Here’s the truth: I’m not a techy photographer.
I’m not impressed by mega pixels, and I’m not the first to pre-order the newest camera body. I will always care more about what results I get from my gear than the actual gear itself. I’m a true believer that the best equipement is what you have – and there is an art to making what you have work.
That being said – it’s common for people to ask me for gear recommendations. I’m hesistant to weigh in on the subject, because like I said above, the gear isn’t very important to me. From Canon to Nikon, film to digital, fixed focal length lens to zoom lens – my only advice is that you find what works best for your style and your shooting flow.
I also suggest renting gear you are interested in and trying it on for size. That way, you can practice honing your craft until you find the system that allows you to capture the images you see so clearly in your head with ease. If you love that gear and learn how to make it work for you – then make the investment.
Now – I did title this blog post “The One Lens I Can’t Live Without” so I am going to entertain you with a wee bit of advice. I just had to spend a little bit of time making sure you fully embrace that there is no right or wrong gear out there. So, even though I’m sharing below about a lens I love – that doesn’t mean you have to love it (or buy it), too.
So without further aideu, I am super happy to share my absolute favorite lens because it really does help me do my job better, and with the most flexibility.
The Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art Lens is my (hands down) all time favorite. To me, the 50mm is a great focal length because it allows me to get close to my subject, interact with them, and also step back and be able to get more of the background in the frame. It’s a very straight forward lens, and what I mean by this is that what you see with your eyes is pretty damn close to what the lens will see.
No zooming. No distorting.
In particular, the Sigma Art Lens was the first that allowed me to consistently shoot wide open (at f1.4) and produce those buttery soft background. Yes, I still miss focus at 1.4, but it’s far less then with any other lens I’ve used.
The Sigma Art Lens is an all around great lens to invest in for portrait and wedding photography, and is on my camera the majority of the time. As a bonus, I believe they make it for both Canon and Nikon shooters – so it’s a win-win for both brand lovers!
Have you tried the Sigma Art Lens? Have another lens you swear by? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.