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  1. #21
    fstop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rich815 View Post
    As usual "best" is very subjective. Most weenies want the sharpest, most contrasty, fastest lens they can get so they can take photos of their Corvettes using TechPan film stand-developed with Rodinal diluted 1:10,000 for the best acutance. Personally I like the older ones like the 50 mm f/2 Nikkor-H (AI) because of it's moderate contrast because that's what I want in my B&W work.
    and speaking of contrast I want the latest, newest lens I can find so it has the most advanced coating on the optics and best manufacture quality.So that means AIS or at least factory AI.
    also means I'm a weenie although I don't shoot B&W anymore, B&W is for luddites

    If you like less contrast and flare on teles then get older lenses, I have a 50mm 1.4 Nikkor S that produces good results under controlled lighting.

  2. #22
    CGW
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    Suffice it to say, there's really not a "dog" among 50mm Nikkors, at least none of the ones I have(and that's too many)embarrasses me.

  3. #23

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    really, OP?

    buy them all, and sell the ones you don't like.

    50mm is the FL I dislike most. Maybe because I'm not capable of making interest pictures with the lens:-/

  4. #24

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    Any Nikkor 50mm that you can get your hands on will produce great photos, the best one for you is another story.

    I would get the 50 1.8f again without thinking about it, I have that and the 50 1.4f and I only use the 1.4 because the 1.8 is an Auto Focus lens as far as I'm concerned both are excellent lenses that can take far better photos than I can. There are differences in the way the photos from these lenses look, but for me it does not matter. You may prefer the look of one of these lenses over another.
    "Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
    "Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"

    Me

  5. #25

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    I have multiple Nikon 50's- 1.8 versions, 1.4 versions ai and af, but I always seem to reach for the 50 f/2 that I learned on. Nice contrast and sharp. And they can be found cheap.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucemuir View Post
    It's better not to obsess over the slight differences. They are all good.
    Sensible advice here...

  7. #27
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    50mm focal length is tricky to use well. I have used a number of 50mms across a few makes, and a number of 50s on my nikons. since most people of mentioned the good lot of them, I want to throw out the under dog, the 50mm 1.8 E series. I had a great many shots with that one. Mine had super loose undampened focus, and not the best feeling klunky aperture ring, but boy did it shine when it was needed. it was a nice compact package, and was coated (maybe multicoated?) Makes it hard to judge a book by its cover in this case.

    The older 50mm 1.8 AF nikkor was also a sweet little lens that performed very well. though not built for manual focus.

  8. #28
    fstop's Avatar
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    E series glass is very good, if you don't need the fork and most folks don't, its a great choice. It has the notch in the mount that FAs need and is reasonably priced.Being an FA shooter I like AIS or E series,but when shooting any other body, almost any one of my 50s will do.

  9. #29

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    The 58mm 1.2 noct is the best, but costs thousands!

    Personally I love the bokeh of the 9 bladed versions of the 50mm f1.2 ais, I think it's the only manual focus 50mm nikkor with more then 7 blades.

  10. #30
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    There isn't one Nikon 50mm that does everything best.

    But I would argue that the "best" all-around every-day performance will be from the 50mm f/1.8 AI.

    The best in terms of wide open performance is probably the 58mm Noct-Nikkor, but I cannot confirm that with personal experience. I've never even seen one in person, let alone shot with one.

    The best at the wider aperture settings just down from wide open (f/1.4 to f/2.0) is probably the 50mm f/1.2 AI-S.

    The best in terms of bang for the buck is probably the 50mm Series E. They are pretty much up there with the AI 1.8's in terms of performance, but they are as cheap as dirt.

    The only one that really isn't the "best" at anything is the 50mm f/1.4. But even then, it is a very good lens that I would have no qualms about using. I love my pre-AI one.

    So, IMHO the only way you can "go wrong" is by spending waaay too much money for the Noct-Nikkor. Sorry, but no 35mm camera standard lens is worth that much money.

    My advice is to buy one that comes on a body. That way you save money, and you get a backup body. I got my Series E mounted on a very nice Nikon FG for $65 through the APUG classifieds.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

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