Monday, November 14, 2016

Nikon 50mm f/1.4D Lens

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

When I got a digital SLR, I knew that there were a few lenses that I wanted to get.  I got my Nikon D50 with 35-135 lens, which was good for longer shots.  I got a 28-90 lens, which was better for objects closer to me.  I decided that I wanted to get a 50mm lens, mostly because I wanted something with a good f-stop.

You may be asking what a 50mm f/1.4 is good for.  The 1.4 means that it’s good for lower light.  This is because the lens can open up, thus letting more light in.  You don’t need as long of an exposure, which is great with people.  On a film camera, 50mm is considered to be normal perspective.  (On a digital camera, like mine, it’s effectively 75mm.)

Since it’s a prime lens, it does one thing and it does it well for a low price.  (Last I checked, the lens retailed for about $280.)  It’s also a small lens.  Putting it on a camera leaves it very light and easy to hold.  This is the biggest advantage of getting a lens that has just one focal length.

It’s worked fine on my D50.  (If you have one of the newer cameras that don’t have a focusing motor, like a D40 or a D60, you won’t be able to use this lens on auto focus as it doesn’t have a focusing motor.)  Depth of field is great.  I’ve taken several pictures of my cats, all of which have come out great.  The subject has come out clear while the background has come out blurred, just as I wanted it.

If you’re taking a picture indoors and of a person or animal, you’ll want to use a flash.  Outdoors, I’ve never had to use a flash.  I’ve been able to get great shots of plants and trees.  I have a few pictures up on Flickr.  (My user name is seacow_99.  I’ve tagged the pictures with Nikkor 50mm f/1.4.)

To focus properly, you have to be a few feet away.  I’ve gotten a set of close-up filters which allows me to get within a few inches, but it gives the pictures a tilt-shift effect.  (You should be able to pick them out if you go to my Flickr account.)  This effect has made it a tradeoff.  Yes, I can get stuff close and I can minimize the effect, but it’s still there.

I’d recommend getting this lens.  You’re going to want a 50mm lens and you should definitely get a Nikkor lens if you do get one.  (I don’t think this particular lens is still in production; I bought it used from my brother.)  It’s a 52mm thread, which is fairly common for 50mm lenses.  I’d recommend getting a UV filter and a circular polarizer.  (I’d also recommend getting the close-up filters if you can get them for a good price.)

If you do find this lens, buy it.

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