Raising the standard

These monochrome pictures were all taken with one of my favourite combinations when I had my Nikon cameras: the D800 and 50mm f/1.8 G.

I really enjoyed using the ubiquitous standard lens with the excellent D800. Once I had got used to the fact that rather than twisting the barrel on a zoom lens to get closer I had to move my legs, then the 50mm was on the full-frame Nikon body more often than it was not. I even bought the 35mm f1.8 for my ASP-C sensor Nikon D7100, 35mm being the 50mm equivalent on APS-C sensor bodies. I did a simple review of what focal length I was using in my photographs, by doing a lens metadata search in Lightroom for all the digital cameras I’ve ever used and the 50mm and 35mm APS-C came out on top by a large margin.

The 50mm (or 35mm) lens has roughly the same angle of view as the human eye, so it makes them very easy to use. Their simple manufacture also makes them less prone to chromatic aberration and are usually very sharp indeed compared to many zooms at that focal length. They are also normally very fast being F/1.4, F/1.8 or F/2, meaning they can be used in low light very effectively.

So, thinking back to my Nikon days and how much I used the 50mm and 35mm, I was a little surprised when I realised I wasn’t using the standard lens on my Fuji cameras as much as I did on my Nikons. Thinking about it though I think I have the explanation. Perhaps I favoured the standard lens on Nikon because of their size. Some of my Nikon full-frame lenses were rather large and heavy. Wandering about with them for a few hours and carried in a bag certainly but a kink in your shoulders. With Fuji however, all the lenses I have (apart from the 55-200mm) are small, relatively lightweight and of excellent quality. I can use the superb 35mm F/2 standard lens of course, but the 18-55mm and the 18-135mm are excellent zoom lenses that also cover other focal lengths without being large or heavy.

I think I’m going to make a special effort to use the 35mm F/2 a little more on the X-Pro2, after all, it was designed with that camera in mind.


Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 G



Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 G



Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 G



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