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 Post subject: Nikon 50mm/f1.4 D review
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:40 pm 
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Nope, no brown shirt, yet. And I'm also not a professional in front of a camera. And I don't speak fluent english. And I cannot entertain people like others do. So "no" on almost all accounts :(
But I have a video-camera :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:48 am 
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This morning I made another shot of one of my preferred subjects: Old trees. This shot is exemplary because it shows how hard it could be to isolate a subject from the background. And this shot was really taken at f1.4, so with any other lens be it f2.8 or the more typical f3.5-5.6 you would have had no chance to get at least a bit of differentiation between the tree in the foreground, the second tree and the background-blur and thus creating a nice feeling of depth.
Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:33 am 
Wow that's a nice shot. Must try similar things with the 1.8


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:38 am 
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Yeah antman, you'll certainly see no difference between the 1.8 and the 1.4 . For me it was quite interesting to see how hard it (still) is with such a lens to get the right selective effect through a small dof.
I'm happy to have this lens, although focussing sometimes seems to be a problem. Do you have ever experienced the 50mm+cam telling you that focus is ok only to find out later that the subject was not really sharp?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:24 pm 
Wow thats looks really sharp. I really want the 50mm f/1.8 now especially since you say there won't be much difference between it and the f/1.4. I'm having problems with low light photography with my 18-135, I keep getting shake because I try not to use the flash.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:42 pm 
BEAUTIFUL !
Really envy you Thomas , the tree pics really 'satisfying'
Also looks like a good candidate for HDR... the scene i mean.

50mm f1.8 looks better than the more expensive f1.4

Too bad my D40X does not AF with these lenses :cry:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:12 pm 
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Thanks for your encouragement, guys.

As to HDRing the scene, I doubt it. I had my fair share of tests of similar subjects that were not satisfactory. On the contrary, as HDR decreases contrast but increases "colors" (don't know how to put it exactly) the specific mood of this pic (a little "dark wood" and "gloom") would be lost. But my wife said: let's come back next spring and make the same shot in friendlier light. This is a nice idea, but it will certainly make for a totally different pic.

As to f1.8 vs. f1.4, you cannot easily say one is better than the other. For the effect of minimum dof, the f1.4 is simply better than f1.8 (but only a little). It also has a little less contrast when wide open than the f1.8 (which is nive for portraits). But looking at the lab-figures from Klaus Schroiff here and there you can conclude that the f1.8 has a better centre-sharpness but the borders lag a little behind the f1.4. So the f1.4 seems to have a less pronounced sharpness-fall-off at the borders than the f1.8. I wouldn't bother too much about the differences of those two lenses though.

As to using flash well, flash mostly destroys the mood of a pic or if used cautiously does not give enough light to avoid shake. And in this scene it would have been of no help unless you go there by night and let your girl-friend go with the flash under the tree and then remote trigger it :shock: (the flash, not the girl-friend :oops: ).
Don't laugh :!: It's an interesting alternative to single out a subject from the surrounding/background. Looky here for an example of flash-use in nature at dusk (no girl-friend was harmed during this shot :P ) Btw.: that is the second most viewed shot in my portfolio.

As to shake:
Yes, f1.8 is 2 stops faster than f3.5 and if you look into the compact zooms critically you'll see that they're mostly already at f4.8 when zoomed to 50mm. So you're really talking about a 3 stop difference here :shock: :!:
But still, 50mm is also prone to shake, you can see it in your view-finder. So don't overstretch your luck: I would definitely not shoot slower than 1/30 sec!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:22 pm 
tombomba2 wrote:
Looky here for an example of flash-use in nature at dusk (no girl-friend was harmed during this shot :P ) Btw.: that is the second most viewed shot in my portfolio.


How many times, Thomas? If you insist on using auto mode, you'll never learn. :x


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:49 pm 
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Only 160 times, boohoo - compared to the hits Zorro gets... :cry:

As to me using automatic: Well it was in the first days that I had the camera and you'll never appreciate what the cam can do for you if you don't give it a chance. And other than that I'm a lazy guy: why should I do something that a machine can do better. I'm also driving an automatic :wink:
Only time I intervene is with pics where I like to have maximum highlight-details. In this case I dial in -2EV compensation.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:14 pm 
Hey. Havn't noticed any prolems with the 50mm focusing. I must say, it is a must have lens. So cheap, was like $180NZD here I think. Works well with the D80 :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:01 pm 
tombomba2 wrote:
But my wife said: let's come back next spring and make the same shot in friendlier light. This is a nice idea, but it will certainly make for a totally different pic.


Thomas, where did you took this ? Would have thought it was near by like a park or something ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:02 pm 
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No, not from a park. Just an old meadow with some very old cherry trees.
The vicinity is very rural here...
I've placed it on the flickr-map for you.

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Last edited by Thomas on Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:01 pm 
I'm surprised to see a complain about the auto-focus. This being a "D" lens, it would measure distance precisely - and transmit that info to the body. Is this something you experience only occasionaly? How about other users of this lens?

Also, I'm curious as to the level of [mechanical parts] noise and focus speed. I know it's driven by the body. Is it bad?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:20 pm 
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Speed and noise of focus is no issue for me. Focus goes in almost 1/2 sec from infinity to close-up.

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