Originally Posted by Skiff
I have both, the older 1.8/50 AF-D and the current AF-S 1.8/50 G.
I can confirm that the newer is sharper in the f1.8 - f3.5 range. Both in the centre and at the corners.
I have not any AF problems with the newer one. Neither on the F5 nor on the F6.
We have to consider that sample variation can lead to different results from different users.
In a side by side comparison of the AF-D 1.8/50 to the AF-S 1.8/50 I've got the following results:
Advantages of the AF-S:
- better sharpness and contrast in the f1.8 - f3.5 range in the centre and the corners
- less flares
- AF-S allows to override AF manually at every time
- silent AF (not important for me personally)
Disadvantages of the AF-S:
- a bit more distortion (but not problematic)
- slight focus-shift at very narrow distances.
Advantages of the AF-D:
- no focus shift
- extremely light and compact
- aperture ring allows usage on older film bodies
Disadvantages of the AF-D:
- less sharp and contrasty in the f1.8 -f3.5 range
- no AF override
- more prone to flares than the AF-S type in direct sun
- AF a bit louder (irrelevant for me personally).
From my experiences with both lenses I can confirm all of that.
I just want to add some further advantages of the recent Nikkor AF-S 1.8/50G:
+ a bit better bokeh
+ wider manual focus ring
+ rubber ring at the lens mount = better dust and water protection in usage outdoor
+ lens is shipped with hood (a really good one with bajonet) and soft pouch included.