Thanks for your encouragement, guys.
As to HDR
ing 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
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
, not the girl-friend
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
) Btw.: that is the second most viewed shot in my portfolio.
As to shake
, 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
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!
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews
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