February 18 is the first warm Winter Saturday we were able to resume shooting portraits this 2017 in NYC.
Perfect time to test out two new lenses and an old favorite. For this shoot I used the new Canon 5D Mark IV, the Canon EF 85 1.2LII, the new Sigma 85 1.4 Art lens, and the Nikkor 105 1.4 lens using the older Nikon D800.
My friend Shirly suggested we use our normal shooting grounds in Central Park West. I was initially concerned there would be no trees to add to shade and dimension, but the pond reflection and beautiful natural light in general were perfect for the shoot.
The Canon 5D Mark IV is Canon’s newer iteration of its 5D line. A lot of reviews online bash this camera for not being innovative enough. Well, I am extremely happy with the camera. Specs wise it doesn’t seem to be much jump from the Canon 5D Mark III, but after using it, all of the new features overall feel like this is a totally new and amazing camera. This is my current favorite so far, out seating my Sony A7RII for now.
Macy is an amazing model. She gave me all the looks and poses I wanted, sometimes almost reading my mind and posing with just a little non verbal hint. The first photo is using the EF 85 1.2. I used strobe from either Cheetahlight or the XPLOR. The strobe is manufactured by Godox and rebranded by Cheetah/Flashpoint. I was able to shoot in bright day using hypersync. Hypersonic allows you to shoot higher than the native flash sync speed of your camera. Canon 5D Mark IV syncs natively @ 1/200s. All photos were edited in my normal workflow. I had a hard time before focusing my 85 1.2 @ f1.2. For some reason my 5D Mark IV brought new life to my EF lens and most of my shots at 1.2 were razor sharp. When I compared the sharpness to the supposedly almost as sharp as the Otus lens Sigma 85 1.4 ART lens, the EF 85 1.2 was comparably as sharp.
The Sigma 85 Art Lens is a beautiful crafted lens. It is also beefy and heavy. Pairing the lens with the Canon 5D Mark IV felt well balanced. The lens is sharp at 1.4. I primarily shot at the widest apertures as I love portraits with very shallow depths of field. I feel that the lens renders images quite well.
The booked from this lens is creamy as well. Shot below is a different view with the same focal length and aperture.
Nikon D800 Nikkor 105 1.4 @ f1.4 // 1/4000s ISO 100 // XPLOR 600
The Nikkor 105 1.4 lens was sold as the bokeh machine, the cream maker, and super sharp.
Well. Its true. I found the Nikkor 105 1.4 to be sharp even at its widest aperture. The portrait above was shot with my aging Nikon D800 (Nikon please release the successor to the D810!) and Nikkor 105. I shot Macy using similar lighting methods and equipment during the shoot. The image was processed in photoshop in my normal workflow. Needless to say, the Nikkor 105 1.4 delivers.
The image below is of Lena Kreschuk. She is a favorite and regular model for us. The Nikkor 105 was used in this shot. The background was obliterated into cream. This shot was done with diffused light. I had help from Shirly and Bryan, my two best shooting buddies. In addition, the Nikkor 105 was sharp at f 1.4 It would be difficult for me to decide which lens is my favorite.
More shots below with equipment information.
Canon 5D Mark IV EF 85 1.2LII US // @ f1.2 // 1/2000s ISO 125 // Natural reflected and ambient light
Canon 5D Mark IV EF 85 1.2LII USM @ f1.2 // 1/5000s ISO 125 // XPLOR 600