Using Prime lenses: Taking my new Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G lens for it's first shoot. findings are positive - as long as you know what you're doing! In this post, I take you through a model shoot in the late afternoon Golden Hour - playing around with the range of depth of field in this awesome lens. Even shooting into the sun, and managing dynamic shadows and highlights.

Bridal photo-shoot

Using new lens in this shoot with my model friend, Pippa. This is shot at F/5, ISO 200 and fast shutter speed as she was spinning around, having some fun. At this aperture, I found the sharpness very good.

Depth of field gallery coming up

  • Having some creative fun now, with wide open apertures to see how sharpness went at apertures at F/2 and below. I liked the effects of the narrow field of focus, especially this close-up of Pippa's face.

But in the wrong hands, or if I was shooting groups of people, these apertures just wouldn't do. They would cause headaches in post production. See what you think...

I love how the narrow focus plane accentuates her haughty expression, accentuating the look she gives the lens. And those curls are nicely sharp in the foreground. Because of the camera angle (slightly to the side), the shallow depth of field is visible.

Of course, if you're paid to create family portraits of about four people, you'd never shoot at F/2. You would stop down to F/8 -F/11 to ensure all in the party are in focus. And for large groups, use an even smaller aperture such as F/16 or F/22; if the light allows, of course.

  • Next, I shot into the setting sun to see how the 85mm lens, known for being 'fast glass' would cope with a high dynamic range. This image is at F/1.4, at ISO 400, fast shutter speed.

As the camera is straight on to the model, her features are sharp at F/1.4. But any tilt of the head, or change in camera angle, it wouldn't be so.

  • In this next portrait, I used the 'leaning against the wall' pose to see the depth of field in the leading lines. It's beautiful! In fact, Pippa used this wall gallery (about 6 images I shared with her) in her modelling portfolio.

Settings were ISO 400, at F/1.4

In this pose, the depth of field works perfectly, drawing the viewer into the image.


In conclusion, I love my new Nikon 85mm lens! I really like working with fixed focal length prime lenses, they're so much fun and the creamy bokeh is gorgeous.

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