The first time I saw photos taken with the Nikon 50mm f1.2 AI-S lens I was smitten with lust. The narrow DOF, the bokeh, the visual qualities of the lens all beckoned. For years I have sat on the fence about buying one – they are expensive!

Finally, I gave in and found a wonderful deal on “that auction site” and won it for what I consider to be a good price. I bought it 3 days ago, and now it is here, complete with hood, front and back caps, but in need of a filter. I removed one from another 52mm-filter-using lens, and went to work. I took these with my Nikon Df just now.

I shot all of these wide open at iso 100, indoors and out to see how the 1.2 aperture worked. To say I am happy is an understatement. The Df shows what the lens can do, an it still retains that quality that many older lenses. The serial number of this lens indicates it is an older one, dating from an earlier manufacturing run. This lens has been made for over 40 years, from 1981 till 2006 from what I can see. Since you can still buy them new on B&H for $749.00, perhaps they are still being made.

I ordered some extra filters to use with this lens. I already have UV and orange, but amongst my other 52mm filters I have NDs and polarizers along with an Orange 21. I have decided to add both yellow and red to use with black and white film on the FM3a to experiment and learn more about colored filters.

And that brings me to another thought: I need to up my game and challenge myself a bit with photography. Perhaps a 365 project with hints from sources, or just a determination to shoot B&W film for a year with this lens and the FM3a. Maybe I should aim for 3 images a week with just one film (ie Tri-x, HP5) or a variety of B&W films to see what they are all about. It certainly could be fun.

So, a BIG Christmas present to myself . . . a prime lens I know I am going to enjoy.

Happy Holidays everyone!

4 comments on “Lust”

    1. I am excited, Jim, about this lens. I like the bokeh and, like you mentioned, the thin in-focus area. I like it on the digital, and am looking forward to seeing it on film. Old glass is so lovely!

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