Darin, I've never had an f/2er. I do have a somewhat recent manual focus 50/1.8. Under some circumstances it produces a little reddish hot spot in the middle of the frame. I've read that this is typical behavior.
longnose 1.8; the long throw of the 2 becomes incredibly annoying after a while, if you try to use it for anything else than close-ups of beer coasters... they're comparable optically, both superb... but then, there's also the pleasure of discovering things for yourself, can't go wrong with either at the prices they're selling for
I have owned a couple of the f/2 lenses. They are extremely, extremely good.
The best Nikkor is reputed to be the original metal AI 50/1.8 (not the Series E or the meter coupling shoe-less newer AI 1.8 which is just a multicoated Series E).
In practice, I don't imagine it matters. They're all pretty good.
Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.
I have an Ai f/2 and a long-nose f/1.8. If you want to pixel peep, of my samples, the 1.8 has it by a very small margin wide open (this would be a 64" wide print so, what's the point...). I prefer the f/2 because it does this thing wide open that I like. In fact the f/2 Ai is so sweet and so cheap I'd buy one even if I didn't have a Nikon, sort of like some people did with Windows 95 because, you know, you'll need it eventually.
I photograph things to see what things look like photographed.
- Garry Winogrand
Like the others above, I too have not owned nor even tried the f/2 but have a newer 50mm f/1.8 AIS. It is an excellent lens. However, I find I like the 28mm f/2.8 AIS so much that the 50mm almost never even gets mounted to the camera.
I recently picked up a nice clean 50mm f:1.8 AI with a Nikon body off Ebay and am confused by the term "long nose" can either Vilk or s-a explain the term "long nose" and how I can tell if I have one of these lenses. Don't really use a 50 that much, much prefer my 35mm f:2, but I am curious about the "long nose"