what lenses to use

I’ve been asked quite a bit what lenses I would recommend and what lenses are best for the different situations.  Here’s my input…

All of the equipment that I currently use is listed in much more detail on my equipment page here on my blog. But I will share a quick list here as well. The lenses in my camera bag are:
Canon 50mm  1.2L
Canon 85mm 1.2L
Canon 35mm 1.4L
Canon 100 macro 2.8L

I used to have Canon’s 70-200mm 2.8L IS as well. But it was stolen and I have not yet replaced it. It is a very fabulous lens and I’m sure I will be replacing it at some point. It definitely serves a great purpose.

Below are some pictures that I’ve shot using the different lenses. Now take note that the pictures taken with these same lenses can look much different based on your distance from your subject and the angle you use. But the lenses do have some differences to them and some things that I love differently about each one.

This image below was shot with an 35mm lens. I love my 35 mm lens for times when I want to show the whole scene. I also love it for those situations where I’m really close to my subject and I want to see all of them. For example a 35mm lens is great for when you’re in a row boat with your kids so you can’t move any further away from them but you want a picture of their whole upper body and the water behind them.

This image below was shot with an 50mm lens. My 50mm lens is my most practical lens and the one I use the most by far. It is the perfect lens for photographing life on a daily basis. It displays life the way you see it with your human eye, not any more zoomed in or out (on my full frame camera body…see notes at end of blog post). This is my go to lens for newborn photography as well.

This image below was shot with an 85mm lens. This 85mm lens is my favorite lens. It is beautiful. I love the blurry, yummy background it creates. It takes a couple of seconds longer to focus but once it’s in focus it’s sharp and fabulous. I love this lens.

This image below was shot with an 100mm macro lens. The 100mm macro is a fun lens. This is the lens that I always use for those close ups of baby’s fingers, toes, and more. It’s also a great lens for capturing intense expressions and close ups of kids. But it’s a bit more tricky to use in those settings due to the combo of the wiggly kids and the sensitive macro focusing.

Okay, now my disclaimer. I shoot with Canon’s 5D Mark II camera bodies. These are full frame cameras. The pictures above are examples of how these lenses will look using my full frame camera body. If you have a Canon rebel, a 50D, or a 7D those are not full frame cameras. They are great cameras but they are not full frame. So each of these lenses when used on one of those cropped sensor camera bodies will appear to be more close up, more zoomed in if that makes sense. So the 35mm may appear to look more close up and more similar to the 50mm. The 50mm may appear more zoomed in and closer to an 85mm. Does that make sense?  You should borrow or rent so that you have a full frame camera (like a 5D or 5D Mark II) and a cropped sensor (like a rebel or a 50D) and see what the difference is.

I also have a page of recommendations for the hobbyist if you’re looking to make a purchase. Check it out!