The SK Photography Lens Line Up!
Much to my husband's relief, I can finally say that I feel content with my lens "arsenal" for the weddings I am shooting this year, and we can finally stop cringing at so many "dents" in our finances (for now, at least).
Four lenses may not seem like much to you, but to me, these four little guys are instrumental in creating lasting memories for my clients, heirlooms to proudly show future generations 50 years from now...Yep, I'm being a cheeseball again.
I'll keep it short and sweet. These four are my babies, and I've only recently added the 35mm and 85mm to the collection, knowing I'd need to spend some time
cuddling practicing with them before it came time for the "real deal" aka weddings. I literally shot with the 85mm for the first time last weekend with my good friend Daniel, but I am already smitten with it. :-) I've done all of my portrait sessions with just the Nikon 50mm 1.4G up until Elsa and Ben's maternity session, when I put the 35mm 1.4 into action.
Here's the "old faithful" nikon 50mm 1.4G. One might say it looks a little
beat up well loved, and that's because it is. I started my little baby business with just this lens and a Nikon D3100. It's a fantastic all around lens, and I won't bother getting too technical but it allows me to get fantastic bokeh (soft, out of focus background) without getting uncomfortably close to you while shooting. I avoid garlic knots before hand though, just in case...don't ever say I don't make sacrifices for my clients. ;-) I also don't have send a carrier pigeon to deliver posing suggestions during our session either, because the 50mm is juuuuusssst right. Now, paired with my new Nikon D600, the 50mm produces even more beautiful results, and I'm not yet convinced that it isn't still my favorite.
Here she is (yes, I've personified my lens), the ol' nifty fifty, basking in all of her "well-loved" glory, the recipient of many a love letter from yours truly.
Next, I desperately needed a macro lens for ring shots. Yes, it did hurt a little to spend hundreds on a lens that I'd really only be using for detail shots at weddings, but I knew I HAD to have one if I wanted to produce those extreme close up ring shots that I've swooned over for many, many years even before becoming a "legit" photographer. Like this one:
So, I did my research, and found a well reviewed, solid 90mm macro lens made by Tamron. Nope, it's not a Nikon lens, but it serves its purpose beautifully. I love it, and I'll let the above image speak for itself. :) Here's Tammy:
I took a little break with lens purchases after the Tamron to focus on building other aspects of my business: website, blog, licenses, insurance, editing software, external flash set ups, education, ugh...the list of "not nearly as fun as lenses" goes on forever it seems. Except for the flash set up...the flashes are incredibly fun. :-)
After I took care of the not so fun essentials, I set my sights on a wider angle lens. My reasoning behind it being that if I was to be in a tight space (say, a small bridal suite) and didn't have the room to back up as far as I needed to to get the shot I wanted, I needed a lens that would allow me to include more of my subject's surroundings (a group of bridesmaids admiring the beautiful bride in her dress for the first time, for example). The 35mm came HIGHLY recommended from many other wedding and portrait photographers, and I knew I needed to invest in a GREAT one. Cue the Sigma 35mm 1.4. This lens is incredible. For photographers: It's super sharp even when shooting wide open, and has minimal vignetting and chromatic aberration. For non-photographers: It's pretty. :-) I've only shot two sessions with it so far (and didn't use it the whole session obviously (still lovin on my 50), but I'm very impressed and pleased with the "splurge". Here's the Sigma (I haven't named her yet, now accepting suggestions...seriously leave them in the comments). :-)
And finally, only last week, the Nikon 85mm 1.8G arrived on my doorstep in a pretty gold box. The first shots I took with it were of my friend Daniel in Raleigh, NC over the weekend while I was visiting for a photography conference (more to come on that soon). This one is a "longer" lens, meaning that I can get clear shots while standing a bit farther away from my subject (perfect for a wedding ceremony where I don't want to be all up in your face during your first kiss). :-) I haven't spent much time with this beauty just yet, but so far, I'm happy with the purchase. Here's a few shots I took of my incredibly handsome friend Daniel with it while we waited entirely too long for a table for (what was luckily a delicious) dinner:
And here's a shot of the 85mm, the new kid on the block.
I can't wait to put each of these guys into action during the three weddings I have coming up in May! I'm so excited, nervous, and honored. <3