Some lenses change apparent focal length during focus due to their optical design.
Some lenses change their apparent focal length as you move from infinity to near focus. This phenomenon is called “focus breathing.” In the video above, I demonstrate what this looks like using the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G and Nikon 50mm f/1.8S lenses on a Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera.
Comparing the 50mm f/1.8G with the 50mm f/1.8S on the Nikon Z7
Almost every photographer has at one point owned a 50mm prime lens. That’s because the “nifty fifty” lenses are inexpensive, fast, and well-corrected. You can use a 50mm prime in a variety of situations, especially for portrait work where you want nice out of focus backgrounds.
I recently purchased the Nikon 50mm f/1.8S Nikkor for Z-mount, and I wanted to compare it to my trusty 50mm f/1.8G for F-mount. I tested both lenses wide-open on my Nikon Z7 by using the Nikon FTZ adapter with the 50mm f/1.8G lens. My experience with the 50mm f/1.8G was that it was a decent performer, but it was sharpest when stopped down to around f/2.8 or more.
When I got my first SLR camera, it came with a 50 millimeter lens. For many years, this was the only lens I had, and so I used it for just about everything. I photographed people, sports, and stuff around my backyard with that 50mm lens. Nowadays, the 50mm prime is often an afterthought, as zoom lenses dominate photography. If you could add just one lens to your bag for a creative spark, you should consider giving the “nifty fifty” another look. Continue reading Life at 50: The Nifty 50 Millimeter Lens→