My most awesomest lens so far (and why)

One of the large advantages of Nikon is that they never upgraded their mount (where the lens attaches to the camera) so basically any lens made since the mid 70's works with the camera (Canon changed their system in the late 80's). Coupled with the fact that well made lens last a very long time (a Leica lens from the 20's will probably work better than most new lens) this makes it quite fun to look for and buy used Nikon lens. After spending way too much time researching lens (though not trying them out) I ended up with a few good old lenses (so far).

So far I bought: 18mm f2.8 prime lens (very wide angle) - very used 35mm f/2 prime lens (moderately wide) - lightly used 50mm f/1.4 lens (normal, pretty much the way we see things) - new 105mm f/2 DC (short telephoto, totally rocks for portraits and currently holds the title of "my most awesomest lens so far) - used 70-210 f/4 (telephoto zoom, good for kids running around) - used

Now I am sure I'm going to sell some of them and buy different ones, but the advantage of buying used (if you do your research) is that you could use the lens for a year or two and sell it for at least how much you paid for it.

Back to our broadcast:

Why the 105mm DC rocks: 1. It's a great length for faces. You could get pretty close without the nose looking like a watermelon (which for kids may look cute but adults will shoot you and never let you take their picture again) 2. It's fast. The aperture opens up to 52.5 mm. Thats half of 105mm. Hence the f/2 (focal length divided by largest aperture opening = f/x). What that does is allows mucho light into the camera allowing for two things A. great background blur (very thin depth of field, i.e. not much in focus) B. Fast shutter speeds for action or low light when you would normally need a flash. 3. It's sharp as a victorinox chef's knife. 4. It does something magical to skin tones (not sure how to explain that. Magic.) 5. Built like a tank. 6. Has this "Defocus Control" thingie which theoretically allows you to change the appearance of the out of focus areas (known as "bokeh" for some strange reason). It also allows you to use it as a "soft focus" lens which gives a dreamy look to the pictures.

What's not that hot: 1. Slower than newer lens to focus 2. Has some focusing issues sometimes (trying to figure out when) 3. Ridiculous button that you have to press to focus manually (and you have to pull a switch on the camera. Ridiculous.)

Now for some much awaited examples:


that's wide open at f/2. If you check out that full size image you could see how sharp it is. All I did was slightly boost the saturation. And check out the skin, mmmmmmm, and that beautiful background bokeh...


DSC_5146 @f/2.8. This is my sister Devorah Leah Ashkenazi. Colors were edited but didn't touch the skin or background.


DSC_4385 Mendel and Bubby @ f/3.2 (should have been at 4 or 5.6, I keep on doing that)


_DSC2517 @ f3.2. Don't look at it full size, I kind of missed the eyes a bit (nerd. Me, not the kid.).


_DSC2192 Mendel @ f/2.5


_DSC2392 Chanaleh @ f/2.5


some dude @ f2.2

and last but not least.

_DSC2068 This was actually taken with the 35mm at f/2.2 (bokeh isn't nearly as nice, but the picture is cool) and edited quite a bit in photoshop.

The point is, that even without the "defocus control" (which I haven't really played around with) this lens is the bees knees (which may or may not be kosher. Ask your local Rabbi, who may or may not know the answer.)