My newest Lens has arrived, and I am Loving it! The Canon EF 135mm f/2 L. The Letter “L” and the thin red Line around the edge of the Lens denote Canon’s professional Level optics. Luscious collectors of all that is Lovely and Luminous. And my first in this category.
It’s another prime lens (my others are a 50mm f/1.4 and an 85mm f/1.8), meaning it’s a fixed focal length, so there’s no zoom other than what my feet provide. The beauty of primes is their speed (blur-free toddler action) and low-light capability, and the sharpness of Canon’s primes is revered by portrait photographers far and wide. (Most zoom lenses have a “sweet spot” where they are tack-sharp within a certain range, but primes are sharper throughout the full range of the aperture.)
After renting the hefty and popular 70-200L for a few weddings, I confirmed that for my shooting style, the stealthiness of smaller fixed lenses is preferred over the flexibility of a monster zoom. I toted the zebra-like 3.28-lb lens to my daughter’s soccer game and garnered many comments about the impressive size of my optics. I’ve even heard some photographers say that bigger gear helps people make the clear distinction between the paid professional and wedding guests with nice DSLRs set on Auto.
But I’d much rather people gush over my images than deem me Queen Photog based on gear alone. The proof is in the portraits. At least it should be.
And speaking of portraits, I think being unobtrusive is a plus. Kids may start a session being wary of me — a stranger. Apprehension is magnified if they’re followed by a faceless body wielding a telescope. That’s also why I prefer shooting outdoors, where children relax. They have no fear of my gear and are documented more like their parents see them — pensive, inquisitive, carefree. None of that freeze-and-grin discomfort that can occur during a scripted chain studio session. (And don’t get me started on the flat, lifeless backdrops simulating a beach, lush garden or holly jolly tree-ness. The Real Thing is the only thing. I’m a Coke Classic girl, too.)
Same applies to wedding guests. (Not the flat, lifeless part!) People can become self-conscious with large equipment pointed their direction, flashes blinding them periodically when they’re trying to have fun. I say let them eat cake. And enjoy themselves, too. I’ll be there to document the story; maintaining a low profile keeps me from becoming the story.
If you’re looking for a stealthy, easygoing family archivist, drop me a note to schedule a session for some prime time with my new Lens.