Canon 24mm 1.4f

Finally, we get to what I believe is the most useful lens in any photographer’s toolkit. The 24mm 1.4F lens from Canon. This lens has been my go-to ever since I bought it. During quarantine, it’s been difficult to find models for any portrait photography, so I’ve had to take self portraits for the past year. On top of that, since I’m not leaving my house as much, most of my photoshoots have to take place in my room as my makeshift studio. This lens has been absolutely perfect for it, because of it’s low focal length, I have a wide field of view making it so I can keep my camera closer while still taking great pictures. Also with the low aperture, you can still get a very beautiful blurry background without having to have the background extremely far away. On top of that, the lens isn’t used as much as the nifty fifty or the 35mm lens so you get a unique look without breaking the bank. Clocking in at $600 it definitely is not a cheap lens, but compared to some of the counterparts, it seems like a deal that would be silly to miss out on.

As much as I love the lens and I could write pages and pages about all of the great uses for it, it isn’t a perfect lens. Sometimes there is such a thing as too much bokeh, and if you don’t use the lens correctly, you can notice many of your pictures coming out blurry. While you can get amazing portraits out of this lens, if you’re too close, you can get an effect where one part of the subject’s face may be in focus while the rest of it may be out of focus. On top of that, there is no digital nor optical zoom, so any cropping of the photos will have to be done or physically get close or further away to achieve any type of zoom.

Pros: Great Bokeh, works well in low light, can work in any space, gives an artistic look, and relatively cheap.

Cons: Too good of bokeh, fixed lens.

Overall: This lens is by far my favorite lens and I recommend that anyone whether a beginner, intermediate, or expert, use this lens. Especially with newer photographers, finding a studio or any large space can be difficult. This lens eliminates that issue by allowing more in the photo. With an unmatched bokeh, ability to work in small spaces, being relatively cheap, keeping a unique look, and working extremely well in low light. It isn’t a perfect lens, but it’s by far the best lens that’s hit the market in years.

Rating: 9/10

Canon 35mm 1.4f

When you want to expand your photography toolbelt, you’ve got to ask yourself if you’re a portrait photographer, if you’re a landscape photographer, or if you want to do a little bit of both. If you’re anything like me, landscapes don’t tell that much of a story, so we stick to portrait photography. Next week, we’ll be talking about my personal favorite lens, the 24mm lens. However, the second most popular lens is the 35mm. The lens is a fixed lens that allows for the photographer to get closer to the model and get more of the background in the photo. With the 1,4f the background will be blurry but add a lot more depth to the photo and a more interesting story. The lens works best from five to ten feet away.

Pros: Can get closer to subject, can get more in the photo than a 50mm or 85mm lens, beautiful bokeh, and good in low light.

Cons: Fixed lens, has to stay close to the model to make sure the model is the subject of the photo, expensive, is not the best for beginners.

Overall, this lens is not the best for beginners but is good for taking the next steps into learning more about the craft. A solid 6/10.

Canon 18-55mm 1.4-5.6f

For this week’s post, we’re going to be looking at the 18mm-55mm Lens also known as the “starter lens”. This is called the starter lens or a “kit” lens because it comes with the purchase of most Canon cameras. This lens has a wide variety of uses as it has a large focal length. The 18mm aspect of the lens is perfect for landscapes or full body portraits while the 55mm lens is amazing for portrait or close up photography. Since it’s a zoom lens, it allows for the photographer to stand still but get a wide variety of shots from one location.

Pros of the camera: Cheap (usually free), zoom lens, great auto-focus, wide range of shots that can be taken.

Cons of the camera: Almost zero bokeh effect, low quality build, bad in low lighting.

Overall, this is a great starter lens for any photographer because it allows you to find what focal length works best for you and it comes with most cameras. I would rank this an 6/10 for lenses and an absolute must have for anyone new to photography.

Canon 50mm 1.8f

This week I am going to be covering the “Nifty Fifty”. The nifty fifty is a 50mm 1.8f lens that is often regarded as the most important lens any beginner should have in their bag. A 50mm lens will be the closest thing to what the human eye sees, so it feels the most accurate to our current vision with little distortion making it one of the best lenses for portrait photography. When dealing with any wide angle lens, there will always be a bit of distortion in the corners of the lens especially when the lens is tilted at all which causes for limited types of photos unless you’re looking for a unique art style. The lens also tops out at a relatively cheap price of $100. This lens is fantastic for beginners because it’s cheap, it’s compact and lightweight, and it works in most situations. To use this lens well, the subject should be around ten to fifteen feet away and it gives a beautiful bokeh effect. I have absolutely no complaints about the lens. This is a fixed lens however, so there is no zoom.

Pros: Cheap, lightweight, good bokeh, functional, gives the best picture that is closest to reality.

Cons: Fixed lens and overused.

This is a 10/10 lens. I absolutely recommend it for any beginner, intermediate, or expert. This isn’t my favorite lens, and I personally don’t use it often but I respect its versatility and the quality of the lens.

Canon 85mm 1.8F

The Canon 85mm 1.8F lens is a fantastic lens for portrait photographers who want an amazing Bokeh effect (Bokeh is the blurry background effect that you see with professional YouTubers or with most senior pictures). The lens works best when the subject is around twenty to thirty feet away. When you have a lens with a higher mm number, the shorter field of view the photographer will have. With that being said, the 85mm lens is the least utilized lens in my arsenal. Due to the fact that it does not have a wide field of view, and the fact that it’s a prime lens (a prime lens is a lens that does not zoom in, this can be preferable over a zoom lens because you get a better bokeh effect and typically works better in low light settings). I would not recommend this lens to any beginning photographers, for a good portrait lens, the safest choice will be my next week’s topic, “The Nifty Fifty”.

Pros: Amazing bokeh, works great in low light, and a relatively cheap lens.

Cons: Only works in large areas, not as cheap as a 50mm lens, can not zoom in, and small field of view.