Comparison: NIKON 50mm f/1.8D VS 50mm f/1.8G

On our comparison for today, are two of the cheapest lenses that Nikon made, and they seem so, so similar. So which one should you choose?

Key differences:

  • The G lens has a built-in autofocus motor. It can be used successfully with all Nikon digital SLRs.
  • The D lens has no built-in motor, so will not offer AF on the D40, D40x, D60, D3000 series or D5000 series.
  • Both lenses open up to f/1.8, but the D lens can close down to f/22, while the G can only offer f/16.

NIKON 50mm f 1.8D

  • The D lens has a manual aperture ring – essential if you want to use it on an old Nikon 35mm film SLR.
  • The G lens allows you to focus the lens manually even if it is switched to AF mode; just turn the focus ring. With the D lens, you need to switch AF off first.
  • The D lens has a 52mm filter ring, while the G version’s thread is 58mm.
  • The G lens comes with a lens hood; this is an optional extra on the D

Nikon 50mm f 1.8G

 NIKON 50mm f/1.8D NIKON 50mm f/1.8G
Seven-blade IrisThe straight blades cause geometric heptagons in out-of-focus highlights.The aperture blades are curved, creating more roundly shaped out-of-focus highlights.
Weight155g. Made in China with a plastic exterior and a metal mount. Optical construction consists of six elements in five groups.185g. Made in China with plastic exterior with a metal mount. Optical construction is seven elements in six groups.
Launched2002. Update of the lens that came as standard with every Nikon SLR back in the days before zooms ruled the world.2011. The AF-S ‘G’ version was recently introduced to complement the faster, costlier 50mm f/1.4G lens in the Nikon range.
OthersDepth of field scale. Clear distance scale with depth of field markings for f/11 and f/22. Lacks full-time manual focus override.AF-S. Built-in motor ensures that it offers full AF operation with all Nikon D-SLRs, including budget models.

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