I have the 1.4G
(I use it on my D700) and I have been mostly happy with it. I decided on it over the D version as it's probably a bit more future-proof (i.e., in case I get a lower end back-up body with no screwdrive).
I generally shoot it at f/2 as a compromise between sharpness (very good in the center), fast shutter speed, and background blur (I have to say I don't notice a huge different in background blur between f/1.4 and f/2). I've shot it at f/1.4 in situations of very low light and the results were pretty good (a bit "dreamy", but this is standard for such wide aperture lenses). By f/2.8 it gets very sharp corner to corner.
Interestingly, despite the built-in motor, the G does not seem to AF
faster than the D. In fact, it's apparently slower in some cases. I can confirm that, from personal experience, the AF
on it is a bit "lazy". But I rarely use it for action shots so this doesn't matter to me.
The biggest complaint I have is the non-trivial amounts of focus shift it has: as you stop down, focus moves towards the back. It was quite frustrating trying to calibrate it (I optimized it for f/2 as that's the aperture I shoot it at most often). And, yes, at such shallow apertures, any small shift in focus does matter.
BTW, are you sure it's sealed? I was not aware that it was. Most of the new primes Nikon recently released are, but I don't think the 1.4G
is as it's lower end (but much more affordable than the rest!!!).
Here's a 1.4 G vs. D comparison (the former looks better in the corners, but this might be less of an issue on DX):
Here's another review of the 1.4G
here, which covers the slow AF
If you don't need the extra 2/3 stop of the 1.4G
, you should consider the 1.8G
which was released recently. It's half the price of the 1.4G
, apparently focuses a bit faster, and looks a bit sharper than the 1.4G
at the wider apertures (even though it's not quite as good in the corners; but again this is less important on DX). I have to say that, even if the 1.8G
was available when I got mine (and it was not), I would have still gone for the 1.4G
to get f/1.4.
Compare the 1.4G
results above with those of the 1.8G
Additional review of the 1.8G
and some data from DxO (with a comparison with the 1.4G
at the bottom):
Finally, as you're shooting DX, are you looking for a short tele / portrait lens (which is what a 50mm will be on DX) or more of a standard lens? If you're looking for the latter, I can highly recommend the 35mm f/1.8 DX:
I have actually used it on my D700 (!!!) and I got good results with it. On DX, for the price, it's excellent.
Anyway, hope this helps,
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.