Testing out my D5100 with new 50mm f1.8 lens

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Chris2500dk, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Chris2500dk

    Chris2500dk Top Veteran

    Dec 22, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Got my AF-S 50 f1.8 so today I brought it to the zoo for a bit of testing.
    Turns out it's a great lens to bring there. Most of the exhibits are made so the animals aren't too far away and the f1.8 is great for blurring out bars where needed, not to mention keeping the shutter speed up and the ISO down for indoors exhibits or just gray danish "summer weather".

    Copenhagen Zoo - a set on Flickr

    Funny thing, I noticed when I first tested it at f1.8 that it front focused a bit on my D5100. So I bit the bullet and adjusted the camera body, it wasn't hard at all, and cleared up the front focusing like a charm. But now I find my 18-200VR much more enjoyable as well! I always just assumed that it was "ok but just barely" wide open, but now it's like having a brand new lens :)
    Of course it still won't live up to the 50mm prime, but it's clearly improved and that alone was worth the cost of the 50mm.
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  2. Nice set, Christian. The "nifty fifty" is very well regarded, and it certainly shows off at the zoo. I particularly like the camel :)
  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    those monkeys look like they are up to no good! Nice shots.
  4. defektive

    defektive Veteran

    May 4, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Love the frog shot, nice DOF.
  5. Chris2500dk

    Chris2500dk Top Veteran

    Dec 22, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I actually think the new 50mm is my favourite of the three cheap AF-S primes (35 f1.8 AF-S, 50 f1.8 AF-S and 40 AF-S micro).

    I sold the 35 a while back, I never connected with it. 35mm isn't long enough to really get shallow DOF and the bokeh wasn't too hot. It also felt too long for indoors shooting and not long enough for outdoors. Probably just me being odd since a 50mm equivalent is supposed to be the great standard :)

    The 40 is great, sharp all the way to the corners and no distortion, but 40mm is too long for architecture most of the time and it's too short for macro except under very controlled settings. Also f2.8 is noticably slower than f1.8.
    I'm still going to use it for macro shots around the house though, and probably bring it instead of the 50 if I know I'll find more use for the macro option or the corner sharpness than for the bokeh and fast aperture.

    The 50 seems to check most of the boxes, it's sharp, very sharp in the centre and gets better in the corners as you stop down. It focuses fast (compared to the kit zooms and the other cheap primes), and 50mm on DX is good for portrait type shots.
    It won't stand alone, it's too long, so I have to bring either my 18-55VR or my 18-200VR, but I can see myself using the 50 quite a bit.

    Now I'm just hoping that Nikon will make something like an 18, 20 or 24 mm f2.8 DX prime, around the same size and price as the other three, and with the same corner sharpness and lack of distortion as the 40mm. That'd be awesome for landscapes and architecture!
  6. thekeddi

    thekeddi Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    South Australia
    Love the photos! thanks for sharing them :)
  7. Chris2500dk

    Chris2500dk Top Veteran

    Dec 22, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Been playing around with my Canon 250D and 500D closeup filters on the 50mm, they work brilliantly when I stack them.

    I'm not sure I need/want the 40mm micro anymore, I don't really use the 1:1 macro due to the working distance, and even though having to bring/mount the closeup filters is a tiny hassle there are no filters I can add to the 40mm to give me f1.8.

    (click for full size)


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