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Lens Choice for Mirrorless

Lesson 9 from: Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras

Miguel Quiles

Lens Choice for Mirrorless

Lesson 9 from: Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras

Miguel Quiles

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Lesson Info

9. Lens Choice for Mirrorless


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What is a Mirrorless Camera?


Mirrorless Camera Advantages


Mirrorless Compatibility


Live Shoot: Mirrorless vs. DSLR


Live Shoot: A7R II, A6300 & A7ii


Compare Mirrorless & DSLR Images


Posing Techniques Overview


Lesson Info

Lens Choice for Mirrorless

There's certain lenses that are really ideal for shooting portraits. We're gonna talk about these 'cause this is again, another thing that I get a lot of questions about. People will ask me, what lenses should I use? Which ones do I buy? I wanna make sure that I'm not buying the wrong thing or maybe spending money on things that I'm never gonna use. We're gonna talk about really my top five picks for lenses. I'm not saying you have to buy all of these. I use them all for different situations. The very first lens that I would highly, highly, highly recommend to you if you're shooting with a Sony mirrorless camera like the ones that I'm demoing today, I would recommend to you the 85mm 1.4 G Master lens from Sony. This particular lens is insanely sharp, ridiculously sharp. Truth be told, I've had photo shoots where I'm shooting for three or four hours. I'm shooting beauty, I'm shooting fashion, all sorts of themes. Different outfits, different lighting. I'll do the entire photo shoot for ...

three or four hours and I'll do it with just the 85 1.4 the whole time. I would venture to guess if I look through the majority of my work on these slides or on Instagram, or on Facebook, the majority of my work is shot at 85mm. If you really like my portrait style, then secret's out. I use an 85 for maybe 85% of the shots that I shoot. The 85 1.4 from Sony, this particular one is fantastic. There's also another one which is the 85 1.8 from Zeiss which is a very, very great lens as well. It's a little bit lighter, still very, very sharp. Or if you're cool with using adaptive lenses, let's say if you have a two camera system where you're still shooting Canon and you decide you wanna get a Sony camera body, the Tamron 85 1.8 is an amazing lens. Again, at a much lower price point than this but if you're a professional and you're making money with your photography and you want the most durable, rugged, best tools with the best sharpness, the best bokeh, all that good stuff, 85 1.4 from Sony. This is where it's at. It's the bees knees as I like to say. The next lens is the Sony 90mm 2.8 MACRO. This is probably the number one question that I get. I had to make sure that for this class that I talked about this because guarantee there's gonna be people that are gonna ask this question online. They say well Miguel, 85 mil or 90 mil 'cause they're both very similar in focal lengths but one is a macro and one is not. People will say well Miguel, you shoot portraits with a macro? I thought macros were for flowers and bugs and things like that. It actually turns out that the macro, thank you, which looks like this. This is the 90mm 2.8 from Sony and this thing is even sharper than ridiculously sharp on the 85. I joke around with people all the time. I call this lens Excalibur in my tool bag and my camera bag. I always joke around with people 'cause I'm like, hey get me the 90 macro but just be careful when you're getting it out 'cause it's gonna cut you. It's really, really sharp. (laughter) It is an insanely sharp lens. People will say, which one do I use? Do I use the 85 or do I use the 90 macro for portraits? Honestly, I own both and here's why. If I'm photographing somebody that has, let's say 90% of the population we have life that happens to our skin, right? We have blemishes, we have scars, we have sometimes worse than that. If I'm photographing the average person, the average skin quality, I would use my 85 1.4 without hesitation. If I'm photographing beauty and I'm doing that very close up beauty shot and the model has great makeup, they have great skin, it is going to be very useful for the outcome of my image to use the macro because I'm gonna see more texture, I'm gonna see more detail. The image is gonna look more HD which if they have great skin, you want that. That's kind of the thing for me. When people ask me that question, should I go 85 or 90? That's up to you. Evaluate what their skin looks like. I would implore you, do not ever, ever tell somebody I'm gonna use the 85 because your skin's not that good. All this process is happening in my own mind when I look at somebody. I'll look at them when their makeup is being done or when I first introduce myself. I'm making that mental note. This is what their skin looks like. Either I can shoot it with the 85 and it'll look great, or I can shoot it with the 90, make it look even better. But if you photograph somebody who doesn't have great skin with a macro lens, good luck in Photoshop 'cause it's gonna take a little bit of extra lifting. 92 eight macro, fantastic lens for portraits. The 55 1.8, this is a Sony Zeiss lens. It's got the Zeiss branding but it is a Sony lens. Not sure exactly how that relationship works. I don't know who made it. I don't know. It's a Sony Zeiss lens, 55 1.8. Insanely, insanely sharp lens. You saw when we were doing the portraits with the A6300. This little guy kicks. Full frame but you can use it on a crop sensor body and still get really, really fantastic results. I like this one because on the crop sensor, like we figured out earlier, it's like an 82-ish millimeter lens on a crop sensor body which this is the 55 by the way. You can see, very small, very lightweight and super, super sharp. If you're shooting with a crop sensor and you want to get those types of portraits like the ones that you see me shooting on social media, if you get the 85 it's not gonna look the same 'cause an 85 on a crop is 135 mil. You're gonna have to get back a little distance. If you wanna have a similar focal length between the two types of cameras, get the 55 and you pretty much are at an 85 millimeter focal range. But still, very, very sharp. Lastly, I'm actually quite lucky right now 'cause I don't think there's a lot of people that have this lens. It's very hard to find right now. You might be watching this and maybe you'll go and check your retailers close to you to see if you can get this and you'll find that they are special order. I ordered this a month-. I'm a Sony artisan so you would think, oh you get this stuff early. I'm waiting just like you guys. I keep saying this. When I say I'm just like you guys, I'm literally just like you guys. I wait for stuff just like everyone else. This is a 70 to 200 2.8 G Master from Sony. This thing is obnoxiously sharp. Very, very detailed. Just an amazing, amazing lens. This is professional stuff. This is not like an inexpensive... That's probably the one thing that I hear from people all the time. They're like, oh but it's $2,500. It's $2,500 but I can tell you that the stuff that this is able to create in terms of the bokeh, the sharpness, the detail, the color rendition, if you're not making money off your portraits, this might be overkill but if you are and you wanna deliver the best possible images to your client, this 70 to 200 is incomparable. It's an absolute beast. Lastly the 24 to 70 2.8, which was the other lens that we used on the 6300 which looks like this. This is another Sony G Master lens. This, again, fantastic for crop sensor, fantastic for full frame. If you're a wedding or an event shooter and you don't know if you're gonna photograph an individual or if you're photographing a group, the 24 to 70 focal range will allow you to do both. You could shoot those close-up portraits, you could shoot the group photos, family photos, all that good stuff. You're able to get all of that using a single lens. If you are for example an event shooter and you say to me Miguel, I can only have two of these lenses that you're talking about. Which ones would you get? This would be my pick. Get a 24 to 70, get a 70 to 200, get two camera bodies, pop those suckers like that, and just walk around, shoot the wides, shoot the close-ups, you're good to go. If you're like me and you like buying a lot of stuff and having a lens for every possible scenario you can run into, then I would tell you that you could go with that particular lens setup and you could do one of the primes. You could do the 85 and shoot really beautiful close-up portraits with that. You have options. You have a lot of different things that you're able to do using these different lenses. Any questions on the lenses? For those who are not professional yet but learning, would it be something that renting is a better option versus buying or in the long run does it make sense to buy? That's a good question. It's really gonna depend on how often it is because for example, if you're shooting every weekend, renting is gonna get expensive. Let's say you're shooting every weekend for four or five months, renting lenses like this could range you anywhere from $20 to $50 or $60. So you figure over the course of several months, you're probably gonna be like dang, I should've just gone ahead and bought it. The big thing with lenses is that they hold their value. If you buy the lens and let's say four or five months from now you're like, I'm not really using it as much as I'd thought I would. You could list it for sale and you're not really gonna lose a lot of money. If you buy it used and you do your homework, make sure the lens is working properly. You can usually sell the lens and not really lose any money in that process.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Miguel's Exposure X2 Alien Skin Presets

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I want to commend you for hosting Miguel Quiles. He is beyond competent and knowledgeable. Light is Light, but It is encouraging to see incredible minority photographers on your platform and to see diversity in the presenters. It is inspirational for minorities to see themselves on the center stage. I sincerely thank you for that. I am buying this course although I am not a mirrorless shooter because of my support of Miguel and the quality of his instruction of which benefits all photographers. He is a great addition to the Creative Live Family of Presenters that I have supported as well. Kudos Creative Live!

Danae Khan Jones

Wow! As a Newb and someone looking to get into portrait/studio photography, this course was perfect and comprehensive. SO MUCH GOOD CONTENT. Miguel is so approachable about questions, positive, and thorough in his explanations. This course broke down the gear and technical side very well. I recommend going to a class live. It was a great experience with food and beautiful facilities. The facility has a positive vibe and really encouraged me to be creative. Thank you for the experience and knowledge!


WOW!!! I LOVED THIS CLASS!!! I learned so much. He made lighting soooo simple, I finally understood. I liked the way he explained the why of his camera settings and how to overcome ambient light. he explained and made everything simple!!! I liked the way he talked about connecting with your clients. I am so happy I purchased this class. I finally understood lighting What a great teacher!! Thank you!!

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