The $125 Lens You Should Know About and Own- Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D AF *UPDATED WITH SAMPLE PICS

Editors Choice

8 Build Quality
9 Image Quality
10 Handling
10 Value

We recently did a review of another great 50mm lens from Nikon (Nikkor 50mm f1.8G AF-S) that costs about $219, it’s a great lens. This lens is better. The 50mm f1.8D is compatible with every Nikon camera, film cameras included, and every format (DX and FX). It’s just as sharp as the newer f1.8G but with little to no distortion (the Nikkor 50mm f1/8G AF-S has a lot of distortion and has instant manual focus by just turning the focus ring). This lens is one of the sharpest Nikon lenses available for the best price, the pros use it and so should you. You don’t need a $4000 camera either, this lens is perfect for the D5100, D3200, etc..


If your just getting started with your first Nikon DSLR then I can’t emphasize how important it is that you really take some time and look at this lens, you don’t need to spend $1900 on a zoom lens (yes I’m talking to you Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S ) The 50mm f1.8D is sharper and cheaper than the 24-70mm pro lens, it’s lighter and smaller too. This is the lens the pros (and myself, who is not a pro) throw into their pockets on a day shooting.

This lens will not auto focus on the D40 or D40x, you can still manually focus the camera and there will be confirmation in the bottom of your viewfinder when focus is achieved. Speaking of focus, focus on this lens is blazing fast (I was able to use it on the D600 and D5100). Amazon reviews will back up the obvious, this is a great lens with a lot of uses.

There it is folks. If you’re looking for a fast lens for the holidays, one that you can take shots indoors without having to use a harsh flash then drop a little over a Benjamin (that’s $100 in young people speak) and you’ve got yourself a great lens for taking pictures of the children ripping open their presents, tossing aside the clothes you got them and playing with the plastic toys that will be broken or uncool in a month.



50mm, f4.5, ISO 200, 1/640 sec
50mm, f4.5, ISO 200, 1/640 sec

For an example of sharpness, look about 3/4 of the way up the chain where the little spider web is.

50mm, f8, ISO 200, 1/125sec
50mm, f8, ISO 200, 1/125sec

Other Related Links:

Nikon D600 Review
Sample Images from D600
Nikon 50mm f1.8G
Nikkor 24-85mm f3-4.5G Sample Images

How to Convert your D600 and Other Nikon Viewfinders to a Circular Viewfinder Like the D800

More from John Barbiaux
The Camera You Use Always Matters
Gone are the days where a photographer could kick up dust, hang...
Read More
20 replies on “The $125 Lens You Should Know About and Own- Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D AF *UPDATED WITH SAMPLE PICS”
  1. says: Becky DeSantis

    John, I have the Nikon DX Af-S Nikkor 35mm 1:1.8G. Would you recommend this one as well?

    ”Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!”

    1. says: j0hnnyb1

      Great question! So there is a little math to this that I’m going to leave to keep this short but it depends on a couple things. The size of your sensor (DX cameras with a 35mm lens is equivalent to 52mm so the 50mm I’m talking about here would be equivalent to 75mm… They call that crop factor) and what you’d like to use it for. Long story short, it would be a good addition with the added benefit that this 50mm would work perfectly on you DX (cropped sensor) camera now but will be able to work on a full frame camera just as perfectly should you upgrade in the future (the 35mm f1.8G will not work on full frame cameras to my knowledge). The 50mm on a cropped frame camera (equivalent to 75mm) will be even better for portraits, you won’t have to get super close to what your photographing as you do with the 35mm. And for the price I’d say its a logical “next step” lens. You may also want to go back and look at some past pictures you took to see what focal length you find you shoot at most on your zoom lenses and that could give you an idea of whether you’d get much use out of this lens. Hopefully you found this helpful, I know I just threw a ton of info on you. Thanks for reading.

      1. says: vjosullivan

        A 35mm lens is a 35mm lens whether it is on a DX or an FX camera. It doesn’t become “equivalent” to any other focal length when you put it on a different camera. No lens does. The only difference is that you lose the outer 55% of the image (due to the crop factor that you mentioned).

      2. says: John Barbiaux

        Hi! Thanks for your feedback. When you take into account the smaller DX view when enlarged to show as the same size it gets magnified 1.5x more than on the full frame sensor (same as if you were to use a lens on your full frame camera with a 1.5x longer focal length). You’re right that the actual lens focal length isn’t magically changed but the 1.5x magnification is called the DX equivalent or effective focal length (I didn’t make the term up). When people say “equivalent” they are just letting you know that that is the focal length it would be in comparison with FX cameras. On a Micro Four Thirds camera a 50mm lens would be “equivalent” to a 100mm lens on FX cameras because of the crop factor. It can be a little muddy but that is the term used. Take care!

  2. Pingback: Nikon D600 Review

Comments are closed.