Elbulgarian

A last minute reality check

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Hi all,

A greenhorn to the game here.
My story (don't prepare popcorn, I'll keep it brief).

Some years ago I found Ken Rockwell (or Ken Rockwell found me) and he convinced me that all I actually need in life (sorry John) is Nikon D40.
I bought my very first DSLR brand new with the kit lens on, walked out of the store in Amsterdam and started shooting immediately, as a Japanese tourist first time in Paris. And continued doing so for some years. As you can probably imagine, 99,9 % of the photos I made were garbage. There are some I still can look at, but there's not a single one I can say I'm particularly proud of.

Now I'm ready to start anew and hopefully get more serious about photography (not expecting to grab a Pulitzer prize, but one never knows).
And I want to dive into stock photography as well. Did I mention that I'm on a very tight budget?!

After some research, I ended up drooling over a second-hand Nikon D7100 (below 6500 shots) and then the real drama took place.
I'm literally torn between two lenses and feel stuck trying to make a final decision. Those two are Nikon 50mm f/1.8G and Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 AF-D.

I'm a street lover, I like playing with the natural light, but I'm also an impulsive portrait junkie by nature and I keep a weather eye open for everything on the stock horizon. So, I decided to make my very first post in these forums asking you, guys (please don't stone me), what would be your recommendation in this particular case? Also, any ideas about an ergonomic case/holster/strap/system, you name it, to carry around the whole thing and keep it safe? Thanks.

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First Off welcome. second ken is One of My Oldest friends online we go back to the beginning of the internet together. 7100 is a fine camera But it will not make you a better Photographer. Maybe easier and better as far as many things. Lenses are far More Important. the 50 1.4 is one of the all time best if you get a good copy. the 1.8 is also a great lens. my advice is if you can afford it. get the 7100 and the 1.4 and try to test asap and if there is a issue make sure the person will Take it back. That lens could be very,very Old or new. it has been made a trillion Times going back to the late 1950's. I've own the same one in Manual that Long. It is the perfect street lens and super fast at 1.4 Not my first choice for portrait But will do with some tricks. Perfect portrait is 70 to 135 Ish to capture the right Ration of compression NATURAL LOOKING NOSE TO TIP OF EARS DISTANCE . Past 135 and ears compress making them Look Closer.. 50 is used mainly for people who are Overweight or the opposite. If Over weight shoot vertical, makes them thinner if thin shoot Horizontal to  do the opposite. Both are "MUST HAVE" glass. If One?...go for 1.4. The Bokeh is amazing.  Glass is King Man. Cameras are disposable.

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3 hours ago, Laurin Rinder said:

First Off welcome. second ken is One of My Oldest friends online we go back to the beginning of the internet together. 7100 is a fine camera But it will not make you a better Photographer. Maybe easier and better as far as many things. Lenses are far More Important. the 50 1.4 is one of the all time best if you get a good copy. the 1.8 is also a great lens. my advice is if you can afford it. get the 7100 and the 1.4 and try to test asap and if there is a issue make sure the person will Take it back. That lens could be very,very Old or new. it has been made a trillion Times going back to the late 1950's. I've own the same one in Manual that Long. It is the perfect street lens and super fast at 1.4 Not my first choice for portrait But will do with some tricks. Perfect portrait is 70 to 135 Ish to capture the right Ration of compression NATURAL LOOKING NOSE TO TIP OF EARS DISTANCE . Past 135 and ears compress making them Look Closer.. 50 is used mainly for people who are Overweight or the opposite. If Over weight shoot vertical, makes them thinner if thin shoot Horizontal to  do the opposite. Both are "MUST HAVE" glass. If One?...go for 1.4. The Bokeh is amazing.  Glass is King Man. Cameras are disposable.

I hear ya... That's what I keep reading about the 1.4. The problem is that the second hand market here (around my shores) is so poor (almost non existent), that I literally find only 2 offers for 1.4D at a decent price (still twice, and the second offer even three times the price of a new/unused 1.8G). I ordered the cheapest unused 1.8G I found today, so that I can test the Nikon D7100 body, when I receive it a day after, but have an open conversation with another seller, who's selling an old Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF D for a decent price, which by the way, according to Ken Rockwell (so great to hear you and Mr. Rockwell are buddies - after all he's the man who lighted the very first spark of interest in digital photography in me), is the better option in comparison with Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S, especially if manufactured before year 2000, which reads Made in Japan. I'd greatly appreciate if you could confirm/deny that.

Well, it looks like I will end up buying a 1.4 (D or G) too, just to see the difference, and eventually later decide either to keep it and sell the 1.8G, or the other way around. 

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I just bought the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G (7 days ago to be precise) having read through a whole bunch of reviews. I have tested it on the grandchildren and I am very pleased with the results but I haven't really tried to use it elsewhere as we are visiting the kids and grandkids right now. First thoughts....... 1) the lens is very sharp, 2) nice bokeh but, if using for portraits, then a reflector is probably needed 3) temptation to shoot with the lens wide open but not sure if that is necessarily ideal - will need to play with it a lot more. Bear in mind that the D7100 is a crop sensor so the 50mm will behave more like an 80mm on a full frame.

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21 minutes ago, Charles Lewis said:

I just bought the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G (7 days ago to be precise) having read through a whole bunch of reviews. I have tested it on the grandchildren and I am very pleased with the results but I haven't really tried to use it elsewhere as we are visiting the kids and grandkids right now. First thoughts....... 1) the lens is very sharp, 2) nice bokeh but, if using for portraits, then a reflector is probably needed 3) temptation to shoot with the lens wide open but not sure if that is necessarily ideal - will need to play with it a lot more. Bear in mind that the D7100 is a crop sensor so the 50mm will behave more like an 80mm on a full frame.

Thanks for sharing. Actually I haven't even touched a full frame DSLR yet, so I wouldn't know the difference, but still, good to know. Perhaps that explains Ken Rockwell's attachment to Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX, which he claims to be his favorite lens for each of his DX cameras. It's already in my list for a future reference. And yes, for portraits and stock I was advised to add two speedlite flashes to my kit, plus eventually two soft-boxes for a complete mobile strobist's studio. But that will wait until/if I'm ready for it. Lots to learn before that...

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