Posts Tagged ‘ depth of field ’

New Nikon 50mm AF-S 1.8G Lens

Nikon Rumors is reporting a new 50mm f/1.8 from Nikon. 50mm lenses offer a low cost entry point to experiment with super shallow depths of field and give great low light performance.  Nikon and Canon both have 50mm f/1.8 lenses for under $150 (100 UK pounds).  The ‘f/1.8’ means the lens can be opened to a very wide aperture, which will let in lots of light, ideal for shooting at night without a tripod.  Such a wide aperture also creates a shallow depth of field making it easy to put a subject in focus and have a blurry background behind.

The significance of this new 50mm lens from Nikon is it overcomes a major drawback of the current Nikon current entry level 50mm which doesn’t include a focusing motor in the lens.  This prevents it being used on Nikon’s entry level cameras where it arguably would be most valuable to have a low cost, high performance lens available. The newly announced 50mm lens is marked ‘AF-S’ meaning it can auto-focus on almost any Nikon DSLR. If you’re a D40, D60, D3000, D3100 or D5000 owner and you don’t already have a large aperture 50mm lens, then this is a great announcement for you.  Price has not been announced but most likely in the 150-200 dollar range.

UPDATE 27th April:

  • Official announcement made by Nikon (see press release)
  • Amazon taking preorders.  Price, $219 including lens hood and a case.

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Basics: Aperture and Depth of Field

By Jack Berglund

There are numerous books and websites explaining the ins and out of shutter speed and aperture.  I’ll explain them in a simple way that you can actually use and when you need to care about what.  Here we’ll cover aperture, in a follow-up post I’ll include shutter speed.

Depth of Field is Your Friend

One of the best things about upgrading to a Digital SLR from a point and shoot is being able to control your depth of field. Depth of field is how much of photo is in focus from the point your focusing on.To get a portrait with an in focus face and a nice blurry background, you want a shallow depth of field.

Large Aperture, Shallow Depth of Field

The main way to control your depth of field is to alter the size of the aperture (the hole through which the light passes).  Due to something called ‘physics’ a larger aperture means a shallower depth of field.  Aperture is measured in f stops.   There are two important things to know about an f-stop: 1) smaller numbers mean a bigger aperture and 2) I’ll tell you in a moment.

Small f number (e.g. f/2.8) = big aperture = shallow depth of field = blurry background = nice portrait

Maximizing a Blurry Background

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