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Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D

Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 D
Weight: 5.5oz
Filter Size: 52mm
Well there isn't a whole lot for me to say about this lens that hasn't been said. I guess I'll say some of it again. 50mm is one of the most common and oldest focal lengths around. It's also one of the simplest to make. . What does this mean for you? 50mm lenses are cheap, fast, and light. This $120 lens is sharp when slightly stopped down. Because of this it's most users first prime lens. Wide open this small lens loses considerable contrast, but can still produce a printable image. It uses Nikon's classic 52mm filter size, which is nice if used with other older lenses. The front lens element is recessed, making a lens hood not really necessary. Background blur is not particularly pleasant, which is a shame as otherwise this would be a nice portrait lens for DX cameras.

   Worth noting:
Focus is fast, but driven by the camera body. It won't focus on Nikon's budget SLR s like the D3100, D3000, D60, D40X or D40.
Still compatible with old Nikon SLR s.
On a DX (APS-C sensor) these can make great portrait lenses.
A short focus throw makes it dismal for manual focus applications.

This ran in Canoe and Kayak a few years ago, a thunderstorm was coming in and made things exceptionally dark.

Nikon D200, Nikkor 50mm 1.8 @ 1/500 f/1.8 ISO 250

You can see the sharpness fade from the front of the kayak to the rear.

Stopped down: Jonas Grunwald.

Nikon D700, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D @ 1/1000 f/6.3 ISO 200

100% crop.

Compared to the 70-300mm VR. This is actually a 50mm f/2 in the image, but it's the same size.

  Build: 6/10                     - Plastic-fantastic
  Handling: 5/10              - Not much to handle with no zoom, but the focus ring does not feel great and has too short of a throw.
  Performance: 8/10         - Passable at 1.8 and amazing by 2.8, but poor bokeh.
  Value: 10/10                   - Can't ask for more for the price.
  Overall: 7/10                 - Great for kayaking, light, fast and cheap. Lacking for other applications.

Practicality for kayaking: 9/10

Light, fast and cheap, with good optics. Can't really go wrong with that combination unless your camera can't drive the AF screw. Shame the manual focus action on it is so bad, but you can pick up a slightly better optically AI-S version of the lens for the same price and have smooth manual focus operation. Or you can drop an extra $100 to get the new 50mm f/1.8 AF-S with its extra bulk and awkward 58mm filter size, but smoother background blur (bokeh).

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