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What’s the difference between using a 50mm f/1.8G and a 50mm f/1.8D with a Nikon D80?

I recently got a D7000 and using a 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-D. Now I'm looking to into getting a 50mm prime lens for portrait shots.

Doing some research, I noticed there are two types of f/1.8 lens, the D and G, with a significant price difference (almost double). What are the main difference between the two and which would you recommend?

marked as duplicate by mattdm, dpollitt, John Cavan, Imre, Nir Dec 31 '12 at 7:16

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The G lens, being an AF-S lens, will focus a bit more quietly. It will autofocus on bodies without an AF motor, which is of no benefit to a D7000 owner.

Both are sharp. The G lens is a bit sharper wide open. It's bigger, less plasticy and looks nicer than the D. I think you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference in sharpness between the two in general use.

The G lens has rounded blades, so might give better bokeh, but this is subjective.

It also has a manual focus override, so you can manually focus without switching the lens to M.

I should mention that the "G" designation means that the lens does not have an aperture ring, which prevents it from working well with a film camera. Not needed with the D7000.

I've upgraded from the 1.8D to the 1.4G myself. Would have been happy with the 1.8G but found a good second-hand 1.4G. Obviously I thought it worth upgrading, but the differences are incremental and subjective. I think the manual focus override and slight improvement in sharpness and bokeh worth it for me, but it's really an personal choice. If you can visit a shop and try them on your body, you may want to buy the G lens just on looks and ergonomics alone.

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