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Two Nikkor 50mm f1.4’s




A new lens has been added to my kit. Well I think I need to qualify “New” in two ways. It is old and second hand, in perfect condition and a classic what’s more.

Introducing (on the left) my new Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens from the Ai series (1977-1981).

On the right you can see my old Nikon 50mm f/1.4 NIKKOR-S Auto (1966-1974), which has gone in for service after years of being an almost permanent fixture on the front of every  camera I’ve had for the last twenty odd years.

For in depth tech details on all things camera related visit the great Ken Rockwell’s well written and deeply analytical goldmine of a site.

From the examples below I think you will agree that the quality and colour rendering, the balance of the images is superior to most of the lesser standard lenses in the business.

With the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 S

50mm f/4.0 1/3200 sec ISO 320

I was walking around near the University of Athens today and took this shot. I don’t know somehow it seemed to say a lot about the present predicament of being Greek or living in Greece.

I wonder what Kosti Palama  (the poet who wrote the words to the Olympic Hymn, national hero, central literary figure of the late 1800’s and the co-founder of the  New Athenian School, whose statue sits thoughtfully outside the Neoclassical gates of the main Uni building) with his missing nose and the graffiti at his feet, would think of his country now!
(The graffiti at his feet reads REVOLT NOT SEEDINESS. You’d have to agree!)

For all the techie amongst you who may find this kind of thing interesting and impressive to know. This was shot on the Nikon D 200, 50mm f1.4, at f4, shutter speed of around 4000 at ISO 320 in RAW format at high quality, under slightly overcast conditions.

With the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 Ai

New 50mm Test shots, 12.10.2014

The four shots below were taken with the new 50mm f1.4 lens on my Nikon D700, ISO 500, in the mid afternoon at f5.6. I have posted below the same shots clean from the camera with no adjustments on the left and with a little contrast and colour correction on the right. Although as I’ve often said all digital images need some correction, no matter how light, I feel that the fully manual shots below pre-process show clearly what kind of high quality can be achieved with the correct combination of hardware and exposure controls.


1/1250 sec; f/5.6; ISO 500 Manual; Matrix metering

1/1250 sec; f/5.6; ISO 500 Manual; Matrix metering

1/100 sec; f/5.6; ISO 500 Manual; Matrix metering

1/100 sec; f/5.6; ISO 500 Manual; Matrix metering

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