Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

Lens Summary

Brand: Nikon

Also Known As: Nikon 50mm f/1.4G

Lens Type: Prime Lens

Format: Full Frame / FX

Focus: Autofocus

Lens Mount: Nikon F

Release Date: 2008-09-22

MSRP Price: $484.95

Made in: China

Infrared Rating: Poor

Production Status: In Production

Lens Description: Ideal for travel, event, environmental and general photography in a wide variety of conditions, with superb optical formula and an ultra-fast f/1.4 maximum aperture.

Photography Life Review Summary: Since 2008, the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G has been a workhorse lens for both Lola and I. At the end of every year I go through image data in Lightroom and find out what lens was used the most. The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G always tops the list, surpassing all other lenses by a huge margin. It is lightweight, compact and renders beautiful colors and sharp images. Lola loves it so much, that she often refuses to use anything else. When we come back from a wedding or an engagement session, it is typical to see more than 90% of her images shot with the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G. While I am out hurting myself with heavy gear like D3s and 70-200mm f/2.8G, she prefers to stay light with the D700 and 50mm combo. And she takes better pictures. Always. The 50mm focal length just seems to be perfect on a full-frame body. Before the 50mm f/1.4G AF-S came out, the Nikon 50mm f/1.4D was our favorite lens for the same reasons. But the newer AF-S version made the AF-D obsolete and once I showed performance differences between the two to Lola, we made the switch. Read the full Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Review by Photography Life.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Specifications

Lens Specifications
* Supplied accessories may differ depending on country or area 
Lens TypePrime Lens
Focal Length50mm
Mount TypeNikon F
FormatFull Frame / FX
Compatible Format(s)FX/35mm, DX
Compatible with TeleconvertersNo
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.15x
Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization)No
Aperture Information
Aperture RingNo
Maximim Aperturef/1.4
Minimum Aperturef/16
Maximum Angle of View (APS-C or smaller format)31°30'
Maximum Angle of View (Full frame or larger format)46°
Optical Information
Lens Elements8
Lens Groups7
Diaphragm Blades9
Super Integrated Coat (SIC)Yes
Focus Information
Built-in Focus MotorYes
Silent Wave Motor (SWM)Yes
Minimum Focus Distance1.5 ft. (0.45m)
Focus Mode SwitchAuto, Manual, Auto/Manual
Distance InformationYes
Filter Information
Filter Size58mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Physical Characteristics
Weather / Dust SealingNo
Mount MaterialMetal
Dimensions(Approx.) 2.9x2.1 in. (Diameter x Length), 73.5x54.2mm (Diameter x Length)
Weight(Approx.) 9.9 oz. (280g)
Other Information
Available in ColorsBlack
Supplied AccessoriesHB-47 Bayonet Lens Hood, LC-58 Snap-On Front Lens Cap, LF-1 Rear Lens Cap, CL-1013 Soft Case

MTF Chart

AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G MTF chart

Lens Construction

AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Construction

MTF Performance

Here is how the lens performed according to Imatest in our own lab environment:


The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G suffers from quite a bit of distortion – even higher than the cheaper Nikon 50mm f/1.8G. Imatest measured barrel distortion at -1.42, which is easy to remove using Lightroom, Adobe Camera RAW or other third party tools.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberration levels are fairly low, especially when compared to some other 50mm lenses. Imatest measured CA at under 1 pixel on average, as shown below:


Vignetting is moderate wide open, getting close to 2 full stops in the extreme corners. As the lens is stopped down, vignetting is reduced considerably – by f/4, it is almost completely gone:

Here is the worst case scenario, shot at f/1.4:

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Vignetting

Image Samples

AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G sample AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G sample 1

AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G sample 2 AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G sample 3

AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G sample 4 AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G sample 5

AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G sample 6 AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G sample 7


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Thomas Logan

Howdy, just sold my Nikon 50mm f/1.4, then purchased and returned a 58mm f/1.4. I was wondering, even if just by best guess, considering how old the 50mm f/1.4 (all the Nikon fifties for that matter) is there any idea whatsoever when Nikon might be bringing a new and half-good 50mm f/1.4 (like and E model) to market???


Edward C-Smith

I have been enjoying your analysis and experience of various Nikon lenses and they are helping me to look for a wide angle prime lens so thank you very much for your efforts. I already own the 50 1.4G and appear to have a very good copy of it as it often gets mediocre reviews yet performs very well on my D800E. I noted in your review of the lens fairly poor lens performance in your lpmm test but also different, but much better results with the same lens in your lens database. Was the same lens used for both tests? If so then there is a significant performance difference.