Wednesday, November 04, 2009

New toys!

On November 4, 2008 I wrote this post about how I came back from voting to find my new long awaited Nikon D40 waiting on the porch.

Well, 364 days later, I came home from voting to find my new lens waiting for me on the porch.

and we get to vote again next year!  So I should start considering what lens I want for then.


I also got the Pioneer Woman’s new cookbook!  Yaay!

I’ve been considering lenses since I got the camera. I want an 18-200mm zoom but it’s like $600 and the camera itself with kit lens was $400 and I can’t quite make that mental leap yet. I know a lot of scrapbookers who just love their 50mm lenses. But the 50mm that auto focuses with the D40 is about $500 and there is that leap again.

Then I read Ken Rockwell’s review of the 35mm-f1.8 and it said things like

“A fast, light, inexpensive normal lens for Nikon's DX cameras, especially for use in low-light without flash”


“It is especially wonderful for shooting anything hand-held in available light.”


“For $199.95, this lens is a must-have for anyone shooting a DX camera in available light and who doesn't already have a fast 50mm lens. It's a no-brainer for low-light.”

Seeing a theme?

Low light. I haz it.

My house is underground and faces exactly the wrong way (north west) to take advantage of natural light (south east, but NW is the right way for wonderful views). While I do have sliding glass or French doors in every room, the sun is going down by the time it reaches them directly. Not too much of a problem in summer but starting about now and continuing until May, low light is an everyday thing. Especially when you have to close the curtains against the chill from all that glass.

I took a practice shot


Never, in the history of ever, have I managed to take a flash free naturally lit shot IN FOCUS of the stack of books on my nightstand. Usually I have to turn on every light in the room plus bring in the clamp on reading lamp to get a decent flash free shot .

And then it turns out all yellow toned. This turned out actual room color toned. You can see the reflection of the lights in the kitchen on some of the spines but I’m pleased with the outcome.

Then I did a close up


I’d like more of a bokeh background but again, no flash, natural light in the kitchen. Normally the whole thing would just be a blur. So a definite and large improvement in this situation.  I’m going to keep it on my camera the rest of the week and see how it goes in ‘real life’ shooting.

I got it new from Amazon for $199. Though I have seen it for as much as $230 online. I almost bought one used on ebay. My highest bid was $175 and the winner got it for $195 plus shipping, so I feel good that if I really don’t like it, I’m probably only out $5-10.


Anonymous said...

Awesome about your new lens! I shoot with a D70s and love my 50mm lens I have ever bought! Enjoy

Jen Martakis said...

Wow! These look great. I have issues with low light all the time may be an

Too Many Hats said...

Wow, election day is like Christmas in your house, at least for you :) So glad it arrived and you are so happy with it.

20Birds said...

i love LOVE the shot of the books, so informative, so good, so rich

Bettina said...

Those are fantastic results straight out of the box. I'm looking forward to the results of next week's field test.

Heather said...

Fabulous shots!! Another D70 owner here too :-)

Maria Ontiveros said...

Oooh. I have to bookmark this one. I have a D50, and use a nikkor 50 mm lens for film cameras that fits it and which was only $99 new,but when I upgrade, I may NEED this lens.
Rinda (who uses it for low light basketball shots)

Meg said...

Wow, voting is good luck for you! Love your low-light photos, I have the same problem and reeeeeally need a new lens to deal with it. Thanks for the info on yours, I'm going to go check it out!

Gennifer said...

I'm with Jen. You enabler, you.

Jennifer Wilson said...

I wish there was a lens in this price range for the Canon. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is more than $400 and the Canon closer to $500.

I use my 50mm all the time, but I'm feeling so boxed in.

Karen said...

I am suffering from lens envy! Love the photo of your kitty - sooooo cute.

Jenni Jiggety said...

Wow! It takes GREAT pictures! I have to use a point and shoot because I am far too slow to figure out a fancy camera.

Six Feet Under Blog said...

Nice lens! I see you have the new Pioneer Cook book. Is it good?

Jenni Jiggety said...

Wow! It takes GREAT pictures! I have to use a point and shoot because I am far too slow to figure out a fancy camera.