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Confusion: new AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens

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Approximately 4 hours ago, a new lens appeared on Nikon Imaging website: Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G. I am still not sure if this is a mistake or this lens is really officially announced. No major website has reported this news yet and there is no official press release from Nikon. The lens is not listed on other Nikon websites.

Updates:

  • One of the sample images posted on Nikon's website is from Deborah Sandidge (published online on her blog on March 18th, 2011). The images were removed few minutes after publishing the links online. Blog post is still available on Google cache.
  • A week ago there was a post on the Chinese forum Xitek that this lens will be announced soon.

Features:

  • A fast, single-focal-length lens with normal 50mm focal length
  • Large maximum aperture of f/1.8
  • Newly developed optical system employing an aspherical lens element
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM) realizes quiet AF operation
  • Two focus modes are available — M/A (quick switching from AF to MF) and M (manual focus)

Specs:

MFT chart:

Lens construction:

Sample image:

The 50mm f/1.8G lens is listed as "new" on Nikon Imaging website:

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  • josephmyl

    looks like the 50 1.4G

    • Joe R.

      Except for the 1.8 part.

      • http://bit.ly/9NIXQ David Hasselblaff

        Weight: 185 g/6.6 oz !!
        Now, where is the FX body for a lightweight travel setup?

  • Adde

    Sweet!

  • N.P.Peanat

    It would be nice if it is real lens…

  • Henke

    Been waiting for this one :D

  • Tobias

    This would allow AF on the D5100/D3100 cameras?

    • Joe R.

      Yup.

    • Marc W.

      Yes.

    • http://www.andradefoto.com fotosniper

      uhh-huh
      thats afirmative

  • Robertstoffer photo

    Looks new to me. In my personal opinion it’s not the 1.4 G the focus ring/area of the end of the lens looks smaller then the 1.4

    • Robertstoffer photo

      Yepp different focusing rings. Look at the image above and see the diameter of the focusing ring and see barely no edge besides the focusing ring but look at the 1.4 and has a small flatten type focus ring off the grip

    • Seshan

      It also says 1.8 on it.

  • http://andrew@fritztech.com Andrew Fritz

    Yeah, would make a nice pairing with my 35 f1.8… I love my 50mm f1.4 AIS, but having an autofocus lens would be nice.

  • http://www.twitter.com/johanvdgeest Johan

    Rather strange to see this lens announced. There’s already the f/1.4G which is quite affordable, so what does this lens really add?

    • Joe R.

      It subtracts, probably $200, from the price of the 1.4. It’s also, probably, not quite as sharp.

      • Chris

        It’s most likely going to be sharper then the 1.4.

        The 50mm 1.8 has always been sharper then the 1.4.

        The 1.4 just goes to 1.4, so that’s why people love it more. But for pure sharpness, the 1.8 wins out.

        • Chris

          Additionally, the 1.8 has always had less barrel distortion then the 1.4

          If you want fast aperture, you usually loose sharpness and add distortion (due to the larger front element and optical configuration)

          • dave.

            nope… shooting 1.8 on the 1.4 will be way sharper than the 1.8 and 1.8. every lens is NOT it’s sharpest at it’s widest aperature it’s always a stop or two down (on 85mm 1.4′s it’s 2.2). So to get the maximum sharpness out of the new 1.8 you’d need to stop down even further, losing the ability to shoot in low(er) light. More expensive lenses are more expensive for a reason.

            • http://www.focusclub.ro Laurentiu Ilie

              I agree, but shooting at f/2.8 on the 1.8 will be sharper than shooting f/2.8 on the 1.4. Mabe the same thing at f/2.

    • http://ryanmlong.com ryanmlong.com

      The current 50mm f/1.8 is a great value at ~$100. If this comes in at a similar price point it would be a great option for users of Nikon’s AF-motor-less bodies.

      • http://www.josephsands.com jastereo

        If it comes in at that much less than the 200-250$ cost of the 35mm f/1.8 I’ll be very surprised. Awesome that Nikon can still thrown down a surprise!

    • http://www.ovcharski.com Nikola Ovcharski

      Focus with the D5100/D3100 cameras

  • Yosuke

    I don’t know how to call that dot to line up with the body. The dot bigger than F1.4G lens.

    • Steve

      The mounting index?

      • Yosuke

        yes, if look at the F1.4G’s dot actually smaller than F1.8G lens.

        • Arthur

          True

  • kino13

    I don’t know how to “read” the charts, can someone explain the optical differences with the current model, if any?

    Regards

  • http://www.dafyddowen.com Daf

    Not on Nikon UK yet

  • Davo

    Good work, admin.
    A premature website leak?
    Looks smaller than the 1.4G. I guess it wouldn’t have been that hard to update the 50mm f1.8 to AFS.
    Maybe such a lens might get ‘lost’ in all the excitement if announced with a longed for FX camera so they just did a one off release.

  • Michael

    Any idea on how much it is going to be?

    • Sudheer

      I think it will be same price as the 35mm 1.8G

  • Erwin Poerwanto

    FX Format n 58mm filter-attachment size ?

    • WoutK89

      Same as 50/1.4G

  • Parci

    Admin: since the MFT charts are different, you can safely assume it is not the same lens with just a typo from f1.4 -> f1.8

  • Nau

    very random news…. and ‘old’ 50mm no so old as well to have refresh…

    • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com/ Slow Gin

      Well, if 50/1.8 was meant to be cheap, it must be fully compatible with cheap non-motor drive cameras.

      • http://www.josephsands.com jastereo

        Yeah, really looking forward to not having to have “the talk” about why nikon’s “cheap” 50mm doesn’t focus on my friend’s brand new low end cameras.

        • http://blog.nauphotos.com nau

          yeh good point
          i guess i was waiting for 24-70 for tooooo long

  • d300

    HAHA, Nikon OWNED u this time :-) great lens, no more grumbling, there are like 6 50s on the lineup now :-)

  • vurobega

    i think its not fake because this appear on the real website nikon..
    maybe they jus mess up with the web page…
    it branded with line NEW on the list lens page..

  • Michael A. Dice

    Here are some blog posts from the photographer of the sample images:
    http://blog.deborahsandidge.com/search?q=50mm

    She mentions a 50mm Nikon lens, but doesn’t give any details!

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/del-uks_gallery/ Del-Uks

      Nice pics !

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      good find, thanks!

    • http://www.twitter.com/johanvdgeest Johan

      Unfortunately the post is no longer available..

      • http://www.twitter.com/johanvdgeest Johan

        With Google Cache it is: http://bit.ly/fzzwWt (thanks to Nikon Rumors)

  • D-RiSe

    Slightly different optical formula but very similar MTF chart, so it just adss af-s, which is ok, the afd 1.8 was a very sharp lens allready, too bad i just ordered the 1.4, 1.4 may not be used a lot by me…

  • Geoff1

    Great! I hope that more affordable primes will follow. I’m hoping for an updated 18 and 24mm that are sharp and affordable. f2.8 is fine with me.

  • Merv

    There are too many specific differences on the webpage compared to the AF-S 50mm f/1.4 page to not consider it seriously

    It has an aspherical element
    7 elements in 6 groups compared to 8 elements in 7 groups
    185 grams compared to 280 grams
    47° (31°30′ with Nikon DX format) versus 46°
    72 x 52.5 mm/2.8 x 2.1 in. versus 73.5 × 54 mm/2.9 x 2.1 in

    Nikon’s done a pretty good job at keep this under the wraps if this ends up being true

  • SZRimaging

    58mm front threads?! Arggh, another adapter.

    I wonder how badly it breathes. If it isn’t bad, I may just get one and swap out the older AF-D model I have.

    • D-RiSe

      58 is the same as the 1.4 afs, so maybe 58mm is nikons new 52mm?

      • SZRimaging

        Possibly, or Nikon is wising up and using the right size for the lens instead of getting them all to a certain size.

        I buy my filters at 77mm and use step rings, so really, an added $10 and I have all my filters, not a bad problem.

  • Theo

    Sounds interesting in a way that this might be targeted at consumer FX users. What the point otherwise to release this lens?

    It has begun :)

    • Marc W.

      How is it “targeted” to FF users? A lot of DX users use the current 50mm 1.8D.

    • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com/ Slow Gin

      The point is that consumers (from D40 to D5100) are screwed up with not having autofocus on old 50/1.8 D.

      • Theo

        Yes …but 50mm is useless on DX — AF-S 35mm f1.8G is a better general-purpose lens and for portraits 50mm is too short.

        • http://nakedlens.org NakedLens

          “Useless” might be a bit extreme.

          I agree that the 35 is a much better general purpose lens, with it’s angle of view being abot 52mm, but the 50mm still provides a more than decent portrait lens, 75mm not being that far off from an 85/90.

        • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com/ Slow Gin

          Valid point, but still arguable. As for me, I prefer angle of view of 35 mm on FX camera (one can reach thia AoV on DX with 24 mm lens).

      • zoetmb

        That’s ridiculous. The vast majority of consumers who bought a D40 to D5100 were new to DSLRs and never owned an SLR. They didn’t already have and didn’t buy with the digital body any D lenses. They bought the kit lens and a few bought a second lens.

        For the first 9 months of the fiscal year ending March 31, Nikon sold 1.52 lenses for each body sold. The larger industry (including Nikon) sold 1.67 lenses for each body sold. The reality is that most people don’t buy that many lenses. Most never even buy a 2nd lens.

        • Goose

          heard about 2nd hand…?

          • WoutK89

            Second hand is not a new lens sold, so he makes a valid point. People go for a lower price, not for the latest products in that case. Count the amount of people really never owning more than the basic kit lens (combo’s) and you will see only a “handful” of people buy more than the 2 kitlenses.

      • paulinux

        the 50 mm 1.4 (or the 1.8, for that matter) are amazing portrait lenses on my D90…

  • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

    The lens is not listed on any other major website – it could be a mistake. Let’s see if the page will be removed in the next 30 min.

    • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com/ Slow Gin

      Peter, maybe this is a very thin breathe of 50/1.2 which people were waiting to come this year? :)

    • James

      A mistake as in a leak maybe but certainly not a mistake such as incorrectly labelled. The NIKKOR Lenses page has a ‘new’ tag in blue next to the lens. The picture of the lens has f1.8 and is physically different to the f1.4 version. The specifications and MTF are different to the D version. It is certainly legitimate. Probably will be announced today. Great news though and will look fine on a Nikon D800 :)

      • WoutK89

        I am wondering, will there be more? Why didnt they announce this single lens with the D5100 otherwise?

    • vurobega

      maybe they will pulled out,
      but i’m sure they will make new press release to this lens..

  • James

    Great news and certainly legitimate. In 50mm I always preferred the f1.8 to the f1.4. I don’t need the extra light but prefer the increased sharpness and lower distortion of the f1.8.

  • DanAus

    Alright, I am comparing the photo to the 50mm 1.4G lens I have in front of me.
    Differences:
    On the distance window, the first marking on my lens from infinity is 3m, on the photo it appears to be 1.5m.
    My lens has two focus marks, for f11 and f16. The photo looks like it only has one.
    The distances in feet seem orange in the photo but that could be due to the lighting.

    Looks like a new lens to me :)

  • Michael Warby

    Nice Catch!

  • dudemanppl

    Does that mean a new full frame camera without a focus motor?

    • Theo

      I was thinking the same, but I don’t think this will happen soon.

    • dontfeedthetrolls

      nice conclusion :DD

    • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com/ Slow Gin

      This may screw-up alot of good folks. Listen to those who had spent thousands of dollars on Leica-R system: they are in trouble, because there will be no R-solution in the misty near future. Army of wonderful lenses are now on the road to Leitax converters to work on Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax systems.

      The same goes here: you’ll find many people who has no plans to renew their park due to some reasons. Motor-drive is outdated thing, anachronism, but Nikon have to prolongue its way, which will end maybe in 6-7 years. Nikon has huge hole in the AF-S lens line-up. 50/1.8 G is the first on this line. There is too many lenses which are needed renovation.

  • Kerni

    mtf chart looks much sharper than the 1.4g in the center… crazy…

    • SZRimaging

      Not crazy, the 1.8 has always been amazingly sharp. It is the best deal in photo gear.

      • WoutK89

        It is a great deal of a stop smaller aperture, where the sweet spot on average is f/2.8-5.6 depending on the type of lens.

  • David

    Awesome! I thought about getting the 1.4G for some time now, but if this is real it will be mine.
    And if it is even as good optically as the old 1.8D it will be great. If it will be better, HEAVEN!

  • http://www.silentcreek.de Timo

    I’d certainly buy one of these. Sweet.

  • canapé

    it was about time.

  • Vince

    Another non standard filter thread.

    • James

      Nikon gave up on 52/62/77 a LONG time ago. Now it’s 52/58/62/67/72/77. (I don’t know what happened to 55.) So according to the new “standard,” this is in fact a standard thread. :)

  • mandrake

    50mm f1.8 FX? If the price is reasonable count me in.

  • Carlos R B

    Man, i wish it was a 24mm for DX…(36 EQ)…..with the small D5100 would be awesome for street shooting…

    • LGO

      A 16mm to 18mm DX prime f/2.0 to f/2.8 would also be nice for use with the D3100/D5100.

      • Geoff1

        Why not wish for 18mm FX prme of f2.0/ f2.8? Sure the size/weight difference wouldn’t be a deal breaker at those focal lengths? FX is more future friendly and versatile.

        • Young Boy

          FX = not cheap = people want quality
          DX = most people WANT namely CHEAP lens

          After series of pancake designs from m4/3 – alpha – sams – it would be nice/reasonable/logical to see some cheap wide-angle prime (14-15-16 mm) with at least f 2.8, usable at DX cameras! And the fact Canon doesn’t have it is not excuse! :P

          • WoutK89

            “DX = most people WANT namely CHEAP lens”

            And reduced size + weight

          • Geoff1

            When we’re talking 18mm or 24mm focal lengths, how big a difference in size/weight would there really be? I can’t imagine it would be big enough to make or break a buying decision. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Kevin Bacon

    It has begun.

    Great job, admin!

  • Kerni

    looks like less lens elements (7) than the 1.4g (8) – maybe it has a faster autofocus?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedtoast/ Fried Toast

    Maybe this was a test of the Nikon Rumors detection system ;) They are watching and calculating how fast it takes this news to burn around teh intarwebs.

    • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com/ Slow Gin

      NR sees more than KGB in times of cold war! :D

  • yrsued

    Crap, I just picked up the “D” version of this lens a month or so ago, as a remote lens!!

  • Snowninja

    Poor nikon, getting left behind in the dust by cannon once again. Nikon puts up the tourist of a camera with the 5100, and cannon about to release the monster of a badass with the 5dmark iii. Nikon puts out a measly 50mm lens and cannon about to release the most epic lens ever created with it’s 8-15mm full frame goodness! Nikon I still love you for having built in time lapse capability, but other then that you aint got nothing on cannon these days.

    • http://nakedlens.org NakedLens

      Are you honestly comparing Nikon’s release of an entry level body to one on Canon’s flagship bodies?

      So when Nikon releases a D-4, will you compare it to Canon’s T2i?

      • Snowninja

        Nope just saying nikon is falling way behind and when they should have released the d800 to compete with cannon they released a cheese ball of a camera. And why nikon only put 24fps in their video slr up until now just shows how far behind they really are.

        • WoutK89

          Nikon = quality

          If they cant deliver the quality, why do you want more than 24 fps in video? It would only give you a bad reputation

          • Snowninja

            First I hve shot on nikon for years and have just recently had the pleasure to shoot on canon. The video is far superior at least when compared to the d300s.

            What do I need more then 24fps? How about
            1) for anything going to tv
            2) video shot in 30fps and down converte to 24fps looks better then the other way around
            3) any action or panning shots look far better 30fps or higher
            4) true slow mo at 60fps and above is fun!!!
            5) James Cameron: http://m.engadget.com/default/article.do?artUrl=http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/02/james-cameron-ponders-48-or-60fps-shooting-of-future-avatar-film/&category=classic&postPage=1

            Yep and I am a retard speller for such an x nikon and now canon fan, but hey fact remains nikon is getting left in the dust.

            • WoutK89

              Nikon left in the dust for the high end video uses, so what? Nikon has video for the less professional uses. Nikon has great image quality in stills. Nikon has a great autofocus system. I am still not convinced that Nikon does something terribly wrong with their cameras. Remember the main use is taking photos.

            • WoutK89

              Oh, and I said, you prefer to have a sucky worked out video with more fps than video that actually works on your camera? D5100 is newer = more time spent on getting things right.

    • Segura

      For such a “cannon” fan, not being able to spell it correctly 4 times in your post says alot . . . I’ll stick with my “Nikkon”

    • Tommy Botello

      Whoa, hold on there buddy. 1) The 5100 fills in the gap between the 3100 & the 7000. It’s a direct competitor to the T3i. 2) How “bada$$” could the 5D Mark III possibly be? The video capabilities with the MII were great, sure. But what will make it “great”, for CANON (Cannon?), will be whether or not the focusing system will be improved upon. Canon had nothing on Nikon in this regard, not to mention ISO performance. And the time lapse capability fills a small market, but is a great feature, regardless.

      It’s still early in the year and Nikon still has more up their sleeve this coming summer/fall.

      • Snowninja

        What professional cinematographer uses auto focus (not that I am pro by any means)? Or photographer for that matter, except on ultra wide lenses. Nikons video autofocus is crap sorry to say. Cannon will bring raw video hopefully with the 5d 3. Also 60fps in full hd most likely. Also autofocus.

        • ninjasnow

          also next cannnnnnnon suppose to boast:

          Still and video noise reduction that will be industry revolutionary (I like that word)
          The most throughput on the market
          Dynamic range improvements, unknown to what extent
          New video codec. RAW video is unknown, but the throughput will attainable
          New liveview AF abilities, unknown whether that will affect video AF
          New “creative” tools for new DSLR and compact features

  • Cold Hands Luke

    Some poor web admin at Nikon’s probably going to lose their job over this…

    I’d be interested to know how fast it focuses. Looking at the other AF-S short primes, I’m going to guess the answer is “not very”.

    • Cold Hands Luke

      Also, nice to see that the cheap f/1.8 updates aren’t all going to be restricted to DX, as some of us feared.

      • WoutK89

        Unless it was a planned leak, no one will loose their job!

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedtoast/ Fried Toast

          Bingo.

  • Fred Ingman

    It is also on another page showing their lens lineup and is flagged as “NEW”

  • http://www.robertbromfield.com Robert Bromfield

    I don’t think it’s a mistake.
    http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/list.htm#single-focal
    It’s listed there along with all the prime lenses as “New.”

  • JETELINHO

    I WISH THE ONLY MISTAKE IS THE Focal length —- BE IT 85 mm, please, it is MORE THEN NEEDED!!!

    or even better – let this be true & let the 85 mm FOLLOW … ASAP (no matter how I hate this abbrav. …)

  • snowleopard

    The MTF of the ‘new’ AF-S 50/1.8 looks quite a bit better than that of the AF-D lens which is really impressive! The AF-D is already incredibly sharp lens…

    Somehow, this time Nikon managed to outrun NR :-)

  • AV
    • AV

      second girl, and 5th – cadilac – is her samples too)

  • ScrewD800GetGH2Video

    it certainly looks authentic. 50/1.4G has no aspheric element. this lens would probably be better than the current 1.4G.

    the nice thing about the 1.8G is it is a proof that Nikon would release cheap AF-S primes other than the corp of $2K f/1.4G premium primes.

    With the japanese plants all in deep trouble, nikon might elect to release a whole bunch of f/1.8G or f/2G AF-S primes all made in Thailand.

    now, please bring on AF-S 24/2.8G , AF-S 35/2G and AF-S 85/1.8G ! I bet you can buy all of these for the price of a 24/1.4G and still have spare changes.

  • carol wood

    The page showing all the lenses is completely re-designed and much easier to read now than the chart that was used before.

  • http://www.vivesa.pl Fotograf Kielce

    IMHO it real lens. Great! But I already have Sigma 50/1.4. :)

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