Tag Archives: prime lenses

Scrabble geek

Most of my shooting for the past month or two has been with prime lenses. When I got into digital photography way back in 2010, I gravitated towards zooms. Good zooms with IS (image stabilization) are OK when the light is low, but there comes a time when a fast prime is needed–and fast primes (I gleaned rather quickly) are yet another photographic learning curve. This guy, unbeknownst to him, helped me while I was experimenting with focus points and shallow depth of field in a very low light situation.

Scrabble geek through a fast prime lens

Lens: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8. 1/60 at f/1.8, ISO 3200.

Canon 5DM3 geeking out in low light.

Prime time

For my birthday fun today (actually yesterday because it’s the wee hours now) I left the zoom at home and headed downtown (walking with Mags) to shoot some photos with only a prime attached to my camera. The lens of choice was the Canon 40mm f/2.8 pancake–aka, the “Shorty Forty.” I’ve already posted some shots of my focus/bokeh tests with the lens, but this is the first time I’ve used it away from the homestead. It was a fun exercise, and besides being ridiculously low profile and lightweight, the lens focuses quickly and is very sharp. No doubt, I’ll be using the 40mm more often.

Dudes on the street:

Dudes on the street

Some cars in the vicinity:

80s car outside of warehouse

80s car making a right turn

Lens: Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM.

Canon 5DM3 during prime time.

Old man cactus

This past weekend I payed around a bit with my prime lenses set at various shutter and ISO settings at f/4 and below. This example is a tweaked crop of the top of the old man cactus on our patio. When I took the shot the cactus was in full shade and the backdrop was a totally hot midday sunlit field. Obviously, the depth of field was VERY shallow. I used Photoshop to pull the detail out of the shadows which, in turn, homogenized the background. Why not?

Top of the old man cactus

Lens: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM. 1/1000 second at f/2.8, ISO 400.

Canon T2i playing with extremes.