Nikon 50mm f/1.8G for Wedding Photography

As promised in my Nikon D800 for Wedding Photography article that I wrote a couple of days ago, I am continuing the series and this time with the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens. As I noted in my Nikon 50mm f/1.8G review, Lola and I really love this lens for everyday and commercial photography. Because I was so impressed with the lens, I ended up replacing the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G with the f/1.8G version last year. While we still own the 50mm f/1.4G, we made it a backup lens, which is now pretty much permanently attached to the Nikon D700 (also used as a backup camera).

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (10)

For all the technical souls out there that want to see the data behind my measurements, please take a look at my Nikon 50mm f/1.4G vs f/1.8G article from last year, where I explained in detail why the f/1.8G is better wide open optically. Bokeh on the f/1.8G is slightly smaller and worse when compared to its bigger brother, but it is not a huge concern for me, since I personally don’t like the sharpness and chromatic aberration issues that are visible on the 50mm f/1.4G at f/1.4, which means that I don’t shoot the f/1.4 version wide open anyway. Plus, a 50mm lens is not really a portrait lens, especially if you put the subject very close to the camera.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (7)

For true portrait shots, my favorite is still the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G (see my Nikon 85mm f/1.8G review), which I also like a bit more than the f/1.4G version, due to much smaller price and excellent optics at maximum aperture. But the strength of the 50mm comes with its focal length – 50mm is just perfect for any kind of shots on a full-frame body. So if you have a full-frame camera like Nikon D600, D700, D800/D800E, D4/D3s/D4, the 50mm f/1.8G is pretty much a no-brainer, especially given its $220 price tag.

A number of our readers asked if I would recommend the 50mm f/1.8G for DX cameras like Nikon D7100 as well. As I have pointed out above, the versatility of the 50mm f/1.8G lens on full-frame comes from its focal length that is great for all kinds of photography. Because of the 1.5x crop factor on DX cameras, the 50mm f/1.8G would certainly feel “longer”, so I personally would recommend the excellent Nikon 35mm f/1.8G lens for DX instead.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (11)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (16)

Lola uses the 50mm f/1.8G to capture individual portraits, group portraits, details and even some macro (ring shots, etc) – pretty much everything during weddings. She only switches to a wider lens when photographing large groups and interior.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (2)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (4)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (8)

The autofocus on the 50mm f/1.8G is excellent and as you can see from a number of shots in this article (as usual, EXIF data is provided on each file), the lens is excellent wide open and shines even more when you stop it down a little.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (18)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (25)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (31)

And when the light conditions are poor, set the lens to f/1.8 and you can get a shot like this:

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (6)

And more image samples for your viewing pleasure.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (34)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (15)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (20)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (22)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (9)

This is a 100% crop of the ring:
Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (1)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (12)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (14)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (23)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (24)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (27)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (28)

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Weddings (30)

The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is a real winner, just like other f/1.8 primes that Nikon has introduced recently. Despite what the pros might tell you about f/1.4 lenses, these are far from being “consumer” lenses and all very capable in making beautiful images.

Happy shooting!


Avatar of Nasim Mansurov About Nasim Mansurov

is a professional photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. He is the author and founder of Photography Life, along with a number of other online resources. Read more about Nasim here.

Comments

  1. + 1 :)
    Wonderful PGy Boss ;)
    cheers!

    • Thank you! All of these were taken by my wife Lola :)

      • So ,I suspected ,the food shots are making me hungry now :)
        Beautiful shots, regards to her too :)

      • 116
        ) LeeAnne

        I just received my first 50 mm f/1.8G AF-S Nikkor FX prime lens and am using it with my Nikon d5100. I love how it shoots single portraits but can’t figure out how to focus on more than one person or a group of people using it. I love the bokeh and sharpness. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

        • 119
          ) imnewbie

          1. Use higher aperture. Try f8.

          Or

          2. If they are in front of you in straight line from side to side, rearrange them to form a curve so making every person the same distance to you. ( like a arenthesis where the mouth is towards you).

  2. BTW this was not included in the previously mentioned review list by you :)

    • What do you mean? I thought I said that I would do a post on the 50mm f/1.8G?

      • People are dying here for D7100 review :)

  3. 3
    ) FrancoisR

    Nice pictures Mr Nasim!
    What kind of lighting is used indoor (bride in the corridor)? My 50G 1.8 has been in its box since the day I bought it because of its slow focus speed. These entice me to take it out lloll…

    thanks

    • 9
      ) Braden

      Hi Francois,
      I find it a little interesting that you say your 50mm 1.8G is slow to focus, everywhere I read says its at least faster than its F1.4 counterpart. What are our other 50mm options as Nikon shooters? There are no 50mm gold ring lenses (not any rumours that I’ve heard of either!). What about the old D versions?
      Cheers

      • 24
        ) FrancoisR

        Hi Braden,

        I tried the 50 1.4D, 50 1.8D, 24 2.8D, 17-35 2.8 and 24-70G I have (much faster in low light), there is an agonizing wait for the camera to be ready with the 50G. Given time the 50 1.8G definitly gets the best shots but… My wife’s daughter is a ballet teacher and Saturday will be their annual event. Light is terrible (spots and large shadow areas). Flash is prohibited. She will probably take the 24-70G with her. It focuses fast and is more versatile. Last year she took the 5D2 w 24-70L and pictures came out good. But my friend rented a Canon 8-15L F4. We will spend Saturday together testing it so she has to take her own camera this year. I’m 99% sure I will buy the fisheye, it’superb. The effects are unreal!

        I’m still very impressed by Nasim’s shots with two days left to change my mind. Any suggestions?

        • Depends on where you position yourself ,if near the stage a 50 might do the job if far you will need to crop a lot ,better to position yourself first ,I’d say take the 24-70 and pocket the 50 as well ,50 might be too tight if you have a wider area to cover.
          D800,D600 or 5D3 are best for gigs n no flash events.

        • FrancoisR, f/2.8 lenses typically focus faster, because there is less rotating needed than on a fast prime lens to achieve focus. That’s why the focusing speed of most f/1.4-f/1.8 lenses is about the same.

          • 37
            ) FrancoisR

            Wow that’s why!!!
            thanks Nasim.

            best regards,
            Francois

            But my 1.4D is still very quick to focus even if I don’t like it as much as what the 50G 1.8 does.

            • Yes, that’s because the old loud “screw drive” lenses had a completely different motor than the new SWM (silent wave motor). All of those old AF-D lenses focus faster than modern AF-S versions, but I find them to be less accurate. I think the old motor was not designed for super precise focusing (hey, who cared about autofocus back in the film days? :))

    • FrancoisR, all the pictures from the above article, except the one with the two little girls were shot in natural light. As for the focusing speed, my 50mm f/1.8G focuses faster than the f/1.4G version…

      • 36
        ) FrancoisR

        Yes but slow is slow even if faster than slow…. lloll

        thanks for the reply!

  4. 4
    ) St.

    Hi Nasim,
    thanks for the nice article (as always).
    We had some chat with you about 50mm lenses.
    I was looking at your pictures here (may be Lola’s) and just wanted to share few thoughts.
    Why almost no one uses the 60mm 2.8 micro lens instead?
    Excluding the facts that it’s not so wide and it’s only 2.8, it doesn’t have any other disadvantage over the 50mm (both 1.4 and 1.8). I tested directly against those three lenses and the 60mm is way sharper. The difference is really significant. The ring pictures would look so much better if taken with such lens.
    Also it focuses almost twice faster than 50mm 1.8. Put them against and you’ll see I’m right.
    And being 2.8 (it’s already crazy sharp at that aperture) would give you some extra DOF for some of the shots, where you include nature background.
    Plus, 60mm is closer to the portrait length.
    Those are just few thoughts I wanted to share and I would be happy to hear what you think.
    Thanks again.

    • Great points. The 60/2.8 macro is an overlooked portrait lens. I have the D version, and will never part with it. Bokeh is especially lovely with this lens (can’t speak for the latest iteration, but it looks similar to me), focusing is about as fast as the 50/1.8, and in most cases f/2.8 is plenty fast.

      Back to the 50/1.8 G lens featured here, I have shot nearly entire weddings with this lens on a D700 and never missed a shot or having another lens. Fast 50 primes are the best glass to have for any number of situations.

    • St., the 60mm f/2.8 is a great macro lens, but you are not comparing apples to apples here. Yes, the added focal length might be good for portraiture, as you would get less distortion, but you are still at f/2.8 vs f/1.8 – think of implications to bokeh and subject isolation. Plus, macro lenses are optimized for close focus distances, not typical portrait distances when it comes to sharpness, focus, AF accuracy in low light, etc. Not to say that they are bad for portraiture – many love the 105mm VR macro for portraits, but macro is still macro. For portraiture, I prefer to work with lenses like 85mm and 70-200mm – those are the ones that are optimized for shooting portraits. The 50mm is a nice compromise – it is wide enough for general photography (on full-frame, of course), long enough for some portraits and it is cheap :) But if I were into macro and owned the 60mm f/2.8, I would probably use it for portraiture as well, rather than carrying a 50mm separately…

  5. 5
    ) Joel

    Hi. Love the wedding pics. I want know though if you shot the 50mm mostly wide open ??

    • Joel, as stated in the article, EXIF data is embedded to each image. I recommend downloading an EXIF plugin for your browser (check out “EXIF Reader” for Chrome), which will show you all the information you are asking for :)

  6. 6
    ) Anthony Hostetler

    ok.why not just stop.down? i.have the 1.4 and did.the opposite of.what you did. beautifull images BTW
    i shoot with the d600 and d800 i have the 35mm f1.8g that has been in my bag since my D90 and d2 were sold i.use to.use 35 all the time.but havent sold or picked.up the fx what do you think.i.should.do ..oh and i.love the 85 1.4 as well i just for fun got the Rokonon for 269 used it for fun.and.its.turning out to.be a verry nice peice of glass

    • Thank you for your feedback Anthony!

      Yes, stopping down works, but it is too much on the 50mm f/1.4G – you have to go past f/2 to get anything reasonably sharp. I would rather shoot the 50mm f/1.8 wide open, than the 50mm f/1.4 stopped down. Bokeh is also affected when you stop down, something to keep in mind.

    • As for the FX 35mm lens, the 35mm f/1.8G is great and it works on full-frame. You just have to watch out for the vignetting you get when focusing at distant subjects. Either crop the frame, or use a full-frame 35mm lens. If you want the best quality, get the new Sigma 35mm f/1.4 – it is a phenomenal lens.

  7. 7
    ) Mohamed Ramadan

    Thanks, your review is a light that guide us, now I have now on my D7000 70-300mm, 85mm f1.8 prime and 16-85 for all day use, would you recommend buying 50mm f1.8 or 35mm f1.8? please advise as I don’t wanna duplicate my lenses.
    Thanks,
    Mohamed

    • I’m not Nasim, but on a D7000 I’d recommend going for the fantastic 35mm f/1.8, which on a crop sensor camera is almost the equivalent focal length of the 50. Both are superb, inexpensive lenses, but the 35 would probably be a better choice.

      Incidentally, the 35 f/1.8 also works well on full frame bodies, as long as it’s not stopped down beyond around f/2.8. Wide open it’s sharp and barely shows any vignetting. I used it at f/2.0 a lot on a D700 to good effect before selling it with my D7K.

      • 31
        ) Beyti

        You`re definately rigth. I used 35mm f/1.8 when I had D7000 and it was magnificent lens. Now I use 50mm f1.8 with D600

    • Yes, I agree with Bitan – the 35mm f/1.8G is more suitable on DX than 50mm f/1.8G as an everyday lens.

  8. thanks for the nice article like always.

  9. 10
    ) Adi

    All your picture above is exceptionally beautiful. I also have the 50mm 1.8G. I would like to know what aperture do you usually use?

    • Adi, please see my comments regarding EXIF data and comment #41 above.

  10. 11
    ) Howard

    Are you recommending the the 1.8 50mm for the DX cameras like D7000? If not what do you like as an option for DX?

    • 13
      ) Braden

      Hi Howard,
      I think this article is speaking mostly with regards to full frame cameras (see reference to the 50mm F1.4 on the D700) but I would suggest taking a look at this article here http://photographylife.com/nikon-35mm-f1-8g-vs-50mm-f1-4g

      Personally speaking from my own experience, I am also a DX shooter (D3100) and last year I was seriously considering either the 35mm F1.8 or the 50mm F1.8. The linked article really helped me in deciding which lens to go with. At the time the only lens I had was the 18-55 kit lens, so I choose to go with a good all-around focal length like the 35mm (which Nasim alludes to in the article above, for DX cameras at least). I have been very happy with the lens and it performs great, it usually is always attached to my camera!

      However your situation may differ, and I don’t know what lens combos you already have!

    • For DX the 35mm 1.8 G is equal to 50mm FX and 50mm FX will be giving 75mm AoV on DX , however as it becomes a virtual short tele on DX the 50mm FX can be used for portraits on DX.

    • Howard, as Braden pointed out, the article above was about the 50mm on FX. For DX, I would recommend the excellent Nikon 35mm f/1.8G – it is more suitable as an “everyday” lens than the 50mm f/1.8G.

  11. 12
    ) sha

    Can you share the way you edit those pictures? Do we really have to buy any Actions of photoshop? OR you just do a simple editing? Waiting for your reply.tq

    • Sha, these were all edited in Lightroom, with no Photoshop at all. We have some Lightroom portrait tutorials on our site – check them out.

  12. 14
    ) Mikhail

    I love that lens. 50, 85 (and recently 28) are always in the bag with me. 85′s fringing sometimes is a little too much; at least I’m noticing it and it bothers ME =) … so I may upgrade to f/1.4

    • Mikhail, the fringing you see on the 85mm is typically a result of missed focus. I would test the AF accuracy with something like LensAlign to make sure that the lens is good.

  13. 15
    ) fiza

    Hi Nasim,

    For the d600 would you recommend the 50/1.8 or the siggy 35/1.4. Been waiting for your review of the siggy 35/1.4 for long now. I mostly have indoor shoots and street photos.
    The extra money spend on the siggy 25/1.4 would be worth it ?

    • 16
      ) fiza

      i meant the extra money spend on the siggy 35/1.4 would be worth it ?

      • 4 to 5 steps back and 50 will give 35mm AoV ,i’s up to you if you like to spend more money on a sharp third party lens where Nikon is not responsible if there new firmware stops it to AF.
        I’d never take this risk and rather go for the manual focus sharp n cheaper Samyang if I ever need a 35mm FL lens.

        • Adnan, I would not recommend a MF lens to a person that is trying to photograph portraits :) I have done it before and it is painful. The Sigma is excellent, truly the first third party lens that I recommend over a brand version.

          • Oh ,that was for portrait shots ,I didn’t know ,I answered on this line “I mostly have indoor shoots and street photos.”

            BTW ,Nasim ,get a used 55mm 2.8 Ai-s Micro for around $200 or less and see what sharpness is on D600,D800 or D3s :) @2.8 on eye focus :) ,I know it’s a macro lens and not for portraiture but I’ve been using it since more than 15yrs on Film and digital ,really amazing glass.

            • 111
              ) Amir

              I have to comment on “it’s a macro lens and not for portraiture”…macro lenses are definitely sharper than other lenses, but it’s always better to get more details than less, as you can always blur a sharp image, but you cannot sharpen a blurry image if necessary.

    • Fiza, you are comparing two different focal lengths here :) 35mm distorts a lot, not a great lens for portraiture. I guess it depends on what focal length you like working with. For FX, some people love 35mm and others love 50mm. For DX, it is typically 35mm and wider.

      As for the Sigma, if you like 35mm focal length, then the Sigma is the way to go. I apologize for the delay of the review, just been super busy with all the new arrivals. I will post the review within the next 2 weeks, hopefully :)

      • 59
        ) fiza

        Nasim thanks a lot for ur reply . i will wait for your review of sigma 35/1.4 . in the mean while i will try to borrow any 35mm lens and see how relevant the focal length is for my kinda shots in Fx

        thanks for the guidance and absolutely fantastic reviews .

  14. 17
    ) Alex

    I got this lens almost 2 months ago, and I use it at every shooting since then. For my DX body camera (the Nikon D3100) is an excellent portrait lens providing 75mm equivalent focal length. I love it!

  15. 18
    ) Bela Nagy

    It has probably been discussed earlier but I wonder if you could help. Would the 35mm on Dx camera give the same view than the 50mmf1.8 on FX?

    In other words I would consider buying the 35mmf1.8 for my D7K to shoot wedding, but they said on some places that due to the short focal length it is not really good for portraits. But if attaching the 50mmf1.8 to my D7K the crop factor would come in so I would end up like a 75mm lens which in small rooms might be too tight…any advise would be appreaciated!
    Bela

    • 20
      ) Gary Clark

      Hi Bella,

      You are quite right that you end up with an equivalent 75mm length but the 50mm f/1.8 is probably one of the best lenses I have seen! The 35mm is good for portrait work as long as you get your aperture right, nasim once told me that my 50mm f/1.8 would be sharpest at f/2.8-f/4 and he is spot on.

      From my experience any short prime lens will out perform any other lens for portraits however there are a few high end zoom lenses that are great for portrait work as long as you stand a fair distance, these tend to be good at weddings where you may want to capture a scene and then quickly capture a portrait of the bride or even the best man giving his speech with a smerk on his face as he cracks a joke about the groom!

      I own a 70-300mm Nikon which is quite good for this however on my D3200 which has a DX sensor it can feel rather close in smaller spaces.

      Good luck and happy snapping :-)

      Gary

      • 21
        ) Bela Nagy

        Gary,
        Thanks for your comments. Yes a 70-300mm is also on my shopping list :-)

        • 22
          ) Gary Clark

          Hi Bella,

          Again, it was Nasims write ups that convinced me to spend the extra money on the 70-300 rather than the newer 55-300, much faster focus acquisition was the selling point.

          Before I bought any lenses I always checked out photography life (or the mansurovs as it was then) you can trust these guys to point you in the right direction and give you the best chance of capturing brilliant shots even if you are on a tight budget! The advice on how to use the camera and lenses is priceless.

          • Gary, appreciate the feedback, thank you :)

            • 109
              ) Bela Nagy

              I have finally purchased the 50mmf1.8G lens a few weeks ago and I LOVE this! I just shot my recent wedding with it and it was a really good idea to buy it, since I shot about 95% of the outdoor pictures with it (and the ‘customers’ really like these pictures). The color reproduction and the sharpness of this lens if fantastic. It’s sharp, even @f1.8.

              The reason I picked this one is that this 50mmf1.8G does not have the Chromatic aberration or if it has it just very little. I had a chance to try this lens on a workshop beside the 35mmf1.8G. I shot the same scene (portraits, lady in white dress) and noticed that 35mmf1.8G producing a lot of purple fringing, even stopping down like f5.6. When I shot with the 50mmf1.8G even @1.8 I didn’t even notice purple fringing or any other problem.

              I use it on Nikon D7000 so the focal length (cropped) is good for portraits. And when shooting portraits outdoor I don’t have to worry about zoom, I make sure I have that 10-15-20 steps distance what I can walk back and forth and that’s it.

              Again 50mmf1.8G is a beautiful lens, I wish I have bought this earlier.

    • Bela, please see my responses above and also check out the article once again – I updated it with an answer to your question :)

      • 57
        ) Bela Nagy

        Nasim,
        Will check this out again, really thanks :-)

    • 110
      ) Thomas Cooked

      nice decision!

      i stopped using my 35mm 1.8G after getting this lens, then eventually sold my 35mm 1.8G before molds starts to eat it.

  16. 19
    ) Aneef

    Hello Nasim!
    Wonderful shots. I was wondering what light source or flash did you use for the shots taken indoor?

    • Aneef, aside from the two young girls, all other images were taken in natural light.

      • Avatar of James Raymond
        117
        ) James Raymond

        Good Evening to Sir Nasim Mansurov

        SO ! most of or all of the photos were with the Nikon 50mm F/1.8 ?? i have been researching one of these lenses for myNikon D 60 with no luck, ( beginner, hobbiest), any information would be great on this lens, i have the35mm f/1.8 it works really nice . still want to expand into a few more lenses.
        Greatly appreciated,
        Jim Raymond
        Massachusetts / jrhandy1@gmail.com

  17. 23
    ) Jesse

    Maybe I’m not looking right, but where’s the EXIF data? really curious about some shots…

    Regards,
    Jesse

    • 30
      ) Rick

      Aneef and Jesse: The EXIF data for all photos (except the cake 5th last photo and squares 4th last photo) shows “no flash” used. On the 2 exceptions, the data is blank so I can’t say, but they don’t look like flash to me either. You can’t right click the photo for EXIF data while it is displaying in your web browers, but if you right click and same a photo to your computer, then you can access the info. Just save to your computer, right click them (on a PC … or click for “info” on a Mac). Once you have done that on a PC, click the “Summary” tab. Then look for the “details” button and click it. Now you will see all the data you are looking for. On a Mac I think it will show right away once you click for “info”. I hope that helps.

    • Jesse, please take a look at my comment #41 – I recommend downloading a good EXIF plugin for your browser.

      • 60
        ) Bela Nagy

        Nasim,
        Just downloaded that EXIF plugin for Chrome as you said above, this is just an amazing tool, I didn’t know that such kind of plugin exists. Thanks for the hint!

  18. 61
    ) Raghuram

    Hi Nasim, fantastic shots I must say. Could you, time permitting, comment a bit on the metering and focusing technique used in these pictures? What sort of exposure comp. was used, if any? Thanks and cheers.

  19. 62
    ) Arturas

    Hello, I like your web, like your reviews, like everything here.
    But how it would be nice to get detailed information for beginners for all picture samples (as comment or as file name – popping up for ISO, Aprt. Sh. speed) :) Posibilyto? :)

    Br.
    Arturas

    • See above reply # 41

      • 64
        ) Arturas

        perfect! :)
        tnx

  20. 65
    ) Ayman Yousif

    Hi, I really like everything on this website.
    Just I’ve a small concern here and I need your advice on it. Previously, I was using the old 50mm f/1.8 D on D90 body and I was really happy with that fantastic plastic.
    Currently, I am using 50mm f/1.4G on D800 body. honestly, I am not that happy with its results specially at large apertures, images are soft and aren’t that sharp.
    My concern is, will I notice any differences by changing the lens to your recommended 50mm f/1.8G.

    • On what kind of PGy ?
      All 50′s are great ,the 50.18 D is the cheapest with no distortion ,I use the 1.4 D since film times.
      What I’ve noticed that the G lenses are slightly warmer and for white skin ppl they work great but for others can be fixed in WB ,try “Keep warm colors off.”
      cheers!

      • 70
        ) Ayman Yousif

        Thank you.
        We can say for multiple purposes, mainly portraits and abstract shots.
        Still my main issue is the sharpness of 50mm f/1.4G @ large apertures is changing to 50mm f/1.8G going to solve this ?

        • Without seeing any samples it will be just wild guessing.
          Maybe your lens needs calibration ,try it in different light conditions with n without flash at single point AFS -AF on eye indoors and out doors ,at outdoors the background must be slightly dark so that you don’t get too much color fringing.

  21. 66
    ) Antony

    Nikon 50mm f1.8 = great lens / price – really works, I have been using one since it came out.

  22. 67
    ) Mark

    Hi Nasim, Thank you for another very informative and interesting article / blog. I love the balance of light in the images, it’s something I struggle with in my photography.

    I’d like to ask, are most of the indoor images (i.e. the 4th, 7th and 11th images in the sequence above) shot with Natural light or using strobes?

    Also, are the outdoor shots (i.e. the 8th, 14th and 16th images) using strobes or reflectors as the seem beautifully balanced?

    Regards

    Mark

    • See reply #55

      • 73
        ) Mark

        Thanks Adnan.
        In my haste I missed the response.
        Apologies
        Mark

        • You are welcome :)
          No apologies ,we all skip here n there ;)
          cheers!

  23. 72
    ) Martin

    I don’t wish to appear rude, but it does seem that virtually identical questions, previously answered impeccably by Nasim, are being asked again and again.

    One of the most rewarding aspects of Photography Life is reading through all of the postings which follow on from an article, and becoming aware of how discussions are evolving. Nasim’s expertise is exemplary, but many of the responses, and answers to them, are rich in information and advice. They, too, merit close attention.

    Clearly, a handful of posters are reading the article, then asking a question, without examining the rest of the thread. In my experience, the thread is a vital extension of the article, and a great deal can be learned from the knowledgeable input of posters, and Nasim’s responses to them.

    Just saying…

  24. 74
    ) Alan

    Hi Nasim,

    I currently own the 50 1.8D which I’ve used mainly for portraiture on an old D80 with great results. My dilemma now, is that I’ve upgraded my camera to the D800 and would like to know if the 50 1.8G is worth the upgrade for wedding photography?

    My portrait lens on the D800 will either be the 70-200 2.8 or 85 1.8G but that’s another question for the future.

    Regards,

    Alan

    • Alen,
      If budget is no problem 1.4 G is slightly better or the 1.4 D is also very good. At normal apertures from F8 to F11 all are equal and 1.8 D is the only one with zero distortion.
      I’m using 1.4 D version and it is very sharp on D800.
      Basically, all 50s from everyone are good as it’s the cheapest n sharpest lens to make in this focal range.

      cheers!

      • 79
        ) Alan

        You state that the 50 1.4G is slightly better than the 50 1.8G which is at odds with what Nasim recommends. I think i’ll wait for a comment from Nasim, as it’s his blog.

    • BTW, this whole article is about 50 1.8 G and all pictures are from it.

      • 78
        ) Alan

        Thanks for your input Adnan but my question remains: if the 50 1.8G is worth the upgrade for wedding photography?

    • Alan, absolutely – the 50mm f/1.8G is well worth the upgrade. The old screw-drive 50mm f/1.8D is not as sharp as the new version at large apertures – see my Nikon 50mm f/1.8G review for more information.

  25. 81
    ) Diana

    Hi! I recently found your articles and your photographs are stunning! I love reading your tips. I am new to photography, and it’s quickly becoming something I want to become better and better at. (though I have a long way to go) Anyhow, I have a question that probably sounds dumb to most, but I am trying to figure it out. I see that a lot of these pictures are shot wide open, but I have trouble obtaining sharp images when I do this. (I have a Nikon d3100 and a 50mm/1.8 lens) a lot of your pictures seem that the focus point would normally be out of the area of focus at 1.8, but they are actually in focus. Am I missing something in my technique? Do you have any insight? I hope my question makes sense. I can only get eyes in focus wide open when I am super close to the subject. I’m sure it might have something to do with the fact that I don’t have a full frame sensor?

    • “I see that a lot of these pictures are shot wide open, but I have trouble obtaining sharp images when I do this”
      The subjects and anything which falls in Field of focus will be in focus.
      “a lot of your pictures seem that the focus point would normally be out of the area of focus at 1.8, but they are actually in focus.”
      Same answer as above plus on some pictures focus and recompose technique is used.You focus the subject keep pressed the focus or shutter button and then take the shot when framed as wanted.
      Use single point AF-S in Menu//pencil/focus instead of AF-C Auto or AF-A auto.
      ” I can only get eyes in focus wide open when I am super close to the subject. I’m sure it might have something to do with the fact that I don’t have a full frame sensor?”
      In closeup shots your field of focus has very narrow area of focus and can defocus the nose even ,depends how one shoots.
      Shoot at F4 to F5.6 with focus of eye.

  26. 82
    ) Chris

    Hi Nasim,

    Ive had the 50 1.8D for 2 years now since my d7000, im using it on a d600 now and for long full body shots it sometimes misses focus ( the face is out and the background is in focus ).

    Is this a problem with my camera or can i tweak the lens ‘in cam’ ?

    Thanks – I think Ill upgrade to the G just seeing if any fixes i can do do my D before i sell it on

    :-)

    • Use AF-S Auto ,if it doesn’t give desired results ,then use AF-S 9 or single point.

      • 87
        ) Chris

        Hi Adnan ,

        I always use AF-S single point and the center point – i tested it at closer distance 2 meters and 1 out 3 shots was behind focus

        Can i use AF fine Tuning to fix this what do i need to do? Thank You

        • Chris ,
          I personally have never fine tinned or calibrated a lens or never had any lens of mine calibrated.
          Try tripod shots of a stationary object ,like put a kid’s toy or something on table using single point AF and then check the results.If still bad results then this article might help you.

          http://photographylife.com/how-to-calibrate-lenses

          Or if you know a guy in your vicinity who repairs cameras consult with him.

          good luck n cheers!

        • Chris ,
          I personally have never fine tinned or calibrated a lens or never had any lens of mine calibrated.
          Try tripod shots of a stationary object ,like put a kid’s toy or something on table using single point AF and then check the results.If still bad results then this article might help you.

          http://photographylife.com/how-to-calibrate-lenses

          Or if you know a guy in your vicinity who repairs cameras consult with him.

          good luck!

          • oops! sorry for double reply ,typo tinned = tuned :)

          • 92
            ) Chris

            Thanks Adnan :-)

  27. 86
    ) Gary

    What was the af area. Single center weight or dynamic. I’m assuming single or dynamic
    What kind of metering?
    If there are 2 or more folks in a pic what should you use My d5000 using single focused in the middle of 2 kids and made the back wall in focus the kids blurry. I was using the children setting

    Looking at the LCD because it was small it looked ok…. Oops. Good thing it wasn’t that once in a lifetime….hopefully

    • Gary,
      Don’t use Auto scene modes ,use A mode.
      For a picture like the #8 where all women are in focus it is shot at F2 as nearly all of them are in field of focus as they are standing in line ,focus field moves like a road or a virtual tunnel the higher the F number the more area in focus ,if this shot would have been taken at F16 almost all trees in background would be in focus.Use Matrix metering for group shots and spot or center weighted for single person face or chest level shots if you want the subject to be exposed prominently.
      It highly depends on light conditions ,some time Full Matrix metering is helpful and sometimes in low light spot is good for illuminating subject .
      Use A mode ,AF-s focus , F2.8 to F5.6 for closeup shots and F8 for chest level shots.For full standing portrait if the subject is facing you then you can use F2.8 to blur the BG (any colorful bright n dark BG 10 to 15 eet away will produce good bokeh ) and focus at eye.If your subject is facing sideways then you have to use an aperture that focuses the shoulder to head like F4 to F5.6 ,try focusing on neck (the middle ground of focus field)
      For shooting children if they are not moving fast use 5.6 and lock the focus at eyes or in your case 2 kids side by side lock focus at one’s cheek and shoot, using Matrix metering.If light is low then use pop up flash with red eye reduction on.Turn modeling flash off or if you are still getting bad shots try it in on mode.
      For fast moving kids use M or S mode ,in S mode use SS 1/250 to 1/500 ,ISO auto and camera will decide the aperture ,lock your focus where desired ,re frame n shoot.
      Set auto |ISO up to 1600.

      To view different apertures’ field of focus ,you can do your own experiment shots and will help you remember up to what F stop you can set the aperture at what kind of shooting. Try it on a still subject on tripod and start from wide open to the minimum aperture,then view on monitor in full size that how focus field or depth of field or depth of focus is changing.
      (Aperture = F stop, same thing ,2 names) :)

      cheers!

  28. 93
    ) pj elbi

    thanks nasim!

  29. 94
    ) pj elbi

    thanks Nasim for another review.

    had this lens since January 2012 and haven’t been using it much until i sold my 35mm 1.8G to a friend.
    i should say, i should have used more back then.
    falling in love again with this lens, but i am currently loving my 85mm 1.8G :)

    • Can’t blame you, it is really hard to beat that 85mm f/1.8G! Smooth bokeh, just a beautiful little gem :)

  30. 95
    ) whitewalker

    Hi Nasim,

    Nice detailed article as usual :)

    In your response to FrancoisR comment you said “All of those old AF-D lenses focus faster than modern AF-S versions, but I find them to be less accurate. ” I’m planning to get 50mm f 1.8 D for my D7000 for portraits. I debated from quite some while as which one to get between 50mm 1.8D & 1.8G I know that 50mm 1.8g has SIC, SWM and other advantages, but never heard of the accuracy issue 0f 1.8D, can you shed some light on this?

    I was thinking the 1.8D would also help me in reverse mount as it has aperture ring.

    • I apologize for a late response! Yes, I find the AF-D wide-angle and normal primes to be less accurate than the newer AF-S counterparts. This is pretty noticeable with 50mm f/1.4-1.8D and 85mm f/1.4-1.8D lenses.

      If I were you, I would save a little more and get the new 50mm f/1.8G – it is far better than the old f/1.8D version.

  31. 96
    ) Steve

    Hi Nasim

    Those are great shots and I agree with you about performance of Nikon 50mm f1.8.

    I like to ask you whatever :
    1. Did Lola use flash or strobe for those pictures?
    2.What kind of postprocessings were Lola use for those? I cant get same sharpness and color or tone with Lola’s pic. Im using D600 now. Maybe you could suggest best setting for portrait with D600 + af-s 50mm 1.8G.

    Thanks before

    • Steve, nope, I believe only one photo was shot with a strobe.

      As for processing, she did most of these in Lightroom – she tweaks white balance, colors, tones, etc. I will ask her to do a video on her post-processing, since many people ask about it. As for the best setting, shoot the lens wide open and make sure that it is correctly calibrated. Check out my article on how to calibrate lenses.

      • 100
        ) Steve

        Thanks for your reply Nasim

        Best quality of lenses usually are delivered while stop down aperture like 2-3 value. For 50mm 1.8 i thought it delivers best sharpness around f2.8. Do you have any particular reason to use wide open? DoF in wide open would be very small. If i use it in indoor or cramped space, it is very hard to get all part of face sharp.

  32. 101
    ) Andreea

    Hi there,

    I’m so happy I found this website, it’s great… but I still have a little bit of a dilemma!

    I have a D7000 and I’m looking at getting the 50mm f1.4 or f1.8 I really don’t want to have to change this lens later so I’m trying to make sure I’ll get the one that suits me best. (I already have the 70-300mm and 18-105mm).

    I would mainly use it for baby portraits indoor/outdoor low light/no flash, I also love flower portraits and food photography, I want sharp/clear/great colored photos what would be the best option?

    And off-topic what would you recommend for garden/park/landscape photography?
    Thanks a lot!!

    • 102
      ) Howard Metz

      Andreea,

      I am also shooting with the D7000, and I think that with the cropped sensor you will need to go to the 35mm1.8 lens to get the same results as most of the above comments in this thread are referring to regarding a 50mm 1.8 – they mean on a full frame sensor.

      Howard

      • 104
        ) Andreea

        Thanks Howard, but I’m afraid it’s a little late now, I’ve already ordered the 50mm 1.4. I don’t want to invest twice in the same kind of lens, so I went for the “better” one. I understand what you’re saying but I hope it will still do a great job, maybe next year I’ll upgrade the body as well, for now I’m sure it will do a much better job than the standard I’ve got now. It’s just a hobby for me…

    • 103
      ) thomas cook

      “I want sharp/clear/great colored photos what would be the best option?”
      -sharp, get the 50 1.8 instead of the 35 1.8.

      based on your present lens, i think you’re not a 1.4 type of person :)

  33. 105
    ) Jessica

    Hi Nasim, I currently have the D200 and I just purchased the 50mm 1.8. I LOVE it but am looking for another lens to compliment it. More for group shots so I don’t have to back up so far to get everyone in it. I shoot mostly kids and family’s so I am looking for something fast but I am picky about sharpness. :) I also love having the bokeh effect in my photo’s because I feel it separates my subject from the background well. Do you have any suggestions for my next lens? Thanks so much for your help and I LOVE your website! I just discovered it today when searching for a new lens

    • Jessica, have you looked at the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 (review link) that I recently reviewed? It is a phenomenal lens and it would be perfect for your D200 and a future DX/FX camera. It is wide enough, but not super wide and you can still isolate subjects quite a bit. I think you will love this lens!

      • 107
        ) Jessica

        I actually haven’t looked at the 35mm much because I wasn’t sure it was enough of a difference from my 50mm. I will take a look at it. The one’s I have been looking into are the 24-70mm and the 24mm 1.4. Do you think the Sigma 35mm 1.4 would be a better choice? I also do plan to get a better camera when the time is right money wise but first I want to invest in a lens.

  34. 108
    ) Dan

    Are you sure they arent cropped? They must be. My 1.8D, which should have the same focus distance (45cm), doesnt have this much macro capablity, and this is even on a DX camera! The rings in my shots are less than 1/4th the size of these.

  35. 112
    ) Danvil

    Hi Nasim,

    I’m not a photographer (have only slight interest on being one). A friend of mine is getting married soon and ask a favor of me to be the photographer. I have a D5100 with 18-55mm kit lens and just recently bought 50mm 1.8D. I’m doing little research about using just 50mm for wedding and I found your article very helpful. Anyway, what will you recommend for a beginner like me when it comes to shooting mode? Shall I use aperture priority or use full manual mode? I’m still learning on using full manual mode so it will take me few test shots and adjustments before I get the result I want. But of course, with the wedding I want to capture more moments rather than waste my time figuring out what settings to use if I’m in full manual. Any techinique will be appreciated. The photos on your article are stunning by the way. Thanks in advance.

    • 113
      ) Dustin Duvall

      If you are a beginner, I would use Aperture priority. Set your function button to ISO so you can change it on the fly. Just be careful with using lower F stops because your depth of field reduces drastically the closer you get to the subject.

  36. 114
    ) Dustin Duvall

    Quick questions and I may have missed it.

    1) Did you fire flash in any of these photos? I don’t see it in the EXIF data.

    2) I have the D5100 with 35mm f/1.8. Since this camera crops the lens to an effective 52mm, would this set up be similar to what your camera is seeing?

  37. 115
    ) Born

    Hi,

    I’ve a AF-S 60mm Micro F/2.8G on my Nikon D700.
    Is it worth for me to invest this lens AF-S 50mm F/1.8G?

    The 60mm lens is also a good for walk about lens.
    It has a capable of close-up plus portrait shots.

    I feel of buying it for going out with my family during night activities.
    Not sure how much it will help as compared with my current 60mm AF-S ver.

  38. 118
    ) G.R. MURUGAN

    i just now bought nikon d7100 with with 50 1.8 yes amazing all fotos like what you say
    moreover thank you for your good tips

  39. 120
    ) Jamie Mcfarlin

    Where can I find the EXIF data for these different images? Great shots and an awesome article, thanks!

  40. 121
    ) che

    Would 85mm f1.8g work great with d7100?

  41. 122
    ) Jason G

    Well i just wanted to say thanks for this article, this for me was the decision maker in getting my “nifty Fifty” which in Rands is a LOT MORE, you said that you could pick up this lens for $220, well i have to pay R3400-00 for the same lens now thats an investment into my photo hobby, so quite a huge jump in costs, i have just started haveing a bit of fun with mine, and reading some of the comments, you need to get one of these AWESOME lenes, and if you think that $220 as an investment? i would have bought my friend one to at that price? i am shooting with a Nikon D3100 – not full frame, and judging from the “kit” lenses that my camera came with, this little beauty is tack sharp, with the amazing bokeh,
    So a huge thanks to you guys for posting this amazing article, i have been researching this little lens for a LONG time, cos, well it did’nt come cheap, so i NEEDED to be 100% sure, but this article, for me, was the decision maker. Thank you for taking the time to put it together for all of us, with all the great information.

  42. 123
    ) Niranjana

    Im looking for buy a prime lance for my Nikon D3100. and having trouble with selecting one from 50mm 1.8G or 35mm 1.8G. what do you think which should I buy?

    50mm 1.8G is newer and people say its good for portraits. What about the Landscape ? can’t I shoot good Landscapes ? B’coz Im not always shooting portraits.
    what do you recommend ? , it’ll be a grate Help

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