50mm lens for Nikon

Nifty fifty sat on a wall, Nifty fifty had a great fall and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put fifty together again.

You guessed it right. My trusted 50mm Nikkor fell down from a great height and broke beyond repairs. I was in the market for a new 50mm lens. With budget not a major constraint, I went all out and did a in-depth research on the various options available. There were a handful of lenses which had great reviews all around and were easily available for my camera. Some of them had very poor reviews or were not upto the mark. I did not even give them a second thought. After some research and asking around, I was limited to deciding between these models –

Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G (Special Edition)
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D
Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 G
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
Nikon 55mm f/2.8 micro AI-s
Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ZF.2 Planar
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1
Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 SL-II N AIS

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Nikkor 200 mm f/4 AI

Nikkor 200 mm f/4 AI is a great lens in a small form factor. It is sharp and very well built lens that was introduced in 1977 when Nikon came up with the concept of AI. 200mm occupies is a sweet spot in the variety of focal lengths available. It is not too short as 105 or 135mm lenses. The close-ups of faces look more pleasing due to the change in perspective by using a 200mm lens. The lens is also not as long and heavy as 300mm Nikkors which can be quite uncomfortable for hand-held use.

Flower

(Nikon Df with Nikkor 200mm f/4 AI at f/11, 1/100 sec)

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Nikon CLS and SU-800

Strobes (flashes or speedlights) can be quite confusing when multiple units are to be used. Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS) is the easiest way to deal with this confusion. This is a system which does remote triggering of speedlights, high speed sync, flash color correction, and advanced i-TTL fill flash…. everything wirelessly. Nikon launched the Nikon SU-800 as a control unit for its CLS system. The communication happens over infra-red. Over the last many years, this commander unit has remained unchanged and now there are third party options available that also work with the CLS. Recently I was in the market searching for a commander unit to control my speedlights remotely. This article is a summary of what I learnt and a short review of the Nikon SU-800, that I finally bought.

su-800

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Boxtudio – Studio in a Box!

When I started doing product reviews, one of the challenges I faced was with photographs. For most products, I was using two umbrellas with speed lights and a neutral backdrop. Things were fine but they occupied a lot of space. I had to set up things in my living room and then pack everything back after finishing the photo-shoot. Not a very comfortable idea considering the fact that most product reviews do not have just a handful of photos.

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Yongnuo flash – 568EX

I have been using Nikon speedlights for quite sometime now. My favorite one is SB600 which is small, powerful and supports CLS. Recently I felt the need for two more flash units but my pocket did not permit buying two. Sadly SB600s were no longer available. The models that were available in the market from Nikon were beyond my means. I then started looking for third-party units.

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