by Ashley Streff
The Canon 85mm 1.2
It’s the absolute best for portrait lenses. It does not distort like other lenses can. For instance, a wider lens like a 35mm or 24-70mm is sensitive to distortion. In portraiture, I want to make sure that my clients are portrayed in the best way possible without enlarging/shrinking or lengthening/shortening shapes.
My favorite thing about it is being able to create dreamy painting-like images while working with depth of field. This meaning, if I shoot through something like a leave or flower pedals I can create blurred colorful details around my subject.
The lens takes a bit to get used to! It’s heavy, first of all, but really it’s difficult to get used to shooting with because when you shoot open at 1.2 you’re seriously susceptible to blur. I have practiced with this lens for years, so I’ve learned my tricks on anticipating subjects moves to know when to stay steady and change the red focal point quickly to hit where the focus needs to go seconds in advance and I know when shooting freehand (no tripod) that you have to make sure how steady your hands are! I’ll be honest, clients sometimes want to see EVERYTHING and a lot of photos have soft focus (some blur) during our shoots, but all you have to do is communicate why it’s happening. It’s literally going to happen to everyone and if you see some blur in your roll, do not worry!