NF-SOOC September 2021

August 24th, 2021
For the past 7 years, I have issued a challenge for the month of September to take and post images using only a 50mm (or FF equivalent) lens and to post the JPEG as captured in camera. Previously a large number of you joined in for all or part of the month so once again, I have decided to issue the same challenge for the month of September this year. Now's your chance to get to grips with the nifty-fifty... and to practice getting it right in camera.

Here's how I introduced the challenge in previous years:

I got to thinking about how photography has changed in recent years: it used to be that 20, 30 or 40 years ago if you wanted an 'enthusiasts camera' you bought either a 35mm range-finder camera or a 35mm SLR, and chances are that in either case it would have come equipped with a 'standard' 50mm lens. So you loaded your choice of 35mm film, took 24 or 36 exposures and then sent your film off to a processing house for the next stage in the process... at some considerable cost. Ten days to a fortnight later, you got your 'snaps' back and, if you were anything like me, you were disappointed with the results. Some didn't 'come out' and the rest didn't seem to exactly tally with your memories of the scenes that you captured.

These days this second and vital part of the process is also handled by the photographer her or himself and this has led, I think, to some blurring of the roles of camera and processing engine. Often, and I plead guilty to this, decisions that should have been made in camera - composition, colour balance, exposure, etc. - get made in processing... such is the power of a raw image file. But I can't help thinking that this is rather sloppy technique - often we'll get away with it and get the final image we wanted... but sometimes we won't. So on balance I think it must be better to do what should be done in camera, in camera.

So this year again, the month of September will be for me NF-SOOC-2021. Every image I post in my main 365 album will be taken with a 50mm (or equivalent) lens and will be posted exactly as it came out of the camera. Yes I know that it will have been processed by the camera's internal processing engine but it's good to get used to this standard result exactly the same as in the film days we had to get used to a standard mass-produced 6 x 4 print. I will do no external processing and no cropping and if I want to zoom in on an image, I'll have to do it with my feet!

So who's brave or mad enough (probably a bit of both) to join me in this adventure? You can play for the whole month - I hope some of you will do that - or just post the occasional image. Remember, JPEG as produced in camera and a 50mm lens. Remember also that a Nifty Fifty is only 50mm on a full frame camera: if you have a crop sensor camera like many of us use, then the lens you need will be a 35mm for an APS-C camera or a 25mm for a micro 4/3 sensor (Olympus and Panasonic). If you don't have a standard prime lens but you would still like to join in, then set your zoom to 50, 35 or 25 as appropriate for your camera and shoot away. (For those who do have a prime lens, there is the added advantage of being able to exploit the wider maximum aperture of those lenses - normally f/1.8 or f/1.4 - and compose with reduced depth of field and/or shoot hand-held in low light.)

Tag your post nf-sooc-2021 and feel free to share your images on here to encourage us all.

Good Luck everyone - I look forward to your joining me in this little adventure and I promise you that all who participate will become better photographers as a result. And if nothing else... it's got me out of 365 retirement!
August 25th, 2021
I'm in! Thanks for continuing to host this, Richard. It is always a fun challenge.
August 25th, 2021
where does the time go????? how is it already September???? still trying to decide if i'm going to do this to myself again 🤔... if i do, i might tweak the challenge a little as i recently got a 20mm pancake lens for my oly and it's a bit easier to carry about now that i'm going back to the office a bit more...

anyhoo... thank you for hosting and looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with this year!
August 25th, 2021
I remember doing this a few years ago, and getting some memorable pictures of the Viaduct in Seattle before they tore it down. I think I committed to the whole month back then. I have no idea if I will this year, but I will try to contribute some to this challenge. Thanks for posting and reminding me of this challenge.
August 25th, 2021
I've really enjoyed this challenge in recent years and also my Sony A6000+ 30mm macro lens has become my favourite combination because of its macro and 'walkabout' capabilities. Maybe I'll tweak the challenge and use my 50mm 1.8 lens, another lens I love but which has more limited possibilities as an everyday lens for a month.....
August 25th, 2021
@northy @quietpurplehaze Hello ladies - thanks, as always, for your support.

The true value of this exercise is getting to really know one focal length and to get far more effective at composition and choosing complementary camera settings.

I chose the 'nifty-fifty' for the reasons stated above and because it is usually considered to have the same field of view as the human eye. In fact though, the human eye has an effective focal length of about 42mm so Northy with a FF equivalent of 40mm and Hazel with a FF equivalent of 45mm are both nearer the mark.

Have fun with your chosen lenses both of you.
August 25th, 2021
Since last September when I did the challenge, I grew to love my kit pancake lens that came with the camera. And now, when I go out with it, I set it by default on 25 mm (it is an olympus). I have not yet bought a fixed 25mm lens. A part of me says: you have the 25 mm on the pancake. The other part says: the fixed lens comes with an aperture of 1.7. And the wallet part says: stay put, girl.
I am very happy you set this up again!!! Thank you very much.
August 28th, 2021
I'm going to 'try'.... I do enjoy a prime lens
August 31st, 2021
An interesting challenge Richard. I wasn't a part of the 365 community until October of last year so haven't done this one before. I will attempt to do so this year. I say attempt, because I'm pretty sure I couldn't do it for 30 days straight. I could easily handle the lens restriction but I don't think I could resist doing some post. I understand what you are saying about getting it right in camera but I think most of the time I already do that. I use the histogram religiously to make sure I'm not blowing out any highlights or blocking out any shadows, then in post I fine tune the image. I confess that sometimes I overdo that part and that is a tendency this challenge might help me correct. I also believe that "I'll fix it in post" is a crutch no photographer should lean on (I confess I'm also sometimes guilty of that) and this challenge is perfect to encourage more care at time of exposure. So I'll give it my best shot for as many days in the month as I can. Should be fun. I might even dust off my old SLR with the 50mm lens and go fully analog
September 2nd, 2021
@monikozi you could always see if you can find one that's "open box" on sale... i've gotten pretty good deals that way... and the f/1.7 is suh-weeeeeeeeet!
September 2nd, 2021
@northy Oh, thanks for the tip. The supplier does have a White box (as they call it) but it is 10 EUR less than the other. So not that much of a deal (however, still better than nothing at all). I will probably wait for November, maybe that black Friday will bring something.
September 2nd, 2021
I don't know if anybody here does Instagram, but I just posted my 9/1 image there, with the tag #nf-sooc-2021 in case anybody else wahts to participate there. WHOOPS, Instagram doesn't like dashes, so make that tag #nf_sooc_2021

Hope to see some others there:
September 2nd, 2021
I'm in.
September 5th, 2021
oh, this is a good challenge. I might have to partake!
September 15th, 2021
I have just read the rules for this challenge and would love to give it a go. It made me think about how often I rely on touching up the photo in processing to get the image I was aiming for. The only prime lens I have is an 85mm lens which I'd like to use for this challenge so I can become more familiar with it and use it to its maximum potential. Let me know if you don't wish to include my images in the tag
September 15th, 2021
@suez1e Tag away - I look forward to hearing how you get on.
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