Juha Haataja has recently complained about lack of inspiration due to this dull, gray winter light. I can feel with him, we had no sun for more than two weeks now, and up in Finland the days are even shorter.
In a comment on his blog I had said that “when I have the problem, I normally search for colors in shop windows, street lights, advertising and so on, and I use that, frequently with very shallow depth of field, often only as a background. In many cases I go macro (but on the street) or use a longer lens.” Well, here we are 🙂
Let’s be honest, this lens is a pig, regardless of its generally good reviews. Wide open it is extremely soft (it’s no focus problem, it’s only softness), shows excessive purple fringing (not CA, that would easily be fixable in software), and its minimum focus distance of about 85 cm makes it unusable for any macro work.
Still, at times it is quite funny to use, and it made a nice contrast to the Sigma 20/1.8. I’m only sure that it won’t live on my camera for much longer. Its restrictions and flaws make it a tough choice as a walk-around lens. In fact, I’m a day late, these are Monday images, I’m writing this on Tuesday afternoon, have used it today as well, and I definitely know that I won’t shoot with it tomorrow.
My style of seeing with this lens is very similar to that with the Sigma 70/2.8, but then again it is not. They have almost equal focal lengths, the Nikon is longer and opens up to f1.8, but the Sigma is a macro and that makes all the difference. See my images from about a year ago, when the Sigma was my favorite lens and I used it more or less exclusively. It is so much more versatile, and although it is slower, it is completely usable from wide open, which the Nikon is only under very controlled conditions.
Anyway, we’ll come back to the Nikon 85/1.8 in the next post, and after that it will go back into the bag for good, to be resurrected for the odd portrait session or maybe on another one of these weird days when I need something different 🙂
The Song of the Day, “Bright Lights Big City“, is one more time from the 2008 album “Two Men With The Blues” by Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis. YouTube has a promo video that’s actually worth seeing, and this song begins at around 3:10. Enjoy!