Confrontation systems Nikon / Canon. Part 3. Autofocus fifty dollars.

In this part of the confrontation between Nikon and Canon systems, we will consider the question of who has better autofocus XNUMXs - Nikon or Canon.

Autofocus fifty dollars of two systems

Autofocus fifty dollars of two systems

The first two parts from the Nikon / Canon cycle can be found at the links:

  1. Confrontation systems Nikon / Canon. Part 2. Performance.
  2. Confrontation systems Nikon / Canon. Part 1. Discrete portraiture.

Fifty is called a lens with a fixed focal length equal to 50 mm. At the time of the film era, fifty dollars were standard lenses for film cameras, in our time such lenses would be called whale lenses (i.e. lenses purchased with a camera). Due to the fact that these were full-time lenses, since the time of the film, they have released countless numbers, and the number of modifications is just off scale. Now I see novice photographers buying for themselves it’s fifty dollars as the first additional / discrete / high-speed / creative lens... There is an opinion among the people that the fifty-kopeck piece is exactly the lens that should be in the bag of any photographer.

By tracking fifty dollars, you can easily find out a lot of useful information about the system as a whole.

In this article, I will consider only autofocus fifty dollars from Nikon and Canon. All fifty dollars can be divided into three groups:

  • amateur, entry-level, with a maximum relative aperture of 1: 1.8 (Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical or Canon EF Lens 50mm 1: 1.8 STM)
  • amateur, advanced, with a maximum aperture of 1: 1.4 (Nikon 50mm 1: 1.4G AF-S Nikkor SWM or Canon EF Lens 50mm 1: 1.4 USM)
  • professional fifty dollars (not particularly tied to aperture, but usually with f / 1.4-f / 1.2-f / 1.0, for example - Canon EF Lens 50mm 1: 1.2 L USM or Nikon Nikkor Z 50 / 1.2 S)

The company Nikon can be divided into 13 models (along with subversion) autofocus fifty dollars.

Lens Exit time Today's prices
Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8 AF Nikkor (MKI), this lens exists in two subversions with a weight of 210 or 165 grams. Subversion fundamentally no different. September 1986 Outdated
Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8 AF Nikkor (MKII), this lens exists in three subversions: mij,MIC, NJ. Subversion fundamentally no different. January 1990 Outdated
Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor (MKIII) February 2002 View->
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical (MKIV) April 2011 View->
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical Special Edition (MKV) August 2013 View->
Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm 1: 1.8 S (MKVI) August 2018 View->
Nikon 50mm 1: 1.4 AF Nikkor (MKI) September 1986 Outdated
Nikon 50mm 1: 1.4 AF Nikkor (MKII) June 1991 Outdated
Nikon 50mm 1: 1.4D AF Nikkor (MKIII), this lens exists in two subversions: mij и MIC. Subversion fundamentally no different. February 2006 Outdated
Nikon 50mm 1: 1.4G AF-S Nikkor SWM September 2008 View->
Nikon Nikkor Z 50 / 1.2 S September 2020 View->

Lenses are highlighted in green on the plate, which are equipped with a built-in SWM (Silent Wave Motor) focusing motor, which allows them to be used on any Nikon DSLR. Lenses are highlighted in yellow that use the camera's focusing motor for focusing and will not have an autofocus function when working with Nikon 'junior' (non-motorized) amateur cameras, such as the D40 / D3000 / D5100 and others like them. Of course, I know about the existence of Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 55mm 1: 2.8 and Nikon N AF-S Nikkor 58mm 1: 1.4G Nano Crystal Coat SWM Aspherical, but these are no longer real fifty dollars. Lenses for Z-mount mirrorless cameras that use an STM focus motor are shown in blue.

Despite the fact that the variety of Nikon Nikkor lenses seems to be enormous, in fact, many models use the same optical schemes, and in fact they are the same lenses, and, in fact, give approximately the same image.

  • Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8 AF Nikkor (MKI), Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8 AF Nikkor (MKII, all three of its sub-versions) and Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor (MKIII) use the same optical design developed back in 1978 year and first used in the Nikon Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8 AI manual lens.
  • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical (MKIV) and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical Special Edition (MKV) are almost complete copies, differing only in case design.
  • Nikon 50mm 1: 1.4 AF Nikkor (MKI), Nikon 50mm 1: 1.4 AF Nikkor (MKII) and Nikon 50mm 1: 1.4D AF Nikkor (MKIII, all two of its sub-versions) use the same optical design, developed back in 1976 year and first used in a manual Nikon Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.4K lens, PRE AI.

To summarize, the F / 1.8 fifty uses two fundamentally different optical schemes, and the F / 1.4 fifty also uses two fundamentally different optical schemes. It's 2015 outside, and Nikon continues to sell lenses whose optics were developed back in the late 70s of the last century (stability is a sign of craftsmanship!). On the other hand, in the F / 1.8 and F / 1.4 lineup there is a choice between two options, which differ in both price and image quality.

At Canon, you can clearly distinguish 8 models of autofocus fifty dollars.

Lens Exit time Today's prices
Canon Lens EF 50mm 1: 1.8 March 1987 Outdated
Canon Lens EF 50mm 1: 1.8 II This lens is available in two versions: Made in malaysia и Made in japan. Subversion fundamentally no different. December 1990 See
Canon EF Lens 50mm 1: 1.8 STM May 2015 See
Canon EF Lens 50mm 1: 1.4 Ultrasonic July 1993 See
Canon EF Lens 50mm 1: 1.2 L USM Ultrasonic January 2007 See
Canon Lens RF 50mm F1.2L USM September 2018 See
Canon EF Lens 50mm 1: 1.0 L Ultrasonic September 1989 Outdated
Canon Compact-Macro Lens EF 50mm 1: 2.5 December 1987 See

In the tablet, lenses are highlighted in yellow, which use a noisy built-in micromotor for focusing. Lenses highlighted in blue are Canon STM (STepper Motor) stepper focusing motors. The green color indicates the lenses that use the Canon USM (Ultrasonic Motor Drive) ultrasonic focusing motor for focusing. Purple lenses for mirrorless cameras with R mount.

As is the case with Nikon, some fifty fifty Canon also use the same optical design. So, the same optical design is used in Canon Lens EF 50mm 1: 1.8, Canon Lens EF 50mm 1: 1.8 II and Canon EF Lens 50mm 1: 1.8 STM lenses.


  • For professional development, both systems are good, they have TOP lenses with F / 1.2 and F / 1.0 (Canon L and Nikon S line)
  • Each of the systems has exclusive unbeatable lenses: Canon EF Lens 50mm 1: 1.0 L Ultrasonic и Nikon Nikkor Z 58 mm 1: 0.95 S Nod
  • Canon XNUMXs are much better compatible with all Canon EOS cameras. Nikon has broken compatibility with cameras without a focus motor and lenses without a focus motor (this applies to both SLR and mirrorless cameras)
  • Nikon has a wider choice among budget and advanced fifty dollars, especially in the secondary market. The most budget fifty dollars with F / 1.8 as a whole are much better assembled than the budget Canon Lens EF 50mm 1: 1.8 II.
  • Canon has a macro fifty dollars Canon Compact-Macro Lens EF 50mm 1: 2.5... Nikon, however, also has a similar lens - Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 55mm 1: 2.8 (not added to the list, as it differs in focal length and looks more like macro sixties).

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

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Comments: 220, on the topic: Confrontation systems Nikon / Canon. Part 3. Autofocus fifty dollars.

  • Vadim

    In the comments, the Tokin 11-16 lens is more than once positively mentioned (as the best option for a crop). But, Tokina has had an 11-20 lens in stock for a long time. Someone has already filmed with it7 Can I say something? As they would say in Soviet times - "At the numerous requests of workers" Tokin's company decided to improve the already pretty good model in terms of zoom range. I. judging by everything, this improvement is very justified (because, with the excellent picture quality, the zoom range of 11-16 was clearly not enough). At the same time, in the new lens, there is still a constant f2,8

  • Peter Sh.

    Then Lera asked to see the work. Here, 50mm f / 1.4G.
    I want to say right away that I do not consider myself a role model, a cool master, etc. Just for clarity.
    ISO 1250, f / 2.5, 1/50.

    • anonym

      For such a photo, you can “imitate”. I liked it.

      • Peter Sh.

        Thank you))

    • anonym

      What about the carcass?

      • Peter Sh.

        D610, there is EXIF.

    • anonym

      Another member of the forum bravo! Hey boastful shoemakers! Where are your masterpieces ?!

  • Alexey

    Myths and truth about "fifty dollars"

    • Lera

      It’s strange that you stuck to the picture taken at 16-85. I thought to discuss 50mm. You write beautifully and everything is fine with criticism, but I would like to see what a person competently grounded in the Internet can do. And I know how to remove acne well and so on, just a photo of early work. The bolder "buddy" will be interesting to criticize. If everything is so impeccable in your works, I will take off my hat to you. Although you can not strain and everything is clear ...

      • Alexey

        “Although you can not strain and everything is clear ...”))))
        ================================================== =
        that's why I see no reason to send you my works -
        it’s enough for me that my work is accepted by stocks and sold there :)))

        once again - the list of problems in your pictures will not change in any place from the presence or absence of problems in the pictures of other people. you don't see oversharp for example, etc.
        and IMHO, interesting, fresh guys, I would like to finalize it.

        your link to pictures 50mm - I agree with Anonymous (did I say that?))))
        17.12.2015/17/16 at XNUMX:XNUMX Reply
        It was not necessary to give a link to such photos ... .. "Look at the family album.")

      • Alexey

        IMHO, all novice amateurs make similar mistakes. here and re-sharpen and undersized color, etc.
        those who accept criticism go further.
        like in a restaurant - you don't need to be a chef to determine that a dish is too salty, anyone can do it. and the cook does not need to prove - how do you cook at home? maybe you overload too? because the quality of the cook's cooking will not change from this))))))))

        • Lera

          I have no doubt in your skill. I wanted to compare, because everything is known in comparison, but okay, we drove through.

        • anonym

          Another couch yap. A plug for any hole. What the hell kind of work there. Don’t wait.

          • Lera

            I think so too. Honestly, not a single clever writer has proved his worth alone for la poplar or blah blah. They believe that they can criticize and point out errors because great masters. In oriental martial arts schools, that is, a teacher not only teaches and directs, but also proves and shows to his students by personal example that he is worth something.

  • Peter Sh.

    About fifty dollars and our angle. It is clear that not a single lens can be compared with the eye.
    What I mean is this - if you look at something of average size, located at a relatively average distance of these sizes, and then look at the cameras with fifty dollars in the OVI, then both the object and the perspective will hardly change. Those. we will get a snapshot somewhere something roughly similar to what we now see in the center of our vision.

    • Alexey

      completely wrong.
      “Lenses with a focal length of 50mm produce noticeable perspective distortion, which is especially noticeable in close-ups. And as a result, the proportions of the face do not correspond to what the brain “sees” and this makes the portrait implausible. "
      see the example photo above at the link. it is the perspective that will be different.
      50mm has pronounced perspective distortion.

      • Oleg

        "Perspective distortion" depends on the distance to the subject. (DOT)
        In order to get an image of the same size by 50 as by 135, you need to get closer to the object and, accordingly, distortions will be noticeable.
        It is strange that you (the savvy person) give such an explanation :)
        Kwanon / Canon is Foreva. Nikon / Mitsubishi - bottom))) (I'm fueling the fire)

    • Valery A.

      “… And then look at the cameras with fifty dollars in the JVI, then both the object and the perspective will hardly change” - did the JVI increase (ie decrease) not take into account? Different for different photos. And if on FF? The perspective will remain normal, i.e. natural.

  • Valery A.

    I can try about the same thing, as I understand it, and more clearly. If we put a 170 cm tall model at the same distance from the wall and click 50, wide and telephoto (framing the same), then we look at the pictures - at 50: everything is ok, it was, wide: wow, from the model to the wall about 3-4 meters in proportion, and something happened to the face, on the telephoto: it will touch the wall from half a meter, now it will touch the elbow, and the face seems to be prettier, a matter of taste.

    • Alexey

      “That is, in the bottom line, a 50-mm lens for 35-mm technology is not what a person sees, it is not a portrait lens and it is not a camera lens.”
      this is a compromise between shiriky and televisions.

      • Oleg

        A person has two eyes and an online handler in the skull. This percent automatically corrects the distortion of imperfect lenses with a constant focal length (eyes on). The dynamic range is correct, the depth of field is independent of the aperture. Constantly focuses making multiple exposure.
        No camera lens can do that.
        50-k and 35-k give the most familiar image with the effect of presence. It is proved by contradiction. 20 mm search and 85 search, and in the middle is the norm, IMHO for FF (35 mm film)

  • PhotoWood

    I have been fond of photography for over 40 years….
    Recently I went through old photos - ... then they didn't even think about modern "problems", and they argued differently ...: ((
    AXIOM has been known for a long time - among cheap equipment, one must choose a copy from the entire batch of goods of one model (differences exist even among famous brands). Among the expensive price category, differences in the batch are almost not observed and it is necessary to “catch” the subtleties in the differences between the models of different brands - namely in SUBJECTIVE nuances (who are blondes, and who tastes brunettes ...).
    Yes, there are times when one brand makes better budget models, and another makes expensive ones - to each his own. and CONSIDER THE MAIN THING - "PHOTOGRAPHY" at all times and for the whole world was, is and will be SUBJECTIVE art !!!!!! Someone likes Rembrandt, and someone falls into a coma from Malevich's “Square” !!!!
    ;))))))) Photography is not an EXACT science, but an art…. Know how to work wonders with what is in YOUR hands, and not in advertising brochures ... !!! As the popular wisdom says: "The neighbor's and x ... are thicker!"

    • anonym

      Damn interesting what amateur enthusiasts argued about 20-40 years ago ??? If not technical issues, but another subjectively ???

      • anonym

        You can not understand (((

        • anonym

          On their own people are not judged!

    • polygon1948

      Yes, that's the truth. And how many exciting moments there were when he was chemically working, composing his developers, how Metol, hydroquinone, borax worked ... and other wonderful substances, pulling everything that could be pulled out of the film! And the printing process !!!
      Everything is a thing of the past ...! But without the past there is no miracle of today's present !!!
      Shoot life, create masterpieces !!!

  • Peter Sh.

    I will say it easier. It doesn’t matter if it is crop or FF. Pick up your camera. Find some object in the apartment. For example, Katrina on the wall or a cat on the couch. Step back a few steps. Set 50mm on your zoom. Look at the cat, and without taking your eyes off, bring the camera to the eye. Remove and bring it up again, continuing to look at the cat. Please note that its dimensions do not change. Now put, say, 35mm. Do the same, and notice how the cat decreases in size when you look at it in the JVI.
    This is the 50mm fit to our vision.

    • Denis

      there is also a magnification factor

  • Victor

    Why the argument?
    For example, I can’t evaluate the quality of Canon, because I saw little of him.
    I can only say that the color rendition of Canon cameras is kind of something.
    I have a d7100 + AF 50 1,8D
    As it turned out of all my lenses (all kinds of standard zoom), he draws better.
    I went to the zoo with the children on weekends. He took off the animals. Here my fifty dollars showed himself!
    Spread the work!

  • Victor

    Here's another

  • Victor

    And more:

  • Victor

    On the top two, shooting was conducted through the glass of the aviary.

    • brighty

      Safari Ramat Gan?

      • Victor

        Nizhny Novgorod Zoo "Limpopo".

  • Gene jb

    Why are you on kenon and 1.8 MK I and 1.4 are almost the same. It looks like the development was carried out at the same time. Made well. Here is 1.8 MK II, the same plastic bastard - yes. Cheap, wide spread, soap in the open. A cheap but common option for beginners. Canon seems to want to surpass Helios 44-2 with them in terms of quantity.

  • Gene jb

    And I also wanted to say about USM and STM. USM is very time-sensitive and highly afraid of dirt due to the working clearances and the piezo ceramics used. It simply cracks, or the metallization slips off. STMs have been around since the 60s or 70s in printers and other devices. Their disadvantage is that to keep in place you need to expend energy, otherwise a self-propelled one arises. But this is solved by other methods. and STM are almost eternal due to the lack of wearing parts, except for the bushings of course.

  • Dad

    I consider the farmer to be promising at the expense of fifty kennel and Nikon (aperture ratio 1,4-1,8), since SIGMA makes its half-points an order of magnitude better both the art version and the usual ones. if you need halfway, it’s better to take sigma, they learned how to make them

    • BB

      People only complain about autofocus - they live their own lives.

      • Flash detector O_o

        Sigma's optics are excellent, but they didn’t even know how to handle electronics.
        At the moment I already had three sigmopoltos, both or three focused where they wanted - and they didn't care about me and my needs.
        What's on the boot, what's on the nikon.
        In the distance - undershoot, near - flight, on one hole this way, on the other - that way. You also need to buy a docking station, it's good for it - like a goat of milk.
        Nah I played enough.
        Native, m., Optically and not so beautiful, but obedient and accurate.

        And if the pictures are hot, I'll take a hare or a lyayets, and in general, half a dozen nice ones are more than enough. Better manual than AF curve.

  • Vyacheslav

    Nikon turned his face to amateurs before canon - having made 35 \ 1.8zh 50 \ 1.8Zh and 85 \ 1.8Zh ... canon regained consciousness last year by modernizing its 1.8 poltos - which simply could not stand any criticism - as they say when asked which af poltos is the most UG - everyone knew the unequivocal answer) ...

    35ki so at kenon and no 85ki too - either 1.2 for the price of a fret viburnum) or old 1.8…. 50k new - well done last year - but millions of Russians carried away by photography until 2015 ... went to the moon (this is about cananists)
    Now, if we consider the systems, it is more profitable to take Nikon for fixes - since its 35s, 50s and 85s are new for a long time already on the market - there are plenty of them everywhere, including in the secondary market ... and what 1.4Zh is 1.8Zh - you can easily buy with Avito 30-50% cheaper - but the updated 1.4 canon will be released and that - but the fact that for several years toko new and at full cost in the store at $ = 65-70r…. (((I would also take this into account ... + the fact that, in fact, all new Nikon fixes are dust and moisture resistant!)

  • Eugene

    Thank you for the article. Two observations.
    1. Aperture 1,2 is different from apertures. 1,4 is not 1/3 of the stop, but significantly less, namely about 0,14 stop. Remember that 1,4 is the coefficient. with smart on the cat. we get 1 stop. (1; 1,4; 2,8; 4; 5,6, etc.)
    2.Not mentioned another significant advantage of Canon. All lenses of this company have an electromagnetic diaphragm drive, while Nikon has all fifty dollars with fur. driven (lever). Only relatively recently did Nikon start producing E - lenses, but there are no fifty dollars among them.

    • Eugene

      Missing 2,0 diaphragm row, sorry.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The real difference between f / 1.4 f / 1.2 is considered elementary: 1,4 * 1,4 / 1,2 / 1,2 = 1.3611, which is slightly more than 1/3 of a stop. It is usually customary to talk about a third of a stop. 1.4 is the root of 2.
      For the diaphragm drive, thanks, this was discussed with me elsewhere.

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