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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?


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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