New Lens!

In my last post, I mentioned that I picked up a new lens.

I tried to tone-down my giddy excitement in that last post. I will be letting it all out in this post.

My 18-70mm 3.5-4.5G DX was sharp enough, it was fast enough, it was almost even enough; but damn! 50mm 1.8D prime, you make me so happy!

This is the most inexpensive lens Nikon makes. It is not a cheap lens. It is an inexpensive lens. It doesn’t cost very much, but it takes fantastic pictures.

It opens wide, all the way up to f/1.8, which is about 2 and a half stops better than any of my other lenses. The shallow depth of field this allows has given me a whole new world to explore.

shallow depth of field:
Example of an image with a shallow depth of field

My old main lens, a Nikkor 18-70mm 3.5-4.5G was making me lazy. Why walk towards something? With a zoom, I can just move my wrist down 2mm and bam! I’ve zoomed right in. This is a recipe for bland. I needed a prime to force myself into actually moving my body into a better position.

This lens is absolutely perfect for what I bought my camera for: shooting images of my paintings.
50mm means no barrel distortion, and no pincushion distortion; straight lines are straight lines, not arcs.
At f/4 and f/5.6, everything is SUPER sharp. super insanely crisp. wow.

The lens is also good for the odd paying gig that comes my way. Most of my friend are musicians, so I most often end up shooting bands playing in dim environments. I normally had my lens zoomed in to 70mm, then took hundreds of shots, hoping that 1 or 2 would actually be in focus. This prime is right where I want it, but it has those 2 and a half extra stops, meaning motion blur won’t be a problem.

I also have some macro extension tubes that I never use, and now I can!  My existing lenses are all ‘G’ Lenses, meaning there is no aperture ring. As soon as I take the lens off the camera body, it closes down to f/22. My new lens has an aperture ring! It feels soooooo good to control things for real, feeling the mechanics move under my fingers, rather than just turning a stupid dial and watching numbers on a menu screen change.

1.8D lens with 8X macro tube
image with a shallow depth of field due to large aperture and macro extension tube.

Sweet! I’m happy.

Now if you will excuse me, I must return to what has been keeping me busy these past few nights: running through my apartment, shooting bokehlicious pictures of things.

A painting of mine:
Detail of a painting by Kyle Clements from the fall of 2010.

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Kyle Clements

Kyle Clements is a Toronto-based artist and nerd. During his thesis at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Kyle began working on his Urban Landscapes series, a body of work that aims to capture the energy and excitement of life in the fast-paced urban environment. After graduating from OCAD in 2006, Kyle spent a year living in Asia to gather source material and experience in a different kind or urban environment. His work is vibrant and colourful. Whether painting the harsh Northern landscape, or capturing the overwhelming buzz of life in the city, his acrylic paintings hover between representation and abstraction.

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