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My Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8S Review


Andrew L (gryphon1911)

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Andrew L (gryphon1911)
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©NikonUSA

Background

Want to take a journey with me using the sharpest lens I've ever owned?

Then read on, my friends....read on.

All images are taken using the Nikon Z6.

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1/1250, f/2.8, ISO 100

Handling/Size/Weight

This lens is basically the same look and feel as the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8S, if you are familiar with that lens at all. A/M switch is in the same place, the focus ring is the same. You'll probably not be able to tell them apart unless you look at the lettering.   I've added a label to the mount cap so I grab the right one from the lens drawer at home!
 

There is a bit of heft to the lens due to all the glass inside it, but beyond that it is roughly the same size as the f-mount 50mm f/1.8 with FTZ adapter on it.   Not sure about the weight, but I'm sure there are values for the combinations out there if you decide to research that.
 

I think it balances extremely well on the Z6 body.

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1/2000, f/1.8, ISO 100 (100% crop)

Weather Sealed

Nikon added weather sealing to the Z primes and this is no exception.

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1/3200, f/1.8, ISO 100 (100% crop)

 

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full image from crop above

Image Quality

Bar none, this is the sharpest lens that I've ever used.

I used to think that the Micro Four Thirds primes, Olympus being my favorite would be hard to beat (25/45/75 f/1.8). And they are...but this Z 50mm is just outstanding.

Even at wide open and 100% crops, you'll be able to judge for yourself. The clarity, resolution, contrast, sharpness - they are here in spades and well worth what Nikon is asking for this lens.

$600 might be a little steep for a lot of people, and I understand that. Just know that this lens competes with Zeiss glass that is THOUSANDS of dollars and manual focus.

Z 50mm f/1.8S is auto focus and to most people indistinguishable in IQ from that Zeiss lens. Think about that.   Some people may be more interested in the 58/0.95 or the newer 50mm f/1.2....but I'm a "best bang for the buck" kind of guy and this lens gives you a lot of value for the money.

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1/160, f/5.6, ISO 100 (100% crop on the right)

Focusing

Focusing on this lens is fast and sure. It nails focus in what appears to be an effortless fashion. Even at f/1.8, the accuracy is there. Is it the fastest focusing lens I've ever used, no...but it never left me wanting or missing a shot.
It is excellent for portrait use too.  In conjunction with the Eye AF, even at f/1.8, this lens has made shooting portraits almost effortless.

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1/6400, f/1.8, ISO 100

VR

No VR in the lens, that is taken care of by the IBIS in the Nikon camera bodies(Z6/Z7). If using it on the Z50, no VR or IBIS of any kind.

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1/640, f/4, ISO 100 (100% crop)

Bottom Line

Do you want the best 50mm lens that Nikon has ever made? Do you want one of the best 50mm lenses ever made? Need fast, sure AF, good color and contrast and grail level sharpness?

Look no further. You've found it and for far less money than other 50mm lenses.    This is the one to get if you don't need the f/1.2 or f/0.95 in the 50/58mm focal lengths.

We'll be sure to publish more images in the future. This will be a frequently used lens!!

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1/500, f/4, ISO 100

Edited by Andrew L (gryphon1911)
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Here is a portrait shot recently.    

©NikonUSA Background Want to take a journey with me using the sharpest lens I've ever owned? Then read on, my friends....read on. All images are taken using the Nikon Z6.

At f/1.8, close focus on the 2nd N in Cincinnati

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Andrew L (gryphon1911)

Here is a portrait shot recently.

50602986731_55d028844c_k.thumb.jpg.b34fc99995656349f5e069b854335d04.jpg

 

08-08-2020_peters_senior_NZ6_6939-Edit.thumb.jpg.04209ec5286dfa0d17d2b05fe4bf3026.jpg

 

08-08-2020_peters_senior_NZ6_6911-Edit.thumb.jpg.238d88ad00169a1fab5ef2ad5bf9db48.jpg

Edited by Andrew L (gryphon1911)
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Great review.   

 

If you get the chance, would love to see a few bokeh photos with this lens.

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It sounds like Nikon have come up with some great quality lenses for the new Z mount.  One thing that is keeping me from thinking of returning to Nikon is the size - most of the lenses look quite large.  From the pictures I’ve seen,  when  compared to say a Fuji 50/f2 this appears to be a monster - is that true?

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Andrew L (gryphon1911)

 

 

 

12-05-2020_xmastreeday_NZ6_8681.thumb.jpg.9b2537874e352a9afe63262beb8136fd.jpg

 

At f/1.8, close focus on the 2nd N in Cincinnati

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Andrew L (gryphon1911)
1 hour ago, crowecg said:

It sounds like Nikon have come up with some great quality lenses for the new Z mount.  One thing that is keeping me from thinking of returning to Nikon is the size - most of the lenses look quite large.  From the pictures I’ve seen,  when  compared to say a Fuji 50/f2 this appears to be a monster - is that true?

 

It is the same size as the 50mm f/1.8G + FTZ, and I'd say without measuring it is probably about roughly double the volume of the Fuji 50mm f/2.

 

IMG_2990.thumb.jpg.2869dd4935c3837230207c370ed38b54.jpg

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fredazinger

Yes - same observation here -- so much for the "promise" of smaller and lighter going to mirrorless.

The larger mount means larger lenses and larger lens bodies -> no way around it.

 

Hot bodies (D800E, D810, D4, D500) and plenty of glass, but always lusting for more.

 

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4 hours ago, crowecg said:

One thing that is keeping me from thinking of returning to Nikon is the size - most of the lenses look quite large.

 

This is also one of the things that put me off going the Sony A7 route. 

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Andrew L (gryphon1911)

With all that being said to, the Fuji 56mm F/1.2 is roughly about the same size as the Nikon 50 shown above. Also, of you look at the m43 f/1.2 primes, they are close in size to this Nikon 50mm as well. 
 

it all really comes down to what you are looking for. For someone who does a ton of low light/might work, the bigger sensor is a most for me. 
 

I’ve always said that if I didn’t work professionally, I could get away with a lot less. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Lovely shots, about as good as I get with my Sigma 135/1.8 Art, which is amazing!

 

Sadly, its size seems the same as well!

A Happy New Year, all!

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