Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Using super-fast lenses, part of Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses.
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Lenses come in different speeds, and by speeds I mean maximum aperture.…So you might have a 50 mm lens that can open to f/1.8.…This would allow you to work in very low light and to have extremely shallow depth of field.…However, it's possible to get an even faster lens.…Here is a 50 mm f/1.2 lens. With it I can shoot an even lower light and get depth of…field that's even more shallow than with a 1.8 lens.…Now, this may not be as exotic as some of the other specialty lenses that we've looked at,…but it's still pretty different from most lenses you'll encounter, and it allows you…to shoot with a very particular look.…
When opened up all the way, this 50 lets you get depth of field that's so shallow that…when you use it on a portrait you can get something like this: eyes in focus, nose a little soft.…The super-shallow depth of field creates a kind of a dreamy look.…It's really flattering to skin tone, and it really brings focus to the subject's eyes.…Now shooting with a wide-open super-fast lens is mostly just like shooting with any other…
The course begins with a look at several common and inexpensive lens attachments, from polarizers to neutral density filters. The course then explores ultra-wide angle and fisheye lenses as well as ultra-long telephoto and macro lenses. The course concludes with a look at tilt-shift lenses, which are useful for architectural photography and special effects, and at offbeat lenses, such as Lensbaby and Holga attachments.
The course also contains Photoshop postproduction advice and examples that illustrate the creative possibilities that an expanded lens collection provides. And because some specialty lenses are extremely expensive, the course also contains advice on renting gear.