I Shoot People

This weekend I rented an 85 mm, f/1.4 lens for a family photoshoot but ended up not using it as I had some technical issues.  That Nikkor is notorious for being the perfect portrait lens yet it didn't feel right to me.  The wide aperture is neat but I prefer to be closer to my subjects and with the 85 mm you really need to step back (not to mention that I really dislike the narrow feel).  With very little practice at this length I literally lost focus, so I switched back to my trusty old 50 mm and saved the rented one for a shoot with less pressure.  Witch turned out to be a Sunday walk down Burlingame Avenue (this post) and a late afternoon drive to the Coyote Point Marina (next post).  

The lens showed its true strength then.  It is quite impressive for a fixed glass (no zoom) to provide such clarity at a distance.  It allowed me to shoot from the other side of the street while retaining sharpness and it created awesome bokeh.  

However, I still encountered some focusing problems - visible in the photo of the man lighting a pipe in his car.  The focus is there, just not on his face...and even though the car was not moving, I was still and my grip was steady, the light was more than sufficient and my metering was precise, all three frames of the same shot came out blurry.

That aside, I had fantastic time.  I can't wait to get up to the City one of those days and do me some more street photography.


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