The 85 mm lens

canon 85 mm lens from

I’ve been flirting with the idea of buying an 85 mm lens for awhile now. Two weekends ago, I was in San Francisco for my brother’s wedding. I eyed his photographer’s camera and noticed it was equipped with an 85 mm. I asked her if it was something I should add to my camera bag. “Well, it depends on what you want to shoot,” she replied. I told her that lately I’ve been shooting portraits of The Kid and just life in general. “Rent it and see how you like it.” I guess that was the nudge I needed…although in the following week, I asked 10 more people their thoughts on the 85. LOL. One of these friends suggested trying, which I did. So I rented an 85 mm f 1.8 for about $50 (half of that cost was for shipping. Ugh). A few days later, the lens appeared at my door (well, it was hand carried by the UPS guy because you have to sign for it. Expensive stuff. I get it).

As soon as I pulled it out of the box, I took Giada to the side of the house to test out the lens.

shooting my dog with my 85 mm lens
She was kinda over it as soon as it began.

What you’re seeing is the photo straight out of the camera – no edits. And look at that sexy depth of field. Awwww yeah. I pretty much immediately fell in love with the lens.

[At this point, a man and his golden retriever walked past our house and Giada decided to charge at the dog to sniff it down. Argh. That ended our mini photo session.]

Over the next few days, I shot more pictures with the 85 mm:

85 mm lens seflie
Giada the Saint Bernard running, shot with 85 mm lens
“Where’s that golden retriever? I’m not done sniffing it.”

dog portrait shot with 85 mm lens


portrait shot with 85 mm lens
One of my roommates. 🙂 
shot with 85 mm lens
Kicking with Grandma

I have to say, I’m loving the results. But I’m not sure how often I’ll take portraits to justify getting this lens, so it’s on hold for now (but I have the rental until Friday so I have a few more days to change my mind). With the weather getting colder, I can see myself remaining indoors, which in my house means possibly not having enough room to back up to get all the essentials into the shot. (With an 85 mm, you have to stand further away from the subject than with a 50 mm – a lens that I typically shoot with.) Plus, I need to replace and upgrade my 50 mm f1.8 which I’ve had since 2009 or 2010. It’s the focal length that I’m used to, and for now, I really need to stick with something more “general purpose” especially since my current 50 mm is wearing down on me. For some reason, it’s “thinking” a little slower these days and the auto focus trips all over itself and won’t allow the camera to take the shot. And sometimes when I put the focus on manual, it stalls and won’t shoot. Very random and very frustrating. So there will be a new 50 mm f1.4 in my camera bag. I cannot wait.

But for now, I will keep using the 85 mm for the last few days I have it and see if it doesn’t end up  in the Black Friday online shopping spree under the Christmas tree this year. 🙂

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