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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.

Cameras, Lenses, and 3 Easy Tips for Wedding Photography

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Today’s feature is from .

Matt and Ann say:

“These are a few captures from Janelle and Erik’s beautiful wedding in downtown Ottawa. Erik is a mountie for the RCMP and wore his vibrant red uniform for first portion of the day.

They chose one of the most beautiful churches in the area, the Notre Dame Cathedral and a had their reception in the super bling Mezzanotte Italian Bistro where we had to consume copious amounts of delicious food!

Janelle is one of Matt’s cousin’s best friends and we were fortunate enough to have been connected through her.”

Matt and Ann’s Photography Tips:

What’s in their Bag:

Camera Bodies:

  • 3 Nikon D750’s
  • A D90 for backup

Lenses:

  • Nikon 35mm f/1.8G (FX)
  • Nikon 60mm f/2.8 Micro
  • Nikon 85mm f/1.8G
  • Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
  • Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Micro
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4G

About Cameras:

We both use Nikon D750’s and carry three bodies at all times between the two of us. Matt photographs with two bodies whereas Ann photographs with one.

We also have our trusty D90 as a back-up, which a few years ago we would have been absolutely terrified to photograph a wedding with, but today would feel totally confident that we would deliver outstanding images with little to no sacrifice in quality.

We now rarely go above ISO 1600 as we tend to bring in off-camera flash for anything above this so the D90 works perfectly as a nice little back-up weight in our kit.

About Lenses:

We’ve been alternating our lenses (all Nikon) back and forth for the past three years and are always choosing the opposite of one another. This year Ann is totally into our primes and shoots primarily with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G (FX), Nikon 60mm f/2.8 Micro and the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G.

Matt on the other hand shoots with the 24-70mm f/2.8 on one body and alternates between the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Micro and the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G depending on whether he wants more reach/tighter crop/portraits or wants to produce epic flare for effect (the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G produces gorgeous flare if done right and used in moderation).

Last year it was largely the opposite set of lenses per photographer. We still do share though!

3 Simple Tips to Keep In Mind:

These are three of the simplest, and yet biggest, tips that completely changed the way we see the world through our cameras on the big day:

  1. Create clean compositions with light on dark, or dark on light.
  2. See ambient light, where it is falling, and the direction it is traveling.
  3. Expose for highlights.

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Matt and Ann of Green Tea Photography are Ottawa, Canada, and International Family, Engagement, and Wedding photographers.

Click here to see more tips on Gear.


For more tips on gear for weddings, we highly recommend Susan Stripling‘s Thinkbook: Gear + Equipment. In it, Susan discusses the gear she has in her bag, plus what each piece is used for and when. You can check it out here.

 

 

*Please note: many of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help us earn a commission. The price is no different to the consumer, but each percentage of a sale helps support us, what we do, and keeps the site free for everyone.

Gear Selection and Unique Lens Affects

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Today’s feature is from Mark Serrano.

Mark says:

“These images are from a test shoot with a relatively new model, Amaia Mascó. I happened to have a scheduled shoot that was planned a month ago but the model decided to cancel, so I was left with a free day. Luckily, Amaia was available.

Since this wasn’t planned ahead, we had to develop a concept quickly and adapt. We also didn’t have a dedicated makeup artist or hair stylist booked, but fortunately my wife has studied makeup abroad and this was her chance to get her feet wet with makeup. For wardrobe, Amaia had an old dress she was able to use for the shoot.”

Mark’s Photography Tip:

My tip is really a series of multiple tips, everything from gear to posing. First, let’s start with gear.

For this shoot, I used a dual camera system with two full-frame Canon 6D cameras. The benefit of using two bodies is that you don’t need to switch lenses during shoots. And yes, you could shoot with one camera body and a zoom lens like a 24-105, but I find when I do that I tend to get lazy and stop moving to find better angles.

Having the dual camera setup with two different (non-zoom) lenses helps me stay on my toes and forces me to move around and be more creative.

I also chose the Canon 6D as my camera bodies because they are cheaper than 5D Mark III, but still capable of capturing great images.

For lenses, I used a Canon 50mm 1.4 and a Canon 85mm 1.8. The reason I used these lenses are they are prime lenses, decently sharp, and provide good shallow depth of field.  I also want to minimize distortion, so for full body shots I used the 50mm and for half-body or shoulder to headshots I used the 85mm.

When posing your subject, try to pose them without having them look at the camera. Then take a shot from where you are. Once you got your shot, move yourself. Pick a different spot and shoot again. Try taking shots from 5 different spots.  Then try switching your lenses to get different perspectives. You’ll be surprised that there are far better angles than what you initially thought!

And finally, to give these images that hazy, ethereal look, use a torn ziplock bag. All you need to do is put the ziplock in front of your lens, and areas where the ziplock is will tend to go hazy in the frame, giving your images a dream-like quality.

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Mark used a Canon 6D with a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens and a Canon 85mm 1.8 lens to capture these images.

Mark Serrano is a Chicago, IL Fashion, Landscape, Street, and Fine Art photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Gear, Client Direction, and DIY.


Mark’s gear selection was key in pulling this shoot together. If you’re looking to upgrade or swap out some gear, check out Adorama – they’ve got a plethora of cameras, gear, lenses, accessories, equipment, you name it. Check them out here.