Sunday, May 30, 2010

85 F1.2 Love this Lens

Well I seem to be posting more about my Android diversions than photography lately, so here's a little return to my main subject, shooting the 85 1.2 - I passed on the 70 - 200 2.8 last year in favor of the 85 prime. I wondered if it was the right decision, but after shooting with it for a while, I'm glad I chose it, the images taken with this lens are very unique and you can usually spot them fairly quickly.

Shooting with this lens takes a lot of patience (because it's a slow focusing lens) and even more practice. Shooting wide open produces EXTREMELY shallow depth of field - like in millimeters! Look at the sample above, 3/4 pose you would usually think one eye in focus and the other soft, but here you can see the the DOF is so shallow the focus softens with the span of a single eye - probably less than an eighth of an inch. Shooting this shallow means I need to change the way I shoot - No more using the center focus sensor, locking focus, then recomposing - that slight change in position will throw the it out of focus. You really need to use the focus point selection function here and use the sensor that falls on the area you want in focus - this does put some boundaries on you composition. My usual technique of prefocusing and waiting for the right expression doesn't work either, lock too early and your subjects subtle movements can throw you out of focus again.
But even with all this hassle, I just can't get over the unique nature of the images produced, and in my opinion, well worth the work.

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