Nikon D200 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 — 1/250 sec, f/1.2, ISO 100 — map & image data — nearby photos
Photo by Zak Braverman
f/1.2 is an extremely big aperture. I've written about the shallow depth of field you get at large apertures (small “f” numbers), such as on this Sigma 30mm f/1.4 post, but this f/1.2 aperture is a new experience for me. Focusing on anything relatively near with the aperture at f/1.2 results in a paper-thin field that's in focus, but even then, the focus is “soft” due to spherical aberration and perhaps other things that I don't understand. Zak put this to good use above, knowing that my face in sharp focus would be a Bad Thing.
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 — 1/640 sec, f/1.2, ISO 100 — map & image data — nearby photos
with a little extra artsy-fartsy contrast added in post
The two primary uses of a large aperture lens like this are for low-light photography (such as this), and to take advantage of the shallow depth of field. In the spirit of the latter artistic use, I thought I'd use it on my walk home with an eye toward a more artsy-fartsy shot.
However, upon exiting the cafe, I see a monk chowing down on a Big Mac. So much for artsy-fartsy.
While eating, he was watching the Kamo River flow by. A shallow depth of field with the scene below didn't really do much except make everything mushy, so I ended up with a more normal f/5.6. Except for the guy's yellow jacket and the green of the weeds, the scene was almost completely devoid of color, so I just went ahead and turned it into an artsy-fartsy grayscale.
You can walk or ride a bicycle along the banks of the Kamo river for miles, and it's mostly quite pleasant, but the short stretch between Sanjo and Ooike is really unpleasant on a bicycle...
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 — 1/2500 sec, f/1.2, ISO 100 — map & image data — nearby photos
( there was a Pink Scoopy parked nearby, as well )
I really like the view of the mountains to the north of Kyoto you get from along the Kamo River, how they fade in layers many miles back into the mist. I see it almost every day, but I've never figured out how to take a good picture of it. As the photo above shows, though, I am quite adept at taking bad pictures of it. With the general mushiness of this lens at f/1.2, the car (which is ostensibly the focus point) takes on somewhat of a “soft-focus glow.”
Perhaps that kind of effect would be appealing for some kinds of fashion photography.
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 — 1/1250 sec, f/1.2, ISO 100 — map & image data — nearby photos
(a brand of coffee)
The plants and mini vending machine were in front of someone's house. I tried a shot of the plants at f/1.2, but everything came out mushy...
It could just be user error (that is, perhaps I didn't focus well, or didn't have a steady hand), but I'm fairly confident that I gave it a pretty good effort. I have a Katz Eye focusing screen, which allows for much easier/better manual focusing, and at f/1.2, the shutter was a zippy 1/750th second. It's still a sloppy mess.
Things are much sharper at f/5.6, but the result is unpleasingly busy.
I should have tried it at about f/2 or f/2.8.
A few houses down, there was a small sprig of those red berries I wrote about at the end of last year, and at f/2, I really like the result:
I took the opportunity to revisit the red berries seen in that red-berries post (in its first picture, and its last two pictures). I can't say that have I much to show for it, though. The background is just too busy, even at f/1.2, to work in a wide-angle shot.
However, the softness at f/1.2 make a very nice effect with this flower.