All you need is one standard prime lens, which enables scenes to be captured with excellent bokeh and a natural angle-of-view, and the expressive possibilities available to you will increase by leaps and bounds. Here, let’s take a look at the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/ 1.8 S, which is a great companion for the Nikon Z 6. (Photo and report by Tan Ee Tong)
Nikon Z 6/ NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S/ FL: 50mm/ Manual exposure (f/1.8, 1/500 sec)/ ISO 125/ WB: Auto
My models, Fiona and Xenres, were donned in 80s inspired outfits: flare pants, bright colours, everything. The old shophouse with vintage shutter gates in Haji Lane—one of the hottest spots in Singapore—was slightly shaded by the morning sun, but wide open at f/1.8 the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S enabled a fast shutter speed of 1/500 sec to be utilized, allowing me to fully capture the dancers in motion. The amount of detail resolved, from the shape and musculature of the dancers’ arms to the tension in their eyes, even at wide-open aperture, is impressive.
Nikon Z 6/ NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S/ FL: 50mm/ Manual exposure (f/1.8, 1/500 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto
I was able to approach my subjectsup-close for a more intimate point-of-view and create gorgeous bokeh, their interlocking hands in focus with smooth and natural fall-off. The NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S has the depictive power to reproduce fine details within its razor-thin depth of field when shot wide-open.
Nikon Z 6/ NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S/ FL: 50mm/ Manual exposure (f/3.2, 1/400 sec)/ ISO 125/ WB: Auto
Haji Lane is known for its colourful surroundings and I couldn't resist taking a shot like this. I envisioned a good blend of colours between the outfits of the dancers and the background, which the dancers helped pull off through perfect execution. With the aperture narrowed down just enough for the background to not be distracting yet remain recognizable, the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S enables crisp and sharp details of my main subjects to be captured in a natural angle-of-view.
My experience with the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S was more than a pleasant surprise. As a performance arts photographer, I deal with odd lighting conditions and rapid movements all the time – almost the worst combination for photography, but this lens handled these situations well.
With a bright aperture of f/1.8, my hands are not as tied anymore. I can capture crisp sharp images of motion, and freeze the best form in time. Its natural and creamy bokeh definitely gives my images an extra boost.
I also found that lens focuses really quickly. It is a perfect match for the Nikon Z 6. When we were hurrying down the streets of Haji Lane, I could always trust the camera and lens to give me a satisfactory image when I clicked the shutter.
What really impressed me a great deal was the lens’ ability to handle backlit conditions, with minimal to no purple fringing. It indulges me, a photographer guilty of liking certain backlit conditions, with really clean-looking photographs.
Overall, I really loved how the lens packed so much optical performance into a small body. With the small body size of the Nikon Z series, the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S complements the line really well, and I can see it becoming one of my top choices for my creative work.
ED lens elements
Aspherical lens elements
For more details, click: NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S
Tan Ee Tong
Ee Tong spent her first few years as a photographer learning under leading figures in the field of stage photography, before venturing into fine art and commercial photography. She is currently an active stage photographer, serving the Singapore performing arts community with her passion in both the arts and photography. Currently a member of Nikon Professional Service, Singapore.