Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G (Special Edition) Review

January 29, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


A fast 50mm lens should be in every DSLR shooter's camera bag, and the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G is an inexpensive standard prime that delivers very appealing image quality. You do need to stop-down to f/2.8 to obtain really sharp results in the center and f/5.6 at the edges, but given the overall cost of the lens, we can live with this.

The Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G delivers some nice bokeh effects when shot wide-open, with the fast lens' ability to separate the subject from the background very good for a standard focal-length optic. In all other regards the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G is also an excellent performer. Lateral chromatic aberrations are kept to a minimum and vignetting isn't too much of a problem, even at f/1.8.

Mechanical quality is great for a modern lens and it is quite compact and light compared to Nikon's other 50mm lenses. Auto-focus was fast and quiet on the Df body that we tested it with, and there's a certain level of weather-proofing built-in too.

Whether you purchase the standard gold version or the special retro silver version that ships with the Nikon Df, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G is something of an essential purchase for Nikon DSLR owners who have outgrown the image quality and slow apertures offered by their standard kit zoom lens.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4.5