|Canon Eos 5D with Nikon 50mm f/1.2 - Tim Irving|
These lenses are sometimes described as standard, but believe me, they're not. I have been asked "What are the qualities of a Noctilux, when stopped down to f/8". The answer is I don't know, or care. I only use a fast lens wide open or stopped down one or two stops at the most. Wide open I like the narrow depth of focus, the bokeh, the low contrast and the softness, particularly the softness.
I've written before about the Nikon 50mm f/1.2 lens, and my liking for it. Until recently this lens has been parked permanetly on my Nikon F2, it's been a happy and fruitful union. I've spoken about how the lens has a unique look that I like, probably one of my favourite lenses of all time.
For about 40% of my work I use Canon full frame DSLR's, like the Eos 5D above. They're fast and very easy to use, but I've always found the current range of Canon lenses to be rather sterile, disappointing really. I've settled on the 50mm f/1.4 and the 85mm f/1.8 which are unremarkable but work well.
For some time I've toyed with the idea of putting other manufacturers lenses (read Nikon and Leica), onto one of my Canon camera bodies. Two weeks ago I took the plunge, I ordered the appropriate adapter from SRB, a very good, small precision engineering company who make adapters for everything. The SRB adapter is beautifully made and fitting it to the lens is simple matter, as is fitting the lens to the camera.
Looking through the viewfinder for the first time it's instantly apparent that the lens/body combination will take some getting used to. The camera works in the Av mode (aperture priority). You set the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed, which is displayed in the viewfinder, so far, so good. You can also adjust the ISO and the exposure compensation for fine tuning.
In use this combination of camera and lens is like going back in time. For me it's like using the Exacta camera I had 30 years ago. Within 5 minutes, or 10 photographs, it's obvious that focusing this lens is guess work on the standard Canon screen. I ordered a split image focusing screen which arrived next day.
|Drops of Scarlett - Eos 5D with Nikon 50mm f/1.2 - Tim Irving|
Overall I'm very happy with the Nikon/Eos combination, it works very well alongside my other methods. It could be easier, but nothing is perfect.