Saturday, 13 February 2010

My new lens! And life in general to date :)

This post is later than planned due to me forgetting I was helping out at youth yesterday. I was in college all day and then youth shortly after that and I got back pretty late, so I didn't really have the energy for writing it out. I was really tired from having a late night the night before and then waking up during it repeatedly. My sleeping patterns haven't been the best lately. Last night I had a nightmare too, so hopefully tonight will be more restful.

Anyway, I'm not going to write loads about the lens, there's loads of really good reviews on the net already so I'd just end up copying them.

So, the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 is in a word, brilliant. I've been messing around with it and I've found it's quite fun to focus it manually and watch the really narrow line of focus move on the live view. It gives me pictures that are similar to the kind you get with a tilt shift lens and it's pretty impressive. It's very easy to use and has gives a high image quality which is nothing less of expected since it's a prime lens. No moving parts usually means better optics due to not having to compromise for other focal lengths. That's why the bigger macro lenses cost an arm and a leg. Here's a couple of pictures I've taken with the lens so far at f1.8. I've not done any shoots with it yet so they're just things (and dogs) around the house:

The lens is really light, compact and sturdy. Some people complain that it's made of plastic and is pretty tight fitting on the camera body compared to other lenses, but I don't see what the fuss is all about. Lenses are delicate bits of equipment at the best of times even if they're encased in steel, so anybody in their right mind isn't going to throw it around and will be careful to not drop it. It's very tough plastic, when I'm not really thinking about it I sometimes mistake it for metal. I quite like how tight it is on the body, and after taking it on and off a few times it doesn't seem to be as bad. I see it as a sign of good workmanship and I rest assured in the knowledge that it isn't going anywhere once it's on. It's not going to damage anything so I don't worry about it since it's made by Nikon for Nikon cameras. I'm fairly sure they know what they're doing ;)

Here's a couple of pictures I took of the lens:

Overall, it's a very good lens, probably worth twice as much as I paid for it due to its usefulness and quality. I paid just over £100 for mine on Amazon, and I've seen it go down in price since. Kinda gutting to see something you've just bought suddenly become cheaper, but oh well :) To echo what others have said, it's probably difficult to find such a good lens at such a low price. I was tempted to get the f1.4 but deep down I just couldn't justify spending around £300 on a lens that opened 2/3 of a stop wider, was built out of metal and had weird distortion going on that the f1.8 doesn't have. It was only fractionally sharper at f2.8 than mine at f2.8 and just didn't seem worth it. I find f1.8 soft enough for most photos where I want a shallow depth of focus, f1.4 would probably be exceptionally difficult to tackle.

So, that's my new lens. I got teased about it in college by the tutors - I think they think I'm in love with it or something. Well, I am pretty pleased about it :D

In other news, the photos I ordered on Asda arrived this morning in a big brown parcel. Wasn't expecting that, I thought it'd be much smaller! I also got a letter from college telling me I'd been awarded a bursary/scholarship fee of just over £300 to help with the costs of everything on my course. I applied for it back in September/October and forgot all about it so it was a nice surprise to wake up to. I'll get it at the start of March.

I've also done something I've been threatening to do for a while - posted my provisional license application! I can't wait to start having driving lessons. That's something else I've been saving money for. I hope I pass my test this year! Something else I'm finding exciting is thinking up locations for photoshoots I can do in the very near future. Like in the next month. I've got a pretty big list so far of places to use in the local area thanks to a brainstorming session with my mum :) I was feeling pretty uninspired by the surrounding area so she helped to open my mind and my imagination to new ideas and other ways of looking at things. She's great! ^^

One of the things I could well be doing is a fireman calendar for charity. It'd sell like hot cakes :P

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