As many of you are aware, I do have a “day job,” which is the only reason I can afford to take photographs at all. Sometimes I am called upon to flex my photographic muscle at the office, but only occasionally.

I brought my brand new Canon EOS-5D in for a little candid photo session to pad some of our marketing stuff and wound up with a few semi-interesting shots that I want to share.

I was shooting with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, which is a very mid-range, somewhat inexpensive lens (taking the f-stop into consideration, a very inexpensive lens). What you will probably (read: should) notice is the pronounced vignette in the images. When I bought the lens, I was using the EOS-10D, which has an APS-size sensor (1.6x multiplier), which is to say that the outer edges of the frame are cropped. In that situation, the vignette is much less pronounced because the camera literally can’t see most of it.

With the 5D, however, the full frame is visible and the vignette is obvious. Now, the 50mm f/1.4 is not an “L” series lens, so I knew the quality would be less than perfect, but I didn’t know what it’s shortcomings would be. When I saw these results, I actually became excited because the vignette added atmosphere to otherwise hum-drum images. A bit of tweaking in Photoshop and…

Notice the great depth of field you can get with an aperture as wide as f/1.4. If you want to experiment with this kind of thing, the most economical Canon lens is the EF 50mm f/1.8, which retails for less than $100. The build quality isn’t too hot, though, and it feels somewhat flimsy. You can step up to the EF 50mm f/1.4 for less than \$300, which is still pretty decent, and if you want to go the whole way, you can pick up the brand new EF 50mm f/1.2L, which is available for a cold-sweat-inducing \$1,300. Notice, though, that it’s an “L.”

In another article I may talk about the real differences between Canon’s “L” lenses and non-“L” lenses; you definitely don’t have to break the bank to do some nice artwork. For now I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment!