built. It is deeply embedded and safely protected in the tube. The fore-element is stagnant, so you can use a polarizer without any trouble. The Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G works well with all the digital SLR cameras available nowadays from the house of Nikon. These include the entry-level cameras that come without motors too. The lenses are fitted with an ultrasonic drive and so there is no noise involved.
The AF speed, however, is not the fastest, much like the older models from Nikon. The screw-driven AF-D lenses, which were introduced much earlier, seem to work quicker than these. But this isn’t a real problem as the speed on offer is more than sufficient for regular use and everyday shots. In relation to the AF-D 50/1.8, the Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G is heavier. At 185g it still is very light and easy to carry around. The lens itself has a new design and now comes with an aspherical element, something rarely seen in such lenses. But because it is a G-type lens, the aperture ring is not present. Overall the Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G is a very good product from the house of Nikon. While it packs in some solid features, it remains affordable. A wonderful buy for an amateur photographer, this lens in hardy, handy and easy to carry around. You can buy it online or visit any camera store and get on hands on it.