I often get asked what my favorite lens is. Dixie and I both agree it's the Canon 50mm 1.2! I bought this lens back in April and since then I rarely take it off my camera. It has a price point of $1,600 and is worth every penny. Before I bought this lens, my favorite was the 50mm 1.4 which has a price point of $400.

The 50mm lenses are my favorite because they are the most versatile and I can achieve SUCH a shallow depth of field with them. I'm a big believer in changing lenses to work well in different settings so I change often, but I find that I go to my 50mm the most because it works well in many different scenarios. I use it during preparation time, for portraits -- individual, couple & group, during the ceremony and to get detail shots during the reception. So throughout the wedding day I'm consistently going back to this lens.

I'm also a big fan of shallow depth of field. So many photographers I talk to are scared to open up their lenses to their widest potential because they're worried their focus will be off and the shot will be blurry. But if you spend the money on good lenses, why not use them to their full potential? Don't be afraid to shoot wide open. Use the back button focus technique and you'll find that you can be very accurate with your focus. Also keep in mind that depth of field is determined not just by the aperture setting, but also by your focal length and camera to subject distance. So your depth of field is extended at the same aperture when you shorten your focal length or increase your camera to subject distance. When using the 50mm you can't change your focal length but you can keep in mind that the further away your subject is, the larger your depth of field is going to be. So don't be afraid to shoot wide open!! You have to be most careful with your focus selection when you are in close proximity to your subject.

I'm going to share some of my favorite images I've shot in the last few months with you. All of these photos were shot with my 50mm 1.2 wide open at 1.2.

In this first one check out the quality of the veil as it wraps around the bride's arm and how her right hand is out of focus. My focus point was locked on her eye and that's all I cared about. I just love the etherial quality of this image and shooting at 1.2 is what achieved it:
I'm not afraid to shoot photos with multiple people in them at 1.2. And look at the window in the background. The look of it and the quality of the light coming in is something that I couldn't get with the 1.4 previously.
Detail shots are of course amazing with the 50 1.2:
And some portraits shot at 1.2:
Love this one:
And in my bravest moments I also shoot images with the subject moving at 1.2 (back-button focus tracking is key here):
Just for comparison, here's a shot I took with my 50mm 1.4 at 1.4 -- still amazingly beautiful.
If you absolutely can't afford the 50 1.2, at least have the 1.4 in your arsenal. It's an amazing lens for the money. But If you can afford it, you'll be thrilled with the 1.2. The image quality is beyond amazing. And if you have awesome lenses with super-low apertures -- USE THEM AT SUPER-LOW APERTURES. Sorry, didn't mean to yell. Just don't be afraid, k?

Yep, that's what I think! :)
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