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Friday, 23 October 2020


My favorite prime lens (I only own two) is the Nikkor 58mm 1.4G that is perpetually on my D750. I use it similarly. I use f/1.4-2.8 for subject isolation, bokeh, etc. And then f/5.6-f/11 for more dof. The 58 seems sharpest across the frame at f/11. To me, it's a special lens at f/1.4-f/2.8 and a more typical sharp 50 from f/5.6 and smaller.

I really love this lens. My other prime is the 28mm 1.8G. This is all I have for full frame. For zooms I prefer DX/APS-C.

My father thought much the same way about his TV. The original format(s) of the source material didn't matter to him, because so far as he was concerned, he paid for every square inch of its large screen and, by god, he was going to make full use of every one of them, regardless of what format the director intended for him to see!

Of course, I'm no less quirky in other ways. For example, I owned for a while four Sigma Art lenses having f1.4 apertures (and a fifth having an f2 aperture) yet I never took even one photo wide-open with any of them.

I photograph mostly at night and found the f1.4 apertures helpful when it came to composing and focusing my photos, even though the photos themselves were always taken with the aperture set at f8 (or on rare occasions, between f7.1 and f9.)

This was the first Fuji lens I bought paired with my X-T1 back in 2015. And I agree - they just work together. Still use them both regularly.

I like the 50mm equiv (I use the combo mainly for 'street' stuff) I rarely use it wide open - but when I need it, if I want the subject separation, or if the light requires it, then it delivers.

I'm amused to read your comments about corner sharpness. I always crease myself when people complain about fast-lens wide-open corner-sharpness - what are ya doin? Shooting brick walls in semi-darkness without a tripod?

Only complaint I have? Maybe it's a teeny bit bulky on the X-T1 wuth the lens hood attached. Again, I'm thinking of my OM bodies with Zuiko primes here. But that's a minor quibble

So, so weird; I buy fast lenses to let more light in. Very often I'm at max aperture, juggling shutter speed (worried about subject motion blur primarily) against ISO (worried about noise). Sometimes at 1/350 sec (roller derby), sometimes at 1/15 sec (music jam sessions). Going back to TRI-X pushed to 1200 or 1600 or 4000, in the day. (I think not experimenting with Diafine may be one of my worst mistakes photographically; I'm unlikely to ever really know, I don't think I'll go to the trouble to try to do such experiments now when I've got better technology, just to know how bad I should feel about past-me's stupidity!)

Admittedly there are rare occasions when there's all the light in the world (I shot some of my Words Over Windows photos at ISO 64 since it was so bright; also so contrasty, so using the "extended", below "minimum", low ISO helped a bit there). I really appreciate the high shutter speeds of modern cameras for that! 1/1000 is no longer the upper limit, and out in the Big Room it's sometimes useful to shoot faster.

"younger audience alert"
The creator of Camera Conspiracies - a Toronto based satirical youtube channel - coined the word "Toneh" in reference of another famous youtuber Tony Northrup overdoing it a bit with blurred backgrounds. Corrosive but memorable way to cover the issue :-)

"Toneh is the amount of hatred you'll receive in your videos if you chose to abuse the power of Toneh". He proposes a Toneh scale of anger too.



Hilarious IMHO...

I saw the photo of the lens you were extolling and my first reaction was (think The Dude): “Well, they finally did it. They killed all the f**kin’ info on the lens barrel.” Sigh. I did go to B&H and saw in fact there is an aperture ring on the lens. No doubt just a token effort to keep us old guys from complaining too much. “Throw ‘em a bone to keep ‘em quiet!”

But it did get me wondering if that day is coming. I’m talking about “real lenses,” the interchangeable type. Primes, zooms, all of them. It seems with auto everything, what’s the point of printed info on the barrel? Who uses that?!?!

Of course, on the iPhone, et al, there’s not even a barrel to put that info (aperture, distance, hyperfocal scale) one would find on an old school lens. The push for miniaturization and automation does probably mean the info on the barrel is more and more superfluous. Or, to be more cruel, more and more useless.

And one day, it will just disappear. If they don’t “kill the f**kin’ lenses” first.

Occasionally you read an article where the author will write something that has you bouncing around the room going yes, yes, yes and here it's this "shooting a fast lens wide open all the time. Not a good idea!"
Camera jockeys whose idea of a product shoot is not about the product but about showing off their new fast lens so only 50%ish of the product is in focus, the product you're interested in buying if you can see if it's what you want.....
I've had bokeh up to my eyeballs, I know it has its place but really isn't it easier to shoot wide open and not have to worry about the rest of the shot beyond the subject than try to get the whole shot correctly shot an in focus?
I'm a deadset amateur so I'm sure there'll be holes in my argument so just take it in the general spirit it's meant please.

Question (since you mentioned it): What are your thoughts on the 18 f/2? I have read some fairly negative reviews of it (Thom Hogan didn't like it), and I have also heard from some people who love it.

I'll chip in with a reply to Yonatan Katznelson about the 18mm f/2. I think it's much maligned. I often have it on the camera when I'm out shooting townscape stuff and want to travel light. It's very compact.

Personally I've had no image problems considering that for this type of work a lot of the images are architectural. Many are intended for stock photo libraries. (Not suggesting that is always a criteria for image quality though!)

Also good for street photography if you prefer the get-in-close approach and want an unthreatening camera combination

This is my favorite X-mount Fuji lens.

Sorry Mike, Drummeroff is from Lviv, not Kiev. My mistake.
(For those who want to go there after seeing these photos).

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