50mm lenses are sometimes referred to as “nifty fifty” prime lenses. Generally, they aren’t so pocket-friendly, yet many novices and professional photographers love including them in their kit.
Such lenses offer super-fast apertures and a fixed field of view. Hence, they can be used for various photography needs that include low-light shooting, macro, portrait photography, and more.
Are you trying to find the best Nikon 50mm lens? In this discussion, we have reviewed a few 50mm prime lenses that include both native and third-party lenses.
We will look at some of their key features that make for the best Nikon 50mm lens. This not only will ease your decision-making but also help you get the best model for your needs.
1. Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art (Overall Winner)
Sigma is famous for making top-quality third-party lenses. Especially, its Art lens series delivers superb image quality and sharpness. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art offers a maximum aperture of f/1.4 and a minimum of f/16. It has the ability to focus at a close distance of around 1.31 inches.
Its optical design consists of 13 elements in eight groups, which includes three Special Low Dispersion glass elements and one molded glass aspherical element. The lens also features a super multi-layer coating and handles chromatic aberrations quite well.
The nine-bladed diaphragm closes to a circular aperture to produce an attractive bokeh. A ring-type Hyper Sonic Motor drives the auto-focusing system of this lens, which is fast and quiet. However, it also allows full-time manual focus control. The front element doesn’t protrude while focusing.
Shooting performance is outstanding overall, and you would love to shoot with the lens wide open. As for distortion, it’s almost negligible, especially if you are using the lens on an APS-C DSLR. Sharpness may drop at the corners of the frame but the center remains extremely sharp.
The NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 is a manual focusing lens that is praiseworthy for its outstanding optical quality. Featuring a compact and rugged all-metal design, this lightweight lens is considered to be one of the best Nikon 50mm lenses.
The autofocusing is super-fast with a wide-open aperture of f/1.2. For physical aperture control, a traditional ring is included.
As can be expected from its price, the optical design is of supreme quality. Super Integrated Coating is applied to the lens elements, which helps overcome ghosting and flare effects. The nine-bladed diaphragm blurs the background to produce excellent bokeh.
Nikon lenses undoubtedly work well with Nikon DSLRs, so if you go for this wonderful Nikon 50mm lens, you will know for sure that your money is well spent.
The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G is another great lens in the Nikon lineup. This auto-focusing lens is basically an upgrade over the Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4D. If your Nikon camera doesn’t feature a built-in AF motor, this is the lens you might want to consider.
Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor technology has been utilized in the lens to control the autofocusing system, meaning it’s silent and pretty fast. Additionally, it also features a manual focusing override.
The optical design includes eight elements in seven groups. It’s multicoated, which Nikon refers to as the Super Integrated Coating. You get a maximum aperture of f/1.4 while the rounded nine-blade diaphragm produces circular bokeh shapes.
The front portion does not move while focusing, however, the front lens element does move in and out within the lens barrel. On the downside, the lens doesn’t come with the dedicated aperture control ring and has slightly more weight than the older f/1.4D lens.
The Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 is a manual focusing lens with phenomenal optical quality and a sturdy design. Exactly what Zeiss is known for. Featuring an aperture range of f/1.4-f/16, it’s been specifically designed for the F-mount camera systems.
It includes 10 lens elements in nine groups with four anomalous partial dispersion glass elements and one aspherical element to help suppress chromatic aberrations and deliver better sharpness and contrast.
Also, Zeiss’s exclusive T* Anti-Reflective Coating distinguishes this lens from other Nikon 50mm lenses on the market. This coating contributes to the production of high-resolution, extremely detailed, and vibrant photos.
A rounded nine-bladed diaphragm, combined with the fast maximum aperture of the lens, provides a very smooth bokeh blur.
5. Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4D (Budget Winner)
If we don’t include the Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4D in the discussion for the best Nikon 50mm lenses, it would be incomplete. It’s one of the most budget-friendly 50mm primes available for Nikon DSLRs.
The lens is solidly constructed and unlike the above mentioned 50mm f/1.4G, it includes the aperture ring. However, before you plan on buying this lens, bear in mind that its autofocus won’t work with the entry-level or upper entry-level cameras. This lens only supports the cameras that feature a built-in AF motor.
It may not be as powerful as the Sigma, listed on the top, but it is capable enough to give you years of joy shooting with it. Featuring a maximum aperture of f/1.4, it promises a lot. There are seven lens elements arranged in six groups. It’s multicoated and offers exceptional resistance to chromatic aberration.
Its aperture consists of seven straight blades. There is no stabilization system, so you have to keep the minimum shutter speed at 1/60 sec to avoid blur in images. Compared to the 50mm f/1.4 G, it’s slightly lighter but that’s understandable as no AF motor included.
Final Thoughts on the Best Nikon 50mm Lenses
The best Nikon 50mm lens, coupled with a solid DSLR camera, will surely bring excellence to your images. So, you will have to select a truly sharp lens that perfectly supports your Nikon DSLR camera.
Hopefully, we have been able to provide you enough information about the trending Nikon 50mm lenses on the market. You just need to go through the above discussion to make an informed decision.