As I so often say, prime lenses are fun. They are often better than zooms, lighter, and faster. And they enforce compositional discipline.

Like the 85mm f/1.2 lens that I rented it from (because when I can not afford a piece of equipment, or when I want to try it out, or when it’s something I would use only a few times a year, I rent.)

All shot handheld with the Canon 85mm f/1.2L prime lens.

What I love about this lens: The quality. It is ridiculously sharp. Its focus mechanism, whether engaged (manual focus) or not is ridiculously smooth, a real pleasure to use. No scratchy scrapy movement: smooth effortless “air hockey” gliding instead.

This lens is razor-sharp wide open, too, and has beautiful bokeh (the “creamy” nature of the blurry background):

f/1.2, 1/50th sec, 3200 ISO

What I like less: if his lens had IS (stabilization), that would be great. And if it could only focus a little closer… its closest distance is almost one metre/3ft.

You see, that startles Mau as well:

These shots were made at 1/200th sec, f/1.4, 3200 ISO in a pretty dark room. The kind of thing you can do with a prime.

Go rent this lens: since I returned it, it’s available. Warning, though, I plan to get it again for Tuesday’s corporate portrait shoot!


3 thoughts on “Primes

  1. “And if it could only focus a little closer”…
    Isn’t that the case with two-thirds of all SLR lenses?
    There’s no fancy trickery required to get a decent close focus distance. Worst case, it means making the lens barrel a centimetre longer and extending the focus helicoids by the same amount.
    Maybe they’re just trying to get all of us to buy a dedicated macro lens….

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