Photos & Projects

A Day Out with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AIS and Nikon D850 DSLR – by Anil Mistry

August 9, 2020

This lockdown has resulted in me spending a lot of time wandering around with a camera to stay busy and sane. I’m sure many of you can relate.

When not tearing my hair out with frustration and boredom and general life worries, I’ve generally been walking around 5-18 miles a day with my Nikon D850 and various lenses,  photographing random stuff so that I can bring it home and play around in Lightroom to keep me busy.

Due to not having had any work for over two months now, I’ve given up on shooting film altogether for the simple reason that I can’t afford to develop it. I have over 20 rolls waiting in a drawer for the day that I have any spare cash to send them off to a lab.  So digital it is. Thank … for the DSLR.

In this post I’m simply going to share some pictures taken with my Nikon D850 and the Nikkor 50mm F1.2 Ais. I’ll start with a few notes to provide context then let you enjoy the pics.

  1. They were all shot in one day- a sunny morning in Brighton, as I wandered around finding interesting scenes in shop windows or interesting people who would let me grab a quick portrait
  2. I’m not a big fan of overt “bubbly” bokeh- I find it distracting if not downright annoying, but I do like soft blurred out areas of colour, and this is something I’ve looked to try and capture in some shots.
  3. I shot all of the close up shots at f1.2 to see what I could get. The D850’s 1/8000s shutter speed came in extremely handy for this, ensuring I didn’t over expose on a bright day.
  4. The high resolution of the D850 also came in very handy when cropping, allowing me to get into interesting areas of a shot with no loss of detail to play with.
  5. I shot all the portraits at f4, my favourite aperture setting for street portraits on a 50mm lens. I’ve found f4 controllable for quick focus on a manual lens, and this is where the sharpness kicks in on this particular lens with enough pleasing shallow depth of field to knock the background out of focus.
  6. In terms of grading, I used varying combinations of Lightroom and the Nik Collection 2 plugin. I’ve developed a number of my own presets over the years and just enjoy fiddling around with the grades to see what can be achieved.
  7. For some reason I’ve fallen in love with the 4×5 / 8×10 aspect ratio, so all my shots have been thus cropped.
  8. I wanted my close-up pictures to feel dreamy and romantic- through a combination of the subject I was shooting, the way it was shot, and the grade.

Okay, so in no particular order, here are some shots:


Anil Mistry is a professional photographer and creative director.
You can see more of his work at or on instagram at @anilmistryphoto

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  • Reply
    August 9, 2020 at 10:19 am

    Stunning pictures, each of them!

  • Reply
    Terry B
    August 9, 2020 at 10:38 am

    Anil, quite a variety of images to enjoy here. An interesting use of desaturated colour reminiscent of faded colour prints. But the image of the guy surrounded by seagulls is a winner! How did you, or he, train them to be in the right place at the right time? 😉

  • Reply
    August 9, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing these! The man feeding the birds and the pearls on the typewriter are my two favorites!

    • Reply
      Anil Mistry
      August 9, 2020 at 2:14 pm

      Thank you- I think the typewriter is my favourite too

  • Reply
    Dave S.
    August 9, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Absolutely stunning images! I didn’t expect images with this much character from a D850… your Lightroom process is fantastic and it really gives the vibe of film. The one of the man with seagulls is stunning. I love them all – great job!

    • Reply
      Anil Mistry
      August 9, 2020 at 2:24 pm

      The D850 has an incredible sensor and dynamic range. The raw files are fantastic- the rest is down to what you do with them. The 50mm 1.2 is a great pairing with this camera

  • Reply
    August 9, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    You are walking 5-18 miles per day? My gosh, superman. Back to photography, I really like the speckled high heel shoes. Nice job!

    • Reply
      Anil Mistry
      August 9, 2020 at 4:20 pm

      Thank you! I love to walk and explore – you never know what’s around the next corner

      • Reply
        August 9, 2020 at 6:16 pm

        It is 35 deg. C here (in west central Mississippi) today. If I take any photographs this afternoon, I will hop in and out of the air conditioned car. I better pass on walking any miles…..

  • Reply
    Scott Edwards
    August 9, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    Nice work – and beautiful! I’ve been enjoying a Canon 55 1.2 and there is similar sentimental goodness. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    Nice work i have a pentax K1 same sensor and pentax 645z but the k1 is my grab and go camera wit a few old primes

  • Reply
    David Hume
    August 10, 2020 at 12:00 am

    I’m glad to see these on 35mmc Anil. I saw all the comments on the Insta feed and it was a bit disheartening. To my mind this exactly the sort of content I like to see here. I have five Nikkor 50s and this is not one of them, so firstly it was cool to see what the lens does wide open and close up. But more than that it was great to see you take ownership of the the combination of lens, sensor and post processing to produce the results you wanted. That’s what it’s about!

    • Reply
      Anil Mistry
      August 10, 2020 at 9:07 am

      I didn’t know what you were talking about until I had a look at the comments- sadly this is the kind of nonsense that Hamish has to put up with all day. There’s those self titled “purists” that complain about photography and there’s those that just go out and shoot and enjoy it in all its forms. I’m in the latter camp.

  • Reply
    Troy Phillips
    August 10, 2020 at 1:15 am

    I shoot quite a bit with old Nikkor non ai and some ai lenses and a d850 . I love the results and the sensor of that camera. But as of late have been shooting more film . I guess I have more time at the moment for film .
    Great photos by the way

  • Reply
    August 11, 2020 at 7:18 am

    A little disappointing, isn’t it?

  • Reply
    Will Hopkins
    August 11, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    Great shots Anil! I’d offer to dev any B&W for you (I have the chemistry and need to keep it fresh) but I think the shipping to the US would be even more expensive than lab fees. But digital is just as good a way to pass the time 🙂

  • Reply
    Michael Boffey
    August 14, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    These are great.. I love the abstract and graphic images. They remind me of March and Rock (great publication, check it out)

    I’ve been using my DSLR more lately for similar reasons to you. I’m trying to transfer the things I have learned and practiced with 35mm film to the DSLR. I needt to improve my editing chops though

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