The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW – I resisted buying this lens as long as I could. I really did. I was VERY happy with my old Nikon 50mm F/1.4 lens. It was the sharpest lens in my Nikon bag. But I kept hearing how great the new AF-S version was and well, I caved in.
I recently used the lens while scouting Mt. Rainier for the Aperture Nature Photography Workshops. All I can say is WOW! This is my new favorite Nikon lens. This puppy is S H A R P. The focus is fast and precise. The low-light performance is superb in every possible way. The build quality is good but I’d prefer it weren’t made of plastic, especially at $469. The thing I did like about the build quality was the smooth focus ring.
Others have complained that this lens needs VR. I don’t miss it. I use this lens on a tripod for critical landscape work and the VR would go to waste for me anyway.
I tested the lens on a D3. The color and contrast were as close to perfect as can be. At F/1.4 the lens is very, very good. At F/1.8 it’s wicked good.
The manual override autofocus mode is valuable on this lens when you’re shooting wide open. Sometimes minute focus adjustments matter at that aperture if you want to guarantee sharp focus when working with very narrow depth-of-field.
I do wish this weren’t a G-lens. That means there is no aperture ring available.
The lens comes with a nice hood and a very nice soft case. It’s simply a must-have lens for those who need to shoot in low-light and who want really sharp images.
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