The big announcement from Sigma recently for the still imaging world was definitely the introduction of the long rumored and long awaited 85mm F/1.4 Art lens. We had a chance to take a look at Sigma’s new beastly portrait lens here at PhotoPlus 2016 and today we have our initial impressions for you.
Portrait lenses are available in all sorts of different focal lengths, prices and types. They’re the bread and butter of many of us as photographers, and they can help us put our creative vision forward onto pixels and film. These lenses, like all other modern lenses, are capable of doing awesome things overall.
In fact, you can make the output of an affordable $250 lens look like that of a higher end product before you even bring the image into Lightroom.
So you’ve got a portrait lens, now what? You want to take portraits, right? You can go right ahead, point your camera and spiffy new optic towards your subject and hope for the best, but you’re not that type of photographer. You want to step it up more. You want to create a photo that makes someone say, “Wow.”
First off, it’s time to get inspired. Then, you’ll need to understand the lens.
Some portrait lenses are great and have bokeh that you’ll absolutely drool over. But then there are others that not only do that, but also make your subjects pop more. Sure, you could do it with lots of great lighting, but when you combine that with the fact that some lenses already have that extra magic to them, you’ll get portraits that wow you and leave your jaw stuck on the ground.
Here are some of our favorites.
The Micro Four Thirds system is all about great image quality in a small package. That was evident pretty much from the start, when Olympus introduced the legendary E-P1 camera with its minuscule 17mm f2.8 pancake kit lens. When buying a new Micro Four Thirds camera today, you’ll probably end up with one of the kit zooms from Olympus and Panasonic, ranging in focal length between 12mm and 50mm. While these may be a great entry into the system and provide some versatility and image quality, you will at some point want to upgrade to more specialized and higher-end glass. Here’s our list of three essential Micro Four Thirds lenses that provide great image quality and don’t break the bank.
Whether photography is your hobby or you’re looking to make it into a profession, portraits are one of the best ways to flex your creative skills. There are some lenses that are very good and that may even stay in your camera bag for a long time. These lenses are indeed so extraordinary that you’ll eventually find yourself trying to justify an upgrade after you’ve grown with it so much.
And most of these lenses are well under $1,000. After our years of reviewing and testing optics, we’ve compiled some of the best just for you–and these ones won’t make your wallet bleed.
You have definitely heard us say that everyone should have an 85mm lens. Well, now you have a chance to win one from Rokinon. The Phoblographer, in association with Rokinon, will be giving away an 85mm f1.4 in our, “All Will be Well, It’s Just a Portrait” contest. We want you to show us your best portrait. You can use any lens you like. Just be sure to capture a calm portrait of your subject in the best way possible.
This contest is open to everyone.
How To Enter:
-Each entry must be the original work of the entrant
-Entries must have the tag “Portrait lens”
-Entries are limited to one photo per person
-Keep all the photos safe for work (no nudity or anything like that)
-Minimum file size is 1024 x 768
-The contest ends on February 14, 2013; winners will be announced shortly after that
-The contest will be judged the staff of the Phoblographer and Rokinon
-The portraits will be judged on the originality, quality, and overall impact of the work.
– The Staff of the Phoblographer and Rokinon (“Sponsor”), and its respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child and sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and/or those living in same household of each, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate or win. Sponsor reserves the right to verify all eligibility requirements. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local law and regulations.
Best of luck! Get photographing.
EDITOR’S UPDATE: THE WINNER HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED!
A few weeks back I posted my initial impressions of the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 Macro Lens. When I wrote this post, I had only had the lens for a few days but I was already impressed by Olympus’ first attempt at a macro Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens. Now that I’ve had several weeks to get to know this lens, let’s see if my initial impressions were correct.