Life at f/1.4

Over the last couple weeks I’ve been trying out the latest lens to my collection. The “AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

Currently I am between events so its been difficult to really put the new glass thought its paces so I’ve been carrying it round with me every where I go. Honestly I should be doing this anyway its good practice for a photographer. When you have your camera with you, you might not see the shot but the moment you don’t is the very time you see something amazing. Yes there is always camera photos and point and shoot cameras but its not the same as a DSLR, I know Chase Jarvis has become famous by saying the best camera is the on with you but isn’t it much better to have your best quality gear you can have with you. I know we can’t carry studio strobes and multiple lenses but I currently try to keep a DSLR and a single lenses with me every where I go not always possible but when I can. The reason I’m talking about this is kinda relevant to when I was testing this lens out I have had my camera with the 50mm on with me every day for 2 weeks and just one day I had to leave it and guess what I saw some amazing opportunities we had a major frost witch stayed frozen on the trees till late afternoon and I’m kicking my self for not having my gear.

The above photo was taken at 2am in almost complete black there were some very dim lights coming from some street lines obscured by a little fog. Was a very frosty night and normally you couldn’t get a shot like this with out using a tripod but this is tack sharp despite being hand held. I will admit I pushed the Iso to keep the shutter speed up but I think this really shows off the power of f/1.4 previously I’ve only ever shot as low as f/1.8 and I can tell you that extra stop of light makes a huge difference. This proves to me the primary reason for this perches to be a low light get out of jail free card of a lens I am convinced I can go into any situation and not need to use a flash.

These 2 photos were taken on a work Christmas meal wasn’t there as a photographer I just happened to have my camera with me witch I was talking about early trying to keep it with me more so I took a few shots wile I was there and got 2 nice photos from that night I found at  f/1.4 you get a wonderful banquette and the depth of field has a wonderful soft quality I can see so many ways I can use this in the future. There was one problem I found its almost impossible to get critical focus with a portrait using the recompose technique. I had to manually move the autofocus point wile holding the camera to my eye and position the closest eye on said point if I hadn’t I would of totally missed my focus. I’ve shot like this numerous times and on a D300s its very easy to operate it this way but it did take me a bit of getting used to as I always used to use the recompose method

So in conclusion of my testing you properly wonder what I thought of the lenses well I loved it. I found it to be very sharp and focuses very quickly. The motors are almost silent. at f/1.4 I will say the images are a tiny bit soft but at f/2 or higher its tack sharp. The lens is quite compact so transports easily and comes with a lens hood witch is always welcome especially considering the price. The price is the only thing that lets this lens down its a expensive lens compared to its rivals products I’m not entirely convinced it is worth the extra price tag in comparison to other brands but I’m not changing the cannon or Sony  so I paid it.

I love this glass I would recommend it to you but might be best to wait if you already have a  older style fast 50mm prime till this one drops in price.

Please leave me comments telling me what you thought of this lens if you have used it your self or your thoughts about other 50mm lanes

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3 Responses to Life at f/1.4

  1. The Weird One says:

    Looks good – colour saturation appears to be fairly accurate as well though can’t confirm on this un-calibrated monitor.

    How sharp is it by f1.8? I know the Siglux that I’m looking at is tak sharp at f1.8 but a bit soft at f1.4

  2. Sarah says:

    Wow, these are beautiful. That one of the woods in the fog is probably one of my favourites from you.

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