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Shot with the 105mm 2.8G on a d750

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There is something special about limiting yourself intentionally. It makes you try harder, it pushes you both creatively and practically. Sometimes having too much control makes you lose perspective. 

I find this to be one of the overwhelming truths in Photography; the more control you have the less creative you become. Zoom lenses are great at a lot of things, they allow you to react quickly as events unfold. They allow you to pack lighter while still maintaining choice of focal length. They even offer some creative long exposure zoom effects (if your into that kind of thing...)

What they are not good at though is pushing you. They do not require you to move around, find unusual perspectives and work with what is available. It is so easy to plant yourself and zoom in and out to capture hundreds of the same boring images from the same boring vantage point.


Shot with the D750 and 50mm 1.4G

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See that delicious shallow depth of field? MMMM...... This is where fixed focal length lenses really shine. This was shot with 2 cheap Yongnuo Flashes and the 50mm 1.4G. A zoom lens could have done this, but in order to get similar depth of field I would have needed to step back and zoom in thus loosing the perspective that makes this image work so well.

50mm is a great focal length for everyday usage, its good for portraits, events, landscapes, and street photography. However as versatile as it is, it is not the "best" choice in many of those situations. sometimes you want a little wider, sometimes a little tighter. As a single lens solution though, you would be hard pressed to pick a better field of view.


Shot on a D750 with 50mm 1.4G

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Supposedly 50mm is the closest to the human eyes field of view. Now I am not sure of that, I would put it around 28mm personally, but the perspective does seem natural to me. 

Images shot at 50mm don't seem artificial, they have depth and the relationship between near and far looks natural. 


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I have to be honest though. I seldom shoot at 50mm, not that I have anything against it; in fact I rather like the lens. Its just that I normally shoot a 2-3 lens kit. If I pick just 2 lenses its usually the 28mm and the 85mm; if 3, then the 20mm, 35mm, and 105mm. Don't take this as a negative against the 50G though. When I do go out with a single lens, it is usually the 50G.  

Shot on the D750 and 50/1.4G

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So what does the "Nifty-Fifty" get wrong? Well as it turns out there are a couple things. Firstly the minimum focus distance is too long. I am big into macro photography, and having a 1 1/2 foot close focus is a real buzz kill. Of course they do make macro lenses, and I have a few. It just seems like if the 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm can all focus to well under 6 inches, the 50mm could do a touch better.

Second strike against the 50mm, the bokeh can be rough sometimes. Its difficult to predict what causes it, but occasionally you will get a jarring look to your out of focus elements.

Shot on the d750 with the 50mm/1.4G

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As you can see it is not the end of the world, it could perhaps be used creatively to add a sense of movement to a scene. It is worth mentioning that the 50mm 1.8G does not do this. In fact aside from the slightly narrower aperture, that lens is every bit as good as the 50mm 1.4G; in some situations perhaps even better.

Shot on the D750 and 50/1.4G

Here is the bottom line. If you are looking for a lens to make you more creative, then the 50g is a great choice, as any prime would be. If you are looking for a excellent walkaround lens for daily photography, the 50mm is absolutely perfect. However if you are looking for the last word in image quality, there are much better options out there, however they won't come cheap. This lens really fills a nice hole in the market for a combination of image quality and affordability, there is really no reason not to own one.

-B GREENE

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