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Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S now available for pre-order

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Adorama has the new Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S Auto Focus Nikkor Lens available for pre-order (free shipping).
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  • MarkDphotoguy

    ED glass is used to prevent chromatic aberration in telephoto lenses, zooms (where compromises are being minimized) and specialty lenses (like the micro lenses and tilt shift lenses).
    A lens like the 50mm f/1.4 needs a price point for the masses (IMO expect a 50mm f/1.2 G ED at PMA ’09 or ’10) plus it’s not a lens that is trying to accomplish much. It’s not a telephoto, not a wide and not a zoom. It’s compact, nine bladed diaphragm, AF-S and better wide open (going by Nikon’s MTF values). Plus they have corrected the coma flare and ghosting issue that plagued use of the old 50 f/1.4 at night (point light sources at 1.4 and 2 go weird towards the edges having a butterfly shape on the D3/D700).
    See an example here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/15183671@N07/2880839674/
    If Nikon has fixed this I’ll be a happy camper.
    If they release a 35mm f/1.4 hopefully it also won’t have this problem as my 35mm f/1.4 AI lens does at 1.4.
    I’m happy with the price I work in a camera store so I’ll pay less :P anyway. I though about the Sigma, just tested one in fact but it’s bigger than I would like and the sample I tested had some back focusing issue plus a very shinny glass or metal shaving behind the front element (didn’t show up in the images I shot but would if shooting towards bright light sources). The Sigma was good but not worth the price. I like my 50mm lenses compact so even if Nikon releases a 1.2 with all the bells and whistles I won’t pick it up.

  • Anonymous

    oh come on… this price can’t be right… is it Nikon or adorama f’ing with us? 300$-320$, tops.

  • Blog Admin
  • http://www.chadwebbphotography.com rad

    I bet there is going to be a 50mm 1.2. I can’t imagine why this lens is not ED, or Nano coated. Plus this is not a gold ring lens.

  • Theodore

    I’ve had a bad experience with Adorama and pre-ordering. Perhaps it will work out for others with this lens but I wouldn’t put too much stock in a pre-order.

  • Blog Admin

    Amazon will probably have it by tomorrow and B&H will follow soon after. I will update the post.

  • Anonymous

    they don’t compare… as rad says, it ain’t gold ring (sigma is EX, and way overpiced IMHO), and by that I mean that it has nothing new, except the design and af-s (which aren’t extra features, only updates that nikon should’ve done a long time ago…) it really shouldn’t go much above the price of the old 1.4 af-d.
    this way it’s in the price range of the 60 micro, which has nano, weather sealing and is a macro lens…
    I say it’s either adorama BS, or a nikon rip-off. I’m really starting to get pissed on nikon prices and marketing. I just feel that I’m not getting as much as I’m paying for sometimes…

  • Anonymous

    sorry for the misplaced post, it’s supposed to be an answer to the admin’s, but the reply to link doesn’t always work (or I’m too tired… or drunk.)

  • Douglas

    i have held out hope for some time for a Nikon 50/85 f/1.2 lens… though i honestly think it might be a mount design issue that prevents that… i could be wrong in that though.

    i agree, there is no reason this lens should not be ED, especially if that is the price of it, FAR too many professional photographers use this lens for it not to have the high end professional coatings these days…

  • MarkDphotoguy

    Trust Nikon’s design. If the lens doesn’t need ED why do you want to pay more for it.
    If a 50mm f/1.4 (or slower) needs an ED element then there is something wrong with it’s design. Brighter than 1.4 you may need ED to solve some of the issues that arise.
    I for one do not want anything added to a lens that doesn’t have to be because in the end you get nothing for free.
    Nikon has a long history of not gouging their customers wallets so have a little faith and wait until the lens is public before decreeing it should have ED glass. If it really bothers you wait for a 1.2 or buy a magic market and write the ED on the barrel in yourself ;)
    Have faith people. Name one bad Nikon prime lens lens that wasn’t awesome released in the last couple of years. Can’t do it can you.

  • Henry Nikon Fan

    I could not agree with you more. If you have problems with Nikon’s product, then dont buy it.

    Nikon is a for profit company that has mangaged to do very well for generations. I would also suspect that they have included all the necessary amenities in this lens for it to be a high quality Prime lens and keep it at the best price they feel people can afford. In addition, I do not think that they have or will discontinue the previous models of the AF 50mm.

    I know I will buy one because I have a D300 and my wife has a D60 so because of the AF-S, we can both use it.

  • Pablov

    MarkDphotoguy:

    Thanks for the link to the pic.
    Really bothering effect in an expensive “prime” lens….
    I would be very dissapointed if buying one and finding such efect.

    BTW: you got a shooting star in one of the pics ? nice :)

    - Have you tried the 50mm f1.8D ?
    It’s really cheaper ($110) than “old” 1.4D and I’m not sure if the diference in design is only in the faster aperture
    (I suppose that there are more differences besides being 1.4 vs 1.8..)

    If you tested it, does it show the butterfly effect to at 1.8 – 2 too?

    I wouldn’t pay almost 150% more for just about 1/3 o4 1/2 more light, even more that it is soft at corners at wide open.

    I want to think the new 1.4 has corrected all those issues

  • cameron

    seriously, dude, why are you concerned about corner softness? just crop it out when developing your pictures in lightroom, easy as done

  • Pablov

    cameron:

    I guess nobody would like to crop if not strictly necessary…
    Would be like using a DX lens area on a FX camera, but with a FX lens….

    It’s a waste of sensor, pixels, and image coverage.

    If the lens is not good, well, might be an option, but for a prime, that shouldn’t be necessary
    That’s why it is a “prime” fixed focal lens

    Note: the softness at corners I saw was at wide open and until 2.8 or 4 (don’t remember well, see the reviews)
    I guess the new 50 1.4G will be more adequate to today’s digital photography, giving better image quality

    We’ll see how good it is when it is released or reviewed

  • Steve

    So 50 pages of rumors and all we end up the week leading up to Photokina is a 50mm?

  • Zen-shooter
  • Brett

    Just wondering… there were a number of rumors Publish about an upcoming ‘MX’ format, and I seem to recall one post that talked about the new prime lenses being able to support this new format when it becomes available. Does anyone think that the increase in price for the lens may be as a result of ensuring that the new 50mm will also work great with new ‘MX’ format cameras? (if/when the become available).

    Just a thought…

    Brett

  • Pablov

    If I was going to buy a 50 1.4, I would also consider the Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM lens.

    I don’t know anything about MX possible format and/or compatibility (if it ever appears)

    BTW: Sigma has just also announced a new 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM

  • cameron

    well we can see corner softness when someone makes a sweet 60 x 40 print but hardly seen on 8 x 10 prints… same thing with high iso noise, we cant see iso 6400 on 8 x 10 prints… DX crop on my brother’s d3 can deliver nice big prints no problem…

    pull out your old 50mm 1.4 and give it a shot at 1.4 then make a 8 x 10 print and see for yourself because computer monitor lies.

  • aim54x

    That pic shows the rubber sealing at the lens mount if i am not mistaken. Who said that there was no rubber seal??

  • Ernst

    The rubber seal is also visible in Nikon’s original PR photo. The doofus who made up the rumor (which spread everywhere like wildfire) can also be heard from above, claiming soft corners are a non-issue because you can “crop them.”

  • Anonymous

    Maybe you should wait with the “overpriced” and “it needs ED, and N” rants until you’ve seen images from the lens… that’s what photographers care about, ya know… not acronyms on the lens barrel.

  • MarkDphotoguy

    I used to shoot with the 1.8 and 1.4 side by side.
    When I was doing more studio work and still shooting with the F6 and FM3A. The shots I took with both were pretty close. I always found that the sharpness of the 1.8 was better than the 1.4. However the contrast on the 1.4 was higher than on the 1.8. I always found in a big print (11×14+) that the 1.4 would look better especially the micro (local) contrast in the print. I’ve never tested the 1.8 on the FX sensor but I was never happy with either 1.4 or 1.8 wide open anyway and going by the MTF the new 50 f/1.4 will be sharper wide open. Hopefully as sharp as the Sigma because at 1.4, I was impressed with the corner sharpness.
    As for cropping, one of the biggest reasons for my move to FX was to go to a larger capture area. Having more surface area when capturing an image means that tonal change (transition from dark to light) occurs over a greater amount area which means that there will be a smoother transition in the tone. Its a subtle effect but its there. It’s the reason why film 4×5 cameras are still in use for catalogue shooting and MF film and digital in the fashion arena. Greater capture area = more natural tonal change + greater feeling of 3 dimensions when looking at an image. The effect is so subtle that most people would not notice unless you pointed it out. My clients when I used to shoot for money always found MF looked better than the 35mm (at conservative 8×10 and 11×14 print sizes) even though there was no visible difference in the level of sharpness or grain etc. It was all in the capture area.
    Shoot full frame (full capture area wether you shoot FX or DX) as much as possible, crop only when necessary.
    BTW You can always test this yourself by taking a shot over the full capture area of your sensor (regardless of DX or FX you’ll see the difference) then back up and take the same subject again this time crop the image so that it looks like the 1st image and make a couple of 8×10 prints (8×10 is still well within the acceptable range for Mp when cropping DX) then have a look. The color transitions will not be the same. If you purposely cropped all your FX images your lenses would once again be subject to a crop factor and 50mm would not be 50mm which means that to get the framing (leaving bleed for later cropping) you’d have to stand farther away from the subject causing the perspective in the image to change. For example in a portrait your subjects nose would appear flatter by standing a few feet back to allow for cropping, not necessarily flattering for the subject. Subtle I know, but subtle differences sells prints.

  • MarkDphotoguy

    If you place your subject in the middle of your frame all the time corner sharpness is not an issue. If you actually give a thought to composition when shooting, you should try it sometime ;) you’ll know that the subject rarely looks great smack in the middle of the frame but more into the corners of the frame or thirds of the frame either way cropping does not leave allot of room for good composition.

  • Eric

    A 50mm lens, in basically any variety, is about as basic and “sound” a design as you can get. ED glass is needed where ED glass is needed, and it’s certainly not with a 50.

    I will say that the lack of nano coating is kind of disconcerting. Ultra fast glass is by its nature more vulnerable to flare. I will wait to read the review by Bjorn before pulling the trigger on this one.

  • Eric

    The price of $439 is about on-par with the difference in price between the pre AF-S 60mm and post 60mm. In both cases the newer versions are roughly 1/3 more expensive than the older versions. I bet that Amazon is going to beat out both Adorama and B&H on this one, though.

  • Pablov

    MarkDphotoguy:

    thanks for the comment about comparing 1.8 vs 1.4

    I didn’t find a good review testing both side by side.
    If you know any, please let me know the link.

    I didn’t know the difference in contrast either. Good to know.

    I was thinking about how would compare the new 50 1.4G vs 60 Micro in terms of Image Quality.

  • cameron

    lol control your PMS, dude. what kind of people who go pixel peeling at tiny corners of 8 x 10 prints?? you?? no lenses are oh so perfect, only people know how to make it perfect.

  • MarkDphotoguy

    The MTF for the 60 is better but you would expect that of a macro lens. The 50G won’t be as sharp but it will certainly focus faster and have more light reaching the sensor at closer focus distances.
    The 60 at 4 ft is an f/3 and f/3.2 at 1 ft focused distance. The old 50 keeps the f/1.4 throughout the focused range, the 50G is likely to as well. This should make the 50G more versatile for low light street photography and close up window lit portraits w/shallow DoF etc. The 60 is untouchable in term of image quality close up but the 50G just may match it at f/2.8 onwards to around f/11 at f/16 I expect the diffraction effects will make the lens too soft for critical use.

  • Rocky

    The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S lens is also available for preorder at Ritz Camera.

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