Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AI-s.

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jphendren

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Hello,

In your opinions, could this lens be used for a lightweight hiking/landscape lens? I know that I usually use a 28-70mm zoom lens, but this lens is much more compact, has DOF marks on the barrel, and from what I have read MUCH sharper. I have a Galen Rowell chest pouch, and my F6 with the 50mm fits inside the chest pouch very nicely. By the way, I already own the lens, so I would not have to buy one. So what do you guys think? I am thinking that I can do some scenics with it, as long as I back up a little more.

Jared
 

fschifano

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I have one and it's a really good lens. There are days when all I use is the 50 mm focal length, so I don't find that a limiting factor to any great degree.
 

removed-user-1

I have the AF-D version which is supposedly the same optically. It's very sharp except wide open and then the images still look good. That and a 24mm were perfect for me when hiking with the F100 (which I no longer have, sadly). If you already have one, just take it for a hike one day and see how it goes.
 

benjiboy

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I have one and it's a really good lens. There are days when all I use is the 50 mm focal length, so I don't find that a limiting factor to any great degree.
I agree the 50mm f1.4 is a good lens but I think that for the use the O.P. wants to put it to the 35mm f2 would be a more useful lens.
 
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jphendren

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I actually purchased the lens about 8 years ago to use as a slide loupe. It actually works pretty well for that use. I stumbled on a Nikon 50mm lens thread on Photo.net, and I though I have one of those! Anyways, I had never taken a picture through it before, but decided that it is indeed very small compare to my other lenses, and it has the DOF marks that I love on my 50-135mm AI-s. So I decided to see if it could do duty as a hiking/landscape lens, since it is paid for. I know that quite a few people say that 50mm is too limited, but from what I have seen, quite a few great images have been captured with one.

I use to own a 24mm f/2.8 AI-s, unfortunately I sold it to help fund my first DSLR.

"If you already have one, just take it for a hike one day and see how it goes."

That is a great idea, and probably the best way to find out if this lens will work for my style of photography.

Jared
 
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fschifano

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My basic walk around kit is an F100 with 24, 50 and 85 mm lenses. All lenses are either AI or AIS, and with those three lenses, I'm pretty well covered. Once in a while, I'll grab the 200 f/4 because it is small, light and the longest lens I can use hand held, but hardly ever use it.
 

wy2l

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"... could this lens be used for a lightweight hiking/landscape lens?"

That's how I use it, with a FM3A and a tripod, for backpacking.

Kris
 

mgb74

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You know better than anyone else. When you used your 28-70, did you find yourself generally in the middle of the focal length range or at one end or the other?

Personally, I don't find a fast lens all that important as I prefer more depth of field. Others prefer the speed to have low light flexibility. Of course, you can always stop down a fast lens.

If you have the flexibility to "zoom with your feet", then clearly it will work.
 

Shawn Rahman

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I spent two days at Joshua Tree Nat'l Park with only a 50 and a 24 on an F100 (AF-D versions). I used the 50 for most of the weekend, and never really felt I needed anything else.

I think the 50 1.4 AIS, which I use extensively with an F3HP, is Nikon's best overall prime lens of all time, but I do find the 2.0 AI version sharper (surprisingly).

Good luck - you can't go wrong with the F6 and 50 combo.
 
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jphendren

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"When you used your 28-70, did you find yourself generally in the middle of the focal length range or at one end or the other?"

Taking a guess, I would say that I shoot at 28-40mm the most, but I would guess it is do to being lazy and not wanting to move my tripod. I have also done quite a few shots at 50mm. But I am hoping that I can simply move back a little and include everything in my FOV that I can fit in with a 28mm.

"Personally, I don't find a fast lens all that important as I prefer more depth of field."

Me too. For landscapes, I rarely shoot faster than f/8.

I don't really need to use this lens, I already have this focal length covered twice with my 28-70mm and 50-135mm. I just like its small size, DOF scale, and sharpness. I do think that it would be fun to try and be creative and shoot landscapes with it.

I did discover that it is excellent for shooting pictures of my twin sons; you can get decent shutter speeds indoors with f/1.4.

Jared
 

RalphLambrecht

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Hello,

In your opinions, could this lens be used for a lightweight hiking/landscape lens? I know that I usually use a 28-70mm zoom lens, but this lens is much more compact, has DOF marks on the barrel, and from what I have read MUCH sharper. I have a Galen Rowell chest pouch, and my F6 with the 50mm fits inside the chest pouch very nicely. By the way, I already own the lens, so I would not have to buy one. So what do you guys think? I am thinking that I can do some scenics with it, as long as I back up a little more.

Jared

I have this lens and it is a good lens, but when it comes to light-weight and versatility, I prefer the AF Nikkor 35-70 3.3-4.5. I don't think it's made anymore, and it's not very good wide-open, but you can't beat it for weight, and it's dirt-cheap. I take it whenever I have room for only one lens.
 

Pumal

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A Nikkor Autof/1.4 is about all you need. In my case I added an AF Zoom 18-35 for comodity and fun.
 
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jphendren

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I took the lens for a hike yesterday at Red Rock Canyon. I was able to get quite a few images using only my 50mm, if you are willing to move around a little, it can indeed do the job of many focal lengths. I have decided however that my little 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 is not much bigger/heavier, and is more resistant to flare, so why not use it instead. It is more flexible than a prime, but maybe not quite as sharp. I have had the 50mm for quite a while, and I guess I just wanted to try it out.

Jared
 

fschifano

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The zoom lens more resistant to flare? That's curious. I know the 50 f1.4 has it's from element out there and that could be part of the problem. I always use mine with a lens hood. No need for anything fancy. The cheap rubber ones are just fine. Flare is not a problem unless I'm shooting directly into the light, and even then it's not too bad.
 

tkamiya

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I think, it all depends on your personal vision. I typically use zoom lens and I tend to use the wide end far more than mid or tele-end. (in 35mm conversion, about 27 to 36mm) When I use 35-135 lens, it usually stays at 35mm.

My only suggestion is to see what most of your good and best shots were shot and stay similar to their focal length.

If I can only have one lens, it'd be somewhere around 28mm. (35mm conversion)
 
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jphendren

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"The zoom lens more resistant to flare? That's curious."

I agree. I though that lenses with more elements and complex construction were more likely to flare, but that is just what I have read. I know that I have taken some nice diffraction star shots with the 28-70mm pointing directly at the sun, with no ghosting or flare in the images, but I always use the hood, and block angled light with my hand if possible. I have also read that the 50mm f/1.4 is prone to flare, but again I have not experienced any, however I only started using the lens yesterday.

Anybody know for sure which lens is more susceptible to flare?

One thing for sure though, the zoom is more flexible than the prime. I would also assume that the 50mm prime has better IQ.

Jared
 

johnnywalker

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Yes, they're stealing the smart phone technology and sticking it in lenses. Push a button while looking through the viewfinder will bring up your name, address, and directions to the car. I've found it very helpful.
 

RalphLambrecht

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Yes, they're stealing the smart phone technology and sticking it in lenses. Push a button while looking through the viewfinder will bring up your name, address, and directions to the car. I've found it very helpful.

Great for people who forget their name and where they live. Do they make lenses who correct composition errors as well?
 
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jphendren

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Sorry, IQ = Image Quality.

It's commonly used term on the Canon DSLR forum. I forgot where I was.

Jared
 
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jphendren

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I believe this is where I picked up the term IQ for image quality.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/

I can't recall any particular thread, but I believe the term is used there.

Jared
 

f1.4

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If I could choose only one lens for travel it would be 50mm. No. 2 would be 35mm.
The new AF-s Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G is a better lens though than the Ai version, for overall sharpness wide open, for contrast and not least for resistance to flare. I have both the Ai and the G, and use the old version less and less. The Ai is only used to create a vintage look to the pictures. On the F6 the G would give a choice of manual or auto focus, and it would allow you to use the best properties of the F6 multi-area exposure system.
 

dynachrome

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50/1.4 AIS

If size and weight were the only considerations I would use the 50/2 AI rather than any of the 50/1.4 lenses. When I an only going to use one lens and when that lens isn't a zoom I prefer a 55 macro. In good light I will use one of the f/3.5 models and if the light isn't so good I will use the 55/2.8. With either one I might also carry an extension tube to get me a little closer. If you can carry more than one lens then a 28/3.5 AI and a 105/2.5 AI or AIS will allow for some wide shots and some good portraits.
 
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