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  • Entry #4
    © Glenn Hewitt

    Chairman's Challenge "SPORTS" Winner

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50mm f/1.2 AI Nikkor

Suitable For:

Low light, general photography.

Camera Formats:

FX and DX


Focal length: 50mm
Maximum aperture: 1.2
Minimum aperture: 16
Angle of View: 46°
Focus Throw: 180°
Maximum reproduction ratio: 1:6.7
Lens Elements: 7
Lens Groups: 6
Diaphragm Blades: 7
ED Glass Elements: 0
Autofocus: n/a
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.5m
Filter Size: 52mmØ
Filter Type: front screw in
Dimensions: 70mmØ by 47.5mm
Weight: 390g
Accessories: HS-12 hood

Bjørn's Rørslett's Overview:

This lens replaced the older 55/1.2 and besides being neater and lighter, also offered a much better performance even at wide apertures. There is an endearing slight softness (bokeh) when the lens is deployed on a D1/D2-series camera and shot wide open, but the image even at f/1.2 has plenty of detail. Stopped down in the range f/2.8-f/5.6, image contrast is enhanced, sharpness is very good to excellent, and veiling flare has gone entirely. Quality deteriorates rapidly as expected with the lens stopped down beyond f/8. I suspect the corners at wide settings would be soft with this lens mounted on a 35 mm film-based camera, but haven't tested this so far.

The 50/1.2 is less troubled by hight-contrast and against-the-light shooting than many of its brethren, and the propensity to flare is kept well under control. Occasionally you can get a greenish ghost spot when the sun is placed towards the frame corners, though.

Image contrast even at f/1.2 is higher on the D3, so pictures come across crisper and appearing sharper with this camera. Focusing the lens on a D3 was easy.

IR: The performance is troubled by a strong tendency for a central hot-spot on several cameras, but not on the S3Pro UVIR (?). Strange.

Bjørn's Rating:

4-4.5 (DX:D1X, D1H, D2H)
4.5 (DX:D2X)
5 (FX:D3)
IR: 2 (DX:D1, D70)
4.5 (S3Pro UVIR)

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