canon 85mm 1.8 lens


My Favorite Digital Photography Gear

Digital Photography Gear List

Yes, yes, I rave internally and externally about film photography, but I still photograph at least 90% of my professional work with digital photography gear. I am not completely ready to give up megapixels just yet!

In this blog post I will talk about my favorite digital photography gear. And, I will let you know how I use the gear and why I love it.

Keep reading/scrolling for more info on digital photography gear.

Camera Body

I’ve photographed with several Canon camera bodies, and I love the Canon 5D Mark III.

This camera has all the features I need/use the most in a digital camera body:

  • Full-frame
  • Spot metering
  • AI Servo
  • Back button focusing as well as multiple focal points
  • High ISO capabilities
  • Video

Yes, Canon has already moved onto the 5D Mark IV, but after reading all the reviews, it felt too similar to the 5D Mark III. I didn’t want to spend the money. Also, I really didn’t want to deal with larger file sizes. To me, that can be such a headache in terms of computer space and file storage.

canon 85mm 1.8 lens

Camera Lenses

Below is a list of my lenses by current order of use.

85mm 1.8

  • I love this lens. I love the bokeh it creates at 1.8. I love how light it is. I love how affordable it is compared to the L version.
  • During weddings, I will typically use this lens during formal portraits (especially wedding couple portraits), outdoor cocktail hours (or indoor with speedlight), and first dance.
  • During outdoor family photo sessions, I could leave this lens on for a majority of the time.
  • I am pushing the outdoor use with this lens because I do have trouble with motion blur if I am not careful…and this typically occurs if the shutter speed is below 1/160 of a second. And when I photograph indoor scenes, my shutter speed is often way slower than that.

50mm 1.2

  • This is my standard lens. It is a little boring, but totally practical and totally reliable.
  • During weddings, I often use this when photographing the bride or groom getting ready. I may use it for family portraits, although I try not to use it too much during bridal party or wedding couple portraits. I may also whip it back out for ceremony shots (if I have a second who is shooting wider…if I don’t have a second, then I will put on a 35mm instead). I almost always use it for cocktail hour photos, details photos, first dance photos, some toast images, and then definitely group dancing photos.
  • During family photo sessions, I will use this lens indoors to capture a small group. I may use it outdoors as well, especially if I am photographing groups from the side versus straight on….Or, if I want to show families walking together in a scenic setting.

70-200mm 2.8

  • Unfortunately, I love this very, very heavy lens. The only con that it is very, very heavy. And it feels even heavier with a speedlight on top of your camera body.
  • During weddings, I use this for wedding couple portraits, the wedding ceremony, bridal party portraits, and toasts/speeches. If the venue were big enough, I’d probably leave it on for an entire wedding! I prefer how it looks at 2.8 at 200mm.
  • For family sessions, I typically only use this lens if we are photographing outdoors.

35mm 1.2

  • I am still figuring out this lens. I want to be madly in love with it, but I don’t quite see the world in 35mm…everything looks so far away in my 35mm universe, and I don’t like that. So I am still working with how close/far away to stand from subjects when I am using this camera.
  • During weddings, I use it for getting ready images, wedding ceremony photos, detail photos, possibly the grand entrance, oftentimes cake cutting, sometimes during first dance, definitely during open dancing.
  • For family portraits, I may take a few photos with this during an outdoor family session. I will use it indoors as well since it does well in low light.

16-35mm 2.8

  • I hardly ever use this lens except for wedding reception dancing photos.
  • Sometimes I’ll use it for detail photos.
  • It could be fun to use super close up to kids or pets during a family portrait sessions.

100mm 2.8

    • For weddings, I only use this lens for details photos of the wedding rings.
  • For families, I may use it to capture details of a newborn baby.

Speedlights and More Gear

Canon 580EXII – This is my favorite flash, mainly because I can quickly dial in the settings and go. I bring this along on family photo sessions, just in case. During weddings, I consistently use it for getting ready photos, detail photos, the wedding processional, and fun wedding reception open dancing.

Canon OC-E3 Off Camera Shoe CordI’ve had this for years, and I still use it on occasion to get the flash away from my camera for portraits or details.

Foldable flash softbox – I have a small one that I can easily attach to my 580EXII (it came with velcro and only that flash has velcro attached to it).

Canon 630EXII – These are probably better flashes than the 580, but they require more thought and attention. I use two of them during wedding receptions–for the grand entrance, the first dance, speeches, and open dancing.

Light stands – I typically bring 2 to wedding receptions. But, whenever possible, I prefer to use…

…a clamp that lets me attached a speedlight. This clamp can then be screwed onto light stands, DJ speaker stands, curtain rods….
One to look at is the Impact Super Clamp with T-Handle sold at B+H PhotoVideo.

Umbrella swivels – I am always losing the little pin in mine, so having one or two extra wouldn’t hurt. Make sure it has a hot-shoe adapter on it, like this one.

Eneloop battery charger – I use this one, and chose it after much research.

Eneloop rechargeable batteries – This is all I use!

PS-The four links in this final blurb do contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Really, I wanted to link directly to the products I use for your information.

Phew! That was a nerdy photography blog post! If you have any questions about this gear or have feedback, just ask away in the comments!

My favorite digital photography gear

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