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Nadine with vintage lenses during the Ultimate weekend

I just started my new project #VintageLensOnNew
A project where I challenge myself (and you guys) to shoot mainly with old vintage lenses. Not because my Sony or Sigma lenses aren’t good, but to actually play with different looks, and also to “proof” that lenses that are sold for anything between 5-100 euro’s on fleamarkets can be incredibly good and cool. Although I have to add some of the Leica R lenses I use are a bit more expensive.

At the moment I still use these lenses manual, which with the Sony’s is actually a breeze. It’s slower than AF of course but manual focus is helped by peaking, zoom options and of course the EVF itself, and this…. well makes it a lot easier.

Today some images I shot during the Ultimate weekend day 1 with Nadine.

Lens used :
Zeiss Jena 135mm

The perfect lens……

Let’s talk a bit about lenses and looks.
The image we open with was shot during a workshop with a 70mm setting on a 24-70 lens. Is this the perfect/best way to shoot this scene?….. well let’s see.

 

“Frank what is the perfect lens for…..”
I don’t know how often I get this question, but let me put it this way…. it’s a lot

Now let’s start by saying that the perfect lens/camera is the one that you have with you… but… well that’s a bit of a cliche, so let’s give you a real tip in todays blog.

EVERY lens has it’s own character.
What I mean with this is that even between let’s say 2 50mm lenses you can see a difference. For example I sometimes love to shoot with older M42 lenses which via an adapter are connected to my Sony camera. Thanks to the peaking (focus assist) focusing is easy and fast with manual lenses. The cool thing about these lenses is that they give your images a distinct look which I personally really like. I also have some Leica lenses from the R series and those lenses are almost pure magic.. but that’s for another post (if you guys are interested in that just let me know in the comments below).

Back to todays tip.
Often it’s regarded that wide angles are “less” good for portraits or model photography than longer lenses. However I would like to point out that this is not entirely true. The main difference between a longer and wider lens is “distortion” now don’t take this too literally, but there is a totally different look to a wide angle which would indeed make it less “flattering” to shoot a portrait with from close by. On the other hand….. if you use that distortion to your advantage you can do some cool stuff like for example this.

If I shoot this with a longer lens the effect is much less prominent.

In essence you always have to remember that a camera doesn’t see depth.
The only thing it does is render objects that are close larger and objects that are further away smaller. When you shoot with a wide angle you are actually (in this case) closer to the apple and the model is much further away compared to the distance to the apple. Meaning you get this “distortion”.

Now if you make use of it, like in this example you can actually make it work for you.
Remember the image we opened with?
That’s how you would normally shoot it in the studio, but if you shoot it more wide, in my opinion the shots comes way more alive.

Now I do have to add a side note.
I really don’t like images that are shot with wideangles without being “shot” with a wide angle. In other words if you shoot a portrait like you would normally shoot a portrait with a sub 30mm lens (Full Frame) I often find the distorting taking me away from the shot. However when you use that “distortion” to work with the shot like in the sample with Anouk on the stool I really feel that the wider angle shot gives me a much more flowing image (if that makes sense). It has less compression so to say. (a term often used for longer lenses by the way).

 

Feel free to show your images with wide angles.

For much more tips visit www.frankdoorhof.com/videos and download our instructional videos
Or subscribe to www.youtube.com/frankdoorhof for free instructional material
And of course get my book “Mastering the modelshoot” via your favorite bookstore or amazon 

Zoom in

There’s always this discussion about using zoom lenses vs primes.
LOADS of photographers will tell you that primes are much better… and well I agree they are.
But still I’m a zoom lens person.
I know primes are sharper and often a bit faster (or a lot faster, meaning wider aperture) but to be honest in the studio I always shoot between f4-f22 so most of my lenses are razor sharp in that area, but even if they would be slightly less sharp then my primes I still prefer the variety of looks I can get from my zooms.

 

Always remember that shooting an image on 50mm and walking towards your model or moving away will be different that shooting from the same location with a 24-70, with the zoom lens you are much faster and if you want a close up you actually compress the scene much more than when walking towards the model with a 50mm (for example).

 

In a photoshoot I would like to have to most options possible and I love to switch fast so for me a zoom is always a good thing. Combine this by walking around your model during the shoot and you can not only get different looks from your composition/compression but also by the light, because if you shoot under aimed lights (like in the studio) the difference can be incredible.

Do you remember the light snake images ?
Poeka Januari 9 2016 31017

Here we used the same set and I zoomed in a lot more to use the set in a completely different way, but also included some of the red strobe in the back for a completely different look.

Poeka Januari 9 2016 31052

Poeka Januari 9 2016 31055

And a few more with different styling and without the red spot.

Poeka Januari 9 2016 30967

Poeka Januari 9 2016 30986

If you like these kind of tips make sure to check out my book “Mastering the model shoot” or get one of the instructional videos from this website.

Video review Sony 24-240 Lens and loads of travel and street photography tips

Today the final part of my review of the Sony E-mount 24-240 lens.
During the review period Annewiek took some video of me shooting and sharing tips on Texel.
You can see some of the shots and the tips in this episode of Quite Frankly.
Feel free to share the video.

 

Subscribe to www.youtube.com/frankdoorhof for much more free videos and of course our videowebpodcasts.