Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 G AF-S Lens

I picked up one of these via a great seller on about a week ago. He’d had it about five years and I got a very good price of $250 shipped.

I bought this to replace my 50mm f/1.8 D lens, which I’ve purchased three times over the years. I wanted something faster to shoot my daughter’s Tuesday night ballet classes with. Having used it for that last Tuesday, I may go back to my 85mm f/1.4. But today’s experience at a park has cemented this 50mm f/1.4’s position in my gear bag for general photography. It’s so contrasty, autofocuses reasonably fast on my D810 and the colors are awesome. Bokeh for daylight shots was okay. (Might not be very good at night, but I’ve got the 85mm Cream Machine if I want stellar bokeh.

I was stunned at how much I liked the shots with this lens at the park today. It was my first daylight outdoor shooting with it.

I had ordered a different 50mm f/1.4 lens the other day. It was a cosmetically superb but slightly soft in the middle D lens. I didn’t care for it. It went right back and I’m very glad I replaced it with this G lens. The big selling point for me on this lens was Ken Rockwell’s comparison here. I loved the contrast and sharpness demonstrated by this lens in that comparison. I may still keep my Nikkor f/1.2 MF Ai-S, but I’m somewhat on the fence now that I have this f/1.4.

27 May 2018 Update: This beauty is still welded to my D810 body. I just love it. What a terrific combination for my needs.

Lomo’Instant Wide Camera

We bought Leyna an instant camera for Christmas this year. She loves it. The film arrived today. Here’s her first shot on it. We worked together to get the shot she wanted. I held the camera, since she was in the shot.

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Nikon D810

I’m fed up with the autofocus failing me on my D600. On Christmas Eve, with my Fuji X100T down due to a smashed shutter release, my D600 just wouldn’t take the shot on multiple occasions. The light was reasonable, the camera was set to prioritize getting the shot over getting perfect focus (a feature it seems simply doesn’t work well) and it just let me down.

Add to that that the shot I missed (completely out of focus) of the bride’s father at a good friend’s wedding a little over a year ago, I’m done. I think this missed shot was with my D600, not my Fuji, but I can’t be sure without checking. Anyway, lowlight autofocus matters.

For $1,550, I found a “Used – Very Good” (Adorama grade “E”) D810 body from Adorama via Amazon. It arrived at the office today. I took one shot to get a shutter count. Including that shot, the count is 9,385 shutter actuations. That is a good deal.

The D810 has the autofocus system of the D4s, which I have no experience with. I’ve read in multiple places that the D600 has crap low-light autofocus and that the D810 has excellent low-light autofocus.

I paid $1,320 for my D600 in May 2014 with a 24-80mm lens included. I sold that lens for $325 in October of 2016, so let’s say I paid $1,000 for the D600 body. I hope to get $700 for my D600. $300 for two and a half years of rental is not a bad deal at all. That’s provided I get what I want for it.

First night comment at 22:10: AF-S and AF-C seem to mingle their sub-modes. That is, if I change AF-C’s sub-mode (Group, Dyn, 3D), it changes the sub-mode of AF-S. That sucks. And it seems that if I change AF-C to a mode AF-S doesn’t have, AF-S reverts to its default. I don’t like this. I want to leave AF-C on 3D pretty much always, or so I think today. But I want to leave AF-S on a different sub-mode.

5 January 2018 Update: I tried my Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 Ai-S lens on my D810 today. To my surprise, Auto ISO worked! What? I had looked into this and believed this would be like on my D600 — no Auto ISO for non-CPU lenses. Confirmed by a stranger here, too. This is a massive, unexpected D810 bonus for me.

3 February 2018 Update: The autofocus is pretty good. I sold my D600 last week and didn’t do any A/B autofocus comparisons. But I did do some controlled conditions comparisons between my D810 and my D600 with my 50mm f/1.8 and my (since returned due to center softness) 50mm f/1.4 D. The photos were pretty much the same between the two bodies. Doesn’t matter. I bought this D810 because the autofocus on my D600 let me down one too many times, refusing to lock and fire. The autofocus on this in similar conditions is awesome. I hope the autofocus at school shows is equally impressive. Could really improve what I get at those shows while also increasing my enjoyment and reducing effort.

17 February 2018 Update: I bought a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 G AF-S lens for use with my D810. I really like this combination.