Review Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S

Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
1,557
Location
Central Ohio
Real Name
Andrew
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Background
Want to take a journey with me using the sharpest lens I’ve ever owned?

Then read on, my friends….read on.

All images are taken using the Nikon Z6.

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Handling/Size/Weight
This lens is basically the same look and feel as the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8S. A/M switch is in the same place, the focus ring is the same. Heck, unless you look for the lettering, you’ll probably not be able to tell them apart.

There is a bit of heft to the lens due to all the glass inside it, but beyond that it is roughly the same size as the f-mount 50mm f/1.8 with FTZ adapter on it.

I think it balances extremely well on the Z6 body.

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(100% crop)

Weather Sealed
Nikon added weather sealing to the Z primes and this is no exception.

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(100% crop)

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full image from crop above

Image Quality
Honestly, this is why you are here reading. Well, most likely, anyway. Bar none, this is the sharpest lens that I’ve ever used.

I used to think that the Micro Four Thirds primes, Olympus being my favorite would be hard to beat. And they are…but this Z 50mm is just outstanding.

Even at wide open and 100% crops, you’ll be able to judge for yourself. The clarity, resolution, contrast, sharpness….well, they are here in spades and well worth what Nikon is asking for this lens.

$600 might be a little steep for a lot of people, and I understand that. Just know that this lens competes with Zeiss glass that is THOUSANDS of dollars and manual focus.

Z 50mm f/1.8S is auto focus and to most people indistinguishable in IQ from that Zeiss lens. Think about that.

Please, allow the samples images to speak for themselves.

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(100% crop on the right)

Focusing
Focusing on this lens is fast and sure. It nails focus in what appears to be an effortless fashion. Even at f/1.8, the accuracy is there. Is it the fastest focusing lens I’ve ever used, no…but it never left me wanting or missing a shot.

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VR
No VR in the lens, that is taken care of by the IBIS in the Nikon camera bodies(Z6/Z7). If using it on the Z50, no VR or IBIS of any kind.

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(100% crop)

Bottom Line
Do you want the best 50mm lens that Nikon has ever made? Do you want one of the best 50mm lenses ever made? Need fast, sure AF, good color and contrast and grail level sharpness?

Look no further. You’ve found it.

We’ll be sure to publish more images in the future. This will be a frequently used lens!!

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Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
15
Location
Colorado
Very interesting and thorough review of this awesome "nifty fifty"! I recently acquired it with a Z7, and look forward to testing it. I have attached an image taken with it (handheld) and the Z7, and I totally agree with your assessment of its' sharpness!!
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