Over the course of the past few weeks I have had the chance to really get acquainted with this lens. Though not my first manual focus Nikkor (that honor belongs to the excellent 50mm f/2 AI), this has become a favorite of mine recently, tending to stay on my NEX-7 about 70% of the time. Despite its minor flaws (which will be discussed in detail), this lens is dynamite. After some personal confusion in figuring out just what the lens could be used for (the 157mm equivalent is technically too long for normal portraits, and too short for a normal long telephoto), I happily found that it is quite perfect for both “up close and personal” portraits, as well as a useful lens for separating people from a crowd. This is obviously afforded by both the large maximum aperture and the focal length; at f/1.8 and at 15 feet, the depth of field (the amount of distance perpendicular to the lens that is in focus) is just over 5 inches. This in effect allows for the subject separation in the below shot:
So let’s dive deep into all the aspects of this fine legacy lens, shall we?