Saturday, August 2, 2014

Gear Review: Nikon's 50mm 1.8G Lens is a Fast Friend

How clearly I remember the day when my first 'surprise' camera with a Nikon 55-300mm telephoto lens arrived.  As someone who's primary subject was to going be birds and wildlife, I seriously thought this was the only lens I'd ever need.

First and foremost I am a bird photographer.  Birding was the passion that stirred the interest in photography.  Over time, the passion for birds has not changed.  Instead, a passion for photography expanded my horizons of what images I capture.

After investing in a bigger telephoto lens (150-500) and a Nikon 105mm macro lens, I started playing around with the 24-85mm lens that came with one of my cameras. The world of landscapes emerged as subjects.  A landscape lens was then added to the growing collection.

Along the way I heard many photographers talk about how they enjoyed 'walk around' prime lenses.  I received another 'surprise' gift.  A 50mm 1.8G lens.

A big hello to world of exploring things outside of macro, telephoto and landscape.  

Airport Wait - 50mm, f/4, ISO 250, 1/80sec

The 50mm 1.8G is fast, lightweight, sharp prime lens (fixed focal length) with a beautiful bokeh.  The 50mm is easy to take on a walk in a garden, the woods, and even use in the airport for something to do while waiting for the flight.

A prime lens encourages and forces the photographer to consider different perspectives and composition. 

Night Moves - Nikon 600, 50mm,  ISO 2500,  f/1.8 1/60sec

The Night Moves image above was captured in my hometown, Birmingham, Michigan around ten at night.  Using a big aperture (f/1.8), the shallow depth of field, bokeh and desired sharpness all came together.  No flash or tripod needed.

The flowers below would have been only a close up with my Macro.  I intentionally left it at home because it would have been faster to gravitate to the macro comfort zone.  With the 50mm, the composition brought in more of the surroundings and better reflected the cheerful sunny day.

Cheerful Flowers, Sunshiny Day - Nikon 600, 50mm, B+W Circular Polarizing Filter

We are all in different mindsets with our photography and subjects.  As someone who waited too long to add the 50mm to their arsenal, I would easily recommend this as a must-have lens sooner versus later.

The 50mm is a photographer's friend, offering speed, fun, creativity and awesome quality images. 

At the very reasonable price point of $219.95 on the Nikon site and $216.95 on Amazon and B&H Photo, it's a relatively painless addition from a cost standpoint.

Happy Shooting!