Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My "Secret Weapon"

This is Lucy my aunt's vizsla. She is a beautiful dog, full of energy. She rarely sits down, so when I saw this opportunity to get this shot, I took it immediately. What I like about this image is the nice soft window light that was at my back and the catch lights in her eyes.

Today I'm going to talk about my "secret weapon". You read yesterday about how prime lenses generally have better image quality than zoom lenses, but that they lack the convenience of the zoom. Well I'm here today to show you my $100.00 secret weapon. My 50mm Nikon f/1.8. This lens is a masterpiece of lens technology. How Nikon was able to get a 50mm with such good image quality numbers wrapped up in an affordable package is beyond me, but I'm glad they did. This is a gem of a lens. The AF is quick and accurate. The low aperture allows you to blur a background just inches behind your subject. When I need to shoot in low light, this is my go to lens. Just the other week I was shooting gymnastics and I needed something a little closer than my 70-200 2.8 would allow for. This was the lens I chose. I was able to work fast, and easily without worrying about reliability. I did have to "zoom" with my feet however, meaning if I wanted a wider shot I had to walk backwards, and vice versa for tighter shots. Other than the "manual zoom" I don't have any complaints. This lens does what it's asked to do and more. One thing I have noticed though, is that it gets a little soft if you are shooting wide open at 1.8. I generally try to open it up a stop or two, to around 2.0 or 2.8. This allows me to still have a very fast aperture, but also to keep my photos crsip.

There is a downside though. If you own a D40,D40x,or D60, you can't auto focus this lens. Your camera bodies don't have auto focus motors inside of them so this lens cannot focus. You have to use AFS lenses, because they have motors built into the lens itself. You're in luck though because Nikon makes a 50mm 1.4 AFS so you too can have a "nifty fifty". Anyone who has the capability to AF this lens should buy one. For $100 you can't afford not to. Listen, that's it for me today, see you guys tomorrow. Jason

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