Friday, September 16, 2011

Dream lens?

I feel extremely privileged to have been loaned this gorgeous lens.  Heavy, well perhaps, but I'm not finding weight an issue at all just now.  I really wanted to try the lens in low light situations shooting the bands.  What with all the paraphernalia littering the stage a wide aperture helps blur these into obscurity whilst enabling a lower ISO or higher shutter speed to be achieved.  I've been using my 50mm f1.8 which is nice and sharp when I get up above f2.8, but how would I fair with an f1.4 lens ... and wide open?  I should be able to tell you later tonight.
Unable to resist having a bit of a play with the lens, and somewhat desperate to see what type of bokeh I could achieve with this prime lens I headed out to the garden.  I haven't applied any colour changes, white balance changes or sharpening to any of the images ... just added a watermark and cropped a couple slightly.

First shot is of kowhai tree flowers at the head of my driveway.  It was a tad breezy, so the flowers are not as sharp as I'd have liked, but it was the background I was interested in.  Is that a lovely blur or what?  Depth of field is very shallow as you'd expect at f1.4, so that may be a challenge tonight with the band!
Second shot is of some Asian Cherry blossom also on my driveway.  Again I was looking for the background blur and this is perhaps not the best of shots.  Good detail in the foreground branch, flowers not as sharp as I'd have liked, but the lens was really showing its quality with the colour rendition and foreground sharpness.  I was starting to become very fond of this lens.  Very fond indeed!

Remember it was quite breezy this evening which caused the blooms to move about a bit.  I was also keen to persist with f1.4 and you can see just how shallow the depth of field is as you work your way along the branch.  Should be a challenge with the band tonight.  Mind you, the lens focusses VERY quickly indeed and with virtually no noise at all. Very sweet indeed.

My final shot is of a daffodil in my front garden.  Still shooting at f1.4 but again the bloom itself seems a tad soft.  This may well be due to me in an excited state romping around the front garden and shooting anything that looked vaguely colourful!  Depth of field is wonderful as is the blur of the lichen covered tree to the right.  The lens is clearly a quality optic.  I just hope I can achieve something worthwhile when I go to see the band tonight ... just couldn't resist taking a few shots in the garden before I head out.  Perhaps I'll catch you back here later tonight with some low light shots from the band along with some more feedback on the Nikkor 85mm f1.4G

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