But seriously what lens do I use: The 85mm the 50mm or the 35mm ? So I have to be completely honest with you. When I first started into my photography journey, I had to start from scratch. I had absolutely not the tiniest idea on what lenses to use. And specifically what lenses to use for portraits. So like everyone else I googled it. And… I YouTube'd it. The results I kept coming across were three lenses in specific. The 85mm 1.4, the 50mm 1.4, and the 35mm 1.4. Of course owning all three lenses at the time was out of my reach. These pieces of glass will set you back a pretty penny! And frankly never having used any of them I wasn’t sure which one I’d like. I had my kit lens but through my endless amount of scrolling I soon learned that if you wanted a sharper crisper image a fixed or prime lens was a way to go.So I went back to my old friend google and found out I was able to rent all three. Fortunately living here in Phoenix I had a couple choices around me were you could actually go and pick up the lenses instead of waiting days for your rentals to arrive in the mail. So I made my way down to Tempe Camera and began rotating all three lenses during my sessions.
The 85 mm 1.4 allows you to disconnect your subject from the background. It gave me that that blurry creamy background while still keeping your subject in focus. Most definitely making your subject the center of attention. I specifically like the 1.4 because I usually shoot during golden hour and into blue hour and so the 1.4 gave me an extra 20- 30 minutes of light that I needed for my sessions.
The 50 mm 1.4 lens also draws your eye towards the subject but doesn’t provide as much of a creamy blurry background. However if you are shooting to specifically capture your subject AND part of your gorgeous background (because of course we went scouting for that perfect location!) the 50mm will not disappoint. I shoot outdoors & often my clients specifically ask for our stunning desert saguaros to be in the background. That’s where the 50 mm lens comes in. So basically if you’re trying to get your subject in focus and some of your background with a bit of blur the 50 mm is your man. Again I use the 50 mm 1.4 just to give me a bit more time before completely lose light.
After only renting the 35 mm 1.4 I knew the lens was not for me. Since I mostly shoot portraits, maternity, grads,and families I wanted a more tighter shot. I wanted the focus to be more on my subjects. I don’t do any large events so I don’t have a need for wider lenses.
So I stuck with and I’m still using the 85mm 1.4 & the 50mm 1.4 lenses. These two are definitely my go to lenses, specially the 85 mm. I’ve used the Nikon 85 mm 1.4 lens for my Nikon body and it worked just as I needed it to. However the Sigma Art Series 85 mm 1.4 (for the Nikon body) is simply my favorite. Sigma really delivered when making this lens. I would even say it’s better than the Nikon lens. It’s provided me with some pretty amazing photos. There is a slight lag and I’ve been told it’s because you’re using a non-native lens. So basically you’re using a Sigma lens on a Nikon body. However, I still prefer the Sigma Art Series lens over the Nikon one for overall quality of my images. Assuming that you are not a photographer who only shoots children,for that the Nikon 85 mm delivers. Tiny humans are moving targets so you need speed on your side. The Nikon 85mm lens on the Nikon body will give you just that. Speed. No lag. In comparison to the Sigma Art Series on the Nikon body. The Sigma Art Series 85 mm 1.4 is still my favorite just because it always delivers stunning images!
I recently switched over to the Sony mirrorless, so recent that I haven’t even done a session with the sexy beast! Annnd a year and a half later I no longer have to rent my two favorite lenses! #ladyboss.
Follow me on IG @ophelialivsphotography
Or on Facebook @Ophelia_livs