Royal Portrait
$34.99 $24.99
Nikon 50mm f/1.4
50mm-n
Name: Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Essential Sale 1-10
1 = I almost never use this thing.
10 = You had better own this, like yesterday.
Essential Scale: 6

A versatile, affordable lens great for portraits, low light shooting, and almost everything else.

Technical Details

  • Normal angle of view on FX-format cameras – Classic, normal angle of view when used on a Nikon FX-format digital SLR or 35mm film camera
  • An ideal portrait lens when used on a Nikon DX-format digital SLR, approximating the angle of view similar to that of a 75mm lens
  • Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC) enhances light transmission efficiency and offers superior color consistency and reduced flare
  • Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables fast, accurate, and quiet autofocus
  • Close focusing to 1.5 feet

Summary

This 50mm prime lens is great for shooting portraits and low light situations. Like any prime lens, you’ll have to move around on your feet to get the composition you want due to lack of zoom, but the images it produces are sharp and contrasty. If you’re shooting with a crop sensor camera such as the Nikon 5100, this lens will become a 75mm equivalent.

The lens is sharp wide open at f/1.4 but is at it’s sharpest past f/2. If you’re considering this or the cheaper Nikon 50mm f/1.8, the 1.4 is about 60% faster and produces better blurry backgrounds, or “bokeh”. All around, this is a very versatile lens capable of taking fantastic photographs.

Personal Experiences

I have used this lens both in studio and on location. The autofocus is not completely silent but is acceptable for shooting weddings and other events. The best use for this lens is portraits where you don’t need your subject to fill the entire frame, as you’ll have to get quite close with this lens resulting in more noticeable distortion. Although the lens is mostly made of plastic parts, it feels study and well constructed.

 

Photo by Hadjid Surjono

Photo by Yannick Charifou

Here are a couple of photos that do a great job of showing how the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 is great for blurring out distracting backgrounds for portraits.

 

Who is this lens for?

  • Portrait & Family photographers. The versatile focal length and ability to throw entire backgrounds out of focus make this an essential lens for shooting portraits
  • Wedding, music, & event photographers. This lens is great in low light situations which you’ll often encounter shooting events and concerts.
  • Everyone else. If you’re shooting anything besides a couple specific subjects, which I’ll list below, you’ll be able to make great use of this lens. Whether you’re shooting fashion, portraits, or promotional images for a band, this lens is capable of producing professional-grade images for an affordable price.

Who isn’t this lens for?

  • Wildlife photographers. This lens won’t allow you to get nearly close enough to that rare exotic bird in the jungle before you spook it and it flies away.
  • Architectural photographers. Being a prime lens, you won’t be able to zoom out enough to get those wide shots you need to show entire rooms.

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