Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sometimes it just takes an awesome lens

Well I am putting up another quick post here. This time I am going to show off some photos that I took with an absolutely incredible lens. Now, I always say that the best camera is the one you have with you. But with that said, sometimes it truly is about the equipment. However, that equipment still does not need to be outrageously expensive. I have been wanting for some time to get the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens. It is a great portrait lens on the crop sensor bodies, like my D80. It is very fast, meaning that the aperture can get wide open. It also has a wonderful look for the short depth of field with a low aperture. And to top it all off, the lens is only around $130.

So I decided to just take some random shots with it to see just what this little lens could do. Now, I could have gotten fancy and setup a studio shot, but I wanted to see just what I would get taking photos in more natural situations. I have always told my students that this lens, and the 35mm f/1.8, are great lenses for Christmas morning, meaning they let in a lot of light, and allow for natural light photos of the kids. So I wanted to test out that theory. So what better to start with than kids and dogs. First the dog shot.

This is one of our dogs, who just happened to be hanging out in the living room the other morning. The lighting in the room is actually quite dark. Just one light and some early morning cloudy sky light from a window. Not bad for a simple shot.

Next is the kid and dog shot. When you make this photo big you can see just a touch of blur to it. I think my son moved just a touch, and I was not super fast for shutter, but it worked anyway. Notice in both these photos how the background is very soft and kind of "out of the way" of the photo. You know exactly what I am trying to shoot.

And here is probably my favorite photo so far with this lens. We were hanging out at a little cafe on Hope College campus in Holland, MI and I was able to get this of another son. I shot several photos to see how it was working, and the muses and fate were in my favor. I got such a great shot. If you knew him you would know exactly how great this photo is. It is soooo him!

Of course parents have to embarrass their kids right? This is one of my daughters (princesses). I love the shot, although she hates it. Oh well, when your dad is as much a photography freak as me you just learn to live with it I suppose.

I love this lens. I love the wide aperture. Now I am looking at the 35mm f/1.8 and also the 85mm f/1.8 lenses. You just cannot get something that fast in a zoom lens, and wow that DOF (depth of field) is so nice. I typically want to get photos of people, and I think that the shallow DOF is just perfect for these types of photos.

One other thing I am hoping soon to do is to master the creatively shaped apertures so that the bokeh (I will explain that term next time) can be shaped how I want it to be. It is an amazing trick.

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