Review of Nikon Nikkor-HC Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm

According provided by Nikon Nikkor-HC Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm lens Many thanks to Andrei Mikhailovsky. Andrei is selling this lens; write to him by e-mail

Review of Nikon Nikkor-H C Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm

Review of Nikon Nikkor-H C Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm

Nikon Nikkor-HC Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm is an old manual lens for film cameras. Nikon Nikkor-HC Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm is Non-ai lens and, without its alteration (AI-conversion), there will be problems when trying to install it on certain CZK Nikon. Information on this subject, with an exact list of cameras that do not require alteration to install it, can be found in the section Pre-ai.

When I did this review and shot the look of the lens on my Nikon AF N8008sthen seriously damaged rheostat cameras, so pay due attention to the need for AI-conversion for use on older Nikon cameras. I had to use a lens on a Canon camera using adapter Nikon F - Canon EOS to run sample shots for review. As far as I know the Nikon Df camera is finally solved the problem compatible with older Nikon cameras and older Nikon lenses Non-ai making a protrusion of the rheostat, which can hide and not interfere with the installation of lenses Non AI, and in the menu you can select the type of attached lens - AI (AI-S) Or Non AI... That's why Nikon Df not only has an old vintage design, but is also perfectly compatible with any Nikon lens that has an F mount. Shooting with a manual lens is not so difficult, as described in the section 'How to use old lenses without CPU contacts on modern Nikon digital SLR cameras?"

View Nikon Nikkor-H C Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm

View Nikon Nikkor-H C Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm

The Nikon 50/2 line of lenses dates back to 1959:

  • Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm. Optical design: 7 elements in 5 groups. The letter 'S' in the name means 'Septem' - seven lenses in the optical scheme of the lens. Issued from 1959 to 1963, there are several different versions of this lens with different numbers of aperture blades, different marks, and slightly different aperture and focus rings. A text review of this version can be viewed here, and the video review can be viewed on my YouTube channel.
  • Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-H Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm. Optical design: 6 elements in 4 groups. The letter 'H' in the name means 'Hex' - six lenses in the optical circuit of the lens. It was produced from 1964 to 1972, there are also several subversions of this lens with minor differences.
  • Nikon Nikkor-HC Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm. Optical design: 6 elements in 4 groups, the same as in the previous version. The lens received a special enlightenment. It was produced from 1972 to 1974. The lens is presented in this review.
  • Nikon Nikkor 50mm 1: 2 (so called “K” version). Optical design: 6 elements in 4 groups, the same as in the previous version. The lens has received a modern look. Produced from 1974 to 1977.
  • Nikon Nikkor 50mm 1: 2 (Ai version). Optical design: 6 elements in 4 groups, the same as in the previous version. Updated to AI version. It was produced from 1977 to 1979.

50mm 1: 2 lenses have not been updated to version AI-S and replaced by the 50mm 1: 1.8 line, which was based on the same optical design, but with a slightly larger aperture.

Nikon Nikkor-H C Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm

Nikon Nikkor-H C Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm, rear view

The Nikon Nikkor-HC Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm lens is an excellent representative of the old line of fifty dollars - excellent build quality, compact size and good image quality. It is always a pleasure for me to work with high quality old optics. Probably Nikon caught the growing nostalgia for the old high-quality technology and released its Nikon Df. The Nikkor-HC has a focusing distance scale in meters and feet, as well as multicolored labels for aperture and depth of field. Like all 50mm 1: 2 lenses, the Nikkor-HC is made in Japan.

Nikon Nikkor-H C Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm

Enlightenment of the front and rear lens Nikon Nikkor-H C Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm

The focusing ring is metal, rotates 180 degrees, while the front lens does not rotate, and the trunk of the lens lengthens slightly. The MDF is about 55 cm, the distance scale ends at 60 cm, but the focus ring rotates a little further. Focusing is smooth.

View of the Nikon Nikkor-H C Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm on the ZK

View of the Nikon Nikkor-H C Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm on the ZK

The lens uses conventional 52mm filters, and has an aperture with 6 matte blades.

Example photo on the lens

Example photo on the lens

On an open aperture, F / 2.0 suffers from spherical aberrations, but if you close the aperture to F / 2.8, they disappear immediately. The classical Gaussian optical scheme makes itself felt. Despite this, F / 2.0 can be used in a number of situations. On F / 4.0, sharpness is just great. Many users like the design of the old 50/2 lenses much more than the similar old 50 / 1.4 line, but this is nothing more than a matter of taste.

Portrait on the lens

Portrait on the lens

On Nikon DX cameras due crop factor EGF lens is 75 mm and amateur photographers often use this lens for portraiture. I shot with a Canon APS-C EOS 350D с crop factor 1.6, where EGF was 80 mm.

Sample photo

Sample photo on open aperture

Anyone interested can “rotate” RAW files from this lens by downloading them using this link. (The archive weighs 150 MB. The noise reduction function at slow shutter speeds was turned off. Parameters: contrast correction - 0, sharpness - 0, saturation - 0, tone color - 0.)

I caught such a glare in the backlight

I caught such a glare in the backlight

If you get the hang of it, you can shoot with a manual lens no worse than with autofocus counterparts, even dynamically scenes:

In move

In move

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'.


Nikon Nikkor-HC Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm is a good old manual fix. These days it is interesting for its aperture and pattern. The disadvantages are poor performance at F / 2.0 and a 6-blade "nut" aperture. Personally, I am delighted with this lens - at closed apertures it gives an even sharp picture :)

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Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 24, on the topic: Review of Nikon Nikkor-HC Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm

  • anonym

    which glass is better our helios let it be 44-2 or this fifty dollars?
    thanks for the review !!!

    • Lynx

      the one that is in the hands.

    • Igor

      Completely different lenses, I don’t know how to compare. I have this Nikkor f2 non-ai, excellent, versatile, with a nice pattern and enough sharpness for most tasks.

      Helios is not universal, he shot landscapes, the sharpness is not comme il faut. And if you shoot absolutely authentically, at the zenith, then this is a pain. A drop in contrast is noticeable even on a cloudy, but more or less sunny day. If you remove the abundance of some greenery or meadow, the colors are porridge.

      On Nikkor, the opposite situation, even at night at shutter speeds of half a second when shooting with hands, everything seems several times more stable, both in color and in sharpness.

      But as the commentator Lynx noted, the one that is in the hands is better. I grabbed my niccor for $ 20, a person just didn’t need it. Now the same push for 120 bucks. I think for an ordinary photographer who combed through manual optics, the choice will be obvious: towards the helix for 7 bucks at a local flea market.

  • anonym

    Do you have models?)))

  • Sergei

    My opinion. This fifty kopeck nikon is better

  • Stepan

    Dove is gorgeous!

  • Yaroslav

    I appeal to the Author - it is possible that you would also post RAW sources in your future reviews in the future - it will be very interesting and useful))

  • fierce Anonymous

    Damn, ahead of us ... I wanted to give you this lens for review in February) thanks for the article ...

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    But there is no D4S for review? :)

    • 35 mm

      I think if you provide for review Arkady will not refuse)

  • anonym

    Anon, we are waiting for the d5300 review :)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Now also d3300

  • Maksim

    I will sell a lens Nikon Nikkor-HC Auto non-Ai 50 mm f / 2
    Novosibirsk + by mail in Russia and abroad
    Our website:
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  • Anton

    Is there a big difference between this version and the version without enlightenment? Is it better than Helios-81N?

    • Alex

      I would also like to know an opinion about him in comparison with ms helios-81n

    • Ivan

      Glass made by the hands of the Japs will always be better than the products of the country of the councils, all other things being equal in default. The question of the evaluation criterion is whether you have a thing in your hands or, although soundly in some cases, is a fake under the old German schemes. To answer the question, try to buy 2 battles - Japanese and Soviet. Disassemble to a screw. Inspect the lens, diaphragm, mounting screws and other debris. Comparison will shock you at least. Questions will disappear by themselves. By and large, old owls of glass to play with and sell back nikkora in the worst case for restoration, cleaning and collection.
      Py sy - since hand made with the attachment of the head is always better than the lottery performed by hands.

      • anonym

        Have you taken apart at least one lens yourself, wimp? So, the assembly of Soviet lenses was normal, while others were simply excellent. Old domestic lenses still work flawlessly. These last assemblies of g-44 (2) did not suffer from constancy ... Also, I am an apologist for everything that is not Soviet.))) And they probably gave birth to you on Easter Island or in Papua? )))))))

        • Ivan

          I'll upset - that's the only thing I'm doing. Disassembly, assembly, adjustment, cleaning and restoration as a hobby. I am not going to answer such tricks with or without - the point is in your open lack of culture, as communication and in general. You can only regret.
          Twisted optics with rangefinder still pre-war models.
          I will repeat myself - the revised East German pentacon 50 1.8 of the third series is worth all Soviet glasses after Brussels.

    • Ivan

      And to the question the answer is - no, the difference is not great. The enlightenment of those years is conditional in comparison with modern technologies of objective construction. And they cannot be compared with gel - see above.

    • Igor

      I have both )

      Well, 81n Gelik is good, as for me, better than 44 or 42. But still he loses to Nikkor. Speaking directly subjectively, gelika has a soapy picture, but this does not make me sick. But sick of the loss of image contrast under the slightest extreme lighting conditions.

      Nikkor is not inclined to catch all shit in the frame, with f2.8 sharp as boys in the area. Yes, and on f2 he has sharpness tolerable in the center, but the edges are floating a bit, but there are quite a few cases when you can really take something off with an open hole in the street. In our latitudes, sometimes the fucking white snow, then the fierce sun, in any case, cover the diaphragm.

  • Sergei

    I would like to know why Nikkor-HC Auto 1: 2 f = 50 is considered little known in Ukraine and the CIS? And there is very little information about him in the Cyrillic Internet sector.

    • Ivan

      He's famous. Mass of information. It's just that in comparison with the mass of fifty dollars from 1.4 from the same manufacturer, its presence on the market is more for the jackdaw of collectors - frankly, few people need it. Although certainly good. Something like this.

  • Sergei Mikhailovich

    M-m-m-dya-I ... I will share my opinion. I got this lens along with the Nikon-F camera in the distant past. In the 90s, when I had to feed my family with the work of a household photographer. Compared to those “fifty dollars” that I had (MS Wave 1,8 / 50, MS Helios 81-N, Zenitar-M 1,7 / 50, Helios 44-M 2/58, Helios 77-M 1,8, 50/1.8, Pentacon 50/1) it was characterized by high and uniform sharpness across the entire image field, starting from aperture 2,8:1.4. This is very good when shooting large groups of people (a whole school class). Yes, and when shooting an individual portrait, he was not inferior to my favorite Volna. Later I also bought Nikkors 50/1.8 (FA), 50/1.8 (Ai-s for Japan), 50/1.7 G (AF-S). Even against their background, he does not look mediocre. The mechanics are just great. Better than all subsequent models. And even the Kontax Planar 50 / XNUMX looks frivolous compared to it. The optics of this Nikkor allows you to perform work at a professional level. So what else does a photographer need to be completely happy?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      need luck

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