Just posted! Nikon 50mm 1:1.4D lens review

By | June 5, 2018

Just posted! Our new lens review featuring Nikon’s stalwart standard lens, the AF-Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D. In the third instalment of our latest series in which we’ve also recently examined the equivalent fast primes from Sigma and Canon, we see how this ageing optical design stands up under the scrutiny of our exacting studio tests.

Click here for our lens review of the Nikon AF-Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D

Sigma, Canon, Nikon, and Pentax 50mm F1.4 lenses compared

Landscape photography isn’t always only about catching wide-angles and endless panoramas. I find myself frequently discovering interesting subjects my 24-70mm is not long enough to catch and that’s when I switch into the 70-200mm to get close and tight. The Nikon 70-200mm isn’t just a portrait lens as you most likely have come to known it — its optical performance is phenomenal for just about any kind of photography. The only thing you need to be careful about when shooting landscapes, would be to not include any foreground elements which are close to you, or you will have a hard time getting everything in attention, unless your aim is to isolate a topic. The lens is excellent for shooting overlooks or alternative subjects from a distance. Every once in a while, I utilize the 70-200mm to shoot massive panoramas as well. The only disadvantage of the lens is its bulk and weight.The Nikon 24mm f/3.5D PC-E is a special-purpose wide-angle tilt/shift or”view control” lens that is ideal for landscape photography. Among the biggest challenges of landscape photography is to bring everything from the closest foreground component to the farthest thing in the background into perfect focus. While stopping down the lens certainly helps, you will often find yourself in situations, in which you have to emphasize a foreground object by staying very near it and stopping down the lens will not provide adequate depth of field to catch everything in focus. Additionally, stopping down lenses outside f/11 on full-frame cameras and outside f/8 on cropped-sensors cameras reduces image quality because of an optical phenomenon called diffraction.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM

Nikon AF-Nikkor 50mm F1.4 D

Pentax smc P-FA 50mm F1.4
Street price $500 $325 $290 $200
Maximum format size 35mm full frame 35mm full frame 35mm full frame 35mm full frame
Focal length 50mm 50mm 50mm 50mm
35mm equivalent focal length

• 75mm (1.5x)
• 80mm (1.6x)
• 85mm (1.7x)




Diagonal Angle of view (FF) 47º 47º 47º 47º
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 31º 31º 31º 31º
Maximum aperture F1.4 F1.4 F1.4 F1.4
Minimum aperture F16 F22 F16 F22
Lens Construction

• 8 elements/6 groups
• 1 aspherical element

• 7 elements/6 groups

• 7 elements/6 groups

• 7 elements/6 groups

Number of diaphragm blades

9, rounded

8 7 8
Minimum focus 0.45m 0.45m 0.45m 0.45m
Maximum magnification


0.15x 0.15x 0.15x
AF motor type • Ring-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
• Micro-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
• ‘Screw drive’ from camera body • ‘Screw drive’ from camera body
Focus method Unit, internal to barrel Unit Unit Unit
Image stabilization

• None

• None

• None • None
Filter thread • 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 58mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 52mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 49mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories

• Front and rear caps
• Hood
• Soft Case

• Front and rear caps • Front and rear caps • Front and rear caps
Weight 505 g (17.8 oz) 290g (10.2 oz) 230g (8.1 oz) 220g (7.8 oz)
Dimensions 84.5mm diameter x 68.2mm length
(3.3 x 2.7 in)
73.8mm diameter x 50.5mm length
(2.9 x 2.0 in)
64.5mm diameter x 42.5mm length
(2.5 x 1.7 in)

63.5mm diameter x 38mm length
(2.5 x 1.5 in)

Lens Mount Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony Canon EF only Nikon F only Pentax K only

Click here for our lens review of the Nikon AF-Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D