REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
NikonNIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens
 
4.9

(based on 109 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (99)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Durable (85)
  • Strong construction (83)
  • Nice bokeh (68)
  • Consistent output (58)
  • Rugged (57)

Cons

  • Heavy (7)
  • Tough to attach (5)

Best Uses

  • Low light (70)
  • Night photography (69)
  • Landscape/scenery (38)
  • Weddings (34)
  • Video (24)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (28), Semi-pro photographer (26), Pro photographer (20), Enthusiast (9), Casual photographer (6)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (71)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

f1.2 for specialty use only...

This is an incredibly well built manual focus lens. Focus action is wonderful, as is the aperture ring. I find this lens is as good as any 50 I've used from f2 and...Read complete review

This is an incredibly well built manual focus lens. Focus action is wonderful, as is the aperture ring. I find this lens is as good as any 50 I've used from f2 and smaller. If you're buying it for f1.2, I'd recommend a trial run. It's got an interesting soft effect wide open and it can really work for some shots, but not others. And the bokeh is kind of funky wide open, depending on the background distance. Again, sometimes it works, sometimes it's just too wierd. In short, I find I often shoot this lens at both f1.2 and f2 and very VERY rarely prefer the f1.2 version. At f2, it's incredibly sharp with lovely bokeh - beats my 50 f1.4D at all apertures, but not by a lot.

The shots below are a pretty good illustration of the difference between f1.2 and f2.0, and this is one of the best f1.2 shots I've got. But I still prefer the rendering at f2...

So, I'd recommend it, but not overwhelmingly unless you KNOW what it does wide open and that you like that particular look. For me, it's a great 50 overall, but only very rarely the effect I'm looking for wide open...

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Deceiving honk of glass

This lens is beautiful. It is so heavy and so well constructed that I fell in love with it right away. Really what I liked the most about it is how it looked mounted...Read complete review

This lens is beautiful. It is so heavy and so well constructed that I fell in love with it right away. Really what I liked the most about it is how it looked mounted on my camera. At f/2 the pictures are tack-sharp, and the background just melts away. I've owned 4 different 50mm from Nikon and this might be the top performer.

I gave it 3 stars for 3 different reasons. The first one is that this lens is OVERPRICED by a lot... It's a manual focus, and only half a stop faster than the 1.4G (which is probably second to this one). The second reason is that it is hard to focus... Moving the focusing ring is a delight, but the depth of field is so thin that you can be out of focus by just breathing. Finally the third and most important reason is that this lens is just too soft... It's cool that this is the fastest 50mm ever, but at that aperture the things "in focus" are just not sharp. Really what's the point of having this beauty if it isn't going to perform well until f/2? In that case, the rest of the 50's perform almost just as well at that aperture, so what am I really getting for paying extra?

I sold mine and bought a 50mm f/1.8 Series E, and a Voigtlander 58mm, and still have left over cash. I'm way happier with that 50 alone. Maybe this is meant to be more of an art lens I think.

Reviewed by 109 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

What are you waiting for...?

By Philip

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

I have several classic Nikon AIS manual focus lenses, so this was a no-brainer. Yes, I like autofocus, but there is something about the old-school quality of a classic manual focus Nikkor lens. I shoot both digital and film occasionally, so this works well on all of my cameras. From my first impressions, it's a very sharp lens at f2.0 and smaller. At 1.2 or 1.4 you have to nail the focus, which is a challenge on an older digital body. It's easier on film bodies, and I'm sure with the latest digital FX bodies. I bought this to shoot wide open (or close to it) so I can have the beautiful out of focus backgrounds. It may take a little extra effort to use and get the results, but well worth it. If you remember the days before autofocus, this is a piece of cake. If you've only known autofocus lenses, don't be intimidated. Try it and enjoy the great tactile feel of a classic lens like this one and the beautiful rendering that it can produce with a little experience.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

An Exceptional Jewel

By Voje13

from Undisclosed

Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

If you don't mind manual focus, this lens is a pure pleasure to operate. The craftsmanship is exceptional and the picture quality, as long as you know what your doing, is one of the best. I use the lens on my D700 and F6. Most of my lenses are professional f/2.8D zoom, and this fest prime nicely compliments my collection. I appreciate Japanese quality.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing surprise

By Orlando

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

This lens really surprised me. I bought a used one, for a very good price, because of mixed review over the internet. Let me tell you, if anyone believe this lens isn't sharp, that person doesn't know how to use it. Right from it's maximum aperture, this lens is stunning, really sharp both at infinity and at close-up. It has, however quite a bit of veiling at f/1.2, but once you close this lens to f/2, all is gone. We are talking about excellent performance all over the frame, even extreme edges. On my D800, it can certainly match the sensor resolution. 
But wide open, this lens produce unique images when used properly, and it is for that look that you buy it. 
There's nothing to say about it. If you are ok with manual focusing, this lens is great. Otherwise, you might be better off with the latest Nikon 1.8G.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Superstar!

By Todd

from Boston

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

      This is the greatest street photography lens that doesn't have the name Leica written on it. Just spectacular results. Produced gorgeous images with creamy bokeh. Coupled with the D800/810- Wow! Focus is superb. 1.2 w/manual focus engenders serious creativity. A very, very high quality product which has been perfected over years.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent

      By Promodh

      from MI

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

          Very Very good lens that you can get -A bit expensive still worth the money ..gives you the joy of shooting, one of Nikons best !

          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Muy buen Bokeh, una joya

          By Cristian Becker

          from Santiago, CHILE

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

              Lo he utilizado en mi Nikon D810 y presenta un viñeteo que le da un toque muy especial a los retratos. En su apertura f/1.2 produce un bokeh muy lindo destacando los primeros planos, en F/5.6 entrega una calidad sobresaliente muy igual o algo superior al 50mm f/1,4G de NIKON.
              Al principio cuesta acostumbrase al enfoque manual, sobre todo si ocupamos un diafragma muy abierto, pues aí si se nota el mal enfoque.
              Vale cada dólar y absolutamente recomendado.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (2 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Just… amazing!

              By ioshertz

              from Bulgaria

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Photography
                • Video
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                Incredible lense! It's a great pleasure to photograph with![*]I guess there is a little back focusing with the D90 I have, not sure about it as I shoot handheld, there is a shift in colour and contrast for sure - getting warmer when close to 1.2, you can see it in the samples… And again - amazing!

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Solid as a rock

                By Jurandir Lima

                from Sao Paulo / Brasil

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Durable
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Photography
                  • Video
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                  This is the second Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 Ai-s I buy from B&H and do not regret it. The lens is fantastic and comparing it to the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II N, this Nikkor 50mm looks like a real "battle tank".
                  In fact, both lenses offer excellent picture quality, with unparalleled clarity, however, in my opinion, the Nikkor has an advantage in appearance mechanical construction and durability.
                  If you are unsure about this lens, I recommend buying it to have the proof of what I am talking about.

                  (42 of 100 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  3.0

                  Deceiving honk of glass

                  By marvel85

                  from Puyallup, WA

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Blurry Focus
                  • Heavy
                  • Overpriced
                  • Slow Focus

                  Best Uses

                  • Art
                  • Indoors/Low Light

                  Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                  This lens is beautiful. It is so heavy and so well constructed that I fell in love with it right away. Really what I liked the most about it is how it looked mounted on my camera. At f/2 the pictures are tack-sharp, and the background just melts away. I've owned 4 different 50mm from Nikon and this might be the top performer.

                  I gave it 3 stars for 3 different reasons. The first one is that this lens is OVERPRICED by a lot... It's a manual focus, and only half a stop faster than the 1.4G (which is probably second to this one). The second reason is that it is hard to focus... Moving the focusing ring is a delight, but the depth of field is so thin that you can be out of focus by just breathing. Finally the third and most important reason is that this lens is just too soft... It's cool that this is the fastest 50mm ever, but at that aperture the things "in focus" are just not sharp. Really what's the point of having this beauty if it isn't going to perform well until f/2? In that case, the rest of the 50's perform almost just as well at that aperture, so what am I really getting for paying extra?

                  I sold mine and bought a 50mm f/1.8 Series E, and a Voigtlander 58mm, and still have left over cash. I'm way happier with that 50 alone. Maybe this is meant to be more of an art lens I think.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (43 of 46 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  f1.2 for specialty use only...

                  By Ray

                  from Philly area

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Acquired Taste Wide Open

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Photography
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                  This is an incredibly well built manual focus lens. Focus action is wonderful, as is the aperture ring. I find this lens is as good as any 50 I've used from f2 and smaller. If you're buying it for f1.2, I'd recommend a trial run. It's got an interesting soft effect wide open and it can really work for some shots, but not others. And the bokeh is kind of funky wide open, depending on the background distance. Again, sometimes it works, sometimes it's just too wierd. In short, I find I often shoot this lens at both f1.2 and f2 and very VERY rarely prefer the f1.2 version. At f2, it's incredibly sharp with lovely bokeh - beats my 50 f1.4D at all apertures, but not by a lot.

                  The shots below are a pretty good illustration of the difference between f1.2 and f2.0, and this is one of the best f1.2 shots I've got. But I still prefer the rendering at f2...

                  So, I'd recommend it, but not overwhelmingly unless you KNOW what it does wide open and that you like that particular look. For me, it's a great 50 overall, but only very rarely the effect I'm looking for wide open...

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (4 of 23 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  NICE LENS, BUT MANUAL FOCUS ONLY

                  By CSG

                  from Bakersfield, California

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Lightweight
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Manual focus only

                  Best Uses

                  • Nifty 50 With Manual Focu
                  • Old School Film Nikon

                  Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                  I ended up sending the lens back. That was not the fault of the lens. As I have been a Canon user, and was buying a lens for my first Nikon, I was unaware that the G lenses are the ones I needed to look at first. For a 50 mm lens, this was a good price and fast at 1.2. However, as this lens was designed for the old film cameras, on the newer DSLR models, only manual focus is available. My eyes are not good enough for that, otherwise I would have kept it.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  fine lens at a good price.

                  By Bob

                  from Boston area

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Great lens
                  • Lightweight
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • No Cons A Good Lens

                  Best Uses

                  • Field Of Vision Choices
                  • Great For Experimentation
                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Photography
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Wildlife Photos

                  Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                  I bought the Nikon 50mm f1.2 lens with other lenses, and a new body over the Summer, to allow for a greater variety of photo opportunities. I am quite pleased with all those purchases. The f1.2 gives the widest variety of aperture settings of the lenses I purchased, and though I've only had it a bit over a week, I have used it several times and am very happy with the results. I have used Nikon bodies and lenses since 1970 and have always been very pleased with the results, and why I'll always buy Nikon.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (8 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Vintage Lens and still Champion is the Best 50mm f1.2-f16 L

                  By J Cottone45

                  from Valley Stream NY

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Lightweight
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Photography
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Weddings/Events
                    • Wildlife Photos

                    Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                    I have used this lens since 1979, first on my FE for a few years when it was my only lens, used it for landscape,portraits,weddings,low light, sports, street photography, animals, children,family gatherings, i't been great, so if there is a flaw in this lens I never saw it, in 2009 I used it on my D300s with excellent results. Now I have used it on my D750 & it seems to have gotten better with age, I on the other hand have gotten too slow to use it for action/kids/sports etc pics attached.I attached some photos the lens was attached to my D750, the only thing too slow was me after 37 years which is why I mainly use my AF lenses, but I use the 50mm f 1.2 - f 16 to show how well made & great usage because of its great construction!! Unless it's not cared for this lens & my 105mm f 2.5 - f 22 lens will out live me & still be ready to be used after I am long gone!!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    (2 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Amazing lens

                    By Camera guy

                    from South florida

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Lightweight
                    • Nice Bokeh

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Night Photography
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                      Only used it a handful of times so far but ..... It's great in low light ,,,,

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      (23 of 25 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Power of simplicity

                      By Landscape Pro

                      from Kinnelon, NJ

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Lightweight
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Rugged
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery

                        Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                        Nikon know how to make gold out of glass. I originally bought this intending to keep it as a collectors' item. I generally shoot landscapes with the 14-24 and 24-70. I was in a comfort zone with the speedy auto-focus capabilities of these legendary lenses, so just to challenge myself, I took this bad boy out to the field one dark, rainy day. I put this classic on the contemporary D810 and spent all of 10 seconds setting up the shot and this lens produced some of the cleanest sharpest images straight out of the camera. I repeat, this is gold, not glass.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        (16 of 20 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Highly recommended

                        By Matt

                        from NYC

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Durable
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Rugged
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                        • Tough To Attach

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Night Photography
                        • Video

                        Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                        I really can't say enough about this lens. Its sharp, beautiful bokeh, the smoothest focus ring i've ever touched, i could go on and on. Also still very sharp at 1.2. Just to prove my point, the photo attached i shot at f1.2. Buy this lens!

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        (6 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Must have lens!

                        By Double R

                        from Alexandria, Mn

                        About Me Casual Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Durable
                        • Easily Interchangeable
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Macro Photography

                          Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                          I use this lens for big packaging collection shots along with close up food photography and love it for both uses. I love the versitility and the depth of field. Not so great that their isn't zoom so for a wider shot I have to stand pretty far away to get everything in the shot. Overall it's a must have for the camera accessory bag. (Rather, putting all my other lenses in the bag and using this one for everything!)

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          (12 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Go for it

                          By esymour templar

                          from NYC

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Durable
                          • Nice Bokeh
                          • Rugged
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                          • Heavy

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Night Photography

                          Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                          Formidable lens, well built. I use it professionally on sets, at around ƒ=8. Very little distortion, extremely good sharpness.
                          I mount it on both my Nikon D810 & my Canon 1DsMkII: it works well on both, but the assisted focus light in the Nikon's viewfinder is a great help in dark situations.
                          It is a bit soft wide open, it is to be expected @ 1.2, but from ƒ=2 on, it's a breeze to work with. I haven't noticed any flare or ghosts in normal use, and I check for these at full size on the 36MP raw the D810 produces.
                          It is heavy, not weather sealed. but it is a wonderful, beautiful lens.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          (14 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          This lens has no equal! I love it

                          By The Sicilian

                          from San Diego, CA

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Durable
                          • Easily Interchangeable
                          • Lightweight
                          • Nice Bokeh
                          • Rugged
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                              First off I have to tell you I am in no way affiliated with Nikon or subsidiaries, nor am I receiving any compensation for this review. I am a semi-pro photographer that has been shooting since the film days and I can tell you this lens is fantastic.

                              I have shot with Canon and Nikon, and Pentax 50mm lenses. The last 50mm lens I used was the Canon 50mm 1.4, which also was a great lens. But the quality and the bokeh with this thing wide open is just amazing. It is manual focus, and the plane of focus is paper thin so yes it it does take some skill to nail a sharp image, but practice makes perfect. However if you shoot action you may want to look elsewhere or just buy a cheaper 50 1.8 for your fast moving subjects.

                              As for build quality AIS Nikon lenses should be the standard that all lenses are compared to.

                              Final summation, if I could I would give this 50mm 1.2 6 out of 5 stars.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Great Lens

                              By Matt

                              from Dallas, TX

                              About Me Photography Student

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Consistent Output
                              • Durable
                              • Nice Bokeh
                              • Rugged
                              • Strong Construction

                              Cons

                              • Tough To Attach

                              Best Uses

                              • Indoors/Low Light
                              • Macro Photography
                              • Night Photography
                              • Video
                              • Weddings/Events

                              Comments about Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens:

                              Awesome lens. Sharp focus, crisp lines, clean and unique bokeh. Sure it's not as fancy as the Canon 50mm f/1.2. The trade off is instead of cheap plastic and electronics that can fail, you have a solid lens made of steel and glass. Just looking at the amount of glass will make you fall in love with this lens.

                              You will not regret your purchase! Happy shooting!

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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