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50mm Prime lens


bigbird

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Ok guys, I want some professional feed back here.

 

I am a complete rookie, I have a D60 and just purchased a nikkor 50mm AF-S 

the following pics are a test run and your comments on how best to use this bit of kit would be

greatly appreciated...

 

BTW yes one girl is my very long time lady so discretion please 

but if you know her buy her a few drinks, she is a hoot on the piss and great fun

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I'm not an expert at this but some of the pictures look like the focus is not on the face.

 

For instance the second one looks like the hand / glass of the girl on the right is more in focus than the girl on the left. On the forth one some of the stars on the shirt look more in focus than the face.

 

I read somewhere that you should focus on the eye so maybe you need to change the focus lock to a single point and make sure it's on the area you want in focus? The alternative would be to use a smaller aperature (higher f number) to make the depth of field greater and have more in focus but you probably wanted the out of focus background?.

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Here's a few general suggestions:

1. Set your camera to center-point auto-focus. Rather than leaving the focus point decision to the camera. Or manual focus.

2. As already stated - focus on the eyes.

3. If you're shooting in low light with no flash (as in the above examples) then you're probably using a slow-ish shutter speed and a low f-stop. If you're fairly close, then you will get a small depth-of-field, which gives a nice blurred background, but also means the subject focus needs to be spot-on. For instance, the nose may be in focus, while the ears are not. You may need to increase the f-stop value to get all your subject in focus.

4. If the shutter speed is slow then you need to hold it very steady. As a rule for a 50mm lens, you want to keep the shutter speed to above 1/50 sec. or use a tripod or rest the camera on something steady.

5. Use a little flash (if possible) to compensate for the coloured light in the bars and fill in the subject shadows outdoors.

 

6. Practice, practice, practice..... try changing the settings and see what works.

No matter where you go, there you are....

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Good point about the focus.. The pics were taken on f1.8 so yes it seems focus is critical at that setting <br />Cheers for the tips I'll have another go soon and maybe try a flash this time

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The Nikon 50mm f1.8 is a terrific lens, and very good value. It is not at it's sharpest wide open at F1.8 however. The optimum aperture is F5.6 as can be seen from this link:-

 

http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/631-nikkorafs5018ff?start=1

 

Try it at this aperture. Focussing also will not be quite so critical.

 

Enjoy your new lens. It is one of the sharpest 50mm's ever made. I am not familiar with the body you have, but if the sensor is APS-C, which is likely, the focal length becomes equivalent to approx. 75mm, which is very suitable for portraiture.

 

Regards

 

John

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Fast primes are awesome, particularly for capturing no-flash shots.  I didn't look at your EXIF data, so I'm not sure what settings you used, but one newbie mistake with a fast prime is to be tempted to open it up all the way, all the time.  f/1.8 is great for beautiful bokeh and low light shooting, but you need to remember that it has a very narrow DoF.  That can result in soft focus with candid portraits.  A f/1.8 DoF is so narrow that catching the tip of a nose with focus lock can mean the rest of the face is out of focus.  I typically pull back a bit to around f/2+ when shooting candid shots when light permits, as you will still get great bokeh, but every so slightly more forgiving DoF.

 

When you do need to open it up all the way in dim light scenarios, use manual focus and try to grab the eye, as the other posters mentioned.  In fact, I try to use manual focus with fast primes all the time.  

 

The weird thing is that some of these shots appear to not have any sharp focus points.  If you take the picture with the girl with the pink band in her hair for example, in soft focus sometimes you just get the focus intent wrong and that something like her hair or her chest will come into sharp focus instead of her face.  In your picture, nothing really is in sharp focus, which leads me to think that it was a motion issue more than a focus issue.  In contrast, the picture with the pink shot drinks, you accidentally grabbed the drinks with focus lock, which meant the woman's face was soft focus.  Motion issues tend to be shutter speed related.  If your shutter is less than 1/60, you're going to need a pretty steady hand.  If you feel unsteady at all when shooting slower shutter speeds, take 5 successive shots for everything you frame. In the five versions of the framed shot, you increase your chances of capturing a steady shot.

 

I can't put up the pictures of the girls I took last trip (said I wouldn't), but I have one example of a random bartender that shows a Nikon 35mm f/1.8 on my D90.  EXIF says f/2, 1/13 sec. ISO640.  Not the sharpest pic I've taken, but pretty decent hand-held grab at 1/13 if I say so myself.  

 

DSC_0564.JPG.  

 

 

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Two quick last points I forgot to mention (I like this topic, if you haven't already noticed).

 

Your 50mm f/1.8 on an APS-C sensor is actually a 75mm equivalent.  35mm is a 50mm on an APS-C sensor.  Not knocking your lens choice at all.  It is a much better quality glass than my cheap 35mm f/1.8.  Just wanted to make sure you knew the distinction.  75mm is a great portrait focal length.  

 

It seems like your white balance is struggling in the artificial lighting shots (red bar lights and neon sign).  Are you on Automatic?  If so, I'd recommend trying to test out other presets or manually adjust color temps instead.  These shots are saturated in the low and high color temps and washed out the mids a bit.

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Thanks guys for the feedback . Yes I've been playing again today and yes those shots were taken at f1.8 and I can see now that the focal length at f1.8 is very thin at 2 meters, so upping that a bit will help a lot any ideas on the ideal setting at say 2-3 meters for a face shot <br /><br /> I shot those pics at ISO 200 so yes I can see that upping it to say 400 or 800 would make further improvements to blur by shortening the shutter speed. The next setting on my D 60 is 1600 but that gets quiet grainy <br /><br />Many of you guys also mentioned manual focus. Now this is where the big question starts. See I where glasses for distance and only really need them in low light so should I where them when shooting? Secondly my view finder has adjustment for wonky eyes, what is the best way to set it for me <br /><br />I really really appreciate the tips so keep them coming :)

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Thanks guys for the feedback . Yes I've been playing again today and yes those shots were taken at f1.8 and I can see now that the focal length at f1.8 is very thin at 2 meters, so upping that a bit will help a lot any ideas on the ideal setting at say 2-3 meters for a face shot <br /><br /> I shot those pics at ISO 200 so yes I can see that upping it to say 400 or 800 would make further improvements to blur by shortening the shutter speed. The next setting on my D 60 is 1600 but that gets quiet grainy <br /><br />Many of you guys also mentioned manual focus. Now this is where the big question starts. See I where glasses for distance and only really need them in low light so should I where them when shooting? Secondly my view finder has adjustment for wonky eyes, what is the best way to set it for me <br /><br />I really really appreciate the tips so keep them coming :)

 

Keep in mind that you want to try to use the lowest possible ISO that will still allow for usable shutter speeds.  Even though the D60 can shoot at higher ISO's, it probably maxes out around ISO1000 for non-grainy pictures.  My D90 maxes out just a pinch above that, but not much.  If you can keep it around ISO400-800, the you don't really have to worry about noise all that much.  Like I said above, if you really need to open up the lens because it is really dark, nothing wrong with that either.  Just that you don't have to open the lens up all the time.  

 

Most DSLR's have diopter adjustment by the viewfinder.  It is only like -2 to +1 on most bodies.  You can mess around with that to replace your corrective glasses.  If your prescription is beyond what the built-in viewfinder can do, you also have the option of buying an after market diopter that will go much further than the built in one.  I've never had to use one (yet), so I can't vouch for the results.

 

Lastly, when you get the hang for manual focus, you'll find that it is a lot faster for night/dimly lit shooting.  AF often "hunts" for focus lock in dark settings, sometimes not even finding it.  You could always use the AF-assist beam, but no one likes having that thing shined in their face.  You'll get shots with grimaces and sour-face with the AF-assist beam.  Manual focus is the way to go in that setting.  

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  • 8 months later...
 

II would get a flash, and a flash cord.

You get a decent flash in TuCom without having to donate a kidney, and they have many flash add ons from china which are rather good in there. A soft box, the one you can wrap around your flash, probably cost you less than 1000 thb.

 

Once you have it, experiment a bit with the flash power. Also try custom White balance with a grey card. Cheap investment, and 1000000 tutorials on how to do it on youtube.

 

I bought some stuff in "Best camera" TuCom building in Pattaya. The guy did not try to rip me off in there, and he would also be helpful to show you how to use it if you bring your camera with you.

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By the way, I liked the second picture in your first posting.

 

2 girls with a shot glass. The one in the background a bit blurry, and the pink shot in focus.

 

It lets a lot to the viewers imagination.

 

Im thinking something like I am walking past a bar, without intentions to go in there, suddenly I get a look from someone who is enjoying time with her friend.

 

A well captured moment and good composed if I may have an opinion :)

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I also use the 50mm on APS-C (D5000), but I have the f/1.4 which was more than double the cost of the f/1.8. I believe the price difference between 1.4 and 1.8 is closer to triple for the 85mm lens. I bought this primarily for night photography but have to wonder if the extra aperture is worth it since I don't take many snaps wide open. Here are a few examples, 50mm f/1.4 at 1/100 sec ISO 200

 

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As compared to f/1.8

 

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At f/2.8

 

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At f/5 1/200 ISO500

 

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At f/5.6 1/50 ISO 200

 

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At f/10 1/320 ISO 200

 

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And here's f/36 at 5 seconds with ISO 800

 

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Retired

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Very nice some very nice photos there. 

 

And the girl's not too bad. (joke she is also very very nice).

 

JDM 

if you are Looking to rent an apartment in a condo take a look at my website.

 

http://www.condopattaya-rent.com

 

 

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Some very nice shots in there.

 

A small info to add to the depth of field subject, it will vary according to the distance to the subject. The closer the subject, the shallower the depth of field so something very close has to be focused spot on.

 

I also have a little piece of advice that was passed down to me. If possible, get some light in the eyes of the subject. Having a light source reflecting in the eyes enhances them greatly.

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I Own the sigma 50mm f1,4

I chosen this because of the 77mm diameter, that way i can use the filters i use on most of my other lenses.

 

Actually i have not used it so much, but nice to get some inspiration. I find it a bit tricky to hit the focus spot on. And lacking patient models 555

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The Sigma 50/1.4 is an awesome lens. I used it on my Sony cameras until I upgraded to the Zeiss 50/1.4.  If it seems like your focus is constantly off you may need to microadjust the focus to resolve back/front focus issues.

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I wanted to give a serious answer, but that hot girl distracted me too much :GoldenSmile1:

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I have a Canon 50mm 1.8 (very cheap) and it's quite hard to take handheld shots at f/1.8. The depth of field is too shallow and the sharpness at this aperture is already compromised. It's very prone to getting blurry or out-of-focus shots. I get much better results (and still get a decent bokeh) shooting at f/2.5 or 2.8.

 

A big problem I have with the 50mm (and APS-C sensor) is when I want to take full body shots in bars, most of the time I don't have enough space to make the girl fit in the frame. So, for most situations I use a Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 OS. It's way more convenient for full body shots and still gives me the choice to get good shots at 50mm using f/2.8.

Living the dream!

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