Why you need a 1.4 lens for portraiture

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The 1.4. Its a magical aperture for portraits. Traditionally folks wants to use 85mm for potraits, but in reality, ANY lens can be used for portraits. In this set that i am sharing, i am using the voigthlander 40 1.4. Its a cheap lens by any standard, you can find used around USD 300 and sometimes less.

 

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With a 1.4 lens you can take low light using ISO around 400. The image above and the rest are done in a Starbucks cafe and you know how dim those lights are? Thats what a 1.4 lens can do for you. If you ever need those beautiful rendering of bokeh lights and portraits of your friends during ur night coffee time or when you just want to be alone in the cafe and think through your work. Grab a 1.4 lens. Its more therapeutic than coffee itself.

 

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This set is unique because i shot these at night and right after a rain fall. Those lights you see surrounding Ramona here is magnified by the cold weather and humidity as well as reflection from wet surfaces.
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I used the 40 mm 1.4 lens on the Leica ME. Love those CCD colors. But fret not, you could get good results using any camera of your choice, but the key point here is to use a lens that goes below the f1.8. The problem with today’s images is that there are just TOO many of them flooding the internet. The need to differentiate your images starts from the very choice you make from ur gears selection. A 1.4 lens is definitely higher in “rarity” than a 1.8 lens that most amateurs starts out with.
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There you have it. My short answer to the title of this post, via images. Hope you enjoyed them and do leave me some comments 🙂

 

That 18mm Zeiss Magic {portraiture}

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They said that if you ever found yourself buying the same camera or lens, those are the ones you should never let go. In the last 3 years while circling around gears like A7R, Nikon DF and the D4, i inevitably came back to Leica. The reason is simply because the smaller package and….the other 2 lens that i really loved. The 40mm 1.4 and the  28 f2 ultron.

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However, during my project on 100 most beautiful selfie, i came across a gem that i regrettably sold and now reacquire the exact same lens. The 18mm Zeiss, you can read more about it in some of the articles in my blogs. The 18mm f4 Zeiss ZM is one lens that is so unique, it earns its place forever with the Leica ME that i have. Its ironic that a last year i have written a long rant against M9 as one of the worst value camera i ever had and now i am back to ME. Thats just life sometimes, its not like i enjoy shooting myself on my foot or contradicting and losing credibility in my posts, but the fact that new data presented to me and hindsight of my usage and experience, warrants a change of heart.

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Leica ME, 18mm ZM and the 40 mm 1.4 voigtlander are all tools that have gone one full circle of being sold off and now back with me. For one, i could never love the 50 or 35 mm focal length, but 18, 40 and 75 seems to be my poison and for a very good reason. With the amount of photo spams in the world today, you don’t want to be shooting a 50 mm, the focal length itself, demands a much harder differentiation point on the images it creates.
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The 18 f4 Zeiss, used with the 21 mm f 2.8 profile (the first 21 mm one you find in the manual profile in the M9) fixes most of the corner magneta and vignetting issues that you can find reported in the internet. I bet you can find a real good used one by some users that have given up on fixing the corners.
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This is Ramona Tiara, soon (hopefully) she will be flying with emirates and in this album, i wanted to shoot her in her full body length and leverage on the slimming capability of wide angle lens. If you are familiar with Casio TR (the most expensive compact camera and small sensor on the planet), you will know that it is using a 21 mm lens and models and ladies just love its slimming effect. What most ppl don’t know is that its not really a software thing, its the lens. So if 21 mm puny sensor camera cost USD 1000, this 18 mm f4 on FF camera is worth every cent it asked for.

L1001547-EditThanks for visiting. I wish i got time to write a long review on this lens or do these images some justice by giving each of them an appropriate caption, but alas, my eyes are tired and its way past my bedtime. So adios, readers, enjoy your photography.