I’ve added the following comparison section to my Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4 Pre-AI review.
My bunny Thor poses for the 50mm s·c non-ai, and the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AF-D on a full frame D700.
As you can see from the thumbnails here, the AF version has some, but less vignetting while the non-ai version has slightly warmer color rendition.
Not too much difference, the AF-D (bottom) has slightly better contrast at f/1.4, but the difference disappears by f/2. If I have time, I’ll put up some samples. Also, Thor didn’t seem to want to keep his eyes all the way open for the non-ai lens.
Which is which? Give up? The top is the AF version, bottom is the non-ai. A couple generations didn’t really do much to image quality. The AF version does focus a bit closer, is lighter, and autofocuses, but it feels cheaper, especially the focus ring.
See the full review here.