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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:29 am 
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Gordon, this is an awesome site for a beginner/new to photography like me. I read and view your tutorials and read couple of threads here.

I would like to ask from you, and from the expert guys as well on what is the sharpest aperture setting for my 50mm f1.4G prime lens (to take landscape). I owned a nikon d5000 and just received my 50mm prime lens.

thanks in advance for all your help.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:09 pm 
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A 50mm lens on a D5000 is going to be a little too narrow for you to take traditional landscape photos. This is particularly true if you're a beginner.

Stick to f/8 or f/11 as that's the sharpest aperture for landscapes as it generally (i.e. for most lenses) provides the best trade off between depth of field and diffraction.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:18 pm 
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Location: Welland, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
A 50mm lens on a D5000 is going to be a little too narrow for you to take traditional landscape photos


Agreed...Since you have a D5000 which operates on a crop frame sensor...You're not actually shooting at 50mm on that camera. You're actually shooting at 75mm since the D5000 has a 1.5x Focal Length Sensor (50mm x .5 = 25, add 25 to the focal length of the lens and presto..75mm)

Which that is in fact too close for any decent landscape shots, however it wouldn't be too bad for portraiture.

For landscapes, you would be better off using the standard kit lens (18-55mm VR) for landscapes shots with your camera.

Cheers

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:54 pm 
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Pete_Nukho wrote:
[...]You're actually shooting at 75mm since the D5000 has a 1.5x Focal Length Sensor[...]

A DX sensor sure is smaller than the common 35mm format, but that does not mean the lens has a different focal length. 50mm is 50mm - whether you shoot APS-C, 135 format, medium format or whatever. With the smaller sensor you have a different field of view than you would have on 35mm, which is the reason for people talking about focal length equivalents. Still, that does not mean the lens has a different focal length if you mount it on a DX body, since it would have to magically alter its optical characteristics for that.

Fast f/1.4 lenses often have their sweet spot around f/4 or f/5.6 and they are made to shoot at large apertures. Around f/8 diffraction usually starts to kick in. To be honest, for most landscape situations where photographers tend to stop down quite a bit even an 18-55 kit lens will do.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:24 am
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Location: Welland, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
but that does not mean the lens has a different focal length.


I never said the actual focal length of the lens would change, but the appearance of what you see inside your viewfinder using a 50mm lens on a D5000 is comparible to say using a 75mm lens on a Full Frame Sensor camera (D3)....Just like the 18-55mm lens on a D5000..You're not going to actually be shooting at 18-55...but more like 27mm-82.5mm because of that cropped frame sensor. If you took that same lens and put it on the D3, you would get full 18-55mm.

Thats the point I'm making here, I'm not saying the Focal Length of the lens is going to magically change.

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Cheers

Equipment:

Nikon D300S + MB-D10 Battery Grip
Nikon AF-S 16-85mm VR 3.5-5.6
Nikon AF-S 35mm 1.8
Sigma APO 70-200 2.8
Nikon Speedlight SB-600
MC-36 Shutter Release

Regards,

Pete Nukho :twisted:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:44 pm 
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But Ernie does make his point, even if you didn't say it like that Pete ;-)

And easier too, for next time, keep the equation to 1.5 x "focal length", not .5 x "focal length" + "focal length". It is already difficult for beginners to understand, maybe they already understand this, it was not the question at first :-P

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:46 pm 
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F4-F5.6 the sharpest point for most primes out there :)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:37 pm 
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Pete_Nukho wrote:
50mm [...] is comparible to using a 75mm lens on a Full Frame Sensor camera [...]

Exactly. 75mm FX equivalent.

Pete_Nukho wrote:
[...] You're not going to actually be shooting at 18-55 [...]

Nope, you are shooting at 18-55mm - just the field of view is like the one from an 27-82.5mm lens on FX. That's why it's called equivalent.

When the Nikon D1 came out in 1999 the 1.5x crop factor was for 35mm film shooters to understand what they had to cope with when shooting digital, since a 28mm was no longer the wide angle it used to be etc.
Now it has become some sort of mystery. Even people who bought their first SLR immediately learn that their lenses do not have the focal length(s) which Nikon labeled them for -- "because of the 1.5x crop factor of the DX body".

It might seem like nitpicking, but I think one has to be careful here. First time DSLR buyers can easily get confused and then we are confronted with questions like "Is my 35mm DX lens 23.3mm on an FX body?" or "Does my DX lens not change its focal length by 1.5 when mounted on a DX body?".

Somebody who never shot with the 35mm lens mounted on a full frame body does not know about those differences and should therefore not be confused -- especially by sentences like "Your lens is not 35mm". It can easily lead to total puzzlement and I have seen it happen more than twice. That's my opinion. Pasta.


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