My New Holiday Best Friend

This is the excellent, and affordable, AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8.
This is the excellent, and affordable, AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8.
Though slightly cluttered on close examination, the bokeh of the 35mm f/1.8 is workable and capable of creating excellent backgrounds.
Though slightly cluttered on close examination, the bokeh of the 35mm f/1.8 is workable and capable of creating excellent backgrounds.

This holiday season I had opportunity to photograph my grandson and our family in several different situations, including low-light and very-low-light scenarios.

As a news, sports and magazine shooter for a living, I am accustomed to reaching into a pretty standard toolbox for making pictures: a very wide angle zoom, a big telephoto zoom, and a super telephoto. Most news photographers have similar habits, because, when we are in shooting mode, it fills all the gaps.

But over the past week, I wasn’t in shooting mode, I was in family mode, and I found myself skipping the big zooms and multiple pro camera bodies in favor of a small digital SLR and one lens, the AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G. I am loving this lens for everything I shot this week: opening Christmas gifts, playing with the grandson, watching the Christmas parade, and even an ice storm. It’s light, bright, quiet, fast and sharp.

Shooting near the close focus limit with the AF-S 35mm f/1.8 results in very shallow depth of field, with near-circular out of focus highlights.
Shooting near the close focus limit with the AF-S 35mm f/1.8 results in very shallow depth of field, with near-circular out of focus highlights.

My wife Abby doesn’t like this lens as much as I do because it doesn’t zoom like the popular kit lenses on most DLSRs today, but therein is its trump card: f/1.8. Not only is its largest aperture f/1.8, it’s an excellent performer at that aperture, making it a superior choice for all sorts of candid and low-light situations.

I return to work tomorrow, and I return to shooting mode. But the next time I am in family mode, I’ll be reaching for this excellent lens again and again.

I made this image of the Parade of Lights in downtown Ada with the 35mm f/1.8, handheld at f/1.8, 1600 ISO, 1/15th of a second.
I made this image of the Parade of Lights in downtown Ada with the 35mm f/1.8, handheld at f/1.8, 1600 ISO, 1/15th of a second.
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1 Comment

  1. Richard, I love this lens. It produces incredibly bright images and is so versatile. Great piece.

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