Monday, December 26, 2011

Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AI-S

I have two cameras, my Nikon D80 and my Nikon FM2. Both cameras have their places in my photography tool bag. To quote Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from the movie Full Metal Jacket, "This is my rifle, this is my gun, this is for fighting, and this is for fun."

The D80 is for fighting. I shoot the D80 digital SLR when I "have to" shoot it. It's the tool of choice for sports or when I must get the shot. The LCD screen offers instant feedback and confirmation that I got the shot.

The FM2 is for fun. I shoot the FM2 manual focus film camera for pure photography pleasure. I just enjoy shooting it. The manual focus and manual exposure forces me to slow down, think about the composition and camera settings, and allows me to really enjoy the experience.

My primary lens on the FM2 has been a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D auto-focus lens. It's a great lens, but it's a cheap, plastic lens, with a rough manual focus feel. It was clearly built for auto-focus bodies. After nine months of using it on my FM2, I decided it was time to get a proper manual focus lens.

I left Santa some double chocolate brownies and a note reminding him about how nice I was in 2011, and he rewarded me with a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AI-S lens. KEH offered free 2-day shipping over the holidays and a great price on a used lens, so how could he refuse?

The manual focus 50mm is a solid, metal lens, with a buttery smooth focusing ring, and fast f/1.4 maximum aperture...and it's made in Japan, like all of Nikon's professional gear. I expect this to become my tool of choice for the majority of my photography work moving forward.

Here are a few shots from the new (used) 50mm f/1.4 AI-S lens.


Dreamy Fence

24 December 2011 - A Day in the Life

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