Please, humor me... Nikon 50mm f1.4 on D700

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by solareslarrave, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. I just won a nicely kept version of this lens for less than $270 in the auction site. It's going to work on my
    D700, though it may find useful service in my film bodies (F100 and F5).

    The lens is in very good shape, MIB and ready to go. I wasn't planning this purchase, I simply felt like bidding
    and could have bet I was going to have it sniped.

    This is my second 50mm. My first was an f1.8, and the first thing I did with it was photograph my wife with our
    cat with my F80 and my SB-28 (kinda dumb... what are fast lenses for but to use with available light?). Now, I
    won't do that... but then, I'm at loss.

    If you have this lens, what did you use it for when it came out of the box?

    Thanks in advance!

    PS. I sold that 50mm lens. It was good, it was nice, but I wasn't too interested in fast primes back then...
     
  2. Francisco, I haven't owned a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 (a 1.8 currently, and a few f/1.2 previously). I too bought one for about $114 in mint shape on fleabay about two months ago and am having a blast with it. It is very sharp. Bokeh can be flighty with specular highlights, but is normally very beautiful, along with very sharp details in the areas in focus. I am very impressed with it, plus you have the AIS build quality. I love shooting manual lenses on my D200, 300 and 700. I'll see if I can find a sample to accompany this post. Have fun with it.
    00VFzm-200715584.jpg
     
  3. And some bokeh. Whoo, okay, this is some of that bad bokeh, but I find the lens making me shoot some very ethereal shots.
    00VFzs-200717584.jpg
     
  4. I have a nicely red wall on the side of the house... but nothing casting a shadow like your tree. Thanks for the idea, but more so for the second shot. It is really ethereal...
     
  5. "If you have this lens, what did you use it for when it came out of the box? "
    I would look at the serial number and refer to Roland Vink's website to check out when it was made. (lol)
    Seriously, I wish you would enjoy your lens which is known to be a great performer.
     
  6. Back in the day with my first Nikon (F2) the 50mm f1.4 was my only lens for a couple of years. It did everything for me.
    Explore. Wind it to closest focus and find things to shoot. Set it to infinity and find things to shoot. Shoot it for a while at f1.4. Then at f16. This is cheaper with digital than with film so go for it. Don't chimp - check out the images later on a computer screen. The big thing is to find things to shoot. Take a few days with nothing else on the camera. Want a wide angle - step back. Want a tele - get in close. Want a micro - reverse it. Check out the impression you get from the things that are out of focus (bokeh). You will find there are shots from that few days work that you couldn't have got with any other lens or zoom. Enjoy.
     
  7. My most used combination... D700 + 50mm lens. The perfect kit for "casual" shooting. My weekender set-up. In this time of slowish plastic zooms and huge pro lenses I`ve become a "standard" lens addict. Not so wide, not so long, focus close, fast, sharp or soft to your taste, small, light... what else do we need? :)
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  8. Michael Axel: The berries shot is lovely. Enjoyed the lighting there.
    Alvin
     
  9. OK Fransisco, you got me thinking. 50 1.4 Ais out of box went onto pretty new chrome FM2 with winder and was used to first shoot a horse show at a county fair. Motor broke, body jammed, shipped off to Nikon where they replaced the winder motor with a much faster and more powerful one, apparantly a mod used for sports? It sounded like a Ferrari when it came back. And just for further note, my 50 1.4 AF-D was bought on a Friday evening and put on a N90 to use all day the next day to shoot a hazardous material drill in a train yard at a petro chemical plant for their annual report. That day I used both 50's with the above cameras and shot everything with just the 50. Some great early morning low light train shots with smoke and props, lots of fun.
     
  10. I have the 50 1.4 AIS, bought it some years ago for my N90s. I used it for low light interior shots while traveling and on vacations. Now, with the low-light capabilities of my D-700, it pretty much stays in the camera bag. But, you and the other contributors have inspired me to get it out and put it into use again.
     
  11. For a while I had been after the 50mm f1.2 (I was allowed to play with one about a year ago and liked it), so this one looked like a good compromise. Besides, it's smaller than my AF-S 24-70, and faster too, so it should be a good companion for winter shots.

    I'm going to do as Ross recommended. Even though I'm pretty much stuck in the house (weather), I may have a chance or two to take walks outside the house. Since I almost never chimp (probably because of all my film use I no longer need to see if the photo "turned out"), it should be easy to play with this lens right out of the box.
     
  12. The 50mm f 1.4 is very sharp at medium f-stops, but its real value to me is in those situations where I want a soft background, and in very low light situations. It was the first lens on my Nikon Ftn and I did a lot of portraits with it. Here's one shot with "living room light" on Plus-X.
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  13. here's one with the D70, wide open at 1600 iso.
    00VGRq-200997584.jpg
     
  14. Here's one shot with a D80 and 50mm 1.4 ais at f 2
    00VGRw-200997684.jpg
     
  15. At close range wide open, the depth of field is very "thin" as depicted here in this shot of some dried plants on our dining room table.
    00VGS1-200999584.jpg
     
  16. I could go on and on hehe. Last one: High iso shot at a wedding
    00VGS6-201001584.jpg
     
  17. Ok, one more!
    00VGSA-201001784.jpg
     
  18. Can't resist: here' another one on film in the late 60's, window light. My 70's folder is full of 50mm f1.4 shots.
    00VGSR-201003584.jpg
     
  19. 50 f1.2 @ f1.2
    00VGT8-201009584.jpg
     
  20. [​IMG]
    I love my 50mm f/1.4 lens, I bought it to take pictures of my son playing basketball, they don't allow flash photography and my 70-200 f/2.8 wasn't good enought.
    Bare in mind that even high school gyms don't have good lighting
    00VGTL-201015584.jpg
     
  21. The depth of field you can achieve with 50/1.4 is great, too.
    Along with the bokeh.
    I took a lot of photos with mine on an FM10 just to experiment with the DOF. At close distances, the DOF is very shallow.
     
  22. Shallowwww.[​IMG]
    00VGTq-201023584.jpg
     
  23. Wow... I'm really happy I snatched this lens. I mean happier. Steve, the portraits are a joy to look at, in technique and subject.
    The keyboard... I like these type of shots. In fact, I've done my share of them, with candy jars!
    Here it is: [​IMG]
    In a store in Hinsdale, IL, with my AF-S 24-70 and D700... about a year ago. Time flies...
    Thanks for the stories and photos!
     
  24. Wow! Lots of nice photos, everyone! That's a very flexible lens.
     
  25. Steve, not to hijack this, but the skin tones on your color photos seem spot on to me. How did you get that? Mine are so often to the orange or red zone and I can't seem to get them perfect in P.S. either.
     
  26. 50mm 1.4D, D300
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  27. [​IMG] 50 1.4 @ 2.8
     
  28. Mine follows my son everywhere ...
    [​IMG]
     
  29. Portraits when my 70-200 isnt wide enough for full length in the space available. I love the bokeh of the Sigma version. As above, use it to blur backgrounds and emphasize the subject. Low light, raise iso to 800 on the d700 and grab this lens and hand hold. Makes the viewfinder brighter, easier to compose and focus manually or, for camera to auto focus. Shooting a christmas party with 35 guests last friday. Low light group shot. Lots of uses. Learn its capabilities and the shot will tell you when to use it.
     
  30. I bought both the Nikon F and the Nikormat back in 1965 and both came with the 50mm 1.4 lens. I also had a 35mm and a 135mm lens for additional variety, but the 50mm lenses were commonly on both cameras all the time. I was in the service in those days so I traveled widely. All over the Pacific and into Vietnam, the Phillipines, Okinawa and Japan. For 1967 to 1969 I was in the Navy's Antarctic support squadron and this picture is of the South Pole in 1967. The actual South Pole is a little ways off because the ice cap moved over time since this little marker was first set up. I used Kodachrome extensively in those days. This shot was scanned using the Nikon LS4000.
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  31. Barry, I use CS4, and the latest version of ACR for raw conversion. I just "eyeball" the colors when working with an image. I try to use the same lighting (room, time of day, etc) when color balancing on the computer so the results are consistent. I also know from trial and error the prints I get from my printing service will be very close to what I see on my monitor. I don't yet use color management software, since I am not commercial. Hope that helps.
     
  32. Thx Steve, do you basically do the color balancing with the "color balance" adjustment? or curves? Anyways, I just think you do a real good job with that.
     
  33. This 50mm/1.4 is really my favourite lens to make portraits of my babygirl: you need a fast lens to get "clear" baby that is not really a still subject, furthermore to not hurt their sensible eyes you're forced to use the natural light (which by the way make the best portrait) and using such lens make happens thing otherwise "impossible".
    Ciao,
    Vince
     
  34. I have an older non-AI (later model with the rubber focusing grip) 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor that I converted to AI. Although I do not shoot 50mm all that often, this lens is very sharp from f/4 on down with outstanding contrast and color saturation and flare protectioncontrol. But there are times when 50mm is the right lens for the job so I don't hesitate to use it. It works equally well on my venerable F2's as it does on my newer D700 (in the manual mode, which I use about 99% of the time).
    I think you will be happy with it.
     
  35. I actually have a 1.8 AFD, but was playing with 1.4 AF few times, and I like it more than my 1.8. I was thinking to get Sigma 1.4, it looks even better, but much more expensive. But I really needed something a bit wider, so I've got a 35 1.4 AIS, that lens is just .. mmmmm.
    Anyway, this is one of the reasons I liked 50 1.4:
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  36. To Barry: I try to get most of the color balancing done in the raw conversion using the basic ACR temp and tint adjusters, and I rarely, if ever, use the special individual color adjustments that are available (hue, saturation, luminance tab).
     
  37. All of my 50/1.4 Nikkors are used with film cameras. I now have seven different ones: 50/1.4 S pointy prong, 50/1.4 S round prong, 50/1.4 SC, 50/1.4 'K' 1st version, 50/1.4 'K' 2nd version, 50/1.4 AI and 50/1.4 AIS. I mostly use the oldest one and sometimes one of the K lenses or the AIS. They are all good. It just depends on the mood I'm in and whether I am using a camera which will only work with AI/AIS lenses. I just got an FE2 so I tried it with the AIS lens. The lens are camera are working fine. This lens had oil on the blades and was serviced earlier this year. It's funny to think not only about how old the oldest one is but how old the newest one is already. When I got my first SLR, a Konica, the 57/1.4 was my only lens for about the first 11 months. The only other thing I had to go with it was a Soligor 2X teleconverter. At f/8 the combination wasn't half bad. For a long time I used a 35/2 as my standard lens. Now I enjoy using a 50 a little more. When I'm outside in good light I will use a 50 or 55 macro lens as my standard.
     

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