As I began to take more and more photos and became more serious about photography, I realized I was missing something. I had been investing in nicer more expensive glass along the way, but for some reason had neglected to purchase a 50mm! To be honest, I was a little angry with myself. As most of you know, a 50mm is a must-have in any camera bag. They’re small, compact, and the fact that they’re Prime (don’t zoom) makes them that much sharper than a zoom lens. They’re mostly utilized in portraiture but are applicable in almost any type of photography. Perhaps the most notable thing about a 50mm is known for is the bokeh or background blur you can achieve due to the extremely wide max aperture they create. This helps to separate the subject from the background and gives an overall professional feel to your photos. Realizing I should probably purchase one, I talked to a friend who had been shooting a little bit longer than I had and asked if he had any recommendations. He suggested I pick up Nikon’s 50mm f/1.8D lens. I did just that, and after experimenting with it I’m here to give my review and maybe help you decide if this lens is right for you! (Hint: It probably is).
I ended up purchasing the lens used off of Adorama. They had a demo that had recently gone up for sale for $89.99 and that was a price I couldn’t pass up. For anyone who shoots seriously, you know it’s near impossible to find a quality lens for under $100. Upon the lens arriving, there were a few things I noticed right off the bat
1. The first thing that was obvious was the lens body itself was completely made of plastic. I was a little disappointed by this at first, but then remembered what I paid. You can’t expect a metal barrel for 90 bucks
2. It had an aperture ring! This was really surprising to me since you rarely see that on a modern lens. I do enjoy the feature though as it allows to shoot on a film camera if you’d like. If you’re like me, this is pretty useful.
3. After putting it on my camera body and taking some test shots, it became quite evident there was no internal autofocus motor. When this thing focuses it sounds like a diesel engine starting up. For me, that’s not a big deal, but if you’re shooting a wedding or something where silence is preferred, maybe switch to manual focus.
Here are some pictures of the lens its self and some sample images I took:
Overall for the price this lens is absolutely incredible! Sure its plastic, and there are 50’s with wider apertures that give you more buttery bokeh, but for $90 this thing is bomber. It’s small and compact like a 50 should be and it takes stunning, tack sharp images. What more could you ask for?