Author Topic: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)  (Read 991 times)

Zang

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Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« 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

Chip Chipowski

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #1 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

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #2 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.

Jacques Pochoy

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #3 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)... ;)
“A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second. ” ― Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

Roland Vink

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #4 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.

Akira

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #5 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.

"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

Zang

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #6 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

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #7 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.

richardHaw

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #8 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 ::)

Zang

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #9 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 :)

Zang

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2019, 17:24:38 »
Another one at f2.8

Zang

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2019, 17:52:43 »
The lens itself set me back by $60 :)

Zang

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 04:45:37 »
Seems like the lens has grown in me, and it is just the second day ;-)

Jacques Pochoy

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #13 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
“A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second. ” ― Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

Zang

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Re: Nikon 50mm f2 AI (late version) vs 50mm f1.8 AIS (long nose)
« Reply #14 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.