For the opportunity Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1 lens review: 1.4 f = 50mm Many thanks to Dyachuk Roman.
TTX Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm
Focal length: 50 mm
Diaphragm: maximum: F / 1.4, minimum: F / 16, with intermediate values 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11
Number of aperture blades: 7 pieces
Optical design: 7 elements in 5 groups
Front Filter Diameter: 52mm
The weight: 320g
Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm, presented in this review, was launched in 1962, in those years the lens was called Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm. The first version had only 6 aperture blades. Version Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm appeared a little later in 1966 (possibly in 1969) and already had 7 aperture blades. Although, you can find 6 petal. There are several further modifications of this lens, for example Nikon Nikkor-SC 1: 1.4 f = 50mm NON-Ai, which was produced from 1973 to 1974 and was equipped with multi-enlightenment. Optically and functionally, it is practically the same lens.
In general, it is customary to abbreviate to call this lens Nikon 50mm F1.4 N0n-Ai. This is native standard fast manual fix lens from Nikon.
The lens is called standard, because what a person sees through the viewfinder when using this lens is very similar to a normal human eye. Yes, you don’t need to think that the lens is autofocus due to the inscription “Car“. This inscription means auto iris controlit happens both on all old Nikon lenses - you just need to set the aperture value on the lens using the aperture ring. You can always focus on the full aperture of F / 1.4, and while releasing the shutter, the camera will close the aperture to the desired value and then open it again to F / 1.4. In short, everything happens exactly as on all modern Nikon lenses. Therefore, there is no need to be afraid of manual optics.
True, there is one serious limitation when using this lens on modern Nikon digital SLR cameras. This lens simply cannot be installed on the part of the CZK cameras from Nikon. This is due to the fact that he has PRE-AI type and requires AI conversion. Converting to AI is a very simple process, you just need to grind off the excess part of the iron “skirt” of the diaphragm ring and add a special piece to the skirt to transfer the diaphragm value (aperture) to the camera.
Attention: on a number of cameras Nikon 50mm F1.4 N0n-Ai can be used without any alterations, just install and start shooting. Which cameras will sit on exactly Nikon 50mm F1.4 N0n-Ai you can easily find in my article about old PRE-AI lenses. Personally, I used it without any problems Nikon 50mm F1.4 N0n-Ai on cameras Nikon D40but on D200, D700, D80 the lens refused to become. I did not remake the lens (I did not convert it to AI) due to the fact that it is not mine, but I was simply provided with it for writing this review.
Attention 2: when working with Nikon 50mm F1.4 N0n-Ai on some cameras, even with AI-CONVERTED, it will not be possible to work in automatic modes. Only the manual M camera control mode will be available. More details in the section AI-S.
In fact, if you discard the small non-docking with installation and metering exposurethen after two, three shots on Nikon 50mm F1.4 N0n-Ai you immediately understand that this is a very good, suitable “glass” for which it is not a pity to pay money. Marketing dictated its terms, and many owners of smart digital SLR cameras by type Nikon D7000, D3200, D5100 almost always use a whale lens and don’t even know that all the old Nikon optics work wonderfully on new ones, very productive CZK. Normal lenses like this fifty dollars Nikon 50mm F1.4 N0n-Ai a lot and their price is sometimes much lower than even the 18-55 whale lens, therefore, I recommend that all real amateur and connoisseurs of photography get a fast fifty dollars, old manual optics can be an excellent replacement for quite expensive 50mm F1.8G, 50mm F1.8D, 50mm F1.4G, 50mm F1.4D.
Basic information about Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm
- Even if you set the Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm to Nikon D700, auto focus will not be. And it doesn’t matter if there is a “screwdriver” in your camera. This is a manual lens, and therefore, focus on focus, you will need to get into focus only by hand. For this, the lens has a special focus ring. The ring is metal, without elastic bands, but with protrusions, like a nut. Focusing is very convenient, the ring itself rotates almost 180 degrees. When focusing, the front lens does not rotate, but only travels forward half a centimeter. When focusing, all the lenses in the lens barrel move. You can learn about the accuracy of focusing on all Nikon cameras by using the green dot in the lower corner of the optical viewfinder. In more detail about tricks with focusing in the section AI-S.
- True, Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm loses in the minimum focusing distance to modern analogs. Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm has an MDF of 60cm, and almost all modern fifty dollars have an MDF of 50cm. This does not stop me from using the lens.
- The lens is very old, older than me, but it miraculously functions, and they constantly used it. The whole lens is solid iron and glass, nothing more. However, over the years of use, the focus ring loosened a little. But the inscription Made in Japan protects the lens from destruction.
- The diameter of the Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1 filter: 1.4 f = 50mm is the most widespread - 52mm, it’s easier to find a filter for it. I used Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm with protective light filter.
- The lens can be used on both FX and DX cameras. On Nikon DX APS-C cameras with a crop factor of 1.5X, the lens will have an EFG of 75 mm, which is almost ideal for portrait shooting.
- Of course, the Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm lens is very small and compact. Noticeable by the fact that aperture values are indicated different colorsso that you can easily and quickly find the desired value on the DOF scale. Like that: F4, F8, F11, F16. DOF at the lens is very small.
Despite its age, the lens produces normal image quality already with F2.8. There is sharpness even on F / 1.4, but the soft effect on the face is due to spherical and chromatic aberrations. Spherical aberrations give the picture an interesting artistic look. When you close the aperture to F / 2.8, the lens becomes very sharp. On DX cameras with open apertures, you can take interesting art shots, portraits. Also, with F / 1.4 there are no “nuts” in the bokeh, but when closed, the most common “nuts” are obtained. The lens conveys contrast well but is afraid of flare from side and back light. The lens does not have multi-enlightenment, but only ordinary, because side light is a serious problem. Color reproduction is quite pleasant.
Huge aperture F / 1.4 allows very easily blur the foreground and foreground in photoswhich is very useful for a portrait. Also big aperture helps to avoid movement when handheld photography. If you are chasing an interesting “pattern” of the lens, you will probably like examples of photos from Helios-81N and Nikon 50mm f / 1.2 AI-S Nikkor MF. I personally use Nikon 50mm f / 1.4G AF-S Nikkor. The lens from this review I even used at the wedding, on the second camera, to create sketches for a photo book or collage. I'm not out of place here to paint all the obvious details, I do this so that the person who has used autofocus all his life is not afraid of the old manual Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm.
Sample photos on Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm
All sample photos in this review were taken on a camera. Nikon D40, RAW -> JPEG auto levels, Q = 80%, reduced to 1600 * 1200 and imprinted data from EXIF. No processing. Sorry, Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm didn’t want to make friends with my full-frame Nikon D700 and this review will be without examples on the FX camera.
A small test comparing one of the oldest and newest
Everything is taken off the tripod on the Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm and Nikon 50mm f / 1.4G AF-S Nikkor . This is a “dirty” test, since Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm could not sit on my D700, I held it with one hand in the bayonet mount (without clicking on the camera), and the other focused on Live View. A few shots were taken, the best one was chosen. Sharpness was pointed at the tip of the longest cactus arrow. ISO 200, 1 \ 320s, F1.4, white balance manual, equal to 5560 degrees Kelvin, JPEG L, color adjustment VI. Here link to full-size (24MP) comparison file. No processing. The new Nikon gives a warmer, sharper and sharper picture, which is to be expected.
All Nikon Nikkor 50-58 / 1.4 / 1.2 / 0.95 autofocus lenses
Details for each model can be found in my article 'All Nikon autofocus fifty dollars'. At the moment, Nikon has 5 autofocus full-frame lenses of class 50 (58) /1.4 for SLR cameras:
- Nikon 50mm 1: 1.4 AF Nikkor (first version, MK I) - the lens was produced only in Japan from 1986 to 1991
- Nikon 50mm 1: 1.4 AF Nikkor (second version, MK II, also known as the 'N', or the 'NEW' version) - the lens was only available in Japan from 1991 to 1995
- Nikon 50mm 1: 1.4D AF Nikkor (third version, MKIIIbetter known as 'D'-version) - the lens is available from 1995 to this day. There are two subversions that are no different.
- Nikon 50mm 1: 1.4G AF-S Nikkor SWM (fourth version, MKIVbetter known as 'G' version) - the lens is only available in China from 2008 to this day.
- Nikon N AF-S Nikkor 58mm 1: 1.4G Nano Crystal Coat SWM Aspherical (version better known as'58/1.4') - the lens is only available in Japan from 2013 to this day.
- Nikon Nikkor Z 58mm 1: 0.95 S Noct - The lens is available from 2019 to this day. Premium Lens for Mirrorless Cameras Nikon Z. It does not have auto focus, but it has a record aperture. Sophisticated optical design for 17 elements in 10 groups, with 4 ED elements and 3 aspherical elements.
- Nikon Nikkor Z 50 / 1.2 S - The lens has been produced from 2020 to the present day. Professional S-line lens for mirrorless cameras Nikon Z... Complex optical design with 17 elements in 15 groups, with 2 ED elements and 3 aspherical elements
From third-party manufacturers there are similar models in the person of:
- Sigma 50mm 1: 1.4 DG HSM EX, since 2008
- Sigma 50mm 1: 1.4 DG HSM Artsince 2014
- Tokina Opera 50mm F1.4 FFsince 2018
- YONGNUO LENS YN50mm F1.4N Esince 2018
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Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm - a good fixed lens with a huge aperture and with good image quality. Attracts in the lens aperture and nice bokeh. Of the bad sides - easy soft effect up to aperture F2.8
The material was prepared by Arkady Shapoval. Take a look to the Radozhiva group on Facebook.