Nikon Showcase Nikon Pancake-NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8 AI-s

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
I don't think there's a showcase for this lens which is surprising given how many copies of it were made and the fact that a large portion of members here would have either owned or currently own one. A truly wonderful lens in terms of operation and rendering.

 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Aug 21, 2011
Los Angeles, USA
Nice images! It's a great and underrated lens! BTW - there are 4 versions of the Nikon "pancake" 50mm 1.8 Ai-S lens:

Series E:
- Black
- Chrome ring

Nikon Ai-S:
- Japan Only / rubber focus ring + all metal barrel
- New All plastic version

Plastic version left / Japan only rubber + metal version right:
32673162620_5c81c665d7_c.jpg
Nikon_50_FRIOLO_003
by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

Slight coating difference:

Nikon_50_FRIOLO_001
by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

The Japan only version is the hardest to find. It has a shorter focus throw and closer minimum focus. It has the best build of all pancake Nikon 50mm lenses (though not as nice as the Nikkor 45mm 2.8 P AIS lens). It took me awhile to find a good copy, and they were only in production for less than 3 years, so they're harder to find especially outside of Japan. I also think it's a tad sharper wide open.

I should of picked up few when I was in Japan this summer, but I was too enamored by all the extra stock of 58mm NOCT lenses I was seeing! :D
 
Last edited:

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
Nice images! It's a great and underrated lens! BTW - there are 4 versions of the Nikon "pancake" 50mm 1.8 Ai-S lens:

Series E:
- Black
- Chrome ring

Nikon Ai-S:
- Japan Only / rubber focus ring + all metal barrel
- New All plastic version

Plastic version left / Japan only rubber + metal version right:
View attachment 207271
Nikon_50_FRIOLO_003 by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

Slight coating difference:
View attachment 207272
Nikon_50_FRIOLO_001 by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

The Japan only version is the hardest to find. It has a shorter focus throw and closer minimum focus. It has the best build of all pancake Nikon 50mm lenses (though not as nice as the Nikkor 45mm 2.8 P AIS lens). It took me awhile to find a good copy, and they were only in production for less than 3 years, so they're harder to find especially outside of Japan. I also think it's a tad sharper wide open.

I should of picked up few when I was in Japan this summer, but I was too enamored by all the extra stock of 58mm NOCT lenses I was seeing! :D
Yes thanks Jonathan, my understanding was that if it has the grey aperture ring, then get it! I didn't really like 35mm lenses till I got to focus on one using a RF, then I understood a lot more what it was about. Likewise, with 50mm when using this, the focal length suddenly makes a lot of sense. It's definitely my favourite Nikkor 50mm.
 

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