A Week with the Nikon 50 F/1.2 Ai-s

The Ai-s collection continues to be fun and I am trying a little experiment where I carry the lens for a week on my Df and see what happens.

Cut me some slack on these samples, they are mostly made going to and from work, little time, lower light, its a story of the life and times of a photography enthusiasts fun over the course of a week.


2 Degrees

Monday, fairly rushed, got this one above first thing in the truck waiting for it to finish warming up.  I notice it was two degrees outside.. The rest of the days photos are a bust, shot through windows and too many reflections.. I rejected the rest.


Frosted Flakes

Tuesday Morning its warmer (24 Degrees), but somehow looks colder, the winshield has frosty flakes, looks cool — Click! —

I stop a few times on the way to work, one stop was at an archery range pictured below.


Dark Range

It occurs to me finally in my foreconcious that in my head I am 17 again, shooting my Nikon FG, which was far better than any candy I could imagine at the time, its the source of my renewed passion and life behind the lens.

The pure fact that the Df is so deliberate has an unexplained appeal.. and.. it explains the Gariz case I ordered.  It probably explains why I will get the leather strap. 🙂 so bad!!!

I drive some more and see this one:

2A0D0D4F-A2CE-431D-9549-DABD39256C38Morning House

On the way home I catch a barn and a sunset.


 Deadend Barn

I find myself back at the little lake inlet I stop at so many times to test new lenses, equipment, ect.  I play a bit and realize I am going to catch the sun setting.


 Dark Sunset Lake

I did some DOF and sharpness tests Monday on the way home just starting wide open and opening up.  Looks like I could get acceptable results at F/2.8 for a general landscape using some focus zone techniques.  I am a DOF fan liking deep DOF’s and have been noticing that with better glass I can get more up what I want wider open.  This is important in lower light with non stabilized MF lenses.

Wednesday arrives… the morning yields nothing, snow is on the way for my ride home!  it turns out that Wednesday is just one of those days, nose to the grindstone, not much time for fun really.


Frozen Falls


The Drive Home


 Home Again

Thursday, the truck says is 4 degrees, it drops to 1 degree on my way to work.. its cold, and even though I am running later than normal,


4 Degrees

I can’t help but stop and take pictures along the way.

The moon makes a great subject today, its nearly full and hanging just perfectly in the sky and I grab this along the way.


Country Roads Morning Moon

I deliberately take the lake route, despite the roads being a bit icy,and I stop at a low loop and park at a maintenance facility and get out to take a few.  My feet crackle in the light coat of white powder.


Driving a little more I found a few more frozen inspirations, these were just taken from the truck with the window rolled down, kinda crazy when its only 4 degrees out, but much more sane thane getting out and walking!


Sunrise Trees


Frozen Path


Morning Moon Lake





As I approach work, I see rainbows galore and I sneak around back of the building to capture one.  As I walk to my spot, I see ice crystals silently exploding in the air as the light of the sun catches them.  This would be powered snow if it were bigger and more defined.


 Rainbow Beam

Friday, warmer but a chilly wind makes it feel just as cold, maybe even colder.  We will rise into the 50’s today though, maybe even 70 Saturday before dipping again.  I set out for work and decided to hit the range again and walk around a bit.


Moon Truck

I grabbed a few more below before heading on in the rest of the way to work.


Range Sunrise


Soft Sunrise

An with that its time to wrap up my week with the 50 F/1.2 Ai-s!  What a fabulous lens and I posted more pictures than I thought I would.  As a landscape shooter, I found myself frequently wanting a wider lens.  With my experiment I learned how to use it and make some reasonably good pictures.  The lens is highly highly capable.  It sharpens up DOF as open as F2 – F2.8 which makes it highly versatile for lower light shooting.

The experiment is fun for me, educational and manual lenses are engaging, they make you choose your focus plane.. and that add’s even more deliberateness to the Df shooting experience.

Next week I will try working with the Samyang 14mm F2.8.

This entry was posted in Talking Photography.