Canon-5Ds-35-lens

Book project with the Canon 35mm f1.4

I’m now six months into one of my career’s monumental book projects. So far, it’s been nothing short of an epic experience with pretty much equal measures of psychology, creativity and technology involved. Which, to a degree, has made it a balancing act. An equilibrium of rigorous scheduling, mental prepping and an unavoidable dash of planned improvisation. And though mostly well-planned, the process still feels organic. A healthy dose of, let’s see what happens, mentality.

I’ve met some extraordinary people and seen them do amazing things with their talents. I’ve listened to many a compelling story of passion, of love and of enchantment – on and off the stage. Having been born in Hollywood during the 1970s and worked on a few shows in the 1980s, eons before Reality-tv, youTube and the like, I’ve felt right at home from day one. Hm. In retrospect, I think the concept enticed me subconsciously thanks to the subject matter’s inherent seductiveness and its connection, albeit somewhat distant, with my childhood.

Now, lets get nerdy.

The vast majority of my portraits and probably 90% of all other interior and exterior shots were taken with the above lens (taken with an iPhone 7+). A formidable field of view coupled with light sensitivity that provides an astonishing amount of usefulness and tack sharp images from f1.4 all the way down to f22.

When used together with my full frame Canon EOS 5DS, the planned shots are phenomenal and the slightly improvised exposures are often still really, really good. It’s been a love affair between the two with no boundaries and only one solid commitment; to always be compatible and work hard not to disappoint.

I soon realized that my old 50mm/f1.4 is far too slow and certainly unreliable when the pressure was on. The 24-70mm/2.8 worked great outdoors, but sucked badly without strobes and even then, nowhere near as sharp as the 35mm/1.4. The exterior night shot I’m most happy with, was taken with the hefty, “Mr Holmes”, a thick, 100-400 mm (Mark II) f4.5 behemoth that when carried for too long, makes you want to amputate your arm.

The field of view offered by the 35mm is considered that which likens human vision the most. For years, I’ve disrespected 35mm as being a choice of mediocrity. Not wide enough for landscapes, but too wide for portraits. That is, until I tried one in a camera store in Asia over the Christmas holidays. The bokeh alone sold me and then when I saw how well it performed during low light conditions, I was addicted, hooked, bewitched. Now, in typical evangelistic manner, I can’t recommend the thirty-five enough. Fact is, I’m seriously considering getting rid of every other glas I own. Except Mr Holmes, that is.