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B&W Portrait with new 50mm AF-S F/1.8G

By mswiech
Bought the new Nikon 50mm AF-S F/1.8G and wanted to test it out. Took my daughter out to see what kind of pictures I could get. All natural light as the sun was setting and behind me.

ISO 100

Silly me, I left it in F2.2 as I know it should have been in F2.8 to get the sharpness in her eyes more. Overall I am happy with the shot. Please be as harsh as you like in your critique as I want to learn from others opinions.

Tags: General Black and white Close-up and macro Wildlife and nature Portraits and people

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Davesumner 11 28 300 Australia
11 Jul 2011 7:05AM
Hi Mike,

Very nice image, lots of very neutral lighting and I must say that your daughter is beautiful. One thing though and I am no portrait expert but I think the shot would have worked better with eye contact rather than her looking away like she is. The eye contact engages the viewer with the subject and makes for a more pleasing image and gives the subject a less posed look.

Hope this helps


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paulbroad 10 123 1245 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2011 7:34AM
The lens is obviously very goods. I would have gone for an aperture to get both eyes sharp - f8 may be. There seems to be a tendency to use these lenses wide open all the time and that wide aperture is there in case you need it. Mono is OK, but I would still like colour and the conversion is a little dark - and eye contact. Eye contact would actually probably have solved the depth of field too.

Still a nice image in general.

mswiech 7 3 1 Canada
11 Jul 2011 10:51AM

Quote:A cracking lens and a nice image but compositionally I would like to see a small amount cropped from the LHS to take the eye bridge closer to 1/3 the way in from the LHS: here is is a little too central for maximum impact. It is always best to aloow people to look into frames, vehicles to drive in etc it always makes your image easier and generally better on the eye. I will upload a mod to give you my suggestion. Maximum aperture is the worst performing aprt of your lens and so stopping down a little is preferable when you are able to do so, in this case maybe to at least f5.6.


Thanks for the modification. I really like it too. I will def be experimenting with the lens and seeing what I can produce.

@Davesumner & paulbroad and Thank you for the comment. I would have gotten lower to be more on an eye level with her, but I was not going to squat in a mud hold Grin. I will be work my way through the aperture's of the lens to see what I can produce. Its all a learning curve and I am sure I will be really happy with the future results of this nice lens.
Philo 8 99 83 England
11 Jul 2011 5:10PM
Hi Mike, I have the older D version of this great lens and I have been using it at the wider end too. I personally think that there is just about enough sharpness here though I have to agree that f/2.8 would be better. If you stop down much further you start to bring the background into focus so it's about finding the right balance. Best to try a variety of apertures and see which works best (says me who will rattle off loads at the same aperture!).
I also agree with the compositional shift suggested by Frank.
A really nice portrait though and I look forward to more.
mswiech 7 3 1 Canada
12 Jul 2011 12:55AM
Thanks Philo. I too have the 50mm f/1.8d as well, but with my D3100 it was a bit difficult to really get some sharp images.
Philo 8 99 83 England
12 Jul 2011 11:12AM
Good point, I guess it only works in manual focus on a D3100 whereas it works in auto on a D90. Otherwise I would have had to save up even more for the G series.

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