Got a new lens recently, a very inexpensive one, that should be a big hit as a travel lens–the 35mm f/1.8 Nikkor lens. Since it’s not a zoom, and since it’s built for DX sensors only, it costs less than most other Nikkor lenses. I’ve heard good things about it, so I pulled the trigger during a weak moment, thinking ahead to our trip in October to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival.
I decided to try it out on the coneflowers in our back yard. This shot is handheld (not the best, I know, but it’s a realistic trial for a travel lens ) with settings of ISO 200 and 1/500 sec at f/1.8. This is a 1:1 crop, meaning that the image was viewed at 1:1 in Lightroom and this portion was cropped out. When viewed at full size by clicking on the thumbnail at right the full resolution of the photographed can be seen. You must click on the image to see the larger projection to get this full effect.
The image at the left is a closeup of the coneflower var. Tomato Soup taken handheld at ISO 200 with exposure of 1/400 sec at f/1.8. Like the example above this is a 1:1 crop which can be viewed at full resolution by clicking on the thumbnail. Examination of both images at full 1:1 crop resolution will reveal pleasing sharpness and a smooth, out-of-focus background (often referred to as bokeh) so that the principal image is isolated from the background.
I think I’m going to like this lens, especially for travel, with the features of fast aperture (f/1.8), sharp focus, and creamy bokeh. When I get a chance I will try it on landscapes and some “touristy” building and cityscape shots.