I’ve had the cheap, plastic C-Mount 50mm f/1.4 lens for almost three months now, but have only been using it extensively for the last couple of weeks. This is not enough time to form an opinion on any piece of equipment. For now I can only say that the lens is inexpensive, cheaply made, that for some reason it doesn’t focus beyond 2-3 meters and that it isn’t as sharp as native Nikon 1 lenses. Comparing the 50mm f/1.4 C-Mount lens to my Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 would be the same as comparing a Tata car to a Porsche. But, the 50mm F/1.4 “Plastilux” (which is what I like to call it), has one major advantage over the fast standard prime from Nikon: Bokeh!
At this time there is no native Nikon 1 lens which has the same potential for shallow depth of field and smooth bokeh as the 50/1.4 C-Mount. Yes, the Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 is faster by a half a stop, but this is more than equalized by the much longer focal length of the C-Mount lens. Before I take a lot more photos with it and write a review, there is one more thing you have to know about the “Plastilux” 50mm f/1.4: it is a 100% manual lens. None of the nice automatic features of the V1, or any other Nikon 1 camera for that matter, will work with it. Not metering and certainly not AF. In fact the V1 behaves as if you have no lens attached at all. You have to switch to M mode, dial in shutter speed, ISO and aperture on the lens manually. You also need to focus manually before you take a picture, which is not easy on the V1, considering that it has no focusing aid whatsoever. No focus peaking, no focus magnifier, nothing. The only thing that helps a little bit is to shoot RAW+JPG and bump up JPG sharpness in the picture settings. (UPDATE: here is my review of the 50mm f/1.4 C-Mount)
But if you take the time and put in the effort there are certainly nice images to be made with this lens. Here are some of my samples:
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