Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D vs. Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by epp_b, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So, I bought a 50mm f/1.8 Series E lens a few months ago for making low light photos. It is a great, sharp, sturdy little lens. The only problem I have with it is that it produces an undesirable and distracting out-of-focus blur.

    Here are some examples of what I mean:

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    As you can see, any reflections or light sources in the background have a distracting outline around the blur circle.

    How does this compare to the newest 50mm f/1.8 AF-D from Nikon? Can someone post some samples displaying the out-of-focus blur characteristic?
     
  2. shivaswrath

    shivaswrath TPF Noob!

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    I think that blur might be you? You're manual focusing this correct - the Nikor 50 1.8 doesn't meter or focus on the D40, so that might be the issue (user control). . .I have been dying to get a 50mm prime, but since I have a D40x, I have stayed away for the MF and lack of metering reasons until recently, when Nikon released the Nikkor 50mm 1.4 G AF-S (though it hasn't shipped yet, sigh). . .
     
  3. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK, I'll bite. Exactly what can I do to change the out-of-focus blur? Is out-of-focus blur not a static property of a lens?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2008
  4. Craddosk

    Craddosk TPF Noob!

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    The blur is a issue with the aperture your shooting with. To get more depth of field (more things in detail) shoot at an aperture between f4 and f11. As well, the 50mm 1.8 WILL meter automatically with the D40, it will NOT autofocus.
     
  5. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The look of the out of focus areas (also called bokeh) is a characteristic of the lens (shape of the aperture, number of aperture blades, lens design...). Unfortunately you cannot change it. Different lenses have different bokehs to suit different tastes. The 50mm f/1.8 AF-D might have a different bokeh but I don't know for sure. Maybe try searching Flickr for pictures taken with the 50mm f/1.8 AF-D to see if the bokeh is more to your liking.
     
  6. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, I know how DOF works and how much of a subject will be in and out of focus, but that has nothing to do with what the blur looks like.

    The AF-D, yes, I know.
     
  7. dylj

    dylj TPF Noob!

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    Stopping down the lens should change the shape of the bokeh effects. Wide open, most (all?) lenses make the circular points of light, while stopping down gives you some sort of polygon, depending on the number of aperture blades.

    I have the 50 1.8D and I like it just fine.
     
  8. shivaswrath

    shivaswrath TPF Noob!

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    I think the OP knows that the blur is bokeh - the whole point of a fast prime.

    The bokeh doesn't look right though, am I not seeing this correctly (maybe the OP and I are going blind, lol?!)
     
  9. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exactly: I bought an f/1.8 so I could use it at f/1.8, not f/5.6.
     
  10. dylj

    dylj TPF Noob!

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    You would be hard pressed to find a 50mm 5.6.

    Stop down to f/2.
     
  11. potownrob

    potownrob TPF Noob!

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    I would try stopping down to f/2.8 or f/4 (if possible) to calm the blur.
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yep unfortunately you'll end up with just the problems you are having. Buying any lens to use specifically wide open will really only get satisfactory results if you sell your kidneys for it.

    The Nikkor AF D f/1.8 does have the same problem, although it is less pronounced. That said you won't like the shots anywhere near as much as the E series due to the horrid loss of contrast when shooting wide open. This is a must try before you buy thing. Also the quality of the bokeh changes depending on where on the frame it is.

    If out of focus bokeh quality is very important to you I suggest you have a look at the Nikkor AF D f/1.4 and then use it at f/1.8 (despite how much you hate to do it), as that will probably give you the best results.
     

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