My All Time Favorite Lens

I get asked a lot about my favorite pieces of equipment. So I thought I would take a second and share about my favorite lens.

My all time, must have lens is the Canon 50mm 1.2 and I LOVE IT!

If I could only use one lens for the rest of my life, this would be the lens.

I use it for 90% of my work and it accounts for 99% of my favorite photos. At weddings if it wasn't for the ceremony, I would shoot the entire day with just that lens. 

Now, it's a great lens, but at over $1,500 it is not cheap and I never recommend going into debt for equipment. So if you don't have the cash I have some good news. The Canon 50mm 1.4 comes in at only $350 is a really good lens. In fact many times, if you do things right you can't tell the difference in the finished photo.

As always there are some trade offs, namely build quality, focusing speed and sharpness. But at a $1,200 savings it's a great place to start as you grow into the more high end 1.2.

Check out this post on my blog to read why it is my favorite lens and see some shots I have taken with it. Also, I'd love to hear about your favorite lens in the comments.

For those of you who are Nikon shooters, I'm sure their 50mm lenses are great as well (side note, Nikon recently sent me a Nikon D750 to try out and I was really impressed!). They have a similarly priced 1.8 and 1.4 in case you are interested. 

Here are just a couple of reasons why I love it.

  1. It's fast. Super fast. Like really really really fast. Combined with the Canon 5d, I can pretty much be prepared to shoot in any situation. And for weddings that means low light; dimly lit spaces where the couple is getting ready, ceremony sites, and the reception. 
  2. The incredibly shallow depth of field. For me, part of "my style" is all about shooting wide open. I know, I know, no one wants to be told by another photographer how to shoot. And that's not what I am doing. I am telling you that I love shooting at 1.2 all day every day. I am shooting wide open all the time: portraits, getting ready, and the ceremony. The 50mm 1.2 gives me that shallow depth of field that no other lens in the Canon line-up offers (except the 85mm which we can talk about another time).
  3. It sees what I see...almost. When I am looking at or composing an image, I don't have to think about cropping, backing up, or moving forward. I can frame it and move on. That may sound trite, but for me its easy. I like to photograph things as they are. And I like the challenge of creating a personal image from a distance, or creating space to allow the couple to get comfortable. 

That's me. So how about you? What's your favorite lens and why? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.