Fifty-millimeter lenses have always been a staple of SLR and DSLR photography. They are very popular as they are small, inexpensive, and generally of very high quality. All camera makers make some version of this type of lens, and it originally was the lens you would get when you purchased a kit of camera and lens together. Nikon currently makes several versions of 50mm lenses:
And one more, the NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2. This is a lens review of the f/1.2 lens. They began making the AI version in 1978, the AiS in 1981, and have never stopped making them. This AiS manual focus lens is the fastest lens that Nikons currently makes, and it is also their most expensive 50mm at $725. To compare, the f/1.4 G lens costs about $450. The least expensive non-refurbished 50mm is the 50mm f/1.8 D at $175. Between the two extremes you have a difference of over $500. So what do you get for that money?
When you first take this lens out of the box, and hold it in your hand, you instantly see that this is not the same sort of lens that Nikon makes today, and you can see why Nikon for so many years meant top-tier for craftsmanship and quality.
This lens is an absolutely jewel to behold. It looks and feels like something from another, better era when things were made to last, and were made with care and pride. It is heavy. It is made out of metal and a big hunk of glass, weighing nearly a pound (359g, with 454g to a pound) all by itself. The weight, though, is all strictly lens. No AF-S, AF, or VR to increase the weight.
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