The 50mm focal-length lens is a true photographic icon and an essential piece of kit for any photographeru2019s kit bag, but there are quite a few to choose from. Richard Sibley and Andrew Sydenham test 12 such optics to assess their particular qualities

Specifications: Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G

RRP: £375.99
Street price: Around £290
Filter diameter:
58mm
Lens elements:
8
Groups:
7
Diaphragm blades:
9
Aperture:
f/1.4-16
Minimum focus:
45cm
Length:
54mm
Diameter:
73.5mm
Weight:
280g
Lens mount:
Nikon F

Chart analysis

Tested on a Nikon D600

Like some of the other f/1.4 lenses, the Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G suffers from some quite harsh vignetting when the aperture is fully open, as indicated by the deep dome on the 3D illustration. Curvilinear distortion is reasonably well controlled, and only at the very edges is there any real distortion. Overall, the Nikkor is one of the better f/1.4 lenses in this respect. In terms of resolution detail, the Nikkor f/1.4 is one of the best performers in this test. Even when shooting at f/1.4, it betters many of its rivals and this excellent performance reaches a peak between f/4 and f/8.

Score: 5 out of 5
 

  1. 1. 50mm lens test - Introduction
  2. 2. Page 2
  3. 3. Page 3
  4. 4. Specificiations: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  5. 5. Specififications: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
  6. 6. Specifications: Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G
  7. 7. Specifications: Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G
  8. 8. Specifications: Pentax SMC DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM
  9. 9. Specifications: Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8
  10. 10. Specificiations: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
  11. 11. Specifications: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG
  12. 12. Specifications: Sony Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 SSM
  13. 13. Specifications: Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM
  14. 14. Specifications: Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4
  15. 15. Specifications: Zeiss Makro-planar T* 50mm f/2
  16. 16. Our verdict
Page 6 of 16 - Show Full List