Battle of some Portrait Primes. Full Frame vs m4/3, Zeiss vs Leica, let the pissing contest commence…

battle

Well hi there!  Been a while.  Yes, I’ve been focused largely on launching the Nauti Straps stuff (utterly shameless plug, of which it will not be the last, surely) which has been going smashingly thus far, so thank you to everyone who’s supported me in that venture.  That said and done, I’ve been long wanting to compare these two premier portrait focal length prime lenses for the two formats I shoot in concert in the Sony FE and micro 4/3 systems.  

Enter the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar FE mount lens for Sony E mount cameras, and the Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 DG Nocticron lens for micro 4/3 system shooters.

(*I’m selling off my Zeiss Sonnar 85mm f/1.8 FE Lens.  Check it, and other gear out HERE!)

C’mon in for comparisons, pixel peeping galore and my thoughts as someone who has been shooting these two lenses for the better part of the last year.

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*Micro 4/3 Portrait Lens Shoot Out! Leica Nocti vs Voigtländer Nokton vs Olympus

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Few systems can boast multiple, high quality portrait prime lenses.  Here I’m looking at three, very good lenses all in their own, respective rights.  Each, have their upside and for a given shooter, a very justifiable argument in favor of, over the others.

While there are two more proprietary portrait prime, focal length lenses with a micro 4/3 badge printed on them (the Leica 45mm f/2.8 macro and the new Lumix 42.5mm f/1.7) I have been able to justify buying all three of these for one reason or another over the last few years.  I must cull my quiver to make room (and provide budget) for new, fun things to review, so I need to decide which I’m going to hold onto.

C’mon in for some shots, and my thoughts…

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*It’s a Leoparty, the catty side of conceptual collaboration.

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Months ago, I sat down with my fellow ELK Collective cohort, Ms Erin Cry, to whom I’m also somewhat of a life coach for reasons unknown, and we discussed fun concepts with which to entertain ourselves.  As conversation continued, and as concepts began to amalgamate, we found ourselves diving deeper and deeper into morbid, soul scaring territory.  I blame the drinking.

Luckily for us, earlier on in the evening, we discussed ideas centered around obsessive tendencies.  If I remember correctly (and largely going off of what I assume my chicken scratches/”notes” translate to), crazy cat lady,  secret identity and leopard rocker turned into what you see before you.  C’mon in to see more.

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*Kevin Kubota’s Lighting Notebook, along for the ride.

There are a few seemingly predictable benchmarks that photographers reach during their personal photographic journeys. After grasping exposure basics we may gravitate toward gear to replicate a particular style which may then be further embellished when we discover bokeh, selective focus, light painting, or start to really understand aspects of a post processing workflow enabling us to literally develop our own look, or replicate popular or interesting “looks” from our fellow photographers. Inevitably, at some point, photographers start to contemplate integrating added light or modifying and controlling existing light in their compositions. Wether that be for portraiture, action, event, product photography, et al, understanding the use of added light or manipulation and control of existing light is a huge tool available to those who choose to use it. Mr Kubota, popular for his seamless, post production streamlining photoshop actions has invited us into his mind with his recent book “Kevin Kubota’s Lighting Notebook, 101 Lighting Styles and Setups for Digital Photographers” C’mon in for a closer look and a few thoughts as I try to play the role of book reviewer 🙂

UPDATE!!! – The companion App is now out.  More than a companion per se, I’d say it’s a great way to get this book, it’s content and diagrams on your tablet.  You can view both the book and app, as well as purchase them directly through Kubota Imaging Tools HERE.

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*The 5 minute Greenberg Treatment.

What do you mean John McCain doesn't normally look like that?

For those who do not know, Jill Greenberg is a famous photographer to the stars.  Some of her work has received, uh, criticism, for her use of light or tactics to achieve certain reactions with, or effects on her subjects (see the crying babies in her ‘End Times‘ series, or the now famous John McCain shoot).  I call it art, but I do fall on the crass, perhaps cynical side of the human spectrum.  Regardless of your personal feelings toward her, the lighting she uses is dramatic.   Her style has been duplicated by many a strobist and comes about by a pretty easy to replicate setup.  Now, to do it well, is a bit trickier but we gotta start somewhere right?  Read on for a quick light set-up and easy to follow post processing technique. Continue reading

*A photographic study in light, Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn Style!

** Self Portrait – Rembrandt – 1629

(*Blog authors note: Hi, I’ve been seeing a lot of traffic from google searches to this article.  I’d love to hear from those readers about if and how the following article is helping them! thanks and I hope you enjoy – Tyson)

Many art forms mimic the artistic mediums that came before it.  Portrait photography is a way to paint a subject with light and has always been very influenced by the previous predominant form of portrait art, painting.  One master painter that is studied by photographers for his use of light, shadow and impeccable chiaroscuro shading techniques is Rembrandt. …Dude knew his light. Continue reading