Tuesday’s Tip – Which Lens and Why?

Last week, I was asked which lenses I normally use when I’m doing portraits and I thought it would be great to share some of that information here. Eric shared some of his thoughts here, so if you want a different perspective, you can check that out 🙂

So the question is, what’s in my bag?

My favourite lens is my 28-70mm 2.8. I’ve had it for more years than I care to think and it’s usually the first lens I grab out of my bag. I love it for so many reasons, the first one being it’s incredibly sharp. I can work at 2.8 and not have to worry too much about the eyes being sharp. If that’s my focus point, I know it will be sharp. The benefit to working at 2.8 is that the background is no longer an issue, it’s nice and soft. The other reason is that it allows me to work closely with the kids/family that I’m photographing but not be right in their space.

This is a good example of what the 28-70 will do for you. I likely had the focal length between 60-70mm and I know I was at 2.8. The background is still there, but soft and my parents are really sharp.

Then there’s my 60mm 2.8 Macro. This is quickly becoming my second favourite lens. It’s great for detail photographs. The macro allows me a really tight focus range, so I can get exactly what I want in the frame. It also allows me to work with kids at a much closer distance, so that I can really capture their personalities.

As I mentioned in my post last week, this was taken with my 60mm lens. I was holding onto Ella’s hand with one hand and had the camera in the other hand (gotta love auto focus!). I wouldn’t have been able to focus that closely with my 28-70mm lens, which was the biggest reason I used the 60mm.

It’s also great for photos like this one of Tehya’s toes. This is the full frame, so again, I couldn’t have done this with my 28-70mm because of focusing distance!

Our 50mm 1.4 is a great lens, but one that I don’t often use. Eric loves it more than I do. It’s a great back up lens and one that you’ll often see Eric using when we photograph weddings (so not very often!)

The last lens in our bag is a 70-300mm lens and one I very rarely use. It’s just a step down from a pro lens and we’re actually thinking of upgrading. The question I often ask myself, is why replace something I never really use? Then I ask myself, if it was a better lens, would I use it more? And round and round goes the debate. However, I really loved the effect that we were able to get with the 80-200mm that we borrowed for our recent family photo. The drawback that I see with this lens, is that I have to be a lot further away from the kids that I’m working with, which means less “connection” and therefore less “personality.”

Here’s an example of using a longer lens and the compression it provides. Eric and Ella were about 3 feet away from us, but look like they are closer than that in the photo.

Phew, I know that’s a LOT to read, but I do hope it helps a little. Let me know if it helps! (Thanks to Ken Rockwell‘s website for the lens photos!)

Have a fabulous Tuesday!

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