Monday, January 8, 2018

Digital Moments: Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Ai-S

Digital Moments: Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Ai-S 01
Digital Moments: Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Ai-S 02
Digital Moments: Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Ai-S 03
Olympus E-P5, Nikkor Ai-S 50mm 1:1.4

Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Ai-S

Nikkor Ai-S 50mm 1:1.4, View
'Overview of the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Ai-S lens with image samples photographed using the digital Olympus E-P5'

It is of no doubt that the versatility of a 'normal' 50mm f/1.4 lens is the flavor of many a photographer, both as a standard prime they will want to go with, or as a stand-by in every professional's bag of lenses.

The 50mm f/1.4 is the superhero for lowlight photography, a must for indoor sports, an essential for street photography, a norm for travel and adventure, an extreme closeups lens with a reverse adapter, and a superb portrait lens on crop-sensor digital cameras.

Digital Moments: Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Ai-S 04

Nikkor Ai-S 50mm 1:1.4, Top
A 50mm was also the standard lens that came with most film camera bodies sold until the 1980`s when they were replaced by the new growth of zoom lenses. They were also labelled as 'normal' lens, one that comes closest to the human eye`s perception of distance and depth.

The legacy Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Ai-S by Nikon is no different, affordable by comparism (to current standards), and is one of the few manual focus lenses left in Nikon's lens line-up. Performance is said to be almost at the top of the line. Though reportedly to be pretty weak at f/1.4, the lens improves considerably when stopped down to f/2.

Peak performance is reached at f/5.6, where the lens has an excellent balance of performance across the image frame. Distortion is moderate, vignetting can be at f/1.4, and the sweet spot of the lens is between f/2.8 - f/8.

Digital Moments: Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Ai-S 05

On a DX sized or a 1.5 crop-sensor DSLR the lens becomes a 75mm equivalent, which is more of a portrait lens then a all round lens like the 50mm. On the 2x crop-sensor Olympus E-P5, the lens is an equivalent of a 100mm short telephoto lens. The lens is built of all metal and glass the lens is the ultimate of build quality.

Olympus E-P5, Nikkor Ai-S 50mm 1:1.4

Quite hefty in size when compared to Olympus's M4/3 lenses, the lens is about 70mm long when fitted with an adapter to the camera, it weighs in at 250 grams which do add to the weight of the setup. The lens, however, is a pleasure to use, the focus ring is buttery smooth and can be moved with one finger, aperture stops are sharp and sure.

Resource Links:
My thoughts on the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 Ai-s
Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Ai-s

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