Nikon 50mm f1.8D vs Nikon 50mm f1.8 Series E version II. Which one is better?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by AezranHakim, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. AezranHakim

    AezranHakim Member

    Messages:
    54
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Location:
    Kota Kinabal
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hello fellow forummers,

    Just recently, i got a offer for a unused new in box condition Series E 50mm f1.8 version II from a friendly uncle after we chatted about film cameras. His offer was around USD103 for the unit.

    At the same time, a brand new nikon 50mm f1.8D is going for about the same price too..

    Question is, which would be a better choice to pair with a Nikon FM3a? Is there any difference?

    the hunt for a 50mm f1.8 AIS unit is not possible, thus only left with the 2 choices above, need opinion :smile:
     
  2. jochen

    jochen Member

    Messages:
    353
    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hello,
    in my opinion the price is much too high. A used series E 1,8/50 in mint condition is sold here in Germany for about 30 €. Compared to the AF 1,8/50 D it is nevertheless the better choice as the focussing ring has a larger turning angle and therefore it will be easier to focus manually. The optics of the AF are better since the lenses are multi-coated. The series E has a close focus of only 0.6 m which is rather bad for a standard lens, most have 0.4 to 0.5 m, some even 0.33 m. If you can get an used older Ai 1,8/50 (not AiS !), you'll get the best 50 mm Nikkor for the FM 3a. There was sold a very small and very light weight 2,8/45 mm "pancake" Nikkor with the FM 3 a, which is a classic 4-lenses Tessar Type. This lens is said to be very good and can used with AF cameras with matrix measuring because of its CPU but in my opinion it is too small for the fingers to operate.
     
  3. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

    Messages:
    1,520
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    E series Nikkors always got the inferior label against other Nikon optics, while optically, this is questionable, as the optical designs were only slightly modified, the construction was indeed based on plastic, to provide the hobbyist and begginers alike, a more affordable Nikon price and therefore, prevent them buying thirdy party names, like Soligor, Tamrom, to name a few.

    So, if you really care about construction standards, E series might not be your thing and as previously stated, the price seems a bit pushy compared to what's practised in bigger markets like Germany, with more time and effort, you can find yourself a better deal than that.


    Cheers
     
  4. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

    Messages:
    2,374
    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Aurora, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Either one would work fine with the FM3a and either is optically sound. The series E price is too much. I woud not put either one on the FM3a because neither looks good on the FM3a. Spending the extra money for the FM3a rather than getting an FE2 or FM2 then I would put an AI 50mm f/1.4. Some prefer the pancake lens but prefer the 50mm f/1.4 AI-S.
     
  5. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,078
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Here & Now
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Forget the Series E. The "D" is better, but better even is a pre AI, 50mm f/2
     
  6. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Why? The 50/1.8AFD is a great lens--on an AF body! Manually-focused, it's sloppy and very plasticky--in fact, it's hard to find a Nikon AFD lens as plasticky. Though over-priced(they're worth 40-50 bucks mint), the 50/1.8E is pin-sharp, very compact, and easy to focus--big surprise for a MF 50/1.8 lens...It would be a great match for the FM3a.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2011
  7. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,078
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Here & Now
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I believe this thing of the pictures is a matter of personal taste and I'm partial to pre AI lenses.
     
  8. eSPhotos

    eSPhotos Member

    Messages:
    145
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney Aust
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    +1

    I have/had f1.4 f1.8 and f2 versions of 50mm. In my opinion, 50mm f2 (mine is AIS) is the best.
     
  9. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    FYI the OP has a choice between the AF and the E series 50/1.8--that's it.
     
  10. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,203
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Or a better uncle:D

    pentaxuser
     
  11. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

    Messages:
    1,303
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sounds like a lot. But KEH has the 50mm in ex+ for $99.

    I don't really understand it. I like the series E lenses (I have the 100mm and the 75-150), and I'd like a series E 50mm for portability and weight, but I don't see why they should go for this much.
     
  12. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Fast MF 50mm Nikons are getting picked off by micro 4/3s users. The teensy E series is near-perfect for them.

    Agree about the E series. They're most often dissed by people who've never shot them.
     
  13. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

    Messages:
    879
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The series E is nice, it's compact and produces nice pics. But in your case I'll go with the AF 50mm. Your uncle is pricing it too high.
     
  14. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Ever try to manual focus the wobbly 50/1.8AF?
     
  15. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

    Messages:
    879
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Nope, but what I have used is a Canon EF 50/1.8 MK. II, and I bet that is much worse than the Nikkor AF 50mm. Compared to my Series E 50mm, the only gripe I have with manual focusing the EF 50mm is that the manual focus ring is thin. Being wobbly, or plasticky depends on the user, But in terms of value for the money, the AF 50mm is the way to go.
     
  16. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Nope, but what I have used is a Canon EF 50/1.8 MK. II

    Should have stopped there! They're awful compared to the Nikon E series 50/1.8. There's nothing subjective about the widely-recognized wonky focus "feel" of the Nikon 50/1.8AFD--a nice lens on an AF body. The OP has an FM3A.
     
  17. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

    Messages:
    879
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes I know they are awful, that's what I said. If the OP can manage with the "wonky" feel, most probably the the AF 50mm is better. Plus If ever you want to get an AF Nikon film camera, you already have an AF lens for it.
     
  18. jdnewberry

    jdnewberry Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have owned both lenses. My first AF nikkor was the 50/1.8, but didn't like how it focused manually. I upgraded later to the 50/1.8D, but still didn't care for how it felt. Although I own 4 AF bodies, I still tend to do most of my shooting in MF, so the feel of the focus ring is very important to me.

    Long story short, I got rid of both of my AF 50/1.8 lenses, but kept the E series as a daily shooter.

    As far as the E goes, it may be single coated but the design is so simplistic multicoating is not necessary. It is also one of the sharpest lenses ever made by Nikon. Compared to the 50/1.4 Nikkor, the E series is sharper when both are wide open (and with less distortion). The E is very sharp at f/2.8, but exceptional at f/4.

    Some may say it is "cheaply" made, but I say "inexpensively" made. The version II you have been offered does have a few plastic parts, but maintains a very nice feel and has very tight tolerances. I recommend the E series, but suggest you look elsewhere for it. That price is WAY too high!

    Also, if you can locate one, look into the 50/1.8 AI. It costs about the same, is multicoated, better constructed and almost identical, optically.
     
  19. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Pretty awful, huh? It was the first AF Nikkor I ever handled, and could hardly believe they put the Nikkor name on it. Given the slick, light and precise focusing Nikkors always had, the sticky focusing was appalling.
     
  20. olleorama

    olleorama Member

    Messages:
    526
    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a 50/1.8 pancake (I think AI, how do I tell the difference?), I rate it as very sharp. have done some 12x16" test prints from tmx from it. It blev me away when I saw them. I can't honestly see any difference in sharpness at that print size from my '94 summicron with the same film. I used it on a FM2N for a few years as my only lens (well, I had more, but just used the 50). The price is high though.

    I can't understand why it wouldn't look good on the FM3A??? It's a slim pancake lens that makes the camera perfect for everyday carry.