This is an in-depth review of one of my favorite prime lenses – the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G, which was announced back in September of 2008. For many years the focal length of 50mm lenses was considered a “standard” or “normal” focal length, because it closely resembles the perspective of the human eye. These lenses were widely popular on film cameras and the focal length was ideal for portraiture and everyday photography. As digital SLRs and zoom lenses started taking over the market, popularity of 50mm primes also decreased. The smaller size of APS-C sensors made the field of view of 50mm lenses narrower, while the flexibility of zoom lenses and their low price drove the demand towards convenience. Now that full frame digital cameras are getting more and more affordable, the once forgotten 50mm lenses are regaining their popularity among many photographers. In this review, I will provide a thorough analysis of the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens, along with image samples and comparisons against other 50mm lenses from Nikon and Sigma.
This is a follow-up to my Nikon D7000 Review that I posted earlier this year. Ever since I published the review, I have been getting a ton of feedback on this camera. While most of the feedback is great, some photographers complain about focusing and other issues on the D7000. Some end up returning the camera back to Nikon, while others send it to Nikon for repair. I have been carefully tracking most of the complaints and I have some interesting data to share. Since February of this year, I have tried 4 different copies of D7000 and the last one I tested was with me for two straight months.
Before I talk about my discoveries, let me tell you what I think about the camera. Nikon D7000 is a phenomenal camera. It is the best DX camera Nikon has produced to date. I was convinced of this when I first tested the camera and got reassured after my two month love affair with it (with the approval of my wife, of course). I have used a number of lenses from Nikon, Sigma and Samyang and all of them worked as expected on the D7000. A couple of lenses had focus issues and had to be adjusted using AF Fine Tune, but other than that, I did not see any front/back focus issues on the camera itself.
While the photography community is impatiently waiting for a Nikon D700 replacement announcement, I decided to write a review of the Nikon D700 DSLR that I have been shooting with for the past three years. Not sure why it took me so long to write a review of my favorite camera…I guess I focused so much on reviewing new lenses and cameras, that the gear I use every day for my photography has been just sitting at the end of my long “to-do” list. Within the next few weeks I am planning to temporarily reverse the list, start from the bottom and write about other gear that I currently use and used in the past and share my subjective opinion about it.
This is an in-depth review of the Nikon D5100 DSLR, based on my two month experience with the camera. Marketed as an upper-entry-level DSLR, the Nikon D5100 is a major upgrade to the older Nikon D5000. It has a larger and a more enhanced swivel LCD screen and the same remarkable sensor as the semi-professional Nikon D7000. In addition to the above changes, the Nikon D5100 also lost some weight, making it lighter and more compact than the Nikon D5000. In this review, I will provide a detailed analysis of the Nikon D5100 and compare it against the Nikon D3100, D5000, D90 and the current Nikon D7000 DSLRs.
This is an in-depth review of the new, much anticipated Nikon 50mm f/1.8G prime lens that was announced in April of 2011. The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is a consumer-grade lens for enthusiasts and seasonal pros that need quality optics of a fixed portrait lens at an affordable price point. Its large aperture of f/1.8 is great for low-light photography and the shallow depth of field helps isolate subjects from the background, beautifully rendering the background highlights, also known as bokeh.
This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 24mm f/3.5D PC-E, a special purpose wide-angle “Perspective Control” lens designed for architectural, commercial and nature photography, also known as PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED. The Nikon 24mm f/3.5D PC-E is a very specialized wide-angle lens specifically targeted at three groups of photographers – architecture photographers, landscape photographers and macro/product photographers. Architectural photographers often work with a lot of straight, often converging lines both indoors and outdoors and the “Perspective Control” or “Tilt-Shift” lenses (from this point on I will refer to them only as “tilt-shift”) give the ability to avoid the convergence of parallel lines by shifting the lens upwards or downwards. Landscape photographers need to be able to get everything in focus – from the closest foreground object to distant landscapes. While proper lens and camera techniques, along with good post-processing skills can help in getting sharp images for both foreground and background objects, normal lenses have certain limits landscape photographers have to work around with.
You might have noticed that the secondary navigation menu of our site now contains “Our Gear” page. I created it for four reasons: a) our readers constantly ask both Lola and I about what camera gear we use, b) I want to centralize all questions regarding camera gear to one single page, because replying to comments in many different articles is becoming unmanageable, c) some readers just want to see a quick review of a product rather than reading my long full camera and lens reviews and d) I can receive and test more gear when you buy through affiliate links on our site and “Our Gear” page contains links to our affiliates. Please bear in mind that the amount of money we receive from our affiliate program is very little – we typically give it back to our readers through our giveaways and various contests. That’s because we do not run any advertising and post very few links to external websites to not annoy our readers. Perhaps in the future, if the revenue from the links on our site grows, we might be able to use that money to pay for hosting and other expenses. As for now, I am just asking you guys to buy from our links to be able to keep the partnership with our affiliates and sponsors like B&H.
As for “Our Gear” page, while it has been there for several months now, I only had some text links to what we use, without much info on the gear. Today I updated the page with some short reviews of the camera gear we are using and finished the “Cameras”, “Camera Accessories”, “Lenses” and “Teleconverters” sections. I will soon update the page with a lot more content and provide more information and links to other tools we use, so please check back the page later.
If you have any questions about camera or computer gear, please ask them in the gear page rather than other articles. I will be checking this page more often and replying to your comments as soon as I can. Also, if you have been sending some case studies to me, please be patient, as I just have not had much time to work on them.
I am currently finishing up with the Nikon 24mm f/3.5D PC-E lens review and will soon start working on reviewing the new Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens, along with the Nikon D5100 DSLR. Stay tuned!
This is an in-depth review of the new Nikon TC-20E III teleconverter that was released in December of 2009, along with an updated version of the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II lens. The Nikon TC-20E III is a major update to the existing Nikon TC-20E II teleconverter, sporting a brand new optical design with an aspherical element, which delivers better performance with many specialty telephoto lenses. The purpose of teleconverters is to increase the focal length of lenses, in other words to get closer to subjects, and the TC-20E III is the biggest and the longest teleconverter manufactured by Nikon – it doubles the focal length of a lens. While this teleconverter works with any professional Nikon lens that can take teleconverters, it is specifically designed to work with fast prime lenses with an aperture of f/2.8 and larger. The Nikon TC-20E III is targeted at sports, wildlife and other types of telephoto photography where the photographer cannot physically approach subjects.
This is an in-depth review of the new professional Nikon 35mm f/1.4G prime lens that was announced in September of 2010. The Nikon 35mm f/1.4G is a professional-grade lens for enthusiasts and professionals that need the highest quality optics of a fixed wide-angle lens with a large aperture of f/1.4 for low-light situations and shallow depth of field to isolate subjects from the background, making it an ideal candidate for many types of photography, including portrait, wedding, landscape and astrophotography.
Lola and I just got back from a trip to Utah, where I had a chance to test the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G lens, along with other 35mm lenses from Zeiss and Nikon. The last 3-4 weeks have been super busy for both of us and on top of that, our whole family has been sick for the last two weeks. Out of everyone in the family, I got a special present – a really nasty virus that put me to bed for two weeks! I don’t remember the last time I had anything like this. High fever with a really bad back pain. If it wasn’t for Lola, who kept on making me eat and drink plenty of fluids (including hot tea/milk with honey), I would have been in bed for a month!
Due to the above, I have not been able to post much on the blog lately. And the number of comments that I need to respond to have been piling up, don’t even know how I will be able manage several hundred comments. My apologies to all those who are waiting for my response!
Anyway, back to Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G – I loved this lens! And darn, I loved the Zeiss f/2.0, too. Never thought I would fall in love with a manual focus lens, but more on that later – in the upcoming Nikon 35mm f/1.4G lens review. I have a pretty good feel for the Nikon 35mm and I am glad that I was able to test it for portraits/weddings (see images below) and also for landscape photography (our trip to Utah), so the review should be fairly detailed and complete (a Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 review will follow).
Here are two image samples from the wedding that Lola and I shot a couple of weeks ago. Please note that the images are simply extracted out of Lightroom without any post-processing (except sharpening). Other image samples at different apertures with some bokeh will be provided in the upcoming review.
Click here to download the full size version of the above image.