Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chasing the aperture dream

When I first started photography, the most important factor at that point of time was to get sharp photos every single time. As the years gone by, I started to learn about image separation, bokeh, artistic shots etc and the forever f8 pin sharp photo started to evolve and disappear. Fast forward 20 years later, I'm now chasing the big aperture lenses which more or less happens to be the style I like to shoot most...wide open.

As luck would have it, a casual visit to Easycam ended up with me bringing home a mint condition 50mm 1.2 lens. Why do I need such a wide aperture? Wouldn't the images be blur/unsharp? Well of course the images would not be as sharp as you shooting at f8 or f11 but and the big BUT, I have ultra duper super creamy BOKEH~!

At this point in time you must be saying to yourself..ok he's a bokeh addict..forgive him, but yes I am and one of the main reasons for this is the image separation you get and the WOW factor :) Take a look at the first image of the cherry. All I did was to ask my kind wife to please hold up the cherry in front of her..and f1.2 later...bam! In your face cherry bokeh image.

Some of you who are creative will say, wait a minute, I might be able to do the same with an 85mm f1.8. Well technically you might be able to pull off the same image but the minimum focusing distance of the 85mm is close to 1metre. Well talk about standing on your next door diner's table for the shoot. The 50mm has a minimum focusing distance of 0.5m so roughly 1.5 feet..wonderful working distance for me anyway.
Ok I'm not even going to go to the ISO I was shooting at but basically the 50mm f1.2 allows me to shoot at ISO 100 in a reasonably lit restaurant..AT NIGHT. Now lets compare the light bokeh size produced by this lens versus the 85mm f1.8.

Photo above is a full frame shot of light bokeh on the Canon EOS 7D using the 50mm f1.2 versus the light bokeh shot of the 85mm f1.8 below.

Oh yes, size does matter guys and gals and for those who tells you otherwise, ask them to go eat bokeh

So to summarize, in layman's terms the benefits of 1.2 and bigger aperture lens - crazy bokeh, super fast shooting speeds, incredible night shooting ability with low ISO, great skin tone and off camera usable pics, crazy image separation..etc etc.

All in all, you need to own one of these lenses, in your photographic life.


  1. Tempting on the super duple lubang besar len :-) Sorry not the 7D :-P lol

  2. Booyah!!! Bokeh balls rocks on...

    "Casual visit to Easycam..." aren't all your visits there casual??
    You should try to do a serious visit there some time... maybe you can leave the store empty handed for once heehee...

  3. Alvin - good advice~! hahahaha will try and see :P

  4. Kevin, I found your sight by accident, but am thoroughly enjoying your articles. Thank you for your writings.

  5. Thanks for the kind feedback Michael. Glad I could help out with the Marumi filters as well :)



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