As I gear up for WPPI, I’ve been refreshing my presentations with new imagery for my keynotes. A few weeks back, I posted a blog entry about my essential lenses in my gear bag. Now, I take EIGHT lenses with me to each and every wedding I shoot. My reasons are vast, but the bottom line is that I believe the lenses are an extension of my mind’s eye.
One of the most frequently asked questions from photographers is “what’s your favorite lens”. My normal answer is “that’s like asking me which one of my daughters is my favorite”…. or something dumb like that. Truth be told, if I had to truly pick one favorite, it’d have to be the AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1.4G. I was very privileged to be one of the very first people to shoot this lens, and I gave it a whirl while shooting a global ad campaign for Nikkor. The 85 D was also a favorite, and I had wondered what they could have done to improve this lens. Well, how about everything. It’s four years old now, but it’s still a lens that I simply can’t do without.
I begin each wedding day with this lens on one of my D4’s without fail. It allows me to create a look and feel that I simply can’t obtain with any other lens. Oh, and I nearly always shoot it wide open at 1.4. My goal is to capture and isolate moments. There are times we work in places with distracting backgrounds, and this lens lets me extinguish those distractions with a shallow depth of field that I can’t achieve with other lenses.
The other element is it’s speed. The speed of focus, and it’s aperture value allow me to keep this lens on for nearly any situation, and there’s hardly ever an environment I’m in where I can’t produce an image. All I need is a tiny bit of light, and when coupled with my D4, or my Df, it’s a very, very powerful combination.
Perhaps the most important reason- I don’t miss moments with this lens. I have complete confidence that I can produce razor sharp images in nearly any condition I face. From the prep stages, to the portraits of my brides, to the ceremony, and through various spontaneous situations throughout the day, this lens allows me capture images I simply wouldn’t create without it.
If you’re going to WPPI, try and catch me at the Nikon Theatre where I’ll be shooting live with this lens, and giving some information on how make our brides look their best!
Here’s a few with the AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1.4G