Hi Everyone, welcome back to another segment of FAQ Fridays… where you submit your photography questions and we try to answer them. This week we have another video segment for you. yays! The video features a question we are asked a lot. Hope you guys enjoy this video.
Which lenses do you guys normally use on your portrait sessions?
When we pack for our portrait sessions, we usually take our three trusty prime lenses. Why do we prefer prime lenses over zooms? Watch the video below and we’ll walk you through the exact lenses we use and how we use them.
In case you prefer written text explanations over video.. here is a recap:
- We prefer prime lenses (single focal length, no zoom) because they are lightweight and unobtrusive. Lug around high quality zoom lenses for a day and you’ll quickly start to think about primes. Prime lenses typically have larger apertures (f/1.4 – f/2) than zoom lenses (f/2.8 or above) .. this will generally give you better performance in dim-lit conditions.
- Nikon 35mm f/2.0D – a wide angle lens, but not too wide. Just wide enough to capture your subject and their surrounding environment without too much distortion. 35mm is a great walk-around lens for both full-frame sensor FX cameras (D700, D3) and crop-frame DX cameras (every other Nikon DSLR: D40,D3100, D5000, D90, D7000, D300.. etc.) If you have a DX camera, you can get the newer 35mm f/1.8G DX… it was made specifically for DX crop-framed sensor cameras. Confused with DX or FX? Read this DX wiki entry and this FX wiki entry.
- Nikon 50mm f/1.8D & Nikon 50mm f/1.4G – great overall lens. middle ground focal length makes it very versatile. Good lens for portraits (head/shoulder, 3/4 body, full body).
- Nikon 85mm f/1.4D – truly a legendary magical lens. The longer 85mm focal length gives you more subject to background separation. It’s excellent optics will render out of focus backgrounds to smooth cream cheese. Great lens to isolate a particular feature in your frame. Nikon just recently updated this lens to the 85mm f/1.4G.
For more lens suggestions make sure you take a look at our photography gear page. Also, most people do not realize that they can rent pro lenses to try them out before spending a huge chunk of change on them. =)
If you have questions or comments about this week’s segment… feel free to ask in the comments section below.
What is FAQ Fridays?
FAQ Fridays is an ongoing weekly feature on this site where WE answer questions submitted by you. We hope this new segment will help with many of your photography challenges. As always, you can ask questions in the comments section if it relates to that certain post.
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