In the world of fast primes, not often are the specs of “200mm” and “f/2” combined in the description of a single lens. Inherently large and heavy, the ultra-fast design of a 200mm f/2 has long enabled photographers to effectively shoot telephoto in very low light as well as create stunning subject separation simply not possible with a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom. Though the available light advantage afforded by the f/2 aperture is somewhat offset by the high-ISO abilities of modern digital sensors, the extra depth-of-field control still has its place in creative photography. Additionally, when used on an APS-C sensor camera like the NEX-7, a 200mm f/2 helpfully acts as a 300mm f/2.8 would on a full-frame camera.
Though it should come as no surprise, telephoto primes such as the Nikon 200mm f/2 are somewhat bulky and cumbersome even used with a suitable DSLR like a d300 with its vertical grip. When a lens of this caliber is mounted onto a comparatively tiny mirrorless camera such as the Sony NEX-7, the combination looks outright comical. That said, it is far more important to see how the lens performs in front of an unforgiving 24-megapixel APS-C sensor in making photographs rather than how the kit may turn heads at an event. Read on to find out how the 200mm f/2 stacks up as the professional fast telephoto it aims to be. As always, if you are unfamiliar with my lens review style, please read up on this post first! Continue Reading
32mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 30 Seconds
A little over a year ago when I formed this website, one of my promises to you all, my readers, was to go the “quality over quantity” approach in my blogging. Instead of uploading photos after photos, snapshots that only clutter my site’s library, I’ve always tried to cull through only the best of my photographs and write in a style that is frank, concise, yet still sports a touch of my personality. Continue Reading
For a detailed comparison of all of Nikon’s Series-E lenses, click here!
It shouldn’t come to surprise anyone when I say I love the 100mm focal length on APS-C cameras. What should be an awkward length too long for “typical” portraits (usual range is 85-135 on 35mm camera), but too short for a long telephoto (those start around 180-200mm)–becomes an “up close and personal” portrait lens useful in separating subjects from a crowd, or emphasizing certain features of people. With a stop-and-a-third slower maximum aperture than my 105mm f/1.8 AI-s, the degree of separation on the 100mm f/2.8 E is somewhat less, and the “pop” starts to fade away (shallow depth of field is an aspect of photography I love to employ). Also, in low light and at max aperture, it can be a bummer to still have to either slow the shutter speeds (risking motion blur) to stay at low ISOs, or to raise the ISOs (resulting in more noise) to keep the shutter speed high. When shooting conditions go south, compromises have to be made. So be it.
Regardless, the 100mm f/2.8 E has to have redeeming qualities, right? You bet. I do like this lens very much, for reasons detailed below–so much so, I’m not particularly sure which lens (the 105mm or 100mm E) I enjoy the best overall. There’ll be a section discussing that near the end, but let’s get onto the meat-and-potatoes!
As promised, here is the last set from my weekend Renaissance fair outing. It turned out to be a lot more fun than I was expecting, and the people (and things) there were very interesting to photograph. The themes for set one and two were interesting people and things, respectively. This last theme really is just miscellaneous, as they don’t all fit into a specific category. Regardless, they’re worth sharing. 🙂
All of the following taken with the Nikon 100mm f/2.8 and NEX-7.
100mm, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/800 (Monochrome)
Keeping this post short and sweet, but to get a few items of importance out of the way…I have updated a couple things on the site, most notably the recent 50mm f/1.8 E review. I found (after a helpful criticism from a reader) the reason behind the odd sharpness characteristic prominent at f/4-5.6 is due to a lens imperfection known as focus shift, where critical focus is not consistent from aperture to aperture. Thanks to another reader request, I also added a “sharpness at macro” section to the 105mm f/1.8 AI-s review.
Anyways, back to some pictures from a recent outing to a Renaissance fair (yes, I actually went to one. Go figure. hehe). Yesterday’s theme of “interesting people” (found in my first impressions of the 100mm f/2.8 E) is followed up today by “interesting things”. Not the most inventive title, but hey, what can I say. 🙂
All taken with the Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series-E, wide open, with the Sony NEX-7.
100mm, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/125
50mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/800
I’m a Kentuckian. Call me silly, but until yesterday I had never visited Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. Yes, I know; such an iconic area so close to home, seen by millions each year as the horses race along the track, and I had never been! By way of a of a side-trip I stopped by with family to get a glimpse at all the hubbub of the area, and boy, I wish I had gotten there earlier to see all what was going on, and I can’t wait to go back!