Hey there!

We are Sandra & Liana! A Midwest photographer team based out of Iowa. We are photographers, girl moms, and iced coffee connoisseurs! On our blog you can find all of the love stories that we have been honored to document, as well as engagements, families, tips for brides, and a glimpse into our lives! Feel free to dive right in or you can use the categories on the right to find exactly what you are looking for!

browse by category:

Weddings

personal

vendors

for brides

engagements

quick links:

What’s in my bag? | Quad Cities Photographer

For Creatives

October 15, 2018

 

Finding the right gear is a little bit like finding your wand at Ollivander’s.   There’s not necessarily a right or a wrong- it’s all about personal preference and shooting style.  So it’s key to determine what you want your photographs to look and what you like the look/feel of when shooting.

For myself – I have always been a Canon shooter.  I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III and I have a Canon 6D as a backup body.  It has served me well and I have absolutely no complaints about my camera body.  When choosing a camera body it’s really about small preferences (once you get a full frame camera).  There are a lot of options out there and not much in the way of differences.  Most differences come in how your camera can handle low light and user interface.  So again, it’s mostly just in preference here once you get into the top of the line bodies.

For my lenses I ended up mixing things up.  I first started out with the lower end Canon model lenses (the nifty fifty Canon 1.8, Canon 85mm 1.8, and the Canon 35mm 2.0).  Those were great options when I was doing families and in the beginning stages of my business.  Once I was ready to upgrade I dug my head into a lot of research about Sigma ART vs Canon L series lenses.  There were photo comparisons, pro and con charts for each, and a lot of YouTube videos.  I tried each lens out and got opinions from colleagues that used each and came to my decision to purchase Sigma ART lenses.

What they say is true – Sigma lenses do tend to get a little soft with time and use.  But it is nothing that can’t easily be fixed by purchasing their dock and calibrating your lens.

what-camera-should-i-buy-gear-use-bag-photography-eduction

 

I am also a Prime shooter through and through.  A prime lens is one that does not zoom in or out but is set at a certain focal length.  Because of this they are usually lighter weight then a zoom lens and offer a much lower f stop (giving you a lower aperture thus more depth of field).

 

***

 

Sigma ART 85mm f/ 1.4

I will start here because this is hands down my favorite lens.   This is also my most recent purchase in my lens collection.  Prior to purchasing this lens I was using a 50mm for just about all of my work.  I had an 85mm in my bag but never really enjoyed using it that much,

Once I got this bad boy it was GAME OVER.  This baby rarely leaves my camera body unless I have a specific reason or vision in my head that require a different piece of glass.

An 85mm lens is known as a ‘portrait lens’ because it is the sweet spot in compression that gives the best results without too much distortion or too much compression.

For me I  LOVE the compression that this lens gives.  Even if I shoot a photo at 2.8 on this lens and a photo at 1.4 on my 50 – I can instantly tell the difference and prefer the 85mm photo.

The Sigma ART will give you that creamy background and a crisp subject while focusing at a very impressive rate.

When to use this lens:  I use this lens for all of my engagement sessions, Bride & Groom Portraits, and Bridal Party Portraits (if the party isn’t too large).  I use it for getting ready photos in the morning provided I have enough space to back up and capture everything.

 

 

***

 

Sigma ART 50mm f/1.4

 My 50mm Sigma ART has been with me the longest.  This was my first Sigma purchase and it definitely made me believe in this company and the lenses they produce.

The 50mm lens is a solid choice and is arguably the most versatile lens for any photographer.  It is the perfect middle ground that offers the best of both worlds.  I would go so far as to say that this should be the FIRST lens purchase any photographer should make.  It will give you the versatility to shoot almost anything you want and really find where you want to go with your style.

This lens is perfect if you can’t back up very far for portraits or if you have a large group that you need to direct (directing a group from 20-30 feet away is pretty difficult and it’s easy for them not to hear you/get distracted/forget what’s happening…  it’s happened. hahaha).

When to use this lens:  Getting ready shots in a tight location, family portraits, bridal party portraits with a large group, building shots, portraits when you have no room to back up.

 

 

 

***

 

 

Canon 100mm f/2.8L MACRO

The Canon 100mm MACRO holds a special place in my heart.  I don’t use it a lot but when I shoot details this baby is my work horse.  I use it for just about all of my detail shots (besides the wider shots).

The beautiful thing about this lens is that it can be used as a MACRO lens or as a regular lens.  I will use this lens during ceremonies if I am further away and need a closer shot of the Bride & Groom.  Sometimes I’ve even used it for portraits as well.  The only reason I don’t often use this lens rather then my 85mm for portraits is because the aperture maxes out at 2.8 and with my shooting style I prefer to be at 2 or below.  But it does deliver phenomenal compression.  (helpful tip – compression is when a lens ‘compresses’ the background of your photo.  This aids in ‘blurriness’ and makes the background look closer to the subject.  The longer focal length you have the more compression you will get)

When to use:  As I said- I use my 100mm lens for all of my bridal detail shots, reception decor photos, and sometimes for ceremony photos.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

Sigma ART 35mm f/1.4

The Sigma 35mm lens is probably my least used lens.  It’s not that the lens doesn’t perform well or that it is any lesser quality than the others.  Sigma’s 35mm has the same quality and workmanship as any of their other lenses.

The reason I don’t often use it is because it doesn’t flow well with my style.  My style is shallow depth of field with a lot of compression.  If you are trying to achieve the ‘bright & airy’ style and you are shooting with a 35mm my advice would be to maybe try a longer focal length lens.  Not that you can’t achieve that style with a short focal length but the style truly lends itself to a shallower DOF and longer lens.

The 35mm lens is a wide angle lens.  You can get lenses that are even wider but again- that just doesn’t fit me.  The 35mm is really as wide as I need so I keep it in my bag for those few instances that I need it on a wedding day.  One downfall (to me) of a 35mm is the lens distortion.  This is something that can somewhat be fixed in post processing but you will still see a difference in what your subjects faces look like compared to a longer lens.  (Again, this is style!  Some photographers love the distortion and that is all a part of how they shoot.  That is ok!!  I know a photographer that shoots almost everything with a 24mm lens and her work is BEAUTIFUL).

I did have the Canon 35mm f/2 and though about keeping it since I didn’t use the 35mm very often, but it was extremely slow to focus which wasn’t acceptable to me.  So I opted to invest in a Sigma and even though I don’t use it often, I’m glad I did.

When to use: I use the 35mm lens for all my reception dancing shots, getting ready photos in a really tight location, epic wide angle shots, really large bridal parties, really large family portraits.

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions about the lenses or gear that we use feel free to contact us at: hello@fieldstonephotography.com.  We would love to answer any questions that you have!

 

 

{side note: the bag in the first photo is beautiful!  But that is no longer the bag that I use.  That bag sat wrong on my shoulder and was very bulky on my hip.  It would give me migraines after each wedding.  I now use a Lowepro over the shoulder bag that I LOVE.  It’s not very pretty but it gets the job done!  You can find that here.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *