Shot on a Canon C200 in RAW with a Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens, wide open.
Canon EOS C200 https://amzn.to/3g3lPug
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Canon EF https://amzn.to/36svfKw
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In today’s video we’re gonna talk about why prime lenses are not just for bokeh.
Based on a number of comments I’ve received, it seems like there might be a little misconception out there that the only reason why you would want a prime lens is so that you could shoot wide open, but I’m gonna give you three reasons today why that isn’t the case.
The first reason is sharpness. While of course there are some exceptions, professional prime lenses in general will be sharper than professional zoom lenses made by the same company in the same generation. Prime lenses, like all lenses, reach their “prime” sharpness in the middle of the f-stop range. So that number is usually going to be somewhere between 5.6 in f8, a far cry from 1.2.
The second reason is weight. When I have marathon photo shoots that go on all day and I’m shooting thousands of pictures, I want to have the lightest camera that I can in my hands. I’ve literally had my hands cramp up with pain from having to manage a 70-200 2.8 all day. So I would rather use an 85 or 100 mm and physically move closer and further away from the subject so that I don’t have to stretch between subjects.
And the third and final reason why prime lenses aren’t just for bokeh, is that often times it is aesthetically the wrong approach. About a year ago when I started shooting with high-speed sync and I replaced my Canon f1.2 85 and 50 mm lenses with sigma art lenses, I almost shot everything at 1.4 for a month. And while it gave me great results, sometimes it just wasn’t that great. I feel like if you don’t have things in your foreground or your background that are greatly out of focus the image is going to fall flat. I became obsessed with shooting headshots wide open because only the pupils were in focus, but then I realized if you’re shooting on a canvass backdrop the lack of focus will make your expensive hand painted masterpiece look like a sears portrait studio special.
Of course I believe that bokeh can be a great tool to use in order to create really artistic, so called cinematic looking portraits, but its over use can become almost like a gimmick.
Anyway guys thank you so much for your time. I’m sure the bokeholics are going to have something to say and the old-school people will too, so if you have any questions or comments please leave those below and is always, wear your mask, Call your mom, say safe and I’ll talk to you soon.