I've had or long term borrowed from Nikon:
50 1.2 AIS - buttery bokeh and bright, but hard to use wide open without careful attention to focusing. Flares easily.
55 micro 3.5 AI - all around good macro and all purpose lens. pleasing bokeh
50 1.4 D AF - fastest focusing of what I've had. very sharp; my everyday lens. Flares easily. pleasing bokeh
50 1.8 D AF - more flare resistant than the 1.4; very sharp; incredible value for the money, plasticy but still rugged.pleasing bokeh
60 2.8 D AF micro - bad bokeh for macro; lots of double-lines from out of focus lines.
45 2 Voigtlander SL2 - very sharp, creamy, well built, small. I wanted a pancake style and ended up with this instead of the Nikon. pleasing bokeh
50 2.8 macro AF Sigma - plasticy, very nice macro, weak for general purpose use. pleasing bokeh
Used with F4s, D100, D50, D300.
I bought my first Nikkor 50 (a 1.4 Nikkor-S) 42 years ago. Since then I've owned (or still own) a 50/1.8E, a 50/1.4AIS, a 50/1.4AFD and at least one other 1.4 Nikkor-S. I'll shoot with any of them, any day. I also have a 55/2.8 Micro, and while the focal length is similar, I don's consider it a "similar" lens. Great for macro work, though. The one I use most often? the 50/1.8E, because it's on the FG that I carry with me all of the time. My favorite to shoot with? The 1.4 Nikkor-S, because it looks, feels and shoots like what I expect from a "normal" lens. But like I said, any of them work and work well. All provide a bright viewfinder, easy focusing, and sharp results. At one time I could hand-hold the 50/1.4 down to 1/15 sec in available light, but not so much any more. But I'm still never as happy as with a 50/1.4 Nikkor (any version), HP5+ and Microphen. I hope there's a darkroom in heaven...
My 55/3.5 Micro is my current favorite lens. I can't even describe how much I enjoy using it, its reputation is well deserved. Right now I've got the Series E on my FE, I love how compact of a combo it is. I've also got a pre-Ai 1.4 that is in less than pristine condition. I don't use it very often unless I need to shoot at wide apertures and then I tell myself the soft images just add to the nostalgic feel.
My wife does use the Series E an awful lot though, maybe I could use just one more 50. An f2, perhaps? Or maybe the 1.8 Ais? Although I still don't have my own copy of the 105/2.5 either....
50f2, the best because: performance per price is the best
50f1.4 (ais/ai): is good.
However, 50f1.2 is fastest of Nikkor. Nobody dont want it. and expensive.
If the money is not matter with you, 50f1.2 for you. However, 50f2 is good, when you beginning shoot in 50mm.
F4 | AIS 1.2
QL17 GIII black | silver
Nikon Nikkor-SC Auto 1:1.2 f=55mm is better. S/N: 286958
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The 50mm Nikkor I really prefer is the 50mm 2.8, with a Bronica S2a attached to it!
The 50/3.5 would be okay, too...
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.
I have owned and used the 45mm f/2.8 GN, 50mm f/1.8, the 50mm f/1.4, and the 55mm f/3.5 macro. I still own and use the 50mm f/1.4 and the 55mm macro.
The 50mm f/1.4 replaced the 50mm f/1.8 because I needed the extra speed more than I needed the extra sharpness. The 45mm was too small for my large hands; plus, automatic flash units made its primary function obsolete. The 55mm macro is one of my three sharpest lenses (105mm macro and 180mm f/2.8 telephoto being the other two).
The 55mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor lens.
But the one I use most is the 50mm F2.8 Nikkor for my Bronica S2a. sorry.....but lxdude has a point.
I like the 50mm 1:2.8 with my Mamiya M645 or my RB6X7 Pro S
In Nikon rangefinder, definitely the F/2, In SLR. I still use an f/2, but also mainly use either a 55mm. f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor AIS ( whose CFC featuue delivers full correction from infinity to 1:2, or a 50mm. f/1.2, which is surprisingly a great general use lens. The old F/2 is now kept for bad weather.