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nikon 18.5 f/1.8 and format comparison


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12 replies to this topic

#1 schwett

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:10

this lens showed up today from b&h. first of all... let me just say that this is the lens the nikon 1 should have shipped with in the first place.

a size comparison. three systems - full frame, dx, and cx. 43mm diagonal, 28mm diagonal, 16mm diagonal. area of 860mm, 368mm, 116mm. here they all are with lenses which achieve the same angle of view. nikon fx and fuji at f/1.4, nikon cx at f/1.8

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interestingly, with 28mm equivalent focal lengths, the two small cameras get smaller, and the big one gets bigger! of course, i have the voigtlander 40mm pancake in between 50 and 28, but that's MF and thus cheating.

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front view continues the theme.

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if i had to describe these, the j1 with either lens is 'nearly pocketable,' the x-e1 is not pocketable but will fit in just about any bag you have or over your shoulder without fuss (note that it's the only one with a strap :wink: and the d800e is a camera you have to plan to bring and be aware of it's presence.

despite it's small size, nice build, good ergonomics, quick-footedness, and acceptable image quality, i really haven't used the j1 as much as i hoped i would. that's because none of the lenses really excite me. i like subject isolation, and i like shooting in available light. the small sensor really works against the former, and the slowish apertures and bad high iso performance work against the latter.

but this little lens really changes the equation a little. combined with the J1s incredible autofocus (compared to the other mirrorless dreck out there - and i've used a lot of them), it makes for a really responsive and fun little camera. optically the lens doesn't seem to have any major flaws - it has a LOT of vignetting wide open, which i don't really consider a flaw with this focal length since it's so easy to fix and adds character to a lot of shots. haven't seen any major aberrations - some purple fringing around highlights. a little distortion, but you aren't using this lens for architecture anyway, right?

it arrived in a box from b&h at work today, and expecting it's arrival, i had slipped the j1 into a pocket on my way to the office. my commute entails a ±2 mile walk in the morning and afternoon, and i had the rare chance to leave before it was completely dark today, so i took some photos. all shot at f/1.8. i doubt i will ever change the aperture on this lens. :wink:

1 this is earlyish in the day. note the vignetting!!
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2 a cliche, but i liked the light
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3 i intentionally did not recover the shadows here
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4 our studio is about 10 floors from the top, and i sit just beyond the right corner visible here. this is now nearly dusk
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5 nice handling of the color in the highlights
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6 despite the 1" sensor, you can achieve some subject isolation - although in this shot, there's motion blur at work too
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7 the combo handles these super high contrast areas between neon and metal well
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8 sharp foreground, soft background. i actually like the oof rendering of this lens.
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9 another cliche
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10 a question for the experts. what's with the banded/flickered pattern of the moving cable car!??! it's almost as if it's not a continuous exposure, but rather a series of micro exposures. the j1 does not have a mechanical shutter, so is this perhaps some side effect of an electronic shutter? it's curious.
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Edited by schwett, 27 November 2012 - 07:12 .

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#2 schwett

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:20

continued.

11 another commuter
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12 shot through glass, but quite sharp and a nice transition from sharp to blurry if you look closely at the lemons. the bokeh is a little nervous in this shot.
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13 when i got home, my daughter had a birthday card for me!
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14 and a shirt
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15 and my wife (not pictured) had another lens! :D
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all in all, this lens rejuvenates the j1 for me. other things i really hope they add to the system: a 32 f/1.2 or thereabouts, and a 13 f/1.4 or thereabouts. the 10 and 18 make a nice pair, and the 13 and 32 would make a nice pair. one lens on the camera, one in a pocket or small bag etc.

why would i use this camera now that i have the x-e1? three reasons. it's FAST, meaning the continuous autofocus actually works, it's COMPLETELY silent, and it's smaller. why wouldn't i use it? the image quality is OK but not great due to the presence of noise at virtually every ISO, and becoming problematic past 400.
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#3 aerobat

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:02

Happy birthday Schwett! May I ask what this other Fuji lens is?

Regards Daniel

#4 schwett

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:32

the 18 f/2. took the scale comparison picture at the top after opening it :D

I probably won't get any more X lenses until something like a 55 f/1.4 (or better, f/1.2!) appears. the zoom doesn't really tempt me. I have a lot of zooms for the d800e.
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#5 nfoto

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:47

Nice examples that even the 1 system can be useful.

As to your cable car question: subject movement in combination with A/C flicker (60 Hz in US, 50 Hz in Europe). You see the same if you shoot rain or snow falling under a street lamp.
Bjørn

#6 olivier

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 15:55

In that case it should be easy to calculate the speed of the cable car!
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#7 Longhiker

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 16:05

Happy birthday. The 1 series did focus very well and all the pieces had a very nice feel to them. I just didn't care for the image quality, but it is a useful format and you've shown can produce very nice images. I've read that Fuji has 56mm f1.4, 10-24mm f4, 27mm f2.8, and 23mm f1.4 lenses on the list for the future. The 23 and 56 are of particular interest to me and I think you'd like them, too.
There is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept. - Ansel Adams

#8 schwett

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 16:37

particularly the 56. but I'm not sure the x-e1 AF is up to the task. I would typically use such a lens for candid portraits and available light / dusk or evening walk around shots. suitable for the latter, but the former will be a challenge without usable continuous autofocus. perhaps if it has a faster focusing motor....


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#9 Longhiker

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 17:48

It does take its time, but once in focus it is solid.
There is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept. - Ansel Adams

#10 schwett

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 18:50

It does take its time, but once in focus it is solid.


that's for sure. dead accurate and i love that you can change the size of the focus area and position it basically anywhere in the frame. excellent for landscapes, architecture, product stuff, macro, or posed portraits. terrible for candids and wildlife.
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#11 Akira

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 23:53

schwett, thanks for sharing these images taken with the new 18.5/1.8. I thought it very promising when I casually tested one at a Nikon showroom. I also like my 10/2.8 but wish it would have been at least f2.0 instead of f2.8.
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

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#12 yunfat

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:47

Thanks for sharing...

Even with the 1/16000th shutter speed of J2 I think it would still be tough for me to shoot in the full sun down here, so the 1 system might not be for me.

That said, it seems like the perfect system for what you are getting out of it. Those shots are all colorful, have a great snapshot aesthetic, and proves, as you say, with this new lens, a touch of bokeh can be had. Nice work to demonstrate the strengths of this system.

I wanted to write off the 1, but shots like this prove the future might be bright for 1"

#13 gerhard2006

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 23:59

I agree with Yunfat, nice selection of what the lens can do. I also own this lens and I like the bokeh of the lens as well. It's nice having a fast lens to work with and look forward to what Nikon will do with this system in the future. i also have the adapter and with the fast glass I own it becomes even more enjoyable in low light. As for IQ it is a P&S so I don't expect it to be a DSLR as to quality. Nikon kept the size to sensor ratio just right in my opinion.




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