What are my favorite lenses?

Occasionally, I get asked… “What’s your favorite lens?”

UGH... such a tough question to answer but, I'm going to attempt my best. 

So, here it is… a blog entry dedicated to my favorite lenses!

Disclaimer: I’m far from the authority on lenses, I’m simply sharing things I’ve learned along the way.

I currently have a mixed bag as far as lenses go. I have some prime (or fixed focal length) and some zoom lenses. For those who aren’t photographers, prime means the lens doesn’t zoom. Seems kinda crazy right? WHY ON GODS GREEN EARTH would anyone buy a lens that can't zoom? I mean, even the most basic of point and shoot camera's can zoom! Well... there's a lot to that question so if you are interested in learning more, here is a great article you can read. 

Ok, back to the topic at hand...

My “go to” lenses are: 35mm 1.4L, 85mm 1.2L, 24-70mm 2.8L and my 70-200mm 2.8L.  I love them all but because they are different, I love them for different applications. 

So, lets go down the list...

35MM 1.4L 

This lens is my go to for situations when I am close to my subject. Typically, this is with families with small children.  I find that when photographing little ones I am usually needing to talk & engage with them as we go to help encourage some real interactions. Usually, this engagement is in the form of me doing something goofy like threatening to tickle them with a giant extendable feather duster or asking them to throw things at me. Yes... I totally ask children to throw things at me. Usually, its a leaf or a stick. I haven't been pegged by a rock... yet.

Anyhow, I LOVE everything about my 35mm focal length. For me, it feels like the equivalent to how our eyes see. It feels intimate. I can get SUPER close my subjects and get awesome shots like this...

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The only "bad" thing about my 35mm is that,  it occasionally distorts the subject. For example, if I get really REALLY close to my subject, it can make their nose or forehead look huge. So, I have to be careful.

Next up...

85MM 1.2L

My portrait lens! This lens is AWESOME. It takes amazing images… whenever, wherever! The 85mm is a traditional portrait lens…. as opposed to say the 35mm which, traditionally, is used more as a photojournalistic lens. AND... drumroll please... there's NO distortion. AH... so nice...

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Next... 

24-70mm 2.8L

This was my first "pro" lens so it has a special place in my heart. Nowadays, I use it exclusively for newborns and occasionally for events, like weddings and birthdays. It's a very versatile lens and, in my opinion, an excellent learner lens. The only drawback to it is the aperture. I love shooting as wide open as possible and this lens is a tad limiting in that arena. Even still, there are situations where I don't want or need to go more open than 2.8 and in those cases, this lens is a little powehouse. 

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Last (but definately not least)…

70–200mm 2.8L

I go through seasons with this lens. It makes beautiful images. I love it for portraits when I don’t want (or need) to be close to my subjects. Sometimes, this is with families of little ones that are shy. Like this little girl.

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When we first met, she was terrified of me. So, I ran off, far away and stalked her like a cheetah. With some minimal direction from her parents, we got this gorgeous image..

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Look at the bokeh in the background of that lens! Ahhh… so creamy and gorgeous. So, why don't I use it all the time? Well, other than sometimes needing to be closer to my subjects, this lens is HEAVY. It's not so bad that I can't lift if but it wears on me over the course of a session and I find myself getting irritated with it. Hence my on again, off again relationship with it. 

Ok, that's it for now. I don't have any other lenses in my arsenal to chat about. At least not yet... hehehe.