Holy Depth of Field, Batman (aka, what's your fastest lens?)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SpookTheHamster, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #1
    I got a shiny new (old) lens in the post today; an old Nikkor 50mm 1.4. I've been playing around with it taking pictures of random crap I have on my desk and this thing is FAST! I'm digging the super shallow DOF, too.

    What's your fastest lens? I know quite a few people convert f0.7 lenses from x-ray machines for use on 35mm cameras.

    edit: Look at background to the left, my lovely 12" 1GHz PB (just to keep this Mac related ;) )
     

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  2. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #2
    I have a f2.8 zoom lens - but I'm planning on getting the Sigma 50mm prime 1.4 really soon. The 2.8 is great for 28-75mm, but there are times when having a 1.4 would be even better...

    D
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #3
    Sweetness!

    I was thinkint of getting a very fast 50mm prime soon (I'm debating between Aperture, a new monitor, and the lens).

    I might get the lens first, and then save up, and get aperture 2 if its out, or the monitor if not.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
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    #4
    That's probably best, a lot of people have reservations with Aperture. My next buy will probably be a tele lens, software always takes lower priority with me.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    JDar

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    #5
    Your old/new fastest lens is also my fastest lens, sitting unused somewhere. I also have a 35 mm f/2 wide angle which was quite nice in its time, and a 135 f/2.8.

    I think these old F series lenses won't fit properly onto the newer bodies with all the AF and AE stuff that's been added, at least without modification if that's possible. Anyone know?
     
  6. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #6
    I have the 50mm f/1.4 and the 85mm f/1.4. I also have an oldish Tokina 90mm f/2.5 which is a macro lens. Most of my other lenses are f/2.8, with the exception of the 12-24mm, which is f/4 and the 18-200mm, which is f/3.5-5.6. Oh, and the so-called "kit lens" which came with my D70, which is I think also f/3.5-5.6. I rarely use that lens.

    I much prefer fast glass and as I've been developing my lens collection I strive to get not only lenses which will meet certain photographic aims (ie, macro, wide-angle, whatever) but which are also the fastest that I can get. With a faster lens you have much more flexibility when it comes to setting up the shot in various lighting conditions.
     
  7. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    Yes. The old Nikon lens do fit the new cameras

    The answer is "yes and no".

    Yes you can mount your old 35mm f/2.0 lens to a new D50 DSRL body and it will make a nice image. but No, the lens wil not do auto focus and no you can't use the D50's light meter. It only works in fully manual mode.

    Yes, if you mount the same 35mm f/2.0 lens on the new D200 DSLR body you Can use the D200's meter and some of the auto modes but of course you still have to rotate the len's focus ring by hand

    Both digital bodys offer an "electronic range finder" basically arrows that tell you which way to turn the focus ring and when perfect forcus is achieved. This works well if you have developed poor eyesight.

    What exactly works in complicated and depends on the body/lens combination. The worst case is the fist combo above with the D50. But even with no functining meter it's not so bad. Take one exposure with a guessed seting and then look at the histogram display on the LCD and you will know how far off your guess was and the second shot can be dead on.

    And one more thing... The Nikon CCD sensor is smaller than a 35mm frame. This has the effect of making the lenses act like they are 1.5 times "longer". So on a Dxx body a 50mm is a moderate telephoto lens. People refer to this as the "1.5X crop factor"

    My fasted lens is the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 AF It's the best lens for doing pictures of people and relatively inexpensive as Nikon glass goes.

    Nikon offers a 50mm f/1.8 AF Lens that sells for just under $100. Less than 1/2 the price of the f/1.4 version
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    kwajo.com

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Bay of Fundy
    #8
    my fastest lens is a 55mm f/1.7. great portrait lens, especially with the 1.5x crop factor. it may be old, but I love manual focus and Pentax fully supports metering with old lenses so I'm good to go
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #9
    I stated in the original post that I took that picture on my D70, so yes you can use it on a new camera. You lose out on the meter, but if you're halfway decent at working out exposures it's not a problem, or you could get an external meter. The 50mm will act as a 75mm lens because of the smaller sensor, though.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    Location:
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    #10
    I'm getting rid of my Nikkor 50/1.4 AF-D on eBay as I type this. Didn't like it much (cheaply made and too much distorsion).

    Have a 85/1.8, a 180/2.8 and a 300/2.8. These are all outstanding lenses, nothing short of perfect. The trade-off is weight and fixed focal lengths - I guess you can't win. ;)

    Now if I were a smart-arse, I'd say my fastest lense would be the one I might drop. :p :p
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Orlando Furioso

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Bezerkeley
    #11
    woah... seems like everyone here is using Nikkor lenses.

    I agree with Clix Pix about having a faster lens for flexibility. I am new to photography, and I was shocked to see how my 50mm f/1.4 performs under less than ideal lighting conditions. I also have a 85mm f/1.8. Both also focus incredibly fast. I think my roommate uses only f/1.0 lenses.
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #12
    1.8 on my 60mm MicroNikkor

    And you wanna talk narrow DoF. I get about 3-4mm depth wide open and close up. Wish I could take a pic for example right now - but my PB is at home running a securty camera right now.
     
  13. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #13
    Are you sure you don't mean f/2.8? I don't think Nikon has done a 60mm f/1.8.... ?
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #14
    F@!#er!!! - That'll teach me to read.

    Yup. 2.8
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #15
    Well, I HAD a 50/1.2 and a 28/2.0 quite a while back on my Pentax LX. Now I'm getting back into the photography thing but with a digital Nikon Coolpix 5000. Progress? I'm not so sure.
     
  16. Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #16
    50mm f1.8
     
  17. macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #17
    Well all my lenses are the same speed at the moment. f2.8 including my bitchin 150mm macro. Which will produce sufficiently small DOF if I want. But for really really small DOF nothing beats my reverse mount. Reverse mount at 18mm or 24mm makes things so big with so little DOF I bet its not more than a mm or so.

    EDIT: And I guess with my 24-70 that would be f2.8 reversed too (though for macro like that its a sudo f stop)
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Orlando Furioso

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Bezerkeley
    #18
    reverse mount?

    swoosh!

    The sound of something going over my head.
     
  19. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #19
    I've heard of that reverse-mounting trick, but I've never actually attempted it or seen anyone's work who has done it. You have to have some special adapter to connect the two lenses together, right? That certainly would be an interesting approach to doing macro photography!

    One of these days I'd love to have the F/1.2 Nikkor in my kit bag..... That would be a fun lens to use for natural light images. For me, the faster lenses really can help fulfill one's creative vision.
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #20
    my fastest lens is my 50mm f/1.8D
    im gettin a reversing ring either tomorrow or this weekend. may have to post some samples wide open :D
     
  21. macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #21
    a reversing ring is basically a 52mm thread to f-mount adapter (example being a 52mm nikon one)
    they're quite cheap--$30 new at b&h, $10 used at KEH. im hoping someone sells them locally as well...
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart&A=details&Q=&sku=37171&is=REG
     
  22. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #22
    Thanks, Homer! So you take the reversing ring and connect, for example, two 50mm lenses together, one being in reversed position so that the lens which is mounted properly on the camera is then looking through the other lens at the subject. ?? That could be a very fun project with intriguing results! Please do show us some of your images when you've had the chance to experiment with this.
     
  23. macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #23
    afaik you just mount say a 50mm backwards on the camera. ill find out eventually i guess :p
    i suppose a disadvantage is having the rear element exposed...
    edit: i was searching the dpreview forums for reversing ring, and stumbled across this post
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=17139232
    that's some tiny depth of field :eek:
     
  24. macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #24
    This is true... for most mounts
    http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t-120781.html
    http://sailbyair.com/photography/macro.html
    Mine, as you can see, is a littleeee more complex than that. And I can use aperture control. I'll be updating that page soon to include my newer Sigma 24-70mm EX DG Macro in the reverse mount. I hope I don't have to rewire it, I didn't design it for such a massive lens (I already got the step down rings from 82mm filter threads to 58mm)

    EDIT: Nobody cared back when I posted it, except one guy who emailed me and asked me if I could use my images to teach about DOF.
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #25
    Only slightly fun, everything I've read about f1.2 and f1.0 lenses (barring the Canon 85mm f1.2) has said that they are not very sharp or useable, and that the money should be saved and just buy a 1.4.
     

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