Nifty Fifty

This one is for birdwatchers and photographers only, really. I bought myself a Nikon 50mm 1.8D after Christmas. It has autofocus, but this only works on the later Nikons that have an autofocus motor in the body. If you have, say, a 3200, you need the 1.8G, which is way more expensive. I thought it would be useful for getting clear photos of birds that liked dark places, like the Water Rail – crucially, it has permanent manual focus override. Autofocus as best you can, then twist the focus ring to get it spot on (hopefully). Perfect for getting Water Rails that like hiding behind foliage. Of course, I took it to Ninesprings today and the Rail didn’t show. Too many people and too much noise, but hey, it’s their park too, I can’t expect to get it to myself all the time.

I have discovered it is no good for taking pictures of small birds quite far away and hoping the extra light gained from the large aperture translates into crystal clear photos when cropped by 95% though, or even large ones if you want any detail. It is one heck of a portrait lens, and I may keep it just for getting a decent shot of the Water Rail, but I’ll probably sell it.

It is very very good for shots like this though:


Definitely should have had it with me yesterday for the twilight Lapwings.

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