Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Canon EF)

The Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 is an entry point into one of the most popular telephoto zoom lens options out there–and it’s actually a damned fantastic one. Tamron has always created lenses that are high quality, affordable, and built pretty well.But with the Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2, they’re seriously taking the cake here. This lens offers weather sealing, the same top notch image quality that they’ve been pushing with the new SP lineup of lenses, and image stabilization to boot. So if you’re a portrait photographer, we’re already well aware that you’ve been eyeing a 70-200mm f2.8 lens of some sort.

And if you’re looking for an affordable option, then this is it.

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The 7 Best 35mm Lenses for Portrait Photography

While the 35mm focal length isn’t always considered to be prime (pun not intended) for portraiture, it’s still fairly popular and a very versatile focal length. In fact, because it’s got a field of view that is the way that so many photographers see, it’s bound to be a favorite focal length. Luckily, over the years a number of those lenses have improved to simply just become better. So if you’re looking for a 35mm lens for portraiture, look no further than our favorites in this list.

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Review: Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus (Canon EF)

The Milvus lineup of lenses from Zeiss are more or less their workhorses; and with the addition of the new Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus lens, I’ve never been more convinced that they’re the absolute best lens maker on the market. Yes, Sigma–that mean even above what you’re capable of. While Zeiss’s mentality has always been about MTF charts and curves, in the past few years they’ve been working on a transition that’s catering not only to that crowd, but also to those who care more about the stuff that can’t be measured in a lab. For example, Zeiss lenses have always had a special character about them–I’ve seen folks on our Facebook page talk about it fairly often when their optics come up.

So what’s even more appealing about the Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus lens is that they’re targeting at portrait photographers.

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When Shooting Portraits, Primarily Expose for the Skin Tones

One of the things a lot of people don’t understand about portraits is this: when you’re photographing a person they are the absolute bigger priority in the image. Even in environmental portraiture, their environment is important but the primary object is still the person you’re photographing. For that reason, a whole lot of portrait photographers will shoot in aperture priority because all they care about is the depth of field in the scene. But honestly, there’s a whole lot more to it than just that. You should be exposing your scene based on your subject’s skin tones as a priority and everything else should be secondary. Luckily, modern cameras are so good that you can do just that.

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Opinion: Canon Gets Skin Tones Right Where Sony and Fujifilm Still Fail

I’m going to share with you a little bit of insight that the cinema industry has known for years but that the photo industry still sort of rejects in favor of innovation: and that’s that Canon has been getting skin tones perfectly, absolutely right for years and that they still do. I’m aware that this is going to incite a flame war amongst one base vs another but before you go any further you know should know something else. This is all my own opinion.

When I started the Phoblographer, I wanted this blog to always be transparent. When we are paid to say things, we clearly label it in order to abide by FTC laws and in order to avoid any sort of possible lawsuits. Just consider it: if you’re a business owner would you want something that you spent around 1/3rd of your life building? I’m sure you wouldn’t; and so I take that very specific and very careful designation. Long time readers have known this and in effect actually know that I’ll spend some time creating sponsored content that they enjoy if it helps me pay the server bill, rent, etc. Trolls, on the other hand, just tend to say something before they think.

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Review: Sony a9

It took Sony long enough, but earlier this year the company announced a true flagship mirrorless camera: the Sony a9. The Sony a9 is designed to take on the likes of the Canon 1DX Mk II and the Nikon D5. It’s a camera designed for a photojournalist who needs not a whole lot of resolution but a balance between that and good high ISO output. To appeal to these photographers, Sony gave the Sony a9 an impressive 20 fps shooting ability with no blackout of the viewfinder. The autofocus is also very effective, and can be used with a variety of lenses designed for the Sony E mount. Other connections such as a built in ethernet port and dual card slots are also bound to be very valuable to these photographers. Indeed, the Sony a9 is a camera for the working pro who brings in gainful employment and taxable income using their camera. With that said, you’d be absolutely stupid to purchase this for street photography unless you’re making some serious money off of it–so just stop right there.

Despite how fantastic it is, Sony still hasn’t gotten it 100% perfectly right. But to be fair, neither have Canon or Nikon.

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Gallery: Sony a9 High ISO Image Samples (And Extended Impressions)

We’re almost done with our review of the new Sony a9 camera; and so far it’s shaping up to mostly be pretty great. This post is to mostly showcase High ISO image samples from the new Sony a9, and before we go on you should know that it does a fantastic job and I personally like the high ISO output even more than I do from the Sony a7s II. The Sony a9 is targeted at the professional photographer who uses the Canon 1DX Mk II and the Nikon D5. But in some ways it also is trying to go after the Pentax 645z, the Hasselblad X1D and the Fujifilm GFX 50s with the wedding photography crowd. For the most part, those photographers will have found one of the best cameras that they can use.

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Five Fantastic A Little Longer Than 50mm Lenses for Portrait Photography

There are whole swarms of photographers who absolutely swear by and to the 50mm focal length, yet when it comes to portraiture, it’s easy for a lot of photographers to find the focal length a bit lacking. That’s where all of these slightly longer focal lengths have been coming from for a while now–something just a bit longer than a 50mm lens is often a fantastic option for portraits because while it isn’t as constrained as an 85mm lens, you tend to get a slightly longer field of view and therefore just enough more compression when shooting.

Here are some of our favorites.

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