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AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G

Nikon is set to release its latest "nifty fifty" lens with built-in motor for a great price.

Lexy Savvides Principal Video Producer
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
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In brief

We're big fans of both of Nikon's previous "nifty fifties": the 50mm f/1.8 and the 35mm f/1.8 DX. It should come as no surprise, then, that this latest prime lens looks to be just as good as its predecessors. It has a built-in silent wave motor which means that it can be mounted on any digital SLR from Nikon, regardless of whether it has a drive-motor (looking at you, D5100 and D3100).

A prime lens is a fixed-focal length lens, which means that generally they are sharper than zoom lenses, particularly the kit lens that often comes with entry-level SLRs. They also have a wider maximum aperture allowing for increased flexibility in low-light shooting, and creative depth-of-field effects, like achieving that much-desired background blur effect on portraits.

The main difference between this lens and the 35mm f/1.8 DX lens? It all comes down to that DX label. The 35mm is best suited for use on the company's crop-sensor (or DX) cameras such as the D3100, the D5100, the D7000 and the D300s, while the new 50mm f/1.8 is best-suited to full-frame (FX) cameras. That said, as Nikon's lens mount is the same across its range, you can use any lens on any camera; however, the effective focal-length may change. Expect this lens to be available from June 2011 for AU$299.