Jonny's reviews

  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    -FAST and CHEAP-, excellent build quality for price, SHARP at smaller apertures
    A little soft wide open, noisy AF, sometimes hunts in low light

    I have this lens almost permanently attached to my Nikon D80 indoors.

    From f/4 and up, this lens is critically sharp. It softens a little as you open it up, with the corners soft from 1.8 up to around 2.8, but the centre of the image still remains reasonably sharp. Bokeh is reasonably soft, at least to my eye, and you'll certainly be seeing a lot of it at 1.8!

    AF comes from the camera body, and is noisy - the focus is slow, certainly noticably so compared to AF-S, and sometimes hunts in low light.

    Build quality is fine for the price. The lens body is all plastic, but the whole package is tightly constructed, feeling solid despite its diminuitive weight. The focus ring, with about a third of a turn of play, is usable, although with the lens opened up the shallow depth of field makes manual focussing a little hit and miss.

    With all that taken into account, however, it's very hard to criticise this lens when its price is so vanishingly low. Those considering upgrading from kit lenses, after their bank accounts have absorbed the initial financial shock of buying a DSLR, might find this an ideal second lens for low-light shooting - I certainly did! The fast 1.8 aperture makes available-light photography a possibility without having to push your camera's ISO levels through the roof.

    You can get this lens online in the UK for around 70 quid - there's no excuse for not owning one!


    reviewed December 28th, 2006