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  1. hi all,

    Just a little gear update message...

    Recently my parents celebrated 40 years of marriage. We have a family that for some reason never take photos of each other, or rarely. However, this celebration was enough reason to snap a few. Being the camera guy of the family, I was asked to do so.

    This posed two problems. First, I only do nature photography, not people. But OK. The bigger problem is that I don't even have a usable lens for this situation. I have all my extremes covered: 14-24mm, 80-400mm, and 105mm macro. The wide angle is too wide angle for people. The 80-400 can be used at 80 but is huge and not fast enough for indoor, and the macro is awkward and 105mm is too far. All these lenses are best-in-class for their niche, it's just that they are outside the classic portrait focal length.

    So all in all, here is the guy with thousands worth of equipment, buying only the best lenses...yet still cannot take a portrait. Any smartphone would do a better job. To combat this situation, I finally went ahead to complete my lens lineup, by adding a 50mm or 85mm lens. After weeks of research, I went for this one:

    http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/singlefocal/normal/af-s_nikkor85mmf_14g/

    It's quite a high-end option. The thing is, the camera body I have (full frame 36MP) demands the best lenses, as an inferior lens cannot resolve enough detail for such a sensor. This is my first prime lens ever, all others I have are zoom lenses. I've barely had any time to test, only some quick shots, here's one:

    http://www.ferdychristant.org/fchristant/production/fdm.nsf/resources/1A/$FILE/spyke.jpg

    Here I just put it on f1.4/ISO 100 and snapped away. As you can tell, the depth of field is very shallow, which creates quite a dreamy atmosphere. This lens is credited for having a fabulous bokeh. You can see it best in this shot on the right whiskers of our cat, which fade away butter smooth. Other experienced include shooting indoors at 1.4 without flash, which works wonderfully well.

    Summarizing, I'm totally loving this lens so far. It's very fast and delivers pure images with a great atmosphere. As for wildlife photography, it will not be my most used lens, but I see some opportunities for plants, fungi, and the occasional zoo visit.
    Replied 4 years ago, modified 2 years ago
  2. Stunning image of spyke! Replied 4 years ago
  3. Thank you, I like it too with of course a lot of bias, yet it really was a thoughtless snap. It mostly proves just how good this lens is. Replied 4 years ago
  4. stunning pic...but what about the celebration..were they happy ? Replied 4 years ago
  5. @Oddfeel: Yes they are, of course :) Replied 4 years ago
  6. Have you tried shooting with lower aperture values, such as f/2.8, or f/3.5? Most primes (lenses) don't do very well with aperture wide open. The sweet spot is usually around those values; for the highest sharpness level, with minimal CA. I personally use the highest ISO level only in two scenarios:
    1) For very low light shoots
    2) To get maximum DoF (but not at the cost of image quality)

    Finally, every lens is different, and only with usage can we find out the best way to squeeze the optimal output from them.

    P.S - Nice pic :)
    Replied 4 years ago, modified 4 years ago
  7. @Avinash: My first reason for getting this lens is the focal length. I didn't even have a lens for a normal portrait shot, I had the ranges 14-24mm, macro 105mm and 80-400mm zoom covered, yet not the "normal" range. The second reason is that I wanted to experience a prime lens, this is my first.

    And thirdly, I did want this particular one for its big aperture (low number). I personally like photos with only a small fraction in focus, and of course I enjoy how fast this lens. As for maximum sharpness, you are right in that it happens at lower apertures. I'm still finding the sweet spot there.
    Replied 4 years ago
  8. It was a very exciting leap to me; from regular zoom lenses to my first prime lens. I'm sure it has you very excited also!

    I only own a Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II prime lens (the nifty fifty). It has the regular, noisy AF motor, but it is as good as any other prime lens in sharpness, except for the CA, and less sharpness at wide open apertures. Not to mention the awesome, artistic bokeh and the sweet background blur we can create out of the fast primes!
    Replied 4 years ago

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