NikonGear

Gear Talk => Lens Talk => Topic started by: Zang on February 06, 2019, 16:00:39

Title: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Zang on February 06, 2019, 16:00:39
Hello everyone,

Does anyone have experience with these two versions of Nikon 50mm lenses? They are priced more or less the same. Which one to pick?

Cheers,
Zang
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Chip Chipowski on February 06, 2019, 17:47:14
I have a 50mm f/2 AI and a 50mm 1.8 AIS pancake but do not use either very often.  I have gotten some favorable shots with the f/2 version.  The thousand and one nights story adds to the charm.  My uneducated opinion is that the f/2 will give you a little more of an old school character versus the 1.8

https://imaging.nikon.com/history/story/0002/index.htm
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Birna Rørslett on February 06, 2019, 19:13:26
The longnose 50/1.8 AIS would be my first choice, but the 50/2 AI is very good as well. Neither will rank among the masters of supersmooth bokeh though, thus watch your background and the aperture setting for the optimum results.
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Jacques Pochoy on February 06, 2019, 19:52:33
I have the two of them, and for a while was finding the 50mm f/2 Ai sharper then the  f/1.8 Ai-s, but the latter (a "long nosed" one) grew up on me and I found it as sharp as the other, with maybe a slightly better DoF effect. It's slightly smaller then the f/2, has a definite character versus the latest G version and has the best flat field of the three (f/2 Ai, f/1.8 Ai-s and f/1.8 AFS-G)... ;)
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Roland Vink on February 06, 2019, 21:11:58
I have the AI 50/1.8, which is my favourite and most used 50mm Nikkor. It has a similar appearance and the same optics as the AI-S "long nose" 50/1.8. I prefer the AI version because:
1. it has a longer focus throw (210° vs 130°) which allows more precise focusing.
2. the aperture ring is wider, the AI-S aperture ring is narrow and not as easy to grip.

Comparing the AI 50/1.8 to the AI 50/2:
1. overall size, weight and build is similar (50/2 is slightly longer)
2. the 50/1.8 is 1/3 stop faster, which is not significant.
3. Both are sharp with very low geometric distortion.
4. The 50/1.8 has 7 aperture blades, which gives nicer 14-point sun-stars and out of focus highlights have a more organic look than the 6 blade aperture of the 50/2.
5. The 50/1.8 has nicer background bokeh than the 50/2 and pancake 50/1.8 versions (in my opinion). It is relatively smooth centrally but becomes harder towards the corners, so it's not perfect, but is better than the other 50mm Nikkors I have tried.
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Akira on February 06, 2019, 22:59:45
I have the AI 50/1.8, which is my favourite and most used 50mm Nikkor. It has a similar appearance and the same optics as the AI-S "long nose" 50/1.8. I prefer the AI version because:
1. it has a longer focus throw (210° vs 130°) which allows more precise focusing.

4. The 50/1.8 has 7 aperture blades, which gives nicer 14-point sun-stars and out of focus highlights have a more organic look than the 6 blade aperture of the 50/2.

Hi, Zang, welcome to NG!

I would fully agree with Roland, especially in terms of these two aspects.  The longer focus throw of Ai 50/1.8 enables critical focusing which is benefitial to the digital cameras with denser pixels.

Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Zang on February 07, 2019, 00:05:07
Thank you Akira for welcoming and everyone for your inputs. Toronto local aftermarket is not quite good and used Nikkors are quite rare. I do not feel confident enough to order lenses from overseas. My hope is, maybe someday this community may creates ability/opportunities for members to help each other buying photographic gear internationally with confidence :) I wouldn't mind helping NG members in acquiring and shipping stuffs from here, but like I said, we do not have divert preowned market.

I personally love long throw focusing that I got used to back in the time when I was using my Yashica/Contax lenses on film. I do not have many choices today, however. Having that said, I am thinking about getting 50mm f1.8 AIS for now.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers,
Zang
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Birna Rørslett on February 07, 2019, 10:15:39
If the local second-hand market is dried up, reliable sources do exist. You might try KEH.com for example. Bought several lenses from them and no issues. They rate lenses conservatively meaning a lens is more likely to be better than the description would indicate.
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: richardHaw on February 08, 2019, 02:21:07
super busy at the moment so posting a quick reply  :o :o :o

50/2 is great, bokeh is not the best and has a tendency to look harsh when given the right variables but its sharp and nice. typical plain and bland planar/double gauss rendering. check richardhaw.com for samples.

50/1.8 longnose is the best in my opinion. way smoother bokeh than 50/2. sharper than the small pancake. i like the shorter focus throw, better for quick focusing on the street. currently have a work in progress article for this.

i may stop updating the blog in a couple of months and this is one of the last articles. i am not sure if i can still make it for the Nikon F complete overhauling article. too busy and the blog doesnt earn much, about $30 a month. i may add stuff there occasionally as the blog has acquired quite a following among collectors and amateur repairers ::)
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Zang on February 09, 2019, 18:14:06
I have just got 50mm f1.8 home. Quick test shows it is not as good as 55mm f2.8 nor 17-55mm f2.8 at 50mm. It is not a bad one either. Seems to be a keeper :)
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Zang on February 10, 2019, 17:24:38
Another one at f2.8
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Zang on February 10, 2019, 17:52:43
The lens itself set me back by $60 :)
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Zang on February 11, 2019, 04:45:37
Seems like the lens has grown in me, and it is just the second day ;-)
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Jacques Pochoy on February 11, 2019, 14:20:11
You might want to use it without the filter ? Of course each has his own feelings about filters, but I tend to prefer the cap to the "protecting" filter, as the latest might get in some weird reflections or adding another layer of glass when not really needed. :o
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Zang on February 11, 2019, 15:08:35
I did try without filters and I saw no difference LOL I had bad experience with Zeiss 30 years ago. T* coating is extremely soft and I learned how to clean Zeiss lenses the hard way. Although, Nikon lenses seem to be much more scratch resistant, the habit of putting filters remains.
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Akira on February 11, 2019, 15:51:17
I did try without filters and I saw no difference LOL I had bad experience with Zeiss 30 years ago. T* coating is extremely soft and I learned how to clean Zeiss lenses the hard way. Although, Nikon lenses seem to be much more scratch resistant, the habit of putting filters remains.

You should try to shoot (very) distant scenes to make sure if a protection filter has no effect on the image quality.  I did detect some image degradation and stopped using a protection filter except in dusty or splashy situations.  As Jacques noted, a hood and/or a lens cap are protective enough in most situations.
Title: Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
Post by: Zang on February 11, 2019, 16:15:22
I am sure the filters will affect the PQ in general and will create weird effect in some extreme situation. I will consider removing filters for critical works. Thanks guys for the hint.