The road to nirvana

My journey into Photography, Horology, and Audiophilia

AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D

A fine prime lens

An opportunity came to me that led to the purchase of this popular and cheap lens. At only P2,500 pre-owned (use for currency conversion), how can I say no?

I tried to purchase this lens in the past, as I mentioned here.

Again, this focal range may be somewhat "off" for a DX camera such as my D40, but as I have a plan to go full frame should I win the lotto, so be it.


As my first pre-owned Nikkor, it didn't came in a box, nor does it include a manual. However, the condition is mint, and still have the front and rear caps.


I'm not going to repeat what the manufacturer said here.

Initial impressions

While made in China, the build quality is great. It did not have the flaws of the previous lenses I tested, and that's a pleasant surprise.

The zoom ring has a nice, smooth and well damped operation. The same can be said about the focus ring. There is no exhibit of play or looseness that I experienced with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 I tested before.

In terms of symmetry, it looks good on a D90, but may look out of whack on a D3/x.

Basic features

As an AF lens, it does not have a built-in motor. When focusing, it is noticeably noisier compared to my AF-S lenses. While I have not done any scientific test, I also feel it is the slowest, in terms of focusing speed. Of course, the AF speed is highly influenced by the body, and its AF module.

As a "D" lens, I have to lock the aperture ring to f/22 and let the camera body do the rest.

Being a full frame lens, I can also enjoy it with my N65.

Handling and use

As my shortest lens, it took sometime getting used to it. I tend to grasp the focusing ring when I use it with my D90.


I am a sucker for sharpness, and there is no doubt that this is a sharp copy. I am pleased with the over-all sharpness I have achieved together with my D90 on custom setting based on Neutral picture control.

It does not seem to have any vignetting on my D90, and I don't expect it to have any being an FX lens. I'll see the results with my N65 when I have the shots developed.

There is no visible distortion I can see in my shots of lines, bricks, and so on and that makes me happier.


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