Journal

picked up the new Nikkor 50mm 1.4g

and, let me start by saying it is an absolutely stunning lens. 50mm-test

i spent about 20 or 30 minutes this evening shooting a few frames. i didn't really put Nikkor's newest wide aperture prime lens through it's paces. and seeing how this is a space for images and not techno babble, even when i have, don't hold your breath waiting for me to write about it.

as an aside, i am a big believer that the image is more important than the gear. sure, better gear helps, but i've spent the better part of the last several years making images i'm proud of with antiquated tools. does that mean i'm not super pumped about my new D300 or this new lens? no.

it simply means i'll spare you all the geekery. i do have a few thoughts, though, and if you're into that, follow the jump.

there aren't any reviews to speak of out there, so if this is a lens that you're interested in, let me offer these few observations:

i really feel the DX magnification with this lens. the 50mm is really a 75mm on my D300... and at times, i wish i was seeing a bit more of the scene. i can't help but wonder how much more i would love this lens on a full frame body like the D3 or the D700.

at 1.4, my best attempts at a sharp image fell short, which lends a slightly dreamy effect to the images - an effect that i quite like.

the depth of field at 1.4 is incredibly narrow - nothing shocking there - but i was surprised at just how narrow it was.

side note - altering lens to subject distance changes DOF. in macro-esque situations (when the lens is close to the subject, like in the third image above), focus starts and ends in the space of a few millimeters. for example, in the third image above, critical focus falls between two veins in the leaf. where as in telefoto-esque situations, a la the first image, the DOF was much more forgiving. this idea comes in handy in portrait situations. walking toward or away from your subject will really change the way your focal length effects the subject, which brings me to this:

i can't wait to shoot a portrait with it - i think that dreamy quality will be really, really fun to explore.

as for the experience, it looks and feels very, very sturdy; the focus is very smooth (you almost can't feel it); it's quiet and fast. it looks good on the camera and with the lens hood on, it appears proportionate to the D300's body, even with the battery grip on.

i'm sure i'll stumble on sharp focus around f8 or so, but it will take some time to dial in the sweet spot because i really don't want to stop down.