New Year, New Gear


I finally found time to take my Rokinon 85mm f1.4 out for a spin, today. It’s a Korean-made portrait lens made for a number of systems that’s manual focus. That means NO fancy autofocusing that triples the price if you were to want, say, the Fuji 90mm f/2…

I’ve never owned a lens like this before – it’s HEAVY, but I kind of like that. Lots of metal and glass but my X-H1 is a fatty as well, so they balance nicely. What’s great about using mirrorless cameras with manual glass is the focus peaking feature. While I have a decent eye for looking at the actual focus in the viewfinder, it can be incredibly disappointing to shoot that way – or worse, using the LCD screen. Because sometimes an image that looks in focus on the back LCD will show up as having JUST missed the focus when viewed on a computer screen. Happens all the time. But focus peaking lights up the areas in focus so it’s way easier to nail it.

Here’s the thing – you’re still going to miss the focus. Like, a lot of the time. Maybe even most of the time when shooting with a shallow depth of field. But when you nail it, it’s SO satisfying! Sometimes your picture looks like this:

Oh, boo hoo! If only it was in focus! I am the Sad! D:

And then your next one is so sharp you just sit there staring with delight and marvel over your skill/luck:

The quality and fun of many manual lenses really makes up for not capturing every moment perfectly sharp. I don’t think I’d do a paid sports shoot without autofocus…Maybe. And maybe not a wedding – but I’m not really interested in those, anyway. As long as you’re willing to work with a slight learning curve to overcome autofocus laziness you’re guaranteed to get great results!

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