We’re a big fan of 50mm lenses, so it’s to see that Nikon has announced a new version of it’s 50mm f/1.8, which was looking a bit long in the tooth. This new model auto-focuses on lower end bodies, such as the D3100/D5100, whereas the old one did not. It’s interesting to note that the new lens features an aspherical element, which should make it sharper. In addition to that, the metal mount, above-$200 price tag indicates it’s a serious player. If the performance of their new-ish f/1.4G lens and their 35mm DX lens is anything to go by, this one will be a winner.
There are plenty of others dropping commentary on this lens. Click through to see what they think:
Digital Camera Info – “This lens should give Nikon’s entry-level shooters a fast, sharp option that will autofocus on bodies without a built-in drive motor.”
Photography Bay – “If there has ever been demand for a company to produce a single lens, it’s the Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8 lens…”
Nikon Rumors – features an MTF chart comparing the new and old versions
DPReview – “features a totally new optical formula featuring an aspherical element – an unusual feature for this type of optic”
From the Press Release:
MELVILLE, N.Y. (April 27, 2011) – Nikon Inc. today announced the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens, a fast, compact lens that affords photographers the versatility of the classic 50mm focal length and the benefits of a fast aperture for photos and D-movies. Whether a new D-SLR enthusiast or a seasoned pro, users will appreciate the tack-sharp image quality, extreme low-light performance, shallow depth of field and Nikon core technologies that improve upon the original to make a great lens even better.
“The 50mm lens has been a staple for photographers since the 35mm film days, and this new lens enables Nikon customers that shoot photos and movies to discover the creative benefits of this traditional focal length,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc. “This f/1.8 prime lens offers exceptional image quality and control, and benefits from modern Nikon technologies to enhance performance such as the Silent Wave Motor and use of an aspheric lens – it’s a very attractive package for any shooting discipline.”
Lightweight, compact and affordable, this lens will easily become a favorite and find a home in any photographer’s gear bag. With the unique ability to mimic the focal length of the human eye, the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens is ideal for travel, general photography, low-light, landscape shooting and portraiture. This lens continues the tradition of NIKKOR precision optics to provide photographers with sharp, high-resolution images and the ability to focus as close as 1.48 feet, with amazing depth of field control for intimate details. The integration of an ultra-compact Silent Wave Motor ensures fast, whisper-quiet AF operation, which is essential when recording movies. Optimized for Nikon FX-format cameras, this lens is also a great option for Nikon DX-format photographers seeking a fast, sharp lens for capturing images with amazing color and contrast.
The new 50mm f/1.8 lens construction consists of seven elements in six groups, with one aspherical lens element to reduce instances of coma and aberration, even when shooting wide open. A rounded diaphragm opening combined with the seven-blade aperture contributes to a substantially more circular bokeh for a more natural appearance of out-of-focus background elements. Additionally, instances of lens flare and chromatic aberration are suppressed using Nikon’s exclusive Super Integrated Coatings, which also help ensure vividly accurate color balance.
The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens is scheduled to be available at Nikon authorized dealers beginning June 16, 2011 at an estimated selling price of $219.95.* For more information, please visit www.nikonusa.com.