Several factors combine to make a lens perfect for portraiture—focal length, optical design and speed, in particular
Text & Photography By William Sawalich
Every focal length reproduces a subject differently. Picking the right lens is as crucial, if not more crucial, than your choice of lighting and backdrop.
Editor’s Note: This piece first appeared in our Summer issue and reflects the products available at the time of publication. To see our coverage of new lenses, visit our News section.
Photographers now have new class of a cameras that combine speed and resolution
Text & Photography DL Byron
Out shooting street with the 135 attached to an a7R
Well, it just so happens I have a max-resolution lens in on demo that performs wonderfully on a first-gen a7R, and can’t wait to see what the Sigma 135mm F/1.8 DG HSM Art will do on the new Sony a7R III. I can only guess Sigma released the lens anticipating the sensors in the latest Sony, the Nikon...
Complete your new camera kit with these essential lenses
A portrait lens, with good background defocus (often called “bokeh”), is an essential tool for any type of photography. Photo by David Schloss
Editor’s Note: This piece first appeared in our Spring issue and reflects the products available at the time of publication. To see our coverage of new lenses, visit our Gear/Lenses and News sections.
We shoot with the Cooke miniS4/i 32mm T2.8-22 on a Sony a7S II, and the results are amazing
Have you ever wondered what a one-off cinema lens from a legendary manufacturer looks like attached to a Sony a7S II?
After visiting the Cooke Optics factory, we did, so we tried one out.
The results were lovely and left us at times amazed by the dimensionality, smooth rendering and quality. A Cooke lens of this type, the miniS4/i 32mm T2.8-22, is normally...
Gear recommendations for capturing the essence of a city at night
Read our urban night photography how-to guide
If the sun is down, it’s more than likely that I’ll be using a Sony a7S II full-frame mirrorless camera. While the sensor measures in at 12 megapixels, the pixels are very large and can pull in a ton of light. Its high-speed ISO performance is virtually unparalleled, though the Nikon D5 and Canon...
The gear you need in the field to capture the action of sports
Read our sports how-to guide
While mirrorless technologies continue to improve, the autofocus capabilities and frame rates of current DSLR cameras have made them the default choice for sports photographers, but that won’t last much longer. Nikon and Canon are the dominant players in the pro sports world. Nikon and Canon’s flagship full-frame...
The tools you need in the field to return home with spectacular landscape images
Read our landscape how-to guide
Versatility and portability are important in landscape work because you’ll often need to travel to your subject. The Nikon D810 and Canon EOS 5DS offer high resolution in compact packages. The Pentax K-1 offers features designed for outdoor work, like GPS and star tracking. The Sony a7R II packs the highest resolution...
Our gear recommendations for returning home with meaningful travel images
To capture amazing travel photography, you need the right gear, and the right techniques. With these best-in-class cameras, lenses, tripods and accessories, you can capture amazing images, wherever life takes you.
Read our travel how-to guide
There are pros who take high-quality travel pictures with an iPhone. If you want professional-quality...
Our recommendations for the best gear to level up your portraiture work.
Read our portrait how-to guide
Most pros prefer full-frame cameras for portrait work, but whether you use a full-frame or crop-framed one like APS-C or Micro Four Thirds, you have the same needs. You want good image quality, a camera that feels comfortable and that makes sense to you. I use a Canon 1D X Mark II, but honestly, if I weren’t...
It’s only natural that a camera platform as new as the Sony’s a7 series would be perceived as being a little bit short on lenses. When the first a7 shipped—only a few years ago—you could count the number of lenses that designed for its full frame sensor on one hand. The rest of Sony’s lenses were designed for their smaller APS-C sensor equipped...