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Thread: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    No 85mm?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    I think a lot of people were waiting for prime updates. Somehow, I don't think this is going to be the one to satisfy them

    I was also hoping to see something more in the Voigtlander SL II range but so far nothing

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    I think a lot of people were waiting for prime updates. Somehow, I don't think this is going to be the one to satisfy them

    I was also hoping to see something more in the Voigtlander SL II range but so far nothing
    +2

    Almost any focal length would have been more welcome than a 50mm. And I too had high hopes that Voigtlander would bring something to the party. Color me disappointed.

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    This is way more useful than anything from Voightlander + Zeiss combined.

    It can autofocus! Let us hope that it will do better than the current 50mm lenses.

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Looks like they rushed their marketing material to market. The image of the 50mm clearly says AF-S but the specs say AF-S is not there. One of those two positions will be correct.

    woody

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    It is AF-S.

    No 85mm AF-S is a disappointment, as is not fast, wide prime. Oh well, next year maybe

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Well... no 85 update yet.

    For anyone who has critically evaluated the bokeh of the 50/1.4D, this could be huge. Plus, a 75mm equivalent with on DX is great for portraits and ambient light photography, so the bokeh of the 50/1.4D really needed fixing.

    This new 50 being AF-S, it will AF on low end Nikons as well, so the potential market is huge.

    An 85/1.4 update would address a small market (us), where bodies with AF motor are common. Additionally, the current 85/1.4 has a great bokeh and sharpness.

    All in all, it's not surprising that Nikon replaced the not so great 50/1.4D before adding AF-S to the already great 85/1.4D.
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    As a post at Nikon Rumors points out, the 50/1.4G has:
    * No aspheric elements
    * No ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements
    * No Nano Crystal Coating

    How then is this US$439.95 (RRP) consumer grade lens going to deliver "great bokeh and sharpness" and why is it so exciting? Because it has auto-focus. Right.

    Totally perfect way to celebrate 75 years of Nikkor optical excellence. We should all be thrilled.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Interesting... so you think sharpness and bokeh are determined by ED, ASPH, nano coating. Would you care to elaborate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    As a post at Nikon Rumors points out, the 50/1.4G has:
    * No aspheric elements
    * No ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements
    * No Nano Crystal Coating

    How then is this US$439.95 (RRP) consumer grade lens going to deliver "great bokeh and sharpness" and why is it so exciting? Because it has auto-focus. Right.

    Totally perfect way to celebrate 75 years of Nikkor optical excellence. We should all be thrilled.
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    As a post at Nikon Rumors points out, the 50/1.4G has:
    * No aspheric elements
    * No ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements
    * No Nano Crystal Coating

    How then is this US$439.95 (RRP) consumer grade lens going to deliver "great bokeh and sharpness" and why is it so exciting? Because it has auto-focus. Right.

    Totally perfect way to celebrate 75 years of Nikkor optical excellence. We should all be thrilled.

    The Zeiss ZF lens has none of that either, lacks the metering chip, no auto focus. How much does that cost?

    Well, if you consider the metering prong that would make the ZF still work with a Nikkormat...

  12. #12
    asabet
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Great news! The one hesitation I had in selling the Canon 5D and buying the Nikon D700 was giving up the Canon 50/1.4, which is a very good lens for the money. Sample images from the Nikon counterpart never looked as good to me, mainly due to the rendering of bokeh. I've been using the Zeiss 50 macro, but I missed having a fast 50 with autofocus. The Sigma seems a bit unbalanced. Great center sharpness, not so good in the periphery. That and I don't want to play the Sigma AF lottery having gone through that with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4.

    I'll be pre-ordering this new Nikon 50/1.4 for sure. Question is, do I keep the Zeiss? It's a fantastic lens, but I'm not sure it'll see very much use if the Nikon is a winner.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    is that all
    apparently Nikon doesn't want my money anymore

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    The Zeiss ZF lens has none of that either, lacks the metering chip, no auto focus. How much does that cost?
    Vivek, even if I were a 50mm fan, which I'm not (see below), one look at the Zeiss 50/1.4's bokeh in Sean Reid's review and elsewhere would have made me lose interest immediately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Interesting... so you think sharpness and bokeh are determined by ED, ASPH, nano coating. Would you care to elaborate?
    Lars, I stand corrected. The lens design and the nine-blade rounded diaphragm will largely determine the bokeh. On the other hand, while sharpness may not be determined by ED, ASPH, nano coating, would it not be enhanced by these features? For example, Nikon USA's page about the 14-24mm f/2.8G includes the following points:
    * Two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements and PGM aspherical lenses control chromatic aberrations while enhancing sharpness and contrast even at the widest aperture settings.
    * Exclusive Nano Crystal Coat further reduces ghosting and flare for even greater image clarity.

    The page about the Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED offers similar arguments about the value of ED, ASPH, and Nano coating in improving the performance of this lens. Given that these are two very different lenses, it's hard to believe that the new 50/1.4G -- no matter how good it is -- wouldn't have been even better with the inclusion of some or all of those features.

    However, I realized upon reading your responses that my comment was somewhat over the top. I suspect that my negative attitude springs from a few different factors:
    * A deep-seated dislike (well, hatred really) for the 50mm focal length. I'm not too keen on 35mm lenses either but that focal length doesn't provoke the same level of revulsion as the 50.
    * A sense of disappointment that the much-rumored updates to the 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, and 85mm primes were delayed once again. I don't have any interest in either the 14-24/2.8 (too big, heavy, and wide for my taste) or the 24-70/2.8 (wrong focal length range). Although I have a 17-3/2.8, it's not amongst my favorite lenses. Despite its potential bulk, I'd be tempted by an updated 28-85/2.8 but there's zero chance of that appearing. I think it's fair to say that the lack of fast, wide primes is the gaping hole in Nikon's lens line-up and it's something they don't seem in a hurry to address. We'll see what they offer at PMA in March but I'm not holding my breath.
    * Irritation at (what I perceive as) Nikon's dishonesty (hypocrisy?) in choosing this lens to celebrate "75 years of defining optical excellence". No matter how good the 50/1.4G turns out to be for its price, I just can't see it in the same light as a 24/1.4G, a 28/1.4G, or a 35/1.4G. Any or all of those alternatives I would regard as a worthy representative of Nikon's optical excellence -- as long as it (or they) had ED, ASPH, and Nano coating, of course.

    In any case, I apologize for any offense that may have been caused by the snarky tone of my previous comment and I hope that the new 50/1.4G turns out to be as fine (or even finer) a lens as you are all hoping for.

  15. #15
    asabet
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    It would have been great if Nikon, deciding to make a real statement, had implemented aspheric elements and a floating element the way Leica did with the 50 lux asph. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that this lens will offer excellent performance for the money.

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Vivek,

    No worries I just think a lens' actual performance speaks more than marketing acronyms, so I prefer to wait with passing judgment. Like you, I did notice that Nikon seems to have tried to improve upon the older version.

    Re the 14-24/2.8, that's an extreme lens design with I am sure monstrous engineering challenges. 50/1.4 OTOH has been around for fifty years or so. One reason the fifty became the standard lens is that it's cheap to make, which in turn is because it is a simple construction. Of course today's designs are a bit more refined.

    A "normal" lens has an optical design that requires limited diffraction indices in the glass material, so the need for ED glass is limited. Likewise the optical construction (for an f/1.4 normal lens) allows for good control of chromatic aberrations without the use of aspherical elements. Likewise, a normal lens has few surfaces so coating is not so critical. some old uncoated Tessar style lenses from 80 years ago have higher contrast than most consumer zooms of today. (But not so good chromatic performance of course.) Finally, the fifty is targeted for a wide, cost-conscious audience so I would understand if ED glass, aspherical elements and advanced coating was left out of the design for cost reasons (but I still think it will be a bit pricey, at least if the rumored 600 euro level will stand).

    Of course, designing zoom lenses or superwide or supertelephoto lenses is another matter. The same is true with macro lenses, which have to perform well over a much wider focusing range than a non-macro lens.

    Re your subjective dislike for the fifty... well, I can't help you there. I do like, as a challenge, to only use a fifty for street shooting. It does require some resetting of your view if you are used to 28 and 85.

    However I suspect that the real market for this lens is in DX format, where it becomes a 75/1.4, much more interesting.

    Re other gaps in the primes lineup, Nikon seems to have a bit limited resources in the lens department (compared to Canon). I'm sure we'll see more eventually. I think this release simply coincided with the 75 year anniversary rather than being planned that way.

    Anyways I did have my tongue in cheek in my first reply, I hope that didn't go unnoticed Always tricky to convey subtleties in written communications.
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Lars, I think you got the name wrong. I use 50mm lenses.

    Get a nice cup of coffee!

    Jonathon, No worries.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Got coffee. Feel better.

    Sorry I was seriously confused at 03:00 last night. my reply was of course in response to Jonathon's post.
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Lars, thank you for the detailed reply -- each of your clarifications makes perfect sense. And I did catch the intended tone of your first reply. Although I was a little disconcerted to see you reply to me as "Vivek" because that would either put me into the ranks of the "50mm lovers" or Vivek into the ranks of the "50mm haters". However, Vivek managed to rescue both of us.

    As it happens, 28mm-e and 85mm-e are the extremes of the focal length range I like to shoot, either on APS-C or full-frame. In between I like to use both 40mm-e and 58/60mm-e lenses. Probably my favorite is either a 28mm lens on APS-C (42mm-e) or a 40mm lens on full-frame. So, although I don't care for the 50mm, I very much like what lies on either side. I guess that makes me kind of, if not completely, normal.

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    It would have been great if Nikon, deciding to make a real statement, had implemented aspheric elements and a floating element the way Leica did with the 50 lux asph. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that this lens will offer excellent performance for the money.
    Amin, did you read the weblog posts that David Farkas made from Photokina? Particularly in the context of this thread and your comment, I was fascinated by this post in which he wrote about a conversation with Peter Karbe, the head optics designer at Leica (his designs include the 50mm Summilux ASPH and 75 APO Summicron ASPH):

    [Karbe] went into how he came up with the modified special double gauss design and how the back half of the lens is identical to the 35mm Summilux ASPH, while the front half is identical to the 50 Summicron. This was the secret to achieving such performance in a fast 50. Then, he said that one Saturday morning over his first cup of coffee in his kitchen he thought about Mandler. Apparently, after Mandler designed the Noctilux, he used the same design to build the 75 Lux. And while Peter doesn’t like the 75 Lux, he decided that he needed to design a 75 based on the 50 ASPH design. Shortly thereafter, keeping everything the same, except for removing one lens element in the first doublet behind the central ASPH element used to correct for aberrations caused at 1.4, he minted the design for the 75 APO Summicron ASPH. I asked if the design was the same why the 75 was an APO lens and the 50 wasn’t. Here is a bit of a shocker... the 50 Lux ASPH is an APO lens, containing an APO correction element. But, he thought the idea of an APO 50 was a bit silly so they never put it on the lens or in any marketing materials.

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    Great news! The one hesitation I had in selling the Canon 5D and buying the Nikon D700 was giving up the Canon 50/1.4, which is a very good lens for the money. Sample images from the Nikon counterpart never looked as good to me, mainly due to the rendering of bokeh. I've been using the Zeiss 50 macro, but I missed having a fast 50 with autofocus. The Sigma seems a bit unbalanced. Great center sharpness, not so good in the periphery. That and I don't want to play the Sigma AF lottery having gone through that with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4.

    I'll be pre-ordering this new Nikon 50/1.4 for sure. Question is, do I keep the Zeiss? It's a fantastic lens, but I'm not sure it'll see very much use if the Nikon is a winner.
    Keep the Zeiss ... first, it is a Macro and secondly it's a Zeiss in the best sense of the word.

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Boring. I'm sitting here cash set aside ready for some better primes and we get a 50/1.4?

    A 50/1.2 like Canon's would've been nice.

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    I would have liked to see an f/1.2 lens as well. This 50/1.4 still does not stop Nikon to bring out a faster version. I think they should.

    Haven't they made enough cash from the D300s, D3s and the D700s to invest in R&D of more products? Greedy fellas.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    maybe Nikon is just trying to teach us moderation

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Nikon have published the technical specifications for this lens, including an MTF chart:



    According to Lloyd Chambers (diglloyd):

    Manufacturers such as Canon calculate MTF (a measure of lens resolution at specified contrast), based on the optical design. If MTF were measured with real lenses bought from real stores, the optical performance picture might be quite different.

    Zeiss provides MTF charts for their 50/1.4 ZF at both f/1.4 and f/5.6 and states that they were measured "with white light at spatial frequencies of R= 10, 20 and 40 cycles/mm".

    Does anyone know whether Nikon's MTF charts are calculated or measured? Is it correct to assume that even if the MTF measurements have been done on a hand-picked sample, they're worth more than MTFs calculated from an optical design?

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Jonathon,
    All manufacturers that I have heard of, including Schneider and Rodenstock, publish theoretical MTF curves.

    Perhaps Zeiss really measured a lens, but it could as well be a typo in the document you linked to. Admittedly I am not so familiar with Zeiss as they left the large format lens business a long time ago, so I could use some enlightment in that area.

    Also noteworthy that Nikon doesn't mention at what aperture the MTF is measured/calculated. I would guess wide open?

    As a counterpoint, a 50mm lens is a reasonably simple lens to manufacture (compared to some advanced zooms and DC lenses), so sample variation probably won't be huge.
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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Bjørn Rørslett has just published a brief review of the AF-S Nikkor 50/1.4G (you need to scroll about halfway down the page). His summary:
    The new model is an evolution of the older lens, so you don't need to rush out to purchase it unless you can only work with AFS, but anyone looking for an excellently performing normal lens should consider the "G" carefully.
    This seems kind of weird, though, because he indicates that field flatness, vignetting, bokeh, longitudinal CA, and flare resistance all show improvement over the AF-D 50/1.4.

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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    I am OT impressed by this lens. It is a hame that Nikon is not able to bring such high end primes to the market as Canon can do already for the past several years.

    I meanwhile have the 1.2/85L and man, this is a really exceptional lens. And well built! And BTW, the introduction of the new Nikkor 1.4/50 made me switch to C at least for the high speed primes, because I was simply pissed by the Nikkor release after so many years of patiently waiting!

    In my opinion C has left N behind for far in terms oft high speed primes.

  28. #28
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    Re: New AF-Nikkor 50 f/1.4G official

    Some new Nikon lenses apparently on the way.

    Kamera & Bild.

    Not the greatest translation, but way better than another I saw!

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