Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Some of the Amazon reviews say that Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D has less distortion than Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G?

The D is about $80 cheaper, is smaller, lighter, has less distortion, and has manual aperture control.

D is an older version, and G has got more blades, so on what basis is do they say that distortion is lesser on the older lens?

Is this factor a deal breaker? Why would anyone purchase G then?

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Most lenses have some amount of distortion, it just may not be measurable or significant.

Thom Hogan says of the f/1.4G:

Linear distortion is low (though slightly higher than the f/1.4G) and barrel in nature. At under 0.5% it's not something I'd bother correcting unless I had software that did automatic correction based on EXIF data, in which case I'd just let that do its thing.

slrgear say this about the 50mm f/1.8

Distortion The 50mm ƒ/1.8 shows no distortion when mounted on the sub-frame D200. On the full-frame D3x, there is a negligible (+0.1%) amount of barrel distortion apparent in the corners.

Both lenses have 7 aperture blades, but that doesn't affect distortion. The f/1.8G blades are rounded, which will make the bokeh a bit more circular.

The more expensive f/1.8G has the following advantages over the f/1.8D

  • sharper in the centre at wide apertures
  • much sharper in the corners at wide apertures, most apparent with FX bodies
  • AF-S focusing motor

Disadvantages

  • more expensive
  • lack of an aperture ring
  • bigger and heavier
  • 58mm filter thread (unusual for a Nikon lens - f/1.8D uses more common 52mm filters

So in summary, I don't think the distortion is a deal breaker. You would buy the f/1.8G if you needed an AF-S motor built in, or if sharpness was a big issue.

share|improve this answer
    
beautiful, thanks. –  TheIndependentAquarius Feb 18 '12 at 7:16
add comment

The biggest reason to buy the G version: it has an AF-S motor. If you're using a camera that doesn't driver the older screwdriver lenses, then the D version won't autofocus. That is, in the current body line-up the 3100 and 5100 can not focus the D version, while the higher end models can.

How much distortion is enough to be considered a deal breaker? How much distortion needs to be evident for you to notice it for everyday, real-world use? If you are shooting architecture (full of straight lines) then distortion is more important, and you should be looking at PC lenses; if you're shooting, well, just about anything else, you'll probably never notice it. Plus, distortion is so easily correctable in Lightroom that I never give it much thought.

Some distortion numbers to chew on.

share|improve this answer
    
if you have that lens can you post here a picture showing maximum distortion? –  TheIndependentAquarius Feb 18 '12 at 2:19
    
also, thanks for your link. I saw -0.82 on 1.4G? That means the distortion is worse on 1.4G as compared to 1.8G? –  TheIndependentAquarius Feb 18 '12 at 2:28
    
I have a pre-D 50 1.8 -- old! Yes, the 1.4G has even more distortion. –  Dan Wolfgang Feb 18 '12 at 2:46
    
Dan, thanks. Difficult to believe. :) Didn't hear that in 1.4G's reviews on dpreview. –  TheIndependentAquarius Feb 18 '12 at 2:48
2  
dpreview mentions it in their Studio Tests, noting that it's basically unnoticeable on DX and minimally noticeable on FX when shooting real-world subjects. –  Dan Wolfgang Feb 18 '12 at 3:03
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.