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Nikkor 50mm f/1.8g

edited May 2014 Posted in » Nikon Lens Talk

I recently purchased the 50mm f/1.8g for my Nikon hoping to take professional like photos of my 20 month daughter and future baby. I am looking for tips and tricks on how to get the blurred background and I was told this is the lens to purchase. I am bit overwhelmed with this lens and not sure what I need to adjust to get the blurred background and how the Depth of Field and comes into play. I feel the most comfortable taking pictures in Auto or portrait, even though I know the lens offers a lot more capabilities. So if you have any tips that would be helpful to an amateur Mommy photographer that would be great!! I also have the 55-200mm lens. I love this lens, but it seems when I take close photos and try to print larger prints I get a "Low Resolution" warning. I'm not sure how to eliminate that. Looking to get the full advantage of my lens with out getting in over my head!!

Thanks for all your help, I love your site!


  • edited May 2014
    Here’s a fool-proof way to achieve what you need:
    Use A (Aperture Priority) Mode.
    Turn on Auto-ISO. Set the minimum shutter speed to 1/200 sec. Set the maximum ISO to 6400. Set your ISO to 100.
    In A-mode, rotating the dial will adjust your aperture. Set it to f/1.8 and shoot away!

    Here’s a simple breakdown of depth of field and blur. Depth of field is the range in front of the camera where things are in focus. Everything outside the depth of field is not in focus and is blurry, so a small depth of field means less stuff is in focus. A large depth of field means more stuff is in focus.

    3 things affect depth of field: aperture, focal length, and distance to the subject.
    Aperture: Larger aperture means smaller depth of field (smaller f-number means smaller depth of field).
    Focal length: A longer focal length means smaller depth of field. That means using a longer lens will give you a smaller depth of field.
    Distance to subject: A closer subject means smaller depth of field.
  • edited March 2016
    Hello, I just purchased D3100 cheat sheet yesterday. I haven't tried to use the settings, but I'm confident it will be useful for my Christmas holiday. I also have the 50mm f/1.4g lens, are there are cheat sheets available for that lens? Is it similar to the f/1.8g lens?
  • edited March 2016
    It's quite similar to the f/1.8g 50mm lens.
  • Hey @jack_desai23 - Yep, I have a set specific for the D3100 and the 50mm f/1.4 lens. You can them towards the bottom of this page here:
  • edited January 2017
    There is a downside to having a narrow depth of field (dof). If you look at my profile picture shown here you will see a self portrait taken that exemplifies depth of field limitations.
    I focused my D90 using a zoom lens (Tamron 28-105mm f/2.8) at about 90mm with my ISO set to 200, so I needed a slightly longer exposure (about 1/15sec indoors). Aperture was at 2.8 but the light was low. As you can see, the only thing in tack sharp focus is, in fact, the tip of the rifle barrel as the rest falls rapidly out of sharpness in the short distance I was from the camera (another factor affecting depth of field is subject to camera distance).
    As I was saying, using a longer lens can effectively create a very flat focal plane if you utilize the three factors that affect acceptable clarity in depth of field.
    Most, if not all photographs of people and animals, pay special attention to the eyes being in focus and a long lens or zoom can, as you can see, result in anything other than the eyes going soft. Sometimes that is desirable. When shooting males, it is preferred generally to have the entire subject tack sharp whereas, with a woman, you don't want the complexion to be that way. Women should have a 'softness' in portraiture.
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