I bought this lens for a specific purpose: I wanted a prime that would give me the low light performance, bokeh, and sharpness on the Nikon D7000 that I always enjoyed with the Nikkor AI 50mm f/1.8 on the old Nikon F3. The D7000 uses an APS-C “cropped sensor” so a 35mm on the D7000 (or other Nikon cameras with this sensor size like the D70, D90, D3100 and D5100, etc.) acts like a 52mm on a “full frame” or 35mm film camera like the F3. This lens is also fairly economical a $230 USD. Overall, I am quite pleased with the lens, especially at this price. However, it is not perfect. To my eye, it is a bit contrasty; the autofocus is not the fastest in the world, and the lens suffers from some chromatic aberration in some circumstances. All photos shot on the Nikon D7000. Here are some pictures with commentary: (click on the photos for a larger view)
ISO 200 1/320 sec at f/9.0
1:1 of the shot above
Shooting in Aperture Priority mode ISO 200 1/8000 at f/1.8 Notice the extremely short depth of field
Shooting in Program Mode 1/320 sec at f/9.0
This was probably the toughest of the shots in terms of lighting. The evening sun was coming in almost horizontally from the left through the flower petals. I had to do the most post-processing on this shot to recover color and texture in the delicate flower petals. I also got the most chromatic aberration of any of the shots along the uppermost petal top edge. I applied lens profile correction in LightRoom and that did away with most of the aberration. Even at f/5.0 the bokeh is quite decent. ISO 400 1/100 sec at f/5.0
Wall art in shadow, no direct sunlight. The texture in this one is wonderful. ISO 400 1/200 sec at f/7.1
More wall art, ISO 400 1/160 at f/6.3 (Program Mode)
This one is notable because it has no real correction. I cropped it just a bit, but aside from that it is straight out of the camera, ISO 400 1/640 sec at f/13
Mimosa Cafe ISO 400 1/100 sec at f/5.0 Nice depth of field, great color
Bokeh testing: Aperture Priority ISO 400 1/200 sec at f/1.8 Focal point was the forward lip of the mug.
Bokeh testing: Program Mode, same focal point ISO 400 1/50 sec at f/3.5
Focus testing ISO 400 1/160 sec at f/6.3
Detail of the photo above
Orange ‘68 VW Bug, just because I like it. I added some “recovery” in Lightroom to counteract the glare. ISO 400 1/40 sec at f/3.2 (Program Mode – I should have shot this one in Manual due to the fading light)
This is an experimental set shot at Gardencourt in Louisville. Gardencourt was the mansion of a couple of spinster sisters of the Norton family. It now belongs to Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, my alma mater. This set is experimental in that, with the exception of the pix of me and the apple blossoms which were shot on the D70, the rest were shot on the Nikon D7000, but with an antique Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 lens, one of my all-time favorites. The D7000 lets you set up “profiles” for old lenses so it meters them and even gives you focus assist in the viewfinder. Love this camera. Click on the pictures for a larger view.
The Garden of Reflection
Close-up of the pool
The wedding party that was wandering around
The wedding photographer – am I ninja or what…
The portico again, different effect
Marian in the colonnade
I don’t know what you call these things
Marian’s wonderful apple blossom shot
Every year about this time, The Old Louisville Neighborhood Council does the “Holiday House Tour.” On the tour are seven Victorian mansions built between 1875 and 1895. Some are private residences and some are “Bed and Breakfast” joints. I don’t know of another area in the whole country which has Victorian-era homes in this state of preservation. It’s one of my favorite parts of town. Here’s some photos (Click on photos for larger view):
Sometime after midnight, I heard smashing and breaking noises coming from somewhere on the next block. I looked out of the front windows and saw flashing emergency lights – red, blue and yellow. Something was happening. I grabbed my camera and sallied forth into the chilly night. I went down to the corner and looked up Newburg road for the source of the lights. Two ambulances, two police cruisers, two ladder trucks and one pumper completely filled the street around Schreck’s Kentucky Liquors. The smell of smoke was in the air. The sound of all of the vehicles idling drowned out other sounds.
Now, you need to understand that this is not just any liquor store; this is my liquor store. No, I don’t own it, but this is where I buy my hootch. It’s about a block from my house, so I can walk up there, regardless of the state of mental disrepair I may be in. They sell cigarettes, racing forms and lottery tickets, too – all the essentials of life. So, you can imagine that I was concerned. This was a serious disruption of my cosmos.
I know all of the guys that work there. I talk to them all the time, mostly about sports and the weather. The guy in the blue hoodie is Steve. He’s a really decent guy with a great sense of humor. I always enjoy talking to him when I go in there to buy a fifth of Ancient Age.
I was shooting my new Nikon D7000 with a 18-70mm lens. I was shooting fast. I learned to use a an SLR in the days of film, so I don’t “chimp” (look at the view screen) when I’m shooting a dynamic situation. I don’t want to waste that much time. I shoot the pictures with the best settings I can think of and hope I get something that works or can be made to work in Photoshop. In this case, I set the camera to basic “Program” mode and cranked the ISO up the 6400. With the high ISO and in Program Mode, the onboard flash of the camera would not activate and that’s what I wanted – the way the scene actually looked rather than having it artificially illuminated with flash. I forgot to turn on the D7000’s “high ISO noise reduction” but the result was a grain effect not unlike 400 ASA color print film, which I still find pleasing.
The fire was electrical. One of the coolers had caught fire. The smell was acrid, and even twenty four hours later, my nose is still running and I’ve used a box of Kleenex. I don’t see how the firemen do it. I would be sneezing all the time. The fire was not very destructive fortunately. A passerby had seen it and called it in early, so the fire fighters could get it put out before it did a lot of damage to the store.
With the fire safely out, the firemen rolled up their hoses and washed their shovels in the parking lot. One by one, the big fire trucks pulled away. Then the cops roared off in their cruisers, onward to new adventures and mayhem. That’s one job I don’t want. Steve and I went into the store and began to think about how to secure the place. I have some scrap plywood, but nothing large enough to cover the broken window pane. Steve repeatedly dialed Chris, the owner, but Chris wasn’t answering his phone. Eventually, Chris showed up at about 2 AM. There came a point at which the cold was beginning to get to me, I asked Steve if there was anything I could get for him, like coffee or lanterns, because it was becoming clear that he would need to babysit the violated store until sunrise. The fire fighters had broken the door and a window to get in and extinguish the fire.
Steve said that he was OK, so I took my leave and scurried back to my computer to upload the photos to see what I had gotten. I wasn’t disappointed. The low light performance of the D7000 is impressive.