Thursday, May 10, 2012

photo tip : what's in my bag?

When I first starting shooting in college, I used my dad’s old Nikon SLR. Film SLR. Not digital. And the ‘ole Nikon F4 was with me all the time. I probably spent over $1000 on film and another $1000 on processing those babies. I also spend a good amount of time hibernating in the dark room. There were days when I entered the lab around noon and came out after midnight.

Now I shoot with my Canon 5D Mark II. Digital SLR. This means I can take a million photos of the same thing and it won’t cost me one bit. The great thing about the 5D Mark II is that it does great in low light. I can bump my ISO all the way to 4000 without getting any noise (graininess). This is exactly what I needed to photograph weddings inside a church without having to disturb the ceremony with my flash. Now, I’m thankful for the high ISO when I take pictures of my son at night or inside the house.

This picture was taken with ISO 2000.

On to lenses! My absolute favorite lens is the 85mm, 1.8. It’s known as the portrait lens, and helps create a sharp image with a nice, creamy blur in the background (bokeh). This is a prime lens, so YOU have to walk back and forth to zoom in & out. Definitely takes time to get used to, but is so worth it.

My next favorite is the 50mm, 1.4. This is also a prime lens, but is one of the most common lenses. It takes a wider shot than the 85mm.
Here is a comparison.

Jimmy’s favorite is the super wide angle. I rarely use this, because I naturally like close-ups, but it definitely gives a different feel to the image.

This one is taken with my wide angle 16-25mm, f 2.8L. I didn't move from the above image, so you can see how much wider it is compared to the 50mm and the 85mm.

The wide angle is also fun because it distorts the image when taken up close. Some people like it this way…I’m not one of them. (Blee's hands look HUGE!)

Last but not least…my zoom. 24-70mm, 2.8L. This is the lens that I use most, since it’s so versatile…especially when chasing after my monkey. I can quickly zoom in & out and the wide aperture helps to capture a nice image.

24-70mm ISO 100, f 2.8, 1/1000
My next purchase? I’m thinking the 35mm. Sigh…lens buying is never-ending!


  1. Hi Sakura! Love this post! Great info. Wish I had all your lenses. I do have the 35mm and love it...but that's all I have and use. :) Tatsu is too cute!

  2. Oooooo...can we have a play date and try out each other's lenses?