Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 S.C Auto. If you’re looking to purchase this lens I always check Adorama and Ebay for good deals. It helps me if you purchase it through one of these links here in this review. When you purchase through these links it financially enables me to devote time to develop this site further. Thanks for the help! -Todd
11.3 oz (321g)
2 feet (0.6 meters).
7 blades stopping down to f/16.
Nikon Metal Mount.
f/1.4 This lens has some sharpness wide open but there is a large amount of spherical aberration and coma causing the lens to look soft and hazy with a fair bit of chromatic aberration.
f/1.6 Immediately there is a huge jump just stoping it down a touch. The lens sharpens up with more contrast and a huge drop in spherical aberration but still has quite a bit of chromatic aberration.
f/2 Sharpens up a lot with great contrast with still a little bit of coma but there is still a fair amount of chromatic aberration.
f/2.8: Very sharp with fantastic contrast and almost no chromatic aberrations.
f/3.5: Sharper yet.
f/4: Sharper yet.
f/8: Sharper yet with a hint of diffusion.
There is quite a bit of vignetting at f/1.4 and begins clearing at f/2 and f/2.8 and nearly gone by f/3.5.
The blur is decent and not too distracting.
This lens has quite a bit of barrel distortion but is common for f/1.4 lenses. A little more then the Ai-s version.
On MF Camera
Optics: ★ ★ ★ ★
Mechanics: ★ ★ ★ ★
Ergonomics: ★ ★ ★ ★
Usefulness: ★ ★ ★
Availability: ★ ★ ★ ★
Overall: ★ ★ ★ ★
On AF Camera
Ergonomics: ★ ★ ★
Overall: ★ ★ ★ ★
Out of 5
This lens can easily be converted to work on a digital camera simply by having it Ai-Converted. The are 2 ways of doing it, one is to have a new aperture ring installed like this one which has the aperture scale written on the top and bottom to display in the viewfinder of the film bodies. Another way is that people do at home hack cut jobs which work just as well. I have had a few that people mutilated the lenses in the process but there are some people who do a nice job. I have no problem buying them if they did a good job and repainted the cut.
You really need to watch out for the rear element which is very close to the mount surface and can get scratched very easily. There are many lenses floating around that have the rear element scratched which is more curtail then the front element.
Great build, fantastic optics, dirt cheap today, and not too large this lens is a bargain. If you want to use it on digital this lens is definitely worn having the aperture ring Ai Converted. There are a few around that are already done so keep an eye out for them.
Stopped down simply to f/1.6 begins to give cleaner results and continues to get better quickly. If you don’t mind manual focus and can handle some Chromatic aberration and a bit of distortion then this lens is a bargain. This lens is almost as good as the newer 50mm f/1.4 Ai-s and even gives the 50mm f/1.4 AF-D a good run for its money.
Did this review help?
My hopes are to take the time to continue developing this website with more test photo based reviews. If you are ever interested in purchasing this lens or other photography equipment please do so through these links here in this review. I always check Adorama and Ebay for good deals. This helps support my family and allows me to take more time for the site. The best part is this site is free for you and I link good deals I find!
Sometimes these links will actually give you better deals then typical retail prices! I personally buy from the links I have listed whether looking for new gear or fun old stuff. I can personally attest to their good & safe service from years of experience. Thanks again to you, our readers, for supporting us! -Todd