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  1. #1
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Nikkor 50mm f1.2 -- Plusses and minusses?

    I recently came across this lens. It was quite a sight.

    Apart from being able to shoot in almost freakishly low light, are there any advantages to such a lens? And any drawbacks?

    I've never seen, much less shot, with this lens before...any voices of experience are (always) welcome!

  2. #2

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    You get to laugh long and loud at signs saying "Flash photography prohibited." I did fairly often when I owned one. I particularly liked using it with faster films in churches so that I could shoot what I wanted without creating much of a disturbance.

    IIRC, Braczko's books say that they're not that Nikon's sharpest offering even stopped down, but then nobody bought them to use at f/8.
    The Kiev 88: Mamiya's key to success in Ukraine.

    Photography without film is like Macroeconomics without reading goat entrails, and look at the mess that got us into.

  3. #3

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    You can only use it to shoot in light 50% more freakishly low than that in which you can shoot with an f/1.4 lens. You can also get less depth of field if you want it. That's about it. It's not a big difference, but it helps. I love my FD 55mm f/1.2 and my EF 50mm f/1.2 L. They are not magic wands by any means, but they do help a little bit in low light.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  4. #4

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    I think the difference between that and the much better 1.8 is minimal. You don't get very useable photos at 1.2 IMHO. I currently own a 1.4 and a 1.8 and can't tell the difference in low light, though the 1.8 is noticably better under normal conditions.

  5. #5

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    The lens has obvious spherical aberration at f1.2, which can make using it wide open in some situations hit and miss. I tend to use it between f2 and f4, where it is sharper than any other Nikon 50mm, and reputed to be sharper than the Leica M Noctilux-M 50 f1. The 50mm f1.2 also has 9 aperture blades, so smoother out of focus highlights.

  6. #6

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    Interesting. I get completely acceptable 8x12s from my Canons shot wide open, and that is using fast color film pushed quite a lot (or digital with the EF, usually with a 10D at 1600). The Nikon must be just as good, if not better. My Canon is not even the "Aspherical" model, just plain S.S.C.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 09-16-2008 at 06:49 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #7
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I personally would only buy such a fast lens if I did a great deal of shooting in very low light conditions, because generally most pictures are taken at f3.5 or smaller and the 1.4, or 1.8 version aperture for aperture will most probably out perform it.
    Ben

  8. #8
    RedTownCats's Avatar
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    Take a look at Bjørn Rørslett's review:

    http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_norm.html

    and a recent thread on Nikon Cafe: (threads on the 1.2 lenses come up quite often)

    http://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/sho...d.php?t=187071

    It is a nice lens and can be fun, but whether it's worth the extra over the 1.4 -- I guess only you can decide.
    RTC

  9. #9
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Thanks for the links and advice, all. I do love the low-light capability, but I must admit what first came into my mind was the very shallow depth-of-field for a lens like this.

  10. #10
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    Many of the pluses/minuses have already been addressed, but don't forget the benefit of a brighter viewfinder, too!
    Last edited by Jeremy; 09-16-2008 at 09:21 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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