Recumbent Review: The Legendary Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S

The Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S. It has been nicknamed "Big Glass" because of the size of the front lens element.

About the Recumbent Reviews

Welcome to the the second in the series of Recumbent Reviews!

This series of articles will examine photographic equipment and accessories from the ordinary user’s point of view. You’ll find none of that snobby “I’m an expert so my opinion is the final word” guff you get from the professional reviewers you’ll find elsewhere on the interwebs. Here we’ll break new ground by throwing out a lot of opinion seasoned with speculation with a side order of silliness and whimsy.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy yourself while learning all about stuff that will help you take better pictures while draining your bank account.

At f/1.2 depth of field is very shallow. This photo was taken with the lens set at minimum focusing distance, about 18 inches.


Following my first Recumbent Review of the Nikon SB-900, I received a lot of e-mail from readers requesting that in future reviews I increase the photograph-to-text ratio and include more images taken using the actual equipment reviewed. Unfortunately for my ego, these requests did not come from lovers of pretty pictures but from English Lit. majors. I intend to use many photos in this post but I will, however, also try extra hard to increase the verbiage just to spite my critics. How do you like that, quillheads?

The Pedigree

Warning: This section is intended for the most nerdy of camera geeks. If you begin reading this section and doze off, jump to the next section when you wake up.

The Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S is Nikon’s fastest lens still being produced, but it wasn’t Nikon’s first f/1.2. In case you don’t know what “f/1.2” or “fast”  means in terms of lenses, don’t worry… I’ll get into that in the “Why Nikon Made Them” section. I’ll do my best to make the explanation as painless as possible for the average non-photographer whose computer froze on this page and has no choice but to read this post.

The rear element is also large, and quite exposed. Handle with care!

The 50mm f/1.2 isn’t the fastest lens ever made by Nikon. They started making a production f/1.1 in 1956 and made a prototype f/1.0 in 1962 for their rangefinder cameras.

I’m a little unclear on when Nikon started making lenses of the f/1.2 variety for their SLRs — I looked around the notoriously unreliable internet for the info when I was seriously sleep deprived. I’m fairly confident that they were around in 1965, but that lens was a 55mm.

Then came a 50mm f/1.2 in ’78, then a pre-AI-S in ’79, then the first actual 50mm f/1.2 AI-S was sold in September of ’81. Wherever you want to draw the line, my lens’ family goes way back and the design has remained virtually unchanged for decades and decades, although I’ve heard some of the parts are made with even better more-modern materials than the earlier models. I bought mine in 2009 and found out it was manufactured in 2008.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, AI and AI-S are just different mechanical systems for the lens to communicate information about its focal length and aperture settings to the camera.

To go slightly off topic for a second, there was a significant variation of the lens introduced in February of 1977. This lens was called the NOCT-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2. What made this lens so different was that it contained aspherical elements, which means that some of the lens surfaces had fancy curves that tuned the lens to perform really well, especially in low-light conditions. This design also bumped up the price a whole lot. It also means that it while the non-NOCT 50mm is rated “Legendary”, the NOCT 58mm lens gets the highest rating on the HoaiPhai Scale of Admiration, “Mythological”. Unfortunately, they stopped making the NOCT in 1997 so if you want one, you’ll have to settle for a used one — they go for over $3,000 these days.

Back to the 50mm f/1.2…

The rear element sits inside the camera body at most focusing distances and lies above the flange at distances greater than about 3 feet.

Why Nikon Made Them

Nikon made 50mm f/1.2 lenses for two reasons…

  1. Because the world needed “fast” lenses.
  2. Because they could.
In the 1960s, SLRs were really taking off as the camera of choice for professionals and amateurs who needed a light and portable camera. Unfortunately, the film that was available in those days was not very sensitive so if you wanted to take pictures when the sun wasn’t around and shining brightly, you either had use a flash or put the camera on a tripod and set the camera to take a long exposure. But if your lens could allow a brighter beam of light to hit the film, you could use a shutter speed fast enough to allow you to take pictures handheld and without a flash.
So that is what a “fast” lens is… it’s a lens that allows more light to hit the film or sensor. If there’s more light getting in, you can use a faster shutter speed.
What the “f/1.2” means is the maximum size of the diameter of the lens’ aperture in relation to the lens’ focal length — a bigger hole lets in more light. Technically speaking, this lens’ aperture’s diameter will fit into the lens’ focal length (50mm) 1.2 times.
As far as most lenses go, an f/1.2 is really, really fast. It lets so much light into the camera that if you look very carefully when you take a picture with it, the room will get a tiny bit darker because the lens is sucking so much light from the room and into the camera!

Two classics! The Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S is much smaller than a standard can of Coke but takes much better pictures. The lens is also heavier and does not contain caffeine or a single calorie. Perfect for the photographer on a diet!

Seriously, a modern zoom lens for a digital SLR is usually somewhere around an f/4. An f/1.2 lens lets in about 11 times the light of an f/4 so you could use a shutter speed that is 11 times faster! You could even take pictures at night by the light of streetlights using 60s-era film, but it’s quite tricky to load 35mm film into a digital SLR so you may as well just take my word on it.

Nikon was, and still is, a leader in optical design so they were able to design fast lenses that yielded good images. They’ve made all kinds of exotic lenses that did things some thought were impossible, like fisheye lenses (using more than one projection method) and an ultra-wide 13mm f/5.6 that didn’t distort straight lines!
They stopped making the 13mm years ago but they are still in demand, mostly by collectors. If you are ever cleaning out your Uncle Ned’s basement and come across one in good condition, you can sell it for somewhere around $20,000! If you are more concerned with giving it a good home, send it to me and I promise I will never, ever sell it and cherish it always. I’d love to get my hands on one!
So anyways, Nikon saw the need for an affordable (but still not cheap) fast general-purpose lens and set a team of designers to work. What we got was a lens considered a classic that still has a place in our digital world.

Why You Shouldn’t Get One

When this lens was first made, films were pretty “slow” and cameras didn’t have image stabilization or any of the other modern wonders that come standard even on today’s inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras. Fast lenses were the only solution to taking photos in low-light situations where you didn’t want to use a flash or tripod.

Today’s photographers are as spoiled as Paris Hilton’s chihuahua on its birthday. Advances in our understanding of physics, materials sciences, and electronics have made miracles possible. Today’s cameras are capable of automatically focussing, setting exposure, and balancing colour temperature. Most modern digital cameras are very capable in low-light situations and have image stabilization systems built-in.

My “kit lens”, a pretty nice Nikkor 18-200mm, has image stabilization that is supposed to give you 3 stops of extra playing room. At 50mm, the maximum effective aperture is f/4.8, which is 5 stops slower than my f/1.2, so taking into account the 3 stops image stabilization gives me, that means my picture with the zoom will be 2 stops underexposed. All I have to do is set the camera’s ISO, i.e. its sensitivity to light, 2 stops faster! I now can take pictures in the same light that my father could take using an f/1.2 lens in the ’60s, but I have a zoom lens, at f/4.8 I have a lot more depth-of-field, and the auto-focus system is taking care of critical focus anyway!

Granted, my 18-200mm zoom has a lot more distortion than the 50mm, but because we’re talking digital we have to put the photo on the computer where it is easy to correct the distortion.

Another thing is that modern digital SLRs are designed to take modern lenses that tend to be auto-focus, so cameras’ focussing screens are not designed to help you focus — they’re more of an optical display panel on which you can compose the shot. With really fast lenses, modern focussing screens won’t show what will end up in the final image. You’ll really have a tough time accurately focussing an f/1.2 wide open with a digital camera and OEM focussing screen.

For about the same money, you could buy a zoom with image stabilization that most non-pros would be more than happy with.

For those of you who are looking for a practical prime (i.e., non-zoom) lens, Nikon has two auto-focus 50mm f/1.4 lenses for less money than the $650 I paid for my manual f/1.2, and f/1.2 is only a ½-stop faster than an f/1.4! The D Series is $390 (but has seven aperture blades) and the G Series has nine blades (for lovely bokeh) and a state-of-the-art “silent-wave” focussing motor.

Nikon also has a brand new 35mm f/1.4 auto-focus aspherical (remember the NOCT?) that covers the same angle on a DX camera that my 50mm will cover on a full-frame camera that it was designed for. This new 35mm sounds like a honey of a lens but it costs $2000.

Why You’d Want One

There are a few reasons to pick up one of these f/1.2 lenses…

  • Incredibly sharp image! In fact it is reputed to be the sharpest Nikkor when shooting at f/2.
  • Shallow depth-of-field! With the aperture opened up, just your subject is in focus allowing for some really artsy shots. It’s also great for blurring distracting background details. I bought a custom-made focussing screen from KatzEye Optics that not only works great with this lens opened up, but also makes focussing my long telephoto very easy and accurate.
  • Beautiful bokeh! Bokeh is the blurry out-of-focus stuff in the picture. This lens has nine aperture blades that form a round opening so bokeh is rendered buttery smooth.
  • Bred for low-light! It’s super fast and would be great for street photography.
  • A “people lens”! On a DX cropped-frame Nikon, it’s a terrific portrait lens.
  • Bracketing advantages! When exposures reach longer than about fifteen seconds, my D300 spends about the same amount of time as the actual exposure to process the image before saving it. So if I want to take a bracketing set and the exposures are longer than fifteen seconds, I’m doubling the time I’m out there waiting for the camera to finish up. If I can keep the exposure time under a thirty-second maximum, then not only am I not standing around for a couple of minutes waiting for someone to walk into the shot and spoil the picture, but I can use the auto-bracketing feature and not have to fiddle with the camera between exposures. A fast lens like the 1.2 can help me get in, take the shots, and move on to my next picture (or drink).
  • It’s manual! Break free of having your camera in the driver’s seat — take the wheel for a change. Because there’s no auto focus and you have to dial in the f-stop manually with a mechanical dial on the lens, you are forced to take control not only of exposure but your own creativity. You can still have your camera select the shutter speed.
  • It’s an AI-S! Even though this is truly an old-school lens, if you have an advanced D-SLR you can set up a lens profile in the camera so that metering will be tailored to the lens and all the exposure info will be recorded in your photos’ metadata. Check your camera’s manual for compatibility before you buy!
  • Build quality! This is the real deal! It’s metal and glass — nothing cheap, plastic, or flimsy about it. David could have faced Goliath with a “Big Glass”, flung it at him with his sling, bopped him in the head (or leg as some believe), and then used the very same lens to take a couple of shots for the medical examiner! The focus is smooth and stops at infinity (so you can take in-focus pictures of the stars easily). The American astronauts took these things to the Moon.
  • Satisfaction! It’s a pleasure to use and the results are great.
  • Even its flaws have character! The lens suffers from coma (no, not like Goliath’s coma, this is a type of distortion of the light coming off of bright objects) and that can sometimes be a disappointment. But like that funny hairy mole on your spouse’s neck, it’s a small price to pay for something wonderful. This lens’ coma even has a nickname…”angel wings”. I’ve included a picture that shows angel wings.
  • Five year warranty! Yup, it comes with a five-year warranty right out of the box, just like all lenses sold through Nikon Canada. Americans have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to get their five years… I guess the Japanese are still steamed about Lost in Translation. The Nikon websites list the price being $75 cheaper in Canada, too!
  • It’s a classic! It’s not often that you hear that something’s a classic, is still in production, and is for sale to the public. With the two new 50mm f/1.4 lenses, the 35mm f/1.4, and the fact that now on the Nikon websites they state that the f/1.2 is “special order only”, I’m beginning to wonder if they are going to be discontinued soon. If only I had the cash to buy a second to sit on the shelf in its original packaging… I could probably triple my money in less than a decade after they’re pulled from the shelves.

The Field Test

I think I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking from here on in…

My niece Josie is my favourite model. It's hard to see on this tiny photo but at f/1.2, the rim of her eyelid is in focus while her iris is not! 1/640 sec, f/1.2, sensitivity set at ISO 200

Here is Josie again, but this time overexposed a bit (on purpose) at 1/50 sec, f/4, ISO 200.

Here's HoaiPhai Jr. in my studio between commercials, lit with a cheap-o ringlight I'll review one day. Taken at f/4, ISO 200.

OK, now we're getting into the lens' home turf! This was taken before dawn near the Niagara River. 1/60 sec, f/2 ISO 1600

I cheated with this one... I used a tripod and stopped down the lens to get the 18-point star coming off the light.

This is the Banpo Bridge in Seoul, South Korea. 1/80 sec, f/1.2, ISO 800.

Another shot of the Banpo Bridge. "Angel wings" can be seen on the streetlights. 1/60 sec., f/1.2, ISO 800.

A sculpture in The National Museum of Korea (in Seoul). 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600.

A 427 Cobra's hood taken inside a parking garage, at night, with only the ambient lighting. No, this is not monochrome... it's a grey car in a grey garage. 1/160 sec, f/2, ISO 800

If you liked this post, you might enjoy reading my other Recumbent Reviews:

About HoaiPhai

I'm up late digging up the dirt. View all posts by HoaiPhai

36 responses to “Recumbent Review: The Legendary Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S

  • Jani

    amazing article, thank you. and great photos! 🙂

  • betharr

    many thx for this explanation. it adds so much, hp.
    amazed me your photos!
    the … ‘star coming off the light’ is really GREAT.
    also the family faces.

    • HoaiPhai

      Illalli (that’s “you’re welcome” in a Canadian Inuit language)! The Nikkor f/1.2 is an imperfect lens that has so much character. In the story, I forgot to talk about when I was just getting into photography in a “serious” way in the ’70s, the f/1.2 was a dream lens for me and my friends and that was one of the reasons I bought it recently. I’m sure that there are now optically superior modern lenses that would do the job, but learning this lens’ “faults” and working with them, instead of around them, is very satisfying. This lens has a few quirks, but so does this photographer!

  • Mike Lilly

    This was an amazingly entertaining and informative article, love the example photos you posted as well. If I ever end up in a different SLR system I’ll be looking closely at Nikon and the f/1.2, looks like a winner to me!

    • HoaiPhai

      Thanks for the cudos and congratulations on making it all the way to the end of the post!

      I really love this lens but want to qualify that by saying nostalgia is part of the reason why I bought it. Unless you, your camera, and your subject are perfectly stationary (breathing counts as movement), it’s really tough to keep the focus where you want it when the lens is wide open at at distances under 7 feet or so where DoF is only 3 inches.

      If you’re considering going to an other system, Canon has the EF 50mm f / 1.2L USM, which is auto-focus aspherical and supposedly outperforms this Nikkor. It also will cost you about $1,800 CDN. They also have an 85mm f1.2 auto-focus aspherical at $2,300 CDN in case you want to move up to full-frame and need an ultra-fast lens in the portrait range.

      When I moved from my “pro-sumer” Nikon 5700 to DSLR, I considered Canon and Olympus (my film 35mm SLR was an OM-1, and I loved it). What sold me on Nikon was that I could use old designed-for-film predigital lenses on it. Also Nikon won a lot of points in the way they handled a problem with my 5700… they were the ones who informed me of a defect, fixed it for free (they even paid shipping both ways), and got the camera back to me in a couple of weeks and fixed another problem I hadn’t informed them about (it was past the end of the warranty).

      • Mike Lilly

        When I see numbers like $1,800 my heart skips a couple beats. Doesn’t fit into my typical photography budget in any way! I’m a fan of Nikon’s offerings and very nearly bought into the system before opting to follow the Olympus path. Of course that path seems to be leading towards a brick wall at this point, so maybe one of these days…

      • HoaiPhai

        I agree, $1,800 is an awful lot of money for a hobbyist to spend unless they are really rolling in dough. It’s fun to dream, though. In the meantime, I’ll just keep to my original plan to buy used and/or obsolete stuff at prices I can afford. My next Recumbent Review will be of a lens I bought a couple of years ago that, according to a serial number search I did on the internet, was made in 1982.

  • The Hook

    I wish I understood HALF of what you’re talking about here! Great post, though.

  • The Hobbler

    I’m not much of a photographer, but if I get more interest and time, I’ll remember to re-check this. You take beautiful pictures by the way.

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  • Ace


    Found and READ your blog about this lens. Yes, it was a bit nerdy, but not over the top…I would prefer to call it in-depth. Just got one myself. Waiting for the adapter for that other brand…

    Its a jewel.

    I also got a 85mm f2.0 while I at it and now I’m tracking down an 180mm f2.8 with that famed ED glass.

    I ordered a Canon 100mm f2.0 and it was delivered broken. It couldnt take the transport. My last plastic affair ever.

    I used some of the Ai-s on film long time ago and never really lost thought of them. They set a standard which are hard to beat even by todays measures, as you know, both in handling, but above all in image quality. Color rendering, bokeh and that EXTRA which is hard to define, I would call it emotional punch for the lack of the better.

    On film, Tri-x 400 for example, these lenses create a certain grain that is just unbelievably invigorating. Yes, I would use that word here. I wondered why most pics had that PUNCH in them, and from what hardware they arrived.

    It was very common with photo exhibits in black/white and an again most pics had that certain grain, if you looked close enough on the magnified paper copies on the walls, there it was.

    Sure enough, an Ai or Ai-s lens on a F2 or the like. Then I learnt that basically all press photographers in Sweden was using them for quite a while, couple of decades producing enourmous amount of pics; in photo mags, media, books etc.

    In the lab I compared the grain under loupe and even microscope and there is a definitive difference between brands of lenses. Now is this nerdy or what!?

    The Nikkors stood out par excellence!

    Tubes sound better than transistors for a similar reason, due to Harmonic distorsion and all that. I use cold war Tesla 12Au7 tubes in the stereo by the way.

    I think that Nikkor Ai:s distorts harmonically, in a way that pleases the eye and the human receptory apparatus. An unintentional result from the manufacturing process that came out very well. Or it was – intended; by people who knew exactly what they were doing.

    These lenses are a Hallmark of engineering for those that can see – just as Teslas are for those who can hear.

    I am really eager to see what this lens can do on a D800E. I think it can work out mindbogglingly well, but that remains to be seen, or else back to Tri-X, but I dont think so…the darkroom stench of strong chemicals that its incredibly irksome to get right for a result that today you get by pulling a slider in lightroom is not justifiable whatsoever.

    The problem of today are too many parameters compared to the amount of pics DSLR:s produce. On my vacation I ended up with 2175 pics taken. This is ridiculous in a way. An ‘analog’ restraint is necessary to handle all this info and for not to get lost in handling overbearing amounts. On the other hand its a kind of freedom.

    A handful of them is just about… why we all bother about this subject.

    Once I have tried out the Nikkors I will let you know what happened.

    Live well and enjoy this shiny piece of near perfection!

    You are not alone.



    • HoaiPhai

      Ace, your comment has caused me considerable embarrassment, and I thank you for that. The whole point to me writing the Recumbent Reviews is to point out subjective opinions on the equipment and I really blew it in this post. I prattled on and on about numbers and specifications while completely neglecting to talk about the “feel” of the photos taken with the f/1.2 AI-S.

      My desire to get my hands on one of these dates back to the ’70s when films were just getting a bit faster and really extended the environment in which this lens shone. There were countless examples of incredibly moody and poignant images captured with this lens and while I never examined the film grain in others’ photos (I owned an OM-1 at the time) with a loupe, the 1.2’s images were singular in the emotion conveyed.

      Perhaps this lens’ character appeals to us at a level other than optics and image “quality”. We tend to “edit” memories within our minds and perhaps this lens’ images’ “flaws” are in harmony with our mind’s own reality aberration process. Maybe that’s why what this lens produces appeals to some of us in such a visceral way.

      I thought about moving up to a D800 but the 1.2 is the only lens I own that would even come close to doing 36 MP justice. The only other full-frame lens I have is the Reflex-Nikkor C 500mm f/8, and I think that the D800 would benefit from higher res lenses. The rawness of the D800E’s image just might be tamed by the 1.2 but coaxing something really special and hitherto unseen come from the AI-S. Perhaps the”analog restraint” you spoke of will take the form of how many 75 MB 36 MP images you’ll be able to store on a memory card!

      I hate to admit this but I am guilty of wanting to look into specs when buying equipment — my budget just doesn’t allow much room for buying a relatively high ticket item that proves to be useless — but I didn’t buy the 1.2 because of specs, I bought it because of all the images I’ve seen that were made with it.

      Please do let me know how the 1.2 does with the D800E… and don’t forget to send me a link to some samples!

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  • Damian

    I came here to read a review and found my eyes glazing over several times trying to get through this rant! You could talk a glass eye to sleep! Next time please keep the pointless gabber to a minimum and just review the lens for us!

    • HoaiPhai

      [Please be forewarned that this response is rather verbose in and of itself but I have included a short-form review of the lens towards the bottom which is not likely to put your glass eyes to sleep and is probably in tune with your level of knowledge. Skip to the bottom now to avoid having to read more of my drivel.]

      Sorry to hear that this review’s length vexed your orbs but you have to admit I gave you fair warning right up front in the post’s second paragraph and again in the “Pre-ramble” shortly thereafter.

      If you truly read the whole post but missed not one but two warnings right off the top, maybe you missed a lot of good stuff in the middle that might have made the whole traumatic experience worthwhile, rendering your criticism invalid. If you intentionally skipped parts, including the warnings, then you have not earned the right to complain. Another possibility is that you read and understood the totality of the post but still feel compelled to complain in spite of the two warnings. This makes you a either a doofus or a troll. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and consider you a doofus.

      Didn’t you notice the headings describing the topic of each section? Surely if you weren’t interested in being bored to tears reading about the lens’ history, for example, you could have skipped “The Pedigree” and moved straight to a section addressing your reasons for looking at a lens review in the first place, like “Why You Should’t Get One” or “Why You’d Want One”. Just what “pointless gabber” should I have left out, the stuff you’re personally not interested in reading or that’s above or below your level of knowledge? Did you not find the information were you looking for in this review?

      Since you seem to suffer from CPDSS (Camera Porn Diminished Stamina Syndrome), I suggest that you steer clear of Ken Rockwell’s review of this very lens, which weighs in at 3600 words, a full 789 words longer than mine. Even if we subtract from that the 153-word appeal for donations that he puts on all of his reviews, he still wrote 636 words more than I did, and that’s not including the ~1400-word linked-to assessment of the lens’ sharpness. Don’t get me wrong, I respect Mr. Rockwell’s opinion and enjoy his reviews, although I don’t see the need to show pictures of the box a lens comes in. Ken’s review pages don’t have comments sections so if trolling is your game, you’ll be wasting your time over there.

      And another thing, I hate to split hairs (actually, that’s a lie… I take great pride in being pedantic and I love a good arguement) but this was not a “rant”, it was a “rave” and clearly marked as such in the list of category tags at the very bottom of the post. In my time-honoured system of blog-tag phylogeny, a “rant” is a long-winded post about something I don’t like or agree with, such as my piece on The Magic Internet Wish Genie [8481 agonizing words] and a “rave” is a long-winded bit about stuff I like. I realize that labelling a post as “rant” or “rave” (and sometimes both) is a bit of a spoiler for those who skip to the end prior to reading the post but, hey, that’s how I roll.

      But I’m nothing if I am not the servant to my audience so please allow me to provide a more concise rendition of this post for readers such as yourself who have attention spans comparable to those of fruit flies in heat:

      Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S
      Focal Length: 50mm
      Aperture Range: f/1.2 to f/16
      Filter Size: 52mm
      Lens Formula: Old
      Build Quality: Wow
      Automation: None
      Ease of Use: No
      Fun to Use: Yes
      Makes Pretty Pictures?: Yes
      Price: $650 CDN (special order)
      Worth the Price: Yes, IMHO.

      There, Damian. I hope that my abridged review has helped you decide whether the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 is suitable for your purposes. Now would you like me to try to convince your mom to buy you one?

      • Ed

        Ai(S) Nikkors, there are simply too few words for these optical miracles!

      • HoaiPhai

        I agree (although I try to use as many words as possible as a matter of policy)! It’s too bad that more photographers don’t explore these lenses.

        Any of you interested in seeing photos taken with this and other great lenses, visit Ed’s site.

      • pussyhasfurballs

        Oh No You Didn’t!

        You verbiaged him senseless, along with a zinger at the end, I rate this 8/10 in troll deflection.

      • HoaiPhai

        Usually I try to pre-emptively deal with trolls by bogging them down with the verbiage… it’s more like my posts absorb them than deflect them.

        As I mentioned to you before, Damian doesn’t really merit being called a troll, he’s what I consider a “blog heckler”. A real troll has stamina and, by virtue of his skill with language and debate, is a bit scary. Did you notice he didn’t say what info he didn’t find within the article and that he didn’t ask in his comment about whatever he was looking to find out? He didn’t even respond to my response asking what he wanted to know that wasn’t in the no-charge-to-him post I wrote. Damian just seems like a guy who wants what he wants and he wants it real quick and he’s not likely to find satisfaction in anything anyone else does so he has to depend on himself. If we liken commenting on blogs to sexuality, Damian seems like a wanker with Speedy Gonzalez syndrome, if you know what I mean.

      • pussyhasfurballs

        That’s true, Damian didn’t seem too interested in hanging around. He needs a lecture on motivation!

        Speaking of cameras, do you know where I can find good information for beginner DSLR users? I’ve googled it, but a lot of the information I found were by pompous professionals. I like my reading material to not patronise me 🙂

  • mainoo

    you write beautifully – and i most enjoyed your response to Damian. i find your writing concise, informative and engaging. I would normally advise you to ignore Damian but you’ve gone one better. Looks like he made a good target for your rapier. (i think you gave him too much benefit – he’s not a doofus, he’s the other)

    • HoaiPhai

      Thank you, Mainoo, for your kind words and support. I think Damian’s was my first overtly negative comment, as opposed to a level-headed and polite disagreement or critique. There was one other that I thought was taking a bit of silliness I wrote seriously and was chastising me for how I treated my wife but the person making the comment wasn’t serious making me the doofus for the pointed response I wrote!

      I try to make it very clear that I am not a professional photographer or reviewer and that my reviews are meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Hope to see you here again!

  • My All-time Favourite Models (with a Side of Fractalius) | HoaiPhai

    […] might recognise her from an appearance she made in my review of the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S lens, which can be used as a fantastic but sometimes-tricky-to-use portrait […]

  • orangeelephantphoto

    Excellent review, informative & humour too! 🙂

  • richard

    the other difference; ‘ai’ais’ with ‘this’ lens is the ‘ai’ only has 7 aperture blades/less bokeh. the ‘ais’ has 9 blades. more bokah.

  • richard king

    the other difference; ‘ai’ais’ with ‘this’ lens is the ‘ai’ only has 7 aperture blades/less bokeh. the ‘ais’ has 9 blades. more bokah.

  • Peter Seemore Wiliam

    the other difference; ‘ai’ais’ with ‘this’ lens is the ‘ai’ only has 7 aperture blades/less bokeh. the ‘ais’ has 9 blades. more bokah

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