Photo Album Week 44-2: Two From Singapore’s 50th National Day. And How Good Is The Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G?

Yes, this post is horribly belated. After all national day is on 9 August. I didn’t have a lot of good pictures from national day, since most images look too cliché and the weather was relatively poor – cloudy, hazy with light drizzle. Only two images from SG50!

Tribute To Lee Kuan Yew In SG50 National Day Parade

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew In Singapore National Day SG50 CelebrationsNikon D610, 50mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO 450

The founding leader and first prime minister of the country did not live to witness the jubilee year of the nation he spent his whole life on. So here is a tribute to the man. He is probably the last from the “dream team” of pioneer leaders who helped make the country into what it is today. He was the main voice and decision-maker who shaped many key principles, policies and decisions which made Singapore into a success story.

Sure he has his fair share of critiques and dissenters. However those people will be hard-pressed to deny that the country became a success due to his vision, decisions and leadership.

Photographer In The Parade

Photographer In Singapore National Day CelebrationNikon D610, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/2500, ISO 100

A hobbyist concentrates on taking a picture in the parade. Hmmmm Leica. Classy!

How Good Is The Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G?

I happened to be using only the cheap-o Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G during the national day period. How good is it? Surprisingly good for something so cheap, so small and so light. It really proves that the line-up of photography equipment from a few years ago is already so good that the only way to take better pictures is through practice and education. Let us take a look at what a cheap 50mm lens can do with a camera model from 2012 (The D610 is just a D600 with a different shutter) which “only has 24MP”. Images are 100% crop.


Leica and Crocs. Even wide-open at f/1.8, details are good as long as I can adhere to proper picture-taking discipline.

This Nikkor lens is known to achieve peak sharpness between f/5.6 – f/8 with a 24MP sensor. And the image above came from the edge of the frame where it is supposed to be at its weakest. How about this? Enough details to identify people clearly.

The Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G is cheap, small, light and performs well enough as the images prove. Sure there are better alternatives that are bigger, heavier and more costly. However this 50mm is small and light enough for me to throw it into a corner of a bag without thinking much about its cost in space and carry weight. The cheap price is also an advantage – and there are actually quite a number of people selling it even cheaper as a used item. This is probably the only reason for not buying one – the 50mm focal length is not for everyone, so make sure you are familiar with your own shooting preferences before picking one up.

If you are in the photography business and 50mm is your money-earning focal length, sure feel free to consider even better alternatives. For hobbyist use or even commercial use, this little prime lens suffices.

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