f/1.8 lenses vs. f/1.2L lenses

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Today’s feature is from Kat Gill.

Kat says:

“These were from Alessandra & Daniel’s Engagement Session. It was shot at sunset in a field in rural Edmonton.”

Kat’s Photography Tip:

Something that really changed the way I shoot and how my photos looked was investing in really, really great lenses. Up until only a few years ago, my main go-to lens was my 50mm f1.8 lens and I thought it was just fine.

That is, until I invested in the 50mm f1.2L and the 85mm f1.2L. These 2 lenses have really blown my mind with their clarity, brightness, and sharpness.

The lower aperture allows me to shoot really wide open (f1.2) and achieve a gorgeous buttery smooth look and super shallow depth of field (giving my images a beautiful bokeh).

My style of photography can best be described as soft and romantic, so shooting with a very shallow depth of field is key for achieving that look.

These lenses also let in the maximum amount of light which means when I’m shooting at twilight after the sun has gone down, or in a room with only a little natural light coming in, I’m able to get some of the most beautiful shots in lower light situations.

These lenses are both from Canon’s professional “L Series” so they’re definitely on the pricier side which means it might be best to save up for them, but if you’re mainly a portrait or wedding photographer, they could be worth that initial big investment.

I use these 2 lenses about 80% of the time when I’m shooting.

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Kat used a Canon 5D Mark III (affiliate link) with a Canon 50mm f1.2L lens (affiliate link), a Canon 85mm f1.2L lens (affiliate link), and a Canon 28mm f1.8 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Kat Gill is a Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Wedding and Boudoir photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Gear.


If you’re looking to snag a sweet deal on one of the lenses Kat talks about (or looking to get other new equipment), Adorama carries used and refurbished photography equipment. Check them out here.

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