equipment

Friday Fives | My Five Lenses

1) Nikon 50mm f1.4 prime — I probably use this lens most, and it’s the lens I took with me on vacation to Disney. It’s on my camera I’d say about 60% of a wedding day. It’s a great versatile lens that has that soft bokeh I love, it gets me close enough to the action for portraits, but I can also back up and get wider if needed (in most cases).

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2) Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 zoom — This wider angle lens comes in more handy for my business and commercial shoots — real estate, fitting into tight spaces, food, overhead flatlays, landscapes, etc.

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3) Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 II zoom — This lens is my go-to for sports, wedding ceremonies, and sometimes portraits! I also have a teleconverter that I use on it for football that doubles my zoom (but I lose a few stops of light too so I can only use it outside when it’s bright and sunny).

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4) Sigma 85mm f1.4 prime — This lens is a sweet portrait lens, but works best outside or in larger indoor spaces when I have room to get further away from my subject. The wide aperture gives me that beautiful bokeh and shallow depth of field that many photographers aim for, plus the compression of using a tighter crop. I love me some compression!! ;)

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5) Nikon 60mm f2.8 macro — I use my macro lens for ring shots, and sometimes closeups of food. There is a rare instance when I’ll use it for other things and if say I have it on my camera for some ring photos and I need to snap a quick portrait or candid, it will still do the job. And even though it stops down to 2.8, typically I shoot rings at a higher aperture around 4-5.6 so that you can see the full depth of the diamond or gemstone. Since it’s macro, you still get that bokeh-y closeup feel, but closing down the aperture still gives me the depth I want.

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So that’s it! I’ve had these lenses now for several years and am pretty happy with my arsenal. I don’t plan to change it unless I end up adding another lens or two for a tax write-off or just frivolity. :D If I were to add other lenses, my next choice would be a 35mm (maybe the Sigma art version?) and then possibly upgrade my 60mm macro to the Nikon 105mm (or an off-brand equivalent). With as little as I use the macro though, I don’t really see the need at this point!

Do you have any questions about any of the lenses or terminology I talked about in this post? Feel free to comment below to ask! I’m happy to answer questions about my equipment. Thanks for reading!

What's in my bag?

New D700!I thought it might be fun to show my readers and clients what equipment I have in my photography bags. The camera above is my pride and joy, my Nikon D700. I started out with a Nikon D200 which I still have, but I just don't get the happy feeling with it that I get now with my D700. I noticed a difference in my shooting immediately when I started using the D700. If things go as I hope they do in 2011, I'll be getting a second D700 next year to use as my second body at weddings since I don't love my D200 anymore. And, the D700 does amazing things with low light situations in dark churches and buildings.

You may also have noticed the grip on the bottom of the D700. I originally bought it for sports because the extra battery power allows me shoot 8 frames per second. This grip never comes off my camera now though. I love it. I can shoot an entire wedding without changing my camera battery, and it gives me something else to hold onto when I'm carrying my camera with other equipment or without a strap (which I often do!).

new lens! The lens in the both photos above is my Nikkor 50mm f1.4. Last year this was my go-to lens. I think I actually shot one or two weddings solely with this lens (or close to it). I do still like this lens for portraits, low-light situations and some detail shots, but I haven't pulled it out of my Shootsac much lately.

Holly at work I don't have a photo of my favorite lens, except for the one above of me in action. It is the Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8. I bought it in late December 2009 (hello tax deduction!) and it rarely leaves my D700 nowadays. This lens is great because it is somewhat wide angle, has a great zoom range, and is fast enough for most instances that I need it. It's also pretty sharp so far, whereas the 50mm lens sometimes gets a little soft and has lens aberration when shot wide open.

My last lens is my Nikkor 80-200mm f2.8 which I don't have a picture of. It was one of the first pieces of equipment I bought. It was purchased mostly because I knew I'd be shooting sports and would need a decent zoom. I've used this for dozens of football and basketball games and even though it is the 200mm lens without vibration reduction, it does a great job for the most part, especially since I've gotten my D700.

I won't go into detail about the rest of my equipment, but here's a short list of some of my accessory equipment: Nikon SB-800 & SB-600 speedlights Metz 58 AF-1N speedlight Pocket Wizards (to wirelessly trigger speedlights and strobes)