We’re in the middle of reviewing the Rokinon SP 85mm f1.2 lens–which is one of the company’s new high end lens offerings. Rokinon’s build quality has never been the greatest in comparison to many other brands out there but with the SP line, they’re looking to change that. Not only are the optics top notch, but the build quality is too. They’re making metal exteriors with rubber rings. In some ways, you can liken them to Zeiss. Two of their first lenses are the 85mm f1.2 and the 14mm f2.4 for full frame cameras. Unfortunately, these don’t have autofocus. But that doesn’t seem to affect the image quality at all.
Screenshot image from the video by Manny Ortiz
So, you’ve decided to focus on portrait photography and want to start putting together a gear setup that will let you achieve the best results. Choosing the right lens is a big part of working with portraiture, so if you’re still looking, Chicago-based portrait photographer Manny Ortiz talks about his recommendations in a recent video.
Shooting with a wide aperture allows you to drastically isolate your subject from the background and play around with bokeh, making it a neat technique for portrait photography. However, it also comes with a cost: the focus tends to be sharp only towards the center of your frame. Irene Rudnyk shows us how to get our subject sharp throughout your frame even with apertures as wide as f1.2.
Irene Rudnyk has been shooting dreamy portraits in natural light, and the wide aperture of her 85mm f1.2 helps her make her subjects stand out. One of the questions she gets often is how she gets sharply focused portraits with such a wide aperture. Her answer? Using her camera’s auto focus (activated by half-pressing the shutter) to focus around the eyes in the center of her frame, and when that’s locked, recompose to how she wants it. She demonstrates how easy this technique is in the video below.
The 85mm focal length is what most would likely consider THE portrait photographer’s lens of choice, at least historically. So today, as we continue our look into various popular focal lengths, describing their unique characteristics, what better topic to explore than the popular 85mm lens.
Let’s get into it.
One of the biggest problems a lot of photographers have is the culling and editing process–but it's pretty simple to do in Adobe Lightroom. One of the biggest things I tell people is to become vulnerable to their own photos–which is a big part of today's tutorial video. So in this episode of the ReEdit, I take around a half hour to cull down 83 images to somewhere in the 20s. Then I do another cull and bring that number down to 14. In the end, I chose 13 out of the 83. That's still a pretty high keeper rate and with 83 photos I didn't need to overshoot at all. I didn't feel the need to and everything was simply working well. After this I do edits on the photos.
Prime lenses are the weapon of choice for a variety of photographers for a variety of reasons, be it size, speed, image quality etc. Nikon photographers have access to a wide variety of prime lenses, and a really solid lineup of fast F1.8 prime lenses that is the focus of our post here today.
When many people think of fast F1.8 prime lenses they think of a nifty fifty, the super cheap 50mm lenses. But not all F1.8 primes are dirt cheap, some are actually on the spendy side, so this post isn’t necessarily a budget friendly one, but with that out of the way, let’s get into it.
Fact: lots of photographers don’t know how well a focal length will work for them when it comes to portraits. But don’t worry any longer, we’ve tested a number of them on full frame cameras when it comes to portraits and we’ve got just what you need.
We’ve gone through our reviews index to round up a number of images from various focal lengths to show you how they render portraits.
In our years of reviewing lenses, we’ve reviewed a lot of prime lenses–including every prime lens offering from Tamron. The company has worked on revamping their lineup for the past few years the same way other lens manufacturers also have. But the biggest difference here is that Tamron offers great image quality, autofocus, weather sealing, and does all this at a really amazingly affordable price point.
So we’ve gone through our reviews index to sort together all of our Tamron lens reviews and help you figure out what’s best for you.