Today, will be talking about lenses, or glass! Lenses are some of the most important tools when it comes to photography. During the video i'll discuss my use, experiences, and opinions with all of my lenses!
My aim when it came to my arsenal of lenses was to cover the ultra wide for my landscapes and group shots, mediums for my portrait work, and tights for both portrait and landscape work.
Starting with the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 II. This lenses main purpose was for landscape it allows for me to capture a large amount of scencert at 16mm during the day and group shots during an event. In addition, at 16mm with a F2.8 it is a great lens for astrophotography. Also, when paired with a Glidecam, it allows for for more leverage when it comes to focusing since it has a large view and the distortion with this lens give me that ability. This lenses is also always used to film my videos, since the 5D Mark III does not have face tracking I can click the focus button really close in order for it to be focused on me.
My initial thought was that this lens was gonna be my all around lens, why? Well, coming from a 50mm and crop sensor this would be a total different view, where I wouldn’t have to stand 10 miles away from a subject at social gatherings at 16mm, but also, I had 35mm which is my prefered portrait focal length.
My experience with this lens great. The 16-35mm is one of the sharpest and fastest lenses I’ve own (this is from someone that use to be a pure prime person). It’s fast enough to track most moving subjects when combined with the 5D Mark III, while producing great colors. Also, I love having 2.8 as the smallest aperture because I have a better chance of getting my subject, as opposed to 1.4, which is a bad habit I have with my 1.4 lenses. The build quality is superb and has even stood a small hit on the side.
Did the 16-35mm serve its purpose ? Yes and no.
It did serve the purpose in helping me make stuff look more dynamic, useage with the Glidecam, group shots, and video work. However, someone of the things that came up after owning the lens were interesting to say the least.
The build quality is amazing, but the design is interesting, making the lens hood also just as interesting, too. The addition of the lens hood was too much to the point where I would just leave it at home, also. I’ve owned a 20-35 f3.5-5.6, which was way more compact and I wish that was one of the things that this lens picked up in terms of design.
While it was fast in terms of performance & f2.8 is fast aperture, to me, it still wasn't fast enough, since I came from an all prime background (f1.4-f1.8). The downfall of this lens was in terms of low light performance.
Also, since this is the Mark II, it does not have the built in IS, which is one of the things I wish I saved up to, because seeing the reviews on the IS, it is impressive for the Mark III.
Just a tip: Although I use this for large groups shots, this lens is one that I would never use during a portrait session, even at 35mm. The distortion on this is very noticeable and makes a subject look like they have a very wide face, which can look very unappealing; even when fixed in post.
Moving to the 35mm 1.4 Mark I. I used a sigma 35mm art, it was the first high-end lens that I used and fell in love with it. I got the 35mm for portraits and the low light capabilities with that 1.4 aperture. 35 was very different coming from a 50mm and crop sensor. 35 proved to be not too wide, nor too tight, so it was next right lens to go and buy when I used it that first time.
My initial thought was that I loved 35mm, I felt like a purist, and F1.4 was a fast aperture, along with the same amazing build quality that an L series lens brings.
After a long time using a 35mm, it’s proven to be my go to lens, which I never thought it be. Although it is a prime and I to move around to get the shot it, 35mm gives me enough leverage so I don’t have to be so close, nor too far from my subject. Also, at 35mm, while there is distortion, it is not as dramatic as the 16-35mm, which is why I find myself leaning towards the 35mm all the time. The 35mm is also more compact and stylish than the 16-35mm and gives me that soft and beautiful boKEH.
The downfall of this lens, for me, is the F1.4. F1.4 is both a blessing and a curse, nothing with the lens, just me; because I have that F1.4, then I always wanna shot at F1.4. Even though F1.4 makes a beautiful background, my chances of missing becoming greater, due to such a small window of focus. I also think it’s the most sharp, along with bokeh, between f2.8-5.6, but being honest, I’m just a bokeh whore.
Also, the 35mm Mark I is not weather sealed. This lens can handle a bit of rain, but nothing too drastic, although not a deal breaker for me, it would make it easier for me knowing that it is weather sealed. Like most prime lenses the 35mm Mark I (and II) do not have IS built in, which is also another thing I wish it had, because it would be amazing to use this more on a Glidecam.
Compared to the sigma, the contrast on the canon version is toned down,which makes me sad sometimes; I feel like that’s one of the things about Sigma lenses are better at, the beautiful contrast. Nonetheless, the 35mm still has those beautiful colors that we love from Canon.
Lastly, the 70-200 F2.8 Mark II IS. I had said that I came from an all prime background, until I used a 24-70 F2.8, which proved to me that a zoom lens could perform in terms of sharpness and speed. Since then, only three zooms have shown this : 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70 f2.8, and the creme of the crop the 70-200 f2.8. I never thought that I would own a 70-200, ever!
From the first use, the speed, accuracy and sharpness of the 70-200 f2.8 were amazing. Going from 70mm to 200mm, real quick, makes a HUGE difference during a wedding right before the big kiss.
The compression on this lens is SO BEAUTIFUL!!! At 70mm you lose any distortion and people come out looking like angels. The compression is so good at 200mm, plus having a f2.8 aperture, CRUSHES the background for some of the more amazing portraits. I saw why this was named one of the best portrait lenses.
The IS on this is amazing! I was debating between the 70-200 f2.8 Mark I and II, but went with the Mark II, because I just wanted the best of the best, if I was gonna be investing long term.
In terms of bad, for me, it’s just a MASSIVE lens. I would never bring this out if it wasn’t going to be used. Being it a huge lens it also attracts a lot of attention, with its white color, is another reason it might be left in the bag, if not needed.
In terms of future lenses, I’m debating if I should buy a 50mm f1.4 or 1.2. I want a f1.2, but it is a massive lens and I think that I would run into the problem of always shooting at f1.2. I hope that they remake the f1.4 for Canon that can compete with Sigma, because they been nailing it so much lately.
In terms if you need all this glass, well, no! This is what I found I need to do what I do. It didn’t come overnight, I’ve been shooting for nearly half a decade now. I shot with a Canon T2i with a 50mm f1.8 and kit lens for half of photographic life. I only started buying gear when I had outgrown what I had. I see people CRUSHING IT with the same setup that I had, and it’s because they understand light, composition, and post. Use what you have until you’ve outgrown it, because with limited gear it will push your limits of your creativity. These are my lenses of choice, any questions feel free to leave a comment down below. Thank you for watching/ reading! My name is Isaac Mijangos, I’m chasing fame, chasing glory, till' then this is the story.