Many photographers have their own style and preference of gear and how they use that gear. There is always an ongoing debate: Nikon vs. Canon and Prime vs. Variable focal length. There is no right or wrong unfortunately, it just depends on what you want your pictures to look like. The right gear and knowing how to use it will give you your desired photograph.
So when I took the dive into photography and tried to find the gear for me, I knew I had to figure out:
1) What my style was and,
2) How to achieve that style.
I knew that I LOVED all of the images that were very bright and had beautiful blurry backgrounds (bokeh) and those were the images I wanted to create. So.... I did research on how to achieve those.
- I listed all of the photographers that I love and follow: Jasmine Star and Paint The Moon
- I read EVERYTHING they posted about their gear, why they used it, and when they used it.
- I realized that they all used Prime lenses, mainly: 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm.
So, you're probably wondering what the heck a "Prime" lens is! I wondered that too. I first went to Jasmines blog post about her gear HERE and discovered why she used hers. Let me list what it does first, and then why.
Prime Lens 101:
1) Lets in more light than a standard zoom lens, so you naturally get brighter pictures. This is because its apeture (or lens opening) opens wider.
2) It is at a fixed focal length (meaning it can only focus on something at a very specific distance away... which is determined by the mm number on the lens itself, i.e., 35mm, 50mm, etc.) which gives a beautiful blurry background to everything else that is not in focus.
(If you want a better explanation, go to this link)
Now you can see that a prime lens achieves exactly what I wanted, and matched my shooting style. So what do I use?
The 35 mm gives a great wide angle. This is good if you want to get the landscape in with your shot. Like a really really wide landscape.
The 50mm is my baby. I use this to shoot everything if I have nothing else. It is great for portraits and getting a little closer to my subjects.
The 85 mm is perfect for being able to shoot something farther away. I use this when I want to stand back and let the action happen and capture the candid moments.