Today, Celene and I decided to have a little time off by taking a nice stroll around Eastwood City. It was a perfect thing too, since I do needed some R&R from surviving a week of various activities, and I also recently got (borrowed, actually) myself a nice portrait lens that I was then itching to try outside.
This particular lens is simply stunning in terms of image quality. It does exactly what lenses of this caliber would promise; produce sharp images even at its widest opening. The bokeh is smooth and creamy, as the image above would suggest; the background simply melts away like a dream. Take not though, that is is an f/1.8 version, and f/1.4 samples would produce something even more spectacular than this. Even with this lens alone, I already fell in love with its performance, except for one flaw that of which origin I couldn't seem to figure out.
The sample that I got though, sharp as it may be, would also fail to focus properly on a number of occasions, as expressed in this example:
Camera Settings: 1/160 sec. exposure at an f/2.8 opening, ISO 800, bounce-flash assisted
Here, Celene was just leaning against the pillar, not exactly moving at all. Lighting was adequate, and a flash was also used for good measure. But somehow, the focusing wasn't that great even when stopped down, as compared to my other lenses that would almost always give tack-sharp results under almost any given light.
I really don't know why, but I can only come up with some guesses for this peculiar lens behaviour. For one thing, this lens, which I borrowed from a friend, is also a bit old and well-used. So perhaps somewhere along the way, the lens' accuracy lessened, again perhaps of possible elements that could contribute to it, like possible shock due to handling, or perhaps there's a somewhat loose adjustment inside. In a nutshell, when it hits the mark, it really hits it with deadly sharpness and clarity. But when it misses, it just simply misses, and it misses a lot.
As I've said though, I can't really give any strong statements regarding this lens in terms of focus accuracy, since I haven't really tried other samples yet. Perhaps there's just a mis-adjustment in the lens, which I would actually hope so since the optics of this thing is simply wonderful. I'd definitely say though, that because of this experience alone, I've come to love and appreciate 85mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 lenses, and am now strongly considering getting one for myself. ;)
Oh yes, and before I forget:
Camera Settings for the first photo:
1/160 sec. exposure at an f/2.0 opening, ISO 800, bounce-flash assisted
Equipment used: Nikon D90, AF Nikkor 85mm. f/1.8 Lens, Nikon SB-900 Speedlight