There's no such thing as bad weather - Nikon D5100

Nikon D5100 35mm f/1.8 lens
Nikon D5100 35mm f/1.8 lens

After last weeks heat and humidity, low pressure returned with a vengence yesterday with heavy showers alternating with periods of dazzling bright sunshine. Though not the greatest weather for what is the peak of the UK's holiday season it certainly makes for dramatic pictures.

Nikon D5100 35mm f/1.8 lens
Nikon D5100 85mm f/1.8 lens 

I started off in one place and then saw an enormous black cloud approaching. I drove through it to bright clear sunlight, giving the car a good clean in the process!

Nikon D5100 35mm f/1.8 lens
Nikon D5100 35mm f/1.8 lens 

Nikon D5100 35mm f/1.8


Its been a while since I've used the D5100 and 35mm f/1.8 lens and I'd almost forgotten just how light it is. What I hadn't forgotten was just how sharp it is. It is an excellent lens, and Nikon could do with a few more like it. Their APS-C lens range is very short of good quality, light inexpensive primes. Yes I know that you can use all the full-frame primes on cameras like the D7000, but you can't on the D5100, and still keep AF. I took the 85mm f/1.8 with me, which is a wonderful lens, but is only manual focus on that camera. Unlike the D7000 the focus confirmation spot isn't 100% accurate on the D5100 and I ended up with a few misfocused shots when I tried the 85mm at its widest apertures. Not good.

To my mind Nikon should forget about micky mouse micro sensor interchangeable lens cameras (if indeed that is what they are working on) and concentrate on making some decent prime lenses for their small DSLR cameras. The D5100 is a fast well specified yet light and relatively small camera. There are only two small prime lenses that will AF on it. The 35mm and the new 50mm f1.8. There's a real need for something wider and longer. I suppose they think the D5100 will be used by people who just want zooms. However the 35mm f/1.8 is often out of stock and it seems that they have difficulty in making enough of them to satisfy demand so maybe they should learn from that. 

Nikon D5100 35mm f/1.8 lens
Nikon D5100 35mm f/1.8 lens 

Nikon D5100 35mm f/1.8 lens
Nikon D5100 35mm f/1.8 lens 

Nikon D5100 35mm f/1.8 lens
Nikon D5100 35mm f/1.8 lens 

Using the D5100 again reminded me of just how quick it is to use. One thought did occur to me. This is probably a much more useful camera for "street photography" than something like the Fuji X100. Excellent camera though the Fuji is, the D5100 is substantially faster and much more intuitive to use. If for example I was still shooting weddings and needed to be able to react to fast moving situations, I'd use the Nikon fitted with the 35mm f/1.8  in preference to the Fuji any day. The AF is faster, the controls are much more useable and the lens is better suited to how I like to work. But then the D5100 is distinctly lacking in retro chic and maybe thats what being a "street photographer" is all about. Personally I think Cartier-Bresson would have loved it!!