Lack of a decent wide/ normal fast prime...

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I've owned the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-D and f/1.8 AF-D

I found the 1.4 relatively sharp by about f/1.8, but the lack of AF-S really drove me nuts when I tried to use it for any moving subjects.

I've been reading up on the AF-S "G" version, which does not seem to get quite as good of reviews in the IQ category, and the Sigma 50 is supposedly sharper but has all sorts of focusing problems.

Am I only hearing the bad things? Or are most people honestly satisfied?

I've thought of just using the 35 1.8 in DX crop mode, since 6mp would be big enough for most of the things I would shoot with it.

Really hoping Nikon would just release a 35mm 1.4 AF-S...hmmmmm....
 
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People rag on the lens and say it has "slow" autofocus, but that tends to be the sports shooters especially basketball who need something to rack from near focus to infinity and back again real quick. For portraiture type photos (not sports) and precise and accurate tracking of a possibly casually or even not so casually moving subject, you cannot beat the new G/AF-S version. Its coarse focus adjust speed is not as fast as the old AF-D on a pro level body, but once it's locked on it stays locked and dead-on, even at f/1.4. It doesn't miss.

IQ and build quality (sample variation) also seem to be a step up from the old AF-D. The old version seemed to have a lot more sample variation. I don't think my copy of it was especially good and felt like I needed to stop it down to at least f/2 like edward mentioned. The AF-S I have no problems shooting wide-open all day long. Bokeh is great, but if you're super picky about bokeh or shooting high contrast night scenes where coma might be an issue, the Sigma appears to be the one to get. I doubt either is sharper than the other. You're talking about sample variation there more than anything, but the Sigma does have nicer bokeh and noct-like abilities in dark scenes with bright contrasting light points.

radiohead and Rooz and a few others have posted a ton of great samples from the G/AF-S lens in the big thread for it.
 
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Edward, I mainly was basing that off threads I've read on the Nikon Cafe and FM.

Steve, are you saying you think the AF-D would focus faster on my D700 than the AF-S?

Thanks to both of you for the detailed comments!
 
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Edward, I mainly was basing that off threads I've read on the Nikon Cafe and FM.

Steve, are you saying you think the AF-D would focus faster on my D700 than the AF-S?

Thanks to both of you for the detailed comments!
Coarse focus adjust speed (near to far focus) is probably a bit quicker with the AF-D than the AF-S.

But fine focus adjust speed, needed for precise tracking wide-open is simply incomparable. The AF-S is better here hands down.

My shooting is more photojournalist so I need the fine focus adjust speed more than anything since it keeps a possibly erratically moving subject locked in at 1.4. Sports guys and bball shooters need a lens to get from right in their face to half court in an instant, and the AF-D does appear to be geared a bit quicker than the AF-S for that. But it's not as precise as far as fine focusing goes. So take your pick. If near-to-far focus racking speed is what you need, the AF-D is faster. If precision and tracking ability is what you need, the AF-S is better. I've owned all three of the Nikon 50mm AF lenses (1.8D, 1.4D, 1.4G). Currently only own the 1.4G because it suits my needs the best easily.
 
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Interesting, my view as a sportsshooter is that the fine focussing speed is possibly more important too. Once acquired you usually track until the point of peak action until taking the shot - so - it would be critical that it can do this well.

I think this will be my next lens also.
 
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Edward, I mainly was basing that off threads I've read on the Nikon Cafe and FM.

Steve, are you saying you think the AF-D would focus faster on my D700 than the AF-S?

Thanks to both of you for the detailed comments!
People on this forum also say the 17-35 is a dog compared to their fancy new nano coated lenses. The 50 1.4 AFS is just fine, I swear people get so hung up for that extra .1 LPI detail while negating the usability aspect of a given camera/lens.

If I listened to every yahoo on this forum, I'd be flat broke having to buy every multi-thousand dollar lens!
 
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Why not grab a dirty-thirty - Sigma 30mm f/1.4 ... Mine is sharp as a tack, even at f/1.4 in the kind of light it lives for!

f/1.4
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f/2.5
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f/3.5
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Jan 11, 2009
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St Paul, MN
I've owned the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-D and f/1.8 AF-D

I found the 1.4 relatively sharp by about f/1.8, but the lack of AF-S really drove me nuts when I tried to use it for any moving subjects.

I've been reading up on the AF-S "G" version, which does not seem to get quite as good of reviews in the IQ category, and the Sigma 50 is supposedly sharper but has all sorts of focusing problems.

Am I only hearing the bad things? Or are most people honestly satisfied?

I've thought of just using the 35 1.8 in DX crop mode, since 6mp would be big enough for most of the things I would shoot with it.

Really hoping Nikon would just release a 35mm 1.4 AF-S...hmmmmm....
Would a 35mm F2 not work?
 
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Jan 26, 2005
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San Jose, CA
I've owned the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-D and f/1.8 AF-D

I found the 1.4 relatively sharp by about f/1.8, but the lack of AF-S really drove me nuts when I tried to use it for any moving subjects.

I've been reading up on the AF-S "G" version, which does not seem to get quite as good of reviews in the IQ category, and the Sigma 50 is supposedly sharper but has all sorts of focusing problems.

Am I only hearing the bad things? Or are most people honestly satisfied?
I find dissatisfied people are always more vocal than satisfied ones. There are plenty of folks happily clicking away with the new AF-S midrange lenses. Bjorn Rorslett is a pretty tough reviewer, and he gives 5/5 ratings for both the 50G and 60G. I use the 60G in PJ mode, and think it's a terrific normal FOV lens on FX.

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I've thought of just using the 35 1.8 in DX crop mode, since 6mp would be big enough for most of the things I would shoot with it.
If the 35mm FOV is OK, why not go FF and use all 12MP? AF-S isn't a sure thing. Even it's most avid advocates report the 35/1.8 to be a slow focuser. But the full frame 35/2 is very fast and accurate.
 
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Jan 29, 2009
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People on this forum also say the 17-35 is a dog compared to their fancy new nano coated lenses. The 50 1.4 AFS is just fine, I swear people get so hung up for that extra .1 LPI detail while negating the usability aspect of a given camera/lens.

If I listened to every yahoo on this forum, I'd be flat broke having to buy every multi-thousand dollar lens!
Looking at the equipment you already own, you are not flat broke? whow.
 
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I just got the 50mm asf f/1.4G and I love it, I have only had it since Friday, but so far I have found it to be very good even wide open, much much better than the old 50mm f/1.4D which I found unusable until it was stopped down past f/2

None of this may mean anything to you because I shoot DX and you shoot FX.

so I will give you a review of the new Nikon 50 written by a working pro who tested it on a D3x (that should push it to its limits)
http://www.prophotohome.com/hands-on-nikon-50mm-g-lens-peter-gregg

and just for fun a sample I took yesterday at f/1.4 on my D200
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as a side note your post implies that the new 50mm AFS f/1.4G does not get as good of reviews as the the f/1.4D - perhaps I am reading it wrong, but if I am not I dont know where you are reading this.

here is a quote from the review of the new AFS lens on dpreview

"The AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G was, at its introduction, hailed by Nikon as 'redefining the standard lens concept'. It turns out that in many ways that was no idle boast - in almost all respects the lens is clearly improved over its predecessor, the AF-Nikkor 50mm F1.4D. It's sharper wide open, and provides much more even performance across the frame (especially on FX), with notably better corner sharpness at large and intermediate apertures. Both barrel distortion and vignetting are also lower, and the rendition of out-of-focus backgrounds is improved due to the circular aperture"

Bjorn Rorslett also seems to like it better as does Thom Hogan

But again perhaps I miss understood you.
I think that review killed the discussion, I want one.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
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Interesting, my view as a sportsshooter is that the fine focussing speed is possibly more important too. Once acquired you usually track until the point of peak action until taking the shot - so - it would be critical that it can do this well.

I think this will be my next lens also.
I guess it would depend on the type of sport. BBall has very erratic/chaotic movement. With other sports where the movement is more predictable or regular it'll do a fine job.
 
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Jun 9, 2006
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There is no AF 50 mm. currently that is better than Nikon's 50/1.4G. The Sigma might be sharper wide open in the center but the Nikon is better at the corners at all apertures.
As for fast AFS wides, they should be coming in the next few months. Wait awhile.:smile:
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
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654
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England
i have the g and d in real terms not that much in it

i use the g as its more modern design and works well with my D700

I COULD BE IMAGINING IT BUT IT FEELS AS IF I GET MORE IN FOCUS IN DARK ROCK CONCERTS
 

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