faq: what is your favorite lens?

My very first FAQ post!  I’m super excited about this question so here goes…

Q:  What is your favorite lens, and why?  What does it allow you to capture that other lenses don’t?

A:  My Canon 50mm f/1.2 L lens is my absolute favorite!  It is a ‘fixed’ lens as opposed to a ‘zoom’ lens which means that it only shoots at one focal length (50mm).  Any zooming needs to be done by walking manually closer or farther away from the subject.  The big benefit of a fixed lens is that it really NAILS the clarity at that focal length.  I prefer prime lenses because I feel there is a noticeably higher image quality.

One thing that this lens allows me to capture that others don’t are really ‘wide open’ shots.  This means I can shoot at the lowest f stop (1.2) and get very dramatic bokeh (background blur).  The most common portrait lens, the 50mm f/1.8 also creates bokeh, but those extra few stops going down to 1.2 are really powerful (and the reason for the $1500 increase in price).  These extra f stops are especially handy when I’m shooting weddings in a low light situation.

Here’s a quick photo illustration using my favorite lens and my favorite subject.  I took this photo of Colby and wanted to blur the background so I shot at f1.8. Even though this lens affords me the ability to shoot at 1.2, when taking photos of dogs I don’t typically shoot all the way open because of the depth between their eyes & nose.  As you can see in this photo, Colby’s nose is already a little bit blurred at this aperture setting/f stop.

Sidenote:  If you’re looking for a great portrait lens, but don’t want as steep of a price tag, consider the 50mm f1.4.  I haven’t personally owned this lens, but I’ve read great reviews & the images I’ve seen produced by other photographers have been really nice!


Have a question for me?  Send me a note at casey@caseyvphotography.com and I’ll be sure to include it in an upcoming FAQ post!

[…] I move to aperture.  My style is to shoot ‘wide open’ [I wrote more about this in last month's FAQ post] so I usually start low, around […]

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