I have both, and 1.4, and 3.5 micro. f2 focus up to 0.6m, and f1.8 focus up to 0.45m. Not big difference, but good to know. Picture quality, sharpness - I don't see big difference, I like them both the same.
It depends on the camera. As I got rid of all my Nikon bodies except for an eye-level F and and eye- level F2, I prefer the 50/2 HC Nikkor. I have 1.2/1.8 and 1.4 lenses, but I do think the old HC lens is the best of the bunch. If I had a newer Nikon, I would get an AI conversion done on the 50/2 HC.
LOL a 50mm series E just fell in my lap for a song, but I have a long nose f1.8 on order.
I really prefer the long-nose design. I dont know why people like the pancakes.
-With a full barrel, you get a built-in lens hood and an easier to grip surface. Whats not to like?
Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.
Have/had both and like both. My F2 is the last in the series of non-ai. I feel the F1.8 N series is better in build and performance. The D series I got new I had to send back to B&H for repair. Just a shitty lens right out of the box.
Have 50mm f/2 "K" version and Nikkor-H 50mm f/2. Also own the 50mm 1.8G and used to have the 1.8D. The "D" wasn't as good as the others. Overall, prefer the H for it's "wholistic" rendering and the 1.8G, which is a fantastic modern lens wich beats the 1.4G, which I also had. Never used the 1.8 long nose or pancake.
I have the 50mm f/2-H and a 50mm f/2 AI, I love the AI version, it just feels right on my F3. I'm quite satisfied with this lens and I don't have much of an incentive to look for a faster version right now.