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Nikon 50mm f/1.2 S Lens Review

Nikon 50mm f/1.2 S Lens Review


A super lens



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Nikon is now shipping their brand new Nikon 50mm f/1.2 S Mirrorless lens for the Z mount cameras.  The Nikon 50mm f/1.2 S lens has already been shown to deliver exceptional sharpness and excellent BOKEH.  Those that don't mind a staggering price tag of over two grand will be very happy with this lens on their Z camera. For those more budget-minded good news Nikon offers the fantastic 50 f1/8 S lens as an awesome alternative at a more reasonable price + Nikon still offers the legacy f mount 50mm f/1.2 manual focus lens for about $750.00.

The f.1.2 aperture with autofocus is the big drawing point to this lens. This is Nikon's FIRST autofocusing f/1.2 prime lens - and those people who need a super-fast lens may succumb to the temptation and drop the coins for the pleasure to use this excellent lens.

This new Nikon 50 f/1.2 S lens marks a significant performance over the older f/1.4 F mount lenses with near excellent corner to corner sharpness, near-zero distortion, and demonstrates very nice color and contrast.

This lens is big and heavy for a 50mm lens. It is a special purpose lens and not really designed as a daily carry lens when out leisurely shooting. It is for those photographers wishing to take advantage of the drop-dead BOKEH and background separation it offers + its very good low light capabilities. For me, I find myself with my Z 50 f1/8 S lens for its lighter more compact design. Once you stop down both the 1.2 and 1.8 lenses to say f4 you really don't see too much difference. Like I said the 50mm 1.2 is best when it can be used at wide open.

Nikon is primarily an Optics company first and foremost. Sure they make cameras, but Nikon makes Superior Optics. Other companies/brands copy their designs and release a similar lens under their own name, but none are at the Nikon Standards of Quality and that is why most other lenses are compared to Nikon lenses.

This is an excellent video lens due to its silent operation. Nikon employs 2 STM (Stepping Motors) driving the elements from both sides on rails, and the lens is an IF (internal focus) design.

Optically Speaking: The Nikon 50mm f/1.2 S lens uses seventeen (17) lens elements in fifteen (15) lens groupings of those elements three (3) are Aspherical Elements, and two (2) are ED Glass Elements. To round out the optics are Nikon's coatings.  The optics are coated in three different coatings, SIC "Super Integrated Coating; Nikon's term for its multilayer coating of the optical elements in NIKKOR lenses. Nikon's Nano Crystal Coating;  An anti-reflective coating developed by Nikon that virtually eliminates internal lens element reflections across a wide range of wavelengths. Nano Crystal Coat solves ghost effects caused by red light and effectively reduces ghost and flare caused by light entering the lens diagonally. The New ARNEO Coating; An anti-reflective coating developed by Nikon and used in conjunction with Nano Crystal Coat to further reduce ghost and flare effects caused by incident light entering the lens vertically. This allows for the outstandingly clear capture of images even when a light source is located within the frame.

Stunning Images: I have seen the RAW images using the Nikon 50mm f/1.2 S lens taken on a Nikon Z7 Mirrorless camera and all I can say is STUNNING.  I saw no chromatic abbreviation in hard lighting conditions and well-controlled ghosting and flare. In fact, the lens did very well shooting subjects with strong backlighting.  I have yet to find a better-performing lens in the 50mm range from any camera company.

Nikon made no sacrifices in providing the best of weather and dust protection so a little water won't hurt the Z camera or this lens allowing you to make the most of a rainy day.

I already own two similar lenses; the Awesome Nikon 58mm f/1.4 f mount, Nikon 50mm f/1.2 in F Mount + a 50mm f/1.8 S lens.  My f mount lenses are lighter and smaller than the new S lens even with the FTZ adapter.  So, for now, I will hold back on buying the new 50mm f/1.2 S lens until maybe next year when the price drops some, and it is not because I don't want this lens it is because I have already significant investment in other S lenses. Although the Nikon 50mm f/1.2 is a very compelling lens, I can wait a little longer on this one because I am investing first in the primes and zooms I use most often and my investments have already been made with the new 14-14 f/2.8 S, 24-70 f/2.8 S and the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. My next major S lens purchase will be the Nikon S "Macro S Lens".

Nikon is releasing new Z Cameras and S lenses at a fast pace, so I need to pace myself and not become overly excited and blow my budget.

My Recommendation: If you have the budget for this extremely high-quality lens I would say a definite yes.  If you want a cheaper alternative in the S line I would recommend the 50mm f/1.8 S lens, otherwise for those on a smaller budget an f mount 50 using the FTZ adapter.

Side Note: -- Once Nikon releases the Pro Z8 the super-telephoto lenses will be re-born as S lenses, and some Super Telephoto lenses like the 400mm f/2.8 ED FL f mount lens are already in the engineering stack in draft S lens designs. Super-telephoto will not appear until a Pro Level Mirrorless camera is released in 2021




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