That's right, I went old school. When I first got into photography I figured this type would have been by my first lens. But after doing some research, I went with the Tamron that I currently use today. However, after being Inspired by a few photos on another forum I regularly visit, I started very casually looking around at some wide aperture primes.
I can't exactly remember how I stumbled across this lens, but I found that nikon made a 50mm f/1.8 in 1978 for a couple of years. After a quick ebay search I was delighted by the next to nothing price, so I looked a little further. Turns out back in the day this lens was of professional quality, equivalent to the cannon "L" designation. What you probably have already surmised is that the lens is manual focus.
I've thought about this a lot and wondered would it be worth trying or not. I used my Tamron on manual for a few days to see how it felt. I'm not sure if this feature exists on all cameras, but there is a "in focus" indicator on my D200. It's based on the focal area selected and size of said focal area. A green dot appears when your camera thinks what is in the focal area is properly focused. Basically, it tells you "if I were in autofocus mode, I'd call this good".
Again, I really had to think about this because autofocus is a big big deal. Also, focusing a 2.8 aperture would be easier than a 1.8 since the DoF is larger - smaller margin for error. As previously stated, the lens cost next to nothing, and if I hate it and/or can't get used to it, then I'd just sell it again. It's already deprecated in value and owning it for a few months won't change it's value at all. So the only hassle would be to put it back up on ebay and mess around with selling it again.
I've tried to buy this lens about 6 times and lost the auction in the last minute or so because I'm not willing to pay a whole lot for it. I lucked out on the one I bought because the seller is based in Québec and was only willing to ship within Canada - this cut out 95% of the competition. This particular lens I bought happens to be still in the original packaging with both lens caps and the promise of mint 100% working condition. Apparently it was found from a canadian army surplus something or another. The seller is even offering a 1 year warranty which I don't really hold a lot of weight in.
So, there you have it. Shiny new 50mm f/1.8 is on it's way. Reviews are sure to come about 10 minutes after I open the box.