Heavy, big and expensive, but a terrific tool for available light photography.
Sharp wide open, and razor-sharp from f/2,8 even in the borders. The biggest problem at full aperture, but only in specific lighting conditions, is the purple fringing that occurs in the specular highlights.
If you can afford one, and obviously if you shoot low light, buy it now.
And yes, it is expensive, but not so much: the 28/1,4 Nikon AF costs three times as much, used, and it has been discontinued.
With the same price tag of a used Nikkor alone you may buy a 24/1,4 Canon and a 5D body, both new!
A very cheap, all plastic, toy lens, that neverthless performs marvellously.
The only problem, but this will change from sample to sample, is a big lack of consistency when focusing at full aperture, that one cannot even correct in camera because it varies randomly from front focus to backfocus and in intensity.
It will blows away most pro zooms, and a bunch of primes. Yes, L types too.
100% crops. Left center, right borders (on Canon 5D Mark II):
No excuses to not have one in your bag if you shoot Canon, especially for DX owners that may use this like a fast portrait lens.
And did I mention that NEW it costs merely 100 euro?
Very good for low-light photograpy.
As compact as his Ai sibling, just a little less sharp at all the apertures.
For landscape is not the best lens out there, because the borders are very soft even stopped down (and if you compare it to a 40/2 Leica Summicron C as I did you will be shocked from the difference!)
My sample suffers by a little bit of de-centering too, I think because of the cheap plastic costruction (cheap compared to the all-metal Ai version).
Everyway for low-light and reportage the convenience of the autofocus, especially with the dim viewfinders of the most of the DX cameras, supercedes the little loss in sharpening, so I rated it the same grade of the Ai.
Rating: low light & reportage
Picture from Nikon.com
Dirty cheap (used), but a not-so-bad performer.
Someone rate this in a more favourable manner, but at least with my sample the performance was nothing to write home about.
It’s a pity, because this is a very useful focal on the reduced sensor size of the DX format cameras.
Picture from Nikon.com
Built like a little tank, but with a stiff focusing ring (compared to the manual version tested above), it’s not one of my favourite lenses.
It is very sharp, whit an higher contrast respect the old Non-Ai version, but the images have a less pleasing and distinctive look.
Not bad, indeed a great performer, but compared to the Non-Ai it traded the “soul” for the technical edge.
And in macro, you know, the autofocus is pretty useless…