Saturday, March 22, 2008

Upgrading to 50mm f1.4

Nikkor 50mm f1.8 Front View
Originally uploaded by Cajie.
I've had this 50mm f1.8 prime lens for about 2 years. It's is well-built and one of the best bargain lens from Nikon. Depending on where you buy it from, the price is around $120.

I have never figured out why this lens is sold at such a low price. In the pre-digital era (yes, when people used to shoot with film), this lens was usually bundled as the "kit" lens for most of the Nikon pro-bodies. It may be that over the years, Nikon (and Canon) have figured out how to streamline the manufacturing process of this lens - hence the affordability.

It is a fanstastic portrait lens. On Nikon dSLR bodies (except the newer full-frame D3), the focal length of this lens translates into 75mm (1.5 crop sensor means 50mm x 1.5 = 75mm). This is a good range for taking head shots without any perspective distortion.

It is also an amazing lens for low-light work. The f1.8 means you can work in low-light interiors without a flash and still get useful results.

However, my eye has been on it's more faster cousin. The 50mm f1.4 AFD. For just 1/3rd stop faster focal length, it costs 3 times as much. When I saw Amazon selling it for a $20 discount, I did one of those "impulse" buys and hit the order button.

Once I get hold of the new lens, I will most likely (and grudingly) get rid of this fine piece of Nikon engineering.


Marzouq said...

I have the Canon 60 mm f2.8 and it has become my Daily Lens! I love it, I can make some crisp shots with it! Some nice shots too!

I'm thinking about 100mm f2.8 or the 50 mm f1.4. Always choices to make!!!

Mark said...

i'm currently in one of those phases where i am back to using 35mm film. I've got my old Nikon FE with my manual 50mm f1.2 lens and its taking some really cool shots.