Nikkor 50 f1.4D
I bought the Nikkor 50 f1.4 as an all-around, keep-on-the-camera lens. I wanted something that would work in low light, I could use everyday in most situations, and was small and light. The cost was a plus at under $250.
It is a very light, small, and easy to carry and store/pack. It is usually on my camera at all times. I like being able to pick up my camera and having a lens that is fast enough to capture what I am seeing in just about every situation. I’ve really learned to use this piece of glass as both a challenge and a tool.
The lens brightness is a great tool. It may be a little soft at f1.4, but at f2.0 to about f11 (maybe f16), I find it tack sharp.
The challenge comes from a fixed focal length. A 50mm lens isn’t limiting, but it does make you think your image through. You can’t zoom (unless you use sneaker zoom) so you have to frame and compose the image very carefully. The shallow depth of field at the more wide open apetures makes it a little easier to be creative.
A weak point of the lens is that it isn’t a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) and uses the a screw drive from the camera body. This means that 1) your body must be able to focus the lens. Not all can. 2) It can be comparatively louder than other lenses. Also, I sometimes find that it doesn’t always focus when the camera is moved in small amounts.
It takes a little getting used to working with prime lens, but that is both the fun and the challenge.
The bottom line is that it’s a great all around fast piece of glass that takes good photos.