Boy - the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 = unforgiving

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Shacklebolt, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #1
    Obviously still learning the ins and outs of it, as I've had class/etc. over the past few days, but wow. Ratio of good shots:all shots = large. (Compared to the 70-200 f/2.8 or even the 18-135mm kit lens I have).

    Do I just need to get the hang of it better?
     
  2. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #2
    What problems are you having? The only thing that I can think of that would be a problem is if you are using it with the Aperture wide open. 1.4 is pretty big and if you don't have your subject in focus, it will be blury, even if you are off by inches. i.e. if you are taking a picture of a face and focus on their ear, their ear will be in focus, but their eyes, mouth, nose and cheeks will be out of focus.
     
  3. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #3
    Well, I was using it indoors in a museum, so very high ceilings. Had the SB-600 on, which was, to be fair, running out of batteries. I tried in on three settings for various shots - Manual at 1/200 and, okay, aperture somewhat wide (3.5), Shutter priority at 1/60-1/200, and auto. Out of ~60 shots, got very few that i liked, and in fact a few that I thought were going to be good but downright loathed when I loaded them up on my computer.
     
  4. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Yup f/1.4 is not forgiving at all, everything must be spot on focus wise or your shot is ruined. Are you aware of what type of DOF you are getting with the large apertures that lens is capable of? Check these links out to give you an idea of what you are working with!

    http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html
    http://www.dofmaster.com/doftable.html

    I've got a "nifty fifty" with an f/1.4 and it was (and still is) a real challenge to get it right at extreme open apertures. But man when it's on there's nothing quite like it!

    SLC
     
  5. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #5
    Any examples? I'm still not quite getting what the problem was.
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #6
    Hmmm... were they technically bad (e.g. blurry, out of focus), or do you just not like them? With the aperture and shutter speed you mention, I wouldn't expect a huge problem.
     
  7. uberfoto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #7
    I would try mixing light a bit. Shoot at 1/60-1/80s instead to let some of the ambient light in, bump the ISO up 1-2 stops if you have to. Your flash will thank you (and will recharge faster) and your images will look more natural. If you really feel like doing it right, put a gel over your flash to match the color to ambient.

    At f/3.5 you shouldn't be having many issues. Still relatively shallow DOF but nothing super critical.

    One thing to note, this lens has a ton of CA and is very soft from f/1.4 - f/2. At f/2.8 it starts to be quite sharp and by f/4 it is at its best. I have found f/5.6 to be sharpest on ~10MP DX sensors and f/8 on 12MP FX sensors. It does show a good amount of vignetting on FX which is undetectable by f/4. At f/11 - f/16 diffraction is a bit of an issue but not too bad actually. I have had a lot of success with mine. It is a great lens as long as you know its strong/weak points and work around them.
     

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