Review of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical

The full name of the lens written on its body is Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical, but it is commonly called Nikon 50 / 1.8G.

Review of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical with hood HB-47

Nikon 50 / 1.8G - it's fast fifty-degree autofocus lens from Nikon. 'Poltina' or 'fifty-kopeck' is the common name for a lens with a focal length of 50 mm. This focal length is very popular. On old cameras, XNUMX rubles were often installed as a standard lens, but nowadays, XNUMX rubles are attractive for a low price and excellent image quality.

The Nikon 50 / 1.8G lens is an upgrade to the legendary Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor from film cameras. The upgrade touched on the aperture control method, the optical circuit and the built-in focus motor. The new model is heavier and larger in size.

All Nikon 50 / 1.8 Autofocus Lenses

  1. Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8 AF Nikkor (first version, MKI) - the lens was produced only in Japan from 1986 to 1990. It is easy to distinguish by a window with a focusing distance and a narrow plastic focus ring. There are two subversions that are no different:
    • MKI first subversion. Weighing 210 grams. It is easy to distinguish by the screw under the inscription '1: 1.8'. From September 1986 to March 1987. Serial numbers start at 2
    • MKI second version. Weighing 165 grams. It is easy to distinguish by the absence of a screw under the inscription '1: 1.8'. From 1987 to 1990. Serial numbers start at 3.
  2. Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8 AF Nikkor (second version, MKII, also known as the 'N', or the 'NEW' version) - the lens was produced in Japan and China. The MK II version was produced from 1990 to 2001. There are three subversions that are no different:
  3. Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor (third version, MKIIIbetter known as 'D'-version) - the lens is available from 2002 to this day. All lenses are made in China.
  4. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical (fourth version, MKIVbetter known as '1.8 G'-version or '1.8 AF-S' version) - the lens has been produced since 2011, all lenses are made in China.
  5. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical Special Edition (fifth version, MKVbetter known as version 'Special Edition' or 'SE' or version for the camera with a retro design of the case Nikon Df) - the lens has been available since the fall of 2013. All lenses are made in China.
  6. Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm 1: 1.8 S, from summer 2018, lens for mirrorless cameras with Nikon Z mount... Diagram of 12 elements in 9 groups, 2 ED, 2 ASP.

Details on the lineup of fifty dollars from Nikon can be found in my article 'All Nikon autofocus fifty dollars'.

Main technical characteristics of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical

Review Instance Name Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical 2153108
Basic properties
Front Filter Diameter 58 mm, plastic thread for filters
Focal length 50 mm, EGF for Nikon DX cameras is 75 mm
Zoom ratio 1 X (this is a fixed lens, it does not have a zoom)
Designed by for full-frame digital cameras
Number of aperture blades 7 pieces
Tags focusing distance in meters and feet, depth of field for F / 16, mark of bayonet mount and hood mount
Diaphragm F / 1.8 to F / 16, without aperture ring.
MDF 0.45 m, maximal magnification factor 1: 6.7
The weight 185 g
Optical design 7 elements in 6 groups, 1 aspherical element (in the optical diagram, the aspherical element is shown in blue). This is Nikon's first fifty kopeck piece to use aspherical elements in its design. The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical Special Edition has exactly the same optical design. The image is clickable.


Lens hood Nikon HB-47
Manufacturer country MADE IN CHINA
Period From April 2011 ->
Instructions See

Nikon since available Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor, has not updated its set of fifty dollars for a long time. Before the Nikon 50 / 1.8G was released, there was only a choice between expensive f / 1.4 models and between the old non-motorized Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor... With the release of the new, relatively cheap Nikon 50 / 1.8G, users non-powered cameras got the opportunity to use aperture poltina without special investment.

Rear view of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical

Rear view of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical

Most importantly, what you need to know about the Nikon 50 / 1.8G:

1. The lens is also suitable for FX and DX cameras. That is, the lens can be used at full frame, for example, on full-frame FX cameras Nikon D600, D3s, D800, D750 etc., and on cropped cameras, for example, on Nikon D3300, D90, D5200 etc.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical Lens with Two Lids

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical Lens with Two Lids

2. The lens has focus motor Silent Wave Motor (SWM), which means the lens can be used for everyone Nikon digital SLR cameras. The lens will automatically focus even on entry-level non-powered cameras: D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical Lens Information Labels

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical Lens Information Labels

3. The lens is marked “G”. This means the Nikon 50 / 1.8G has no aperture ring. The diaphragm is controlled only by the camera. This will prevent the lens from being used on older film cameras, or for example for macro with reversible adapter... This is not a disadvantage, but a tribute to the times. Almost all lenses now come without an aperture ring. You can read more about 'G' and 'Non-G' lenses here.

Enlightenment of the front lens and aperture blades Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical

Enlightenment of the front lens and aperture blades Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical

4. The diameter of the front filter is 58 mm, the same as that of Nikon 50mm f / 1.4G AF-S Nikkor. The lens is made of plastic, the assembly is good. Bayonet mount metal. All Nikon 50 / 1.8G lenses are manufactured in China.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical fixed lens and Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm 1: 3.5-5.6GII ED SWM VR IF Aspherical universal lens

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical fixed lens and universal lens Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm 1: 3.5-5.6GII ED SWM VR IF Aspherical

5. Focusing method. When focusing, the entire lens block moves. It is very important that the lens does not have internal focus. But at the same time, the method itself is made quite unusual, when focusing, the inner part of the lens moves, which is located in the middle of the pyramidal front frame. And that means that the trunk of the lens does not extend or rotate when focusing.

A fifty-fifty Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical and a real Nikon AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1: 2 D Defocus Image Control lens

A fifty-fifty Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical and a true portrait lens Nikon AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1: 2D

6. High speed focus. But always remember that the speed and accuracy of focusing is also associated with the camera itself and a number of other factors. The lens has focus distance scale. The distance is indicated in meters and feet. There is also a depth of field scale for F / 16.

7. On the lens housing can be found focus switch 'M / A - M'. In the 'M / A' position, auto focus works with constant manual focus priority. The 'M / A' mode is very convenient and useful - for manual focusing or focus correction, you do not need to additionally switch the lens to the 'M' mode.

8. The minimum focusing distance is 45 cm. The maximum ratio when magnified is 1: 6.7. You can’t shoot a macro with this lens, but at the same time it’s easy to shoot small objects.

9. When used on cropped cameras with Nikon DX, the viewing angle will be narrower than at full frame. It will appear that the viewing angle will be equivalent to the lens 75 mm full frame... This allows using the lens on cameras with a cropped matrix without any problems as a good portrait lens. But, please note that in fact Nikon 50 / 1.8G is just a universal fast prime lens, and it is not designed for a portrait. Anyway, the classic focal length for portraits starts at 80 mm.

10 Aperture. Yes, f / 1.8 is great aperture for shooting in low light. The lens can really be used in low light conditions. Well, if you want an even brighter lens, then you need to look at its brothers - Nikon 50mm f / 1.4G AF-S Nikkor and Nikon 50mm f / 1.4D AF Nikkor.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical without hood

This is what the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical looks like after prolonged use

About the picture (photo quality)

The image is sharp already with F / 1.8. Maximum sharpness is achieved in the area of ​​the aperture F / 5.6. The contrast is very good. The lens tolerates back and side light, sometimes it can catch hares. The bokeh of the lens is smooth and smooth, not as rough as that of Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor. When the aperture is closed, the lens makes of luminous objects 14 beam stars. On the open diaphragm, pronounced freezing. Chromatic aberrations quite strong up to F2.8, but this is typical of this kind of lenses. By the way, Nikon 50 / 1.8G for 2013 is Nikon's only fifty dollars using special aspherical element. In general, image quality is on top.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical on Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Camera

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical on camera Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

Sample photos on Nikon D5100

All photos from Nikon D5100 without treatment. Reduced size and imprinted data with EXIF.

You will find many more examples in my post 'Fall 2020 on Nikon D40 and Nikkor 50 / 1.8G'

Sample photos on Nikon D700

In more detail about all-all 50-mm fast autofocus lenses Nikon can read here.

Sample photos on Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

Examples on the legendary camera Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro (Nikon F mount) see here.

Video review

Video review available at this link, or embedded below:

Lens prices

Real prices for the lens in online stores can


Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical is a good fast prime. Suitable as a budget portrait lens on DX cameras, it has good sharpness and color reproduction. I believe Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical the most optimal fifty dollars in the price \ quality section.

UPDATE: in 2016, a Chinese copy of this lens appeared at a cost 2-3 times lower than the original. See YONGNUO 50mm 1: 1.8 review (YN50mm F1.8N).

If there are any incomprehensible moments on the lens, ask me in the comments.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. A wide variety of photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress, The Amazon и B&H Photo.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram.

Add a comment: Alexey



Comments: 968, on the topic: Review of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical

  • Alex

    The most intriguing pictures - under the bridge and flowers

  • Anton

    Usually I do not write comments, but now I could not stand it. I want to thank you for your site. Write sensibly and always interesting. Special thanks for the reviews of Soviet optics. I bought Helios 81 and Kaleinar and I am not overjoyed. Thanks again!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      And thank you for your attention. I try to write clearly :)

  • Morikvend

    Thanks for the review!
    As I understand it, G AF-S is better than D AF? Sharper in the open, less noisy and with a softer bokeh?
    It would be interesting to see 2 identical frames on these lenses for comparison :)

    PS I would be very grateful (and I think many will support me) for an article on cleaning the matrix - how and what it is recommended to do))
    Because without experience it's scary to go there ...

  • and which is better than 50 or 35? thanks.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Lenses have different focal lengths, which means they have different purposes. 35 gives a wider angle and is a truly versatile crop fixture, while 50mm is already quite “long” for indoor use. But still, if you take it without a task, I would take 50mm

    • Indeed, while reading the article, I wanted to ask the same question - 50mm or 35mm. I would like to buy a high-speed motor fix and I am facing a dilemma. I already have a Helios 44m and it may well replace fifty dollars, so I tend to buy the 35mm version.

  • Crelian

    Is it possible to conduct a “test drive” of these two glasses, Helios 81 and, say, Volna-4 (50 / 1.4)? You correctly noted in the article - Soviet glasses are 5 times cheaper and how are they compared to bourgeois ones? In our far from richest country, this moment will be of interest to many, I think.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I can carry out at the moment a comparative battle Nikon 50mm F1.8D, Helios-81n, Nikon 50mm F1.2.

  • Denis

    I bought one for my old D40, having read your comments and am happy as an elephant.)

  • Oleg

    Your help is very necessary!
    Please advise which lens to buy Nikon 50mm f / 1.8G AF-S or Nikon 50mm f / 1.4G AF-S - is the difference in price really worth it! Which one is better and why!
    Thank you so much!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Get the Nikon 50mm f / 1.4G AF-S - the best option. The aperture is half a stop better than 1.8G, the bokeh pattern is better.

  • Oleg

    Thank you for your reply!
    But almost 2 times more expensive!
    On the one hand, you want to - and inject ...
    Some say that there is almost no difference in quality - others that it is significant ...
    So is there any difference in image quality ... for which you overpay $ 200 ???

    By the way - you have an awesome site!
    Articles not bloated by unnecessary digressions! Everything is clear, accessible, on topic and extensive!
    Keep it up!
    Sorry, there is no article about 50mm 1.4g

    • Arkady Shapoval

      My site is not commercial, it does not sell anything, I write it as for myself :) Still, half a stop in the aperture would sometimes not interfere, and the tone transitions will still be softer in 1.4. Of course, I don't want to overpay. Personally, I still shoot with Nikon 50mm F1.8D AF and am happy as an elephant, when you need something more serious, they take out their 50 1.2, which gives a head start for 50 1.4 by almost a head. So the choice is always a risk, only after long-term use you can say exactly what you need.

  • Oleg

    You have confused me even more ...
    If you shoot with the Nikon 50mm F1.8D AF and are “happy as an elephant”. And as I read that 1.8G is slightly better than 1.8D, then it turns out that there is no particular point in overpaying ...
    I am interested in portrait photography: beautiful drawing and the same bokeh ...
    Will I get it at 1.8G ..

    • Arkady Shapoval

      To shoot at 1.8D you need a screwdriver in the camera, you didn't specify if you have a motor in the camera. Also, 1.8d is very noisy and lathers at 1.8-2.8, so I do not recommend it. I still shoot with it, because it's very light, I don't mind “killing” it and just got used to using it. Therefore, the best option is 1.8zh or 1.4zh. I also shot at 1.4D, but I didn't like it.

  • Oleg

    The further into the forest, the more firewood ...
    A lens without a motor does not suit me .. So I choose between 1.8g and 1.4g ... Tomorrow I need to say the result of the choice .. and I'm in the same place where I started ... It's just that if the difference is only in a small aperture, then I will buy 100% 1.8 - there is no point in overpaying for such a small difference in aperture ratio ..

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Take 50 1.8g. He is good, and newer than all his relatives - this is also important.

  • Oleg

    Thanks for answers!!
    I will consider!

  • Max

    Advise that it would be better to take 50mm or 35mm for club photos ??

    • Arkady Shapoval

      For FX or DX? On the crop, I use 35mm.

  • Max

    Yes, the d3000 camera means crop so ?! how can 35 deal with portraits?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      35 copes with portraits poorly.

  • Sergei

    Hello. I have a D80, I want to buy a lens. I read your article, but never decided what to buy 1.8D or 1.8G
    In the future I plan to buy a better camera.
    The difference in the price of G and D is about $ 120, if we assume that money plays a secondary role, is it worth buying G?
    Or the difference is so small that it’s better not to spend the $ 120.
    Please advise.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I still use the D version, but when I took D, then there was no G AF-S version yet, otherwise I would have taken G - if there was no question of money, since it is quieter. You will find the rest in my reviews.

  • Marina

    Please tell me, take a protective filter for it 58 mm?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      yes, 58mm.

  • Alyona

    Great article !! I read it with interest! Tell me, I have a Nikon D60, I read that not all lenses will work on it. As I understood, I need exactly AF-S. Is it so? thanks in advance =)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes that's right. For D60 you need Nikon 50mm F1.8G AF-S. He worked for me on the D40.

  • Alyona

    Thank you ;)

  • Novel

    Hello, I want to start taking pictures in clubs, is D3000 + 50mm f / 1.8g af-s enough for me to start ?? Well, of course with a flash)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      yes, that's enough. But my colleagues prefer 35 1.8G for clubs in Crop.

  • Novel

    And what will be the difference ??
    And please explain to a newbie how it is “on the crop” ??)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      You will find the answer in the crop factor section.

  • Max

    Good afternoon. The article is good, thank you.
    There is a question, you indicated that the D lens, when focusing further than 3 meters on the open aperture, slightly lathers. And what about the F instance. CROP is interested if there is a difference with FF. If not difficult, I would like to see a photo where they focus on the object in 4-5 meters. Thanks.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There is no possibility of a pair test, since I do not have 50mm 1.8G at the moment.

  • Max

    well then maybe there is information, it’s true that after 3 meters the 50mm 1.8G also has blur

    • Arkady Shapoval

      They have a different optical scheme, and if you looked at examples of photographs, then everything is okay with sharpness at any focusing distance.

  • Max

    Thanks for the answer

  • Mix

    And tell me, what does it mean that after 3 meters infinity comes? Those. when the distance to the subject is more than three meters, the background can no longer be blurred and get bokeh? And is it necessary to somehow count the children three meters, ate filmed with a cropped camera? Thanks.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      If you ask for 50 1.8D, then 3 meters means the approximate distance from which the 50 1.8D lens conveys sharpening details worse, a lot of lenses are characterized by this property. Infinity on the focus ring also occurs somewhere in the area. I advise you to read about the hyperplane. You don’t need to recount anything, I advise you not to pay much attention to my remark about these three meters, everything can be reduced to the fact that 1.8D is worse in sharpness than 1.8G.

  • Nicholas

    Arkady, thank you for your work. Everything is clear, concise and accessible. There are no questions))) Just thanks. I wish you health and good luck in all your endeavors.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thanks. You, too, success in photo creativity.

  • Andrei

    Whether the NIKON AF-S 50mm f / 1.8G DX is suitable as a universal fix for photographs of both portraits and landscapes, or is it still better to take the NIKON AF-S 35mm f / 1.8G DX so as not to rest against the walls. I have a Nikon d3100. My daughter loves taking pictures of people, but I’m all in a row. We can not decide. Thank you.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      For D3100, the universal fix is ​​35 1.8G, the 50mm version will be very “long” for crop.

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