Tuesday, May 22, 2012

f1.2 and Be There

Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ) waits for a Congressional subcommittee hearing to start in Phoenix, Monday. 

I photographed Congressman Quayle, along with Rep Paul Gosar and Rep Sheila Jackson Lee at a Congressional subcommittee hearing on border security in Phoenix Monday. It was pretty much what I expected - people sitting around tables.

I made this photo with my 5D Mark III and 50mm f1.2 L lens. It's a great combination for political or feature work. The 5D Mark III has excellent image quality, an evolutionary step up from the 5D Mark II in image quality but light years better camera. Really fast autofocus, even with the 50mm f1.2 lens (which focuses very slowly on the Mark II and original 5D) and at 6 frames per second it can almost keep up with Canon's top of the line 1D series bodies. 

The 50mm f1.2 lens is just about the sharpest lens Canon makes. Shooting wide open, at f1.2, the depth of field is razor thin. The photo is either in focus and looks great or out of focus and looks like an art experiment gone horribly wrong. 

I made this photo at f1.2. I like the way it isolated Quayle as members of his staff moved around him. The other thing I like about using the 50mm f1.2 is that when I shoot at 1.2 I can drop the ISO and eliminate the digital noise that can junk up a photo. I used a 200mm f2.8 and a 1.4X teleconverter for most of the meeting and shot at ISO 3200. It's a tribute to Canon's sensor design and Lightroom's noise reduction that the photos looked as good as they did. But for the photos I made at f1.2 I was able to drop the ISO to 400 or 500. At that ISO, there's virtually no noise in the photos. 

There are more photos of the subcommittee hearing in my archive or available from ZUMA Press

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