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5 Essential Lenses

Lesson 27 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

5 Essential Lenses

Lesson 27 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

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Lesson Info

27. 5 Essential Lenses


Class Trailer

Day 1


Course Introduction


What Photographers Should Know


Lighting Gear Box


My Camera Gear


Understanding the Magic of Flash


Shoot: Essential Skill #1 - Lighting Positions


Essential Skill #2 - Bright Light Situations


Lesson Info

5 Essential Lenses

With my new flash the misty meeting up something here um on my new flash yes you are creating correct that it has the radio receiver built inside of it okay and so when you put it my new flashes on the triple mount you do not need the little receiver um and so I think I confuse some people because I was I had I said that you would receive these flashes but the picture show that there was a receiver there so I've been throwing people off okay so if you are using the two thirty stroh be you do not need they little receiver here to plug in and fire them all it will fire just like that you just put it on and go for it if you use maybe one of my flashes and you have another flash lets a cannon or a nikon then you will need to put it on my matching receiver and then added on here okay and then if you have another type of flash you would need another receiver to put it on and then you could still fire him by putting a jack in there on debt will fire all of them still actually you don't you ju...

st need one receiver I'm sorry I just need everybody over again okay sorry so if you have different flashes let's say you were going to put this flash on son pack okay he put the sun back on here you have my flash and let's say you had another nikon over here you would just need any risk any receiver could be mine it could be whoever's could be pocket wizard whatever you would put it on here right and then I give you a core that goes from your receiver into this mountain and it fires all three regardless of what brand they are but if you're using all my brand don't need this because this is built inside of my flash okay, so I hopefully that cleared up aa lot of questions and it's like I get twenty people every day I'm confusing them and look at anyways so let's get into um lenses right the best two hundred dollars lenses or less okay um first of all, I'm going to tell you this get a full frame camera okay um they're going down in price now it allows you to shoot at higher eyes so and I rather invest in a good camera that I can shoot higher isil because then I could buy lenses that are significantly cheaper that are just a little bit slower like their f stop doesn't go down you know, maybe you know, one stop or two stops uh worth of light that it doesn't allow into the lands and that's what makes it cheap is because it doesn't open up and allow you to use less light but it's a lot smaller too and it's a lot cheaper right? It could be ten times cheaper could be more than ten times cheaper but so if you buy a good camera now and go full frame good full frame cameras now are around two thousand dollars so you buy a two thousand dollars body then you could actually use one hundred dollars lens in any situation, right? And so I think the better investment although they say you know the camera body is going to be you know history after a year which is probably true to a certain extent but you just need to be able to feel comfortable shooting at higher isosceles thirty, two hundred six four hundred so then not only will that allow you to shoot like with the video light but also allow you to use put on any lens on your camera that's a good quality and find some value it and use it and then you don't have to feel like I bought gotta spend two thousand dollars on ten lands is right which is hard to do for most people okay, so get a full frame you can shoot hi hi I esso and lower costs on lenses you save yourself a lot of money so that's my first tip get a full frame tamra and then also when you crop sensor camera okay you end up buying have to buy sometimes crops sensor lenses and if you're serious about photography I'm sorry you you're going to go up two full frame anyways ok if you want to do this for a living you're ninety percent of time you're going to go up two full frame anyways so what do you do now with that crop sensor lands when you want to move up it holds you back from kind of switching is oh I invested I just bought this winds in its crop sensor ah and it doesn't fit my full frame sensor camera you debating back and forth but you're eventually going to go toe full frame anyway she just might have might as well bite the billet borrow from somebody or whatever get the money and just go with the full frame right from the get go especially now because you can shoot higher so ok these lenses then I'm going to show you will work for a full frame or a crop sense or two which is cool so they go either way it's just if you put it out of crop sensor you gotta multiply it times one and a half or one point six or whatever or two point oh if you put it on a mirror less camera but you do have it but they will work either way which is great so if you buy this lands and you have a crop sensor then when you invest in a full frame you can still use it which is great, okay, it's a good investment for crops sensor users okay, really? Pros don't use lens filters. Okay? I know. Oh, here it comes now take him off. Okay, take him up. I find that they add, like, aa lot of artifacts sometimes be I don't know because it seems like light gets trapped in between sometimes that that lens filter in the lands and then it not a sharp and a lot of times you're going to lose the clarity and the color of the lands by putting a lands filter on, especially if it's a cheap one, you're not going to get it, and so I never used lands filters, but do you put a lens hood on because that's going to protect it? Ok, so don't use the lens filter but get the lens hood and sometimes a little expensive so it doesn't look like thirty bucks just for the hood or fifty bucks. I mean, they're kind of crazy, but get the hood but don't use the land's filter because I find that it just because one time that was that happened to a shooting this job and I didn't have my, uh l'll ends with me and then I borrowed my seconds ellen's and I shot with it when I got home I go piece, the color just doesn't look right the everything just didn't look right and then oh manny that's right he had that lens filter on it s o please just take it off okay, ok here are the five essential lenses that I feel that a person should have if they want to go out and do a job and get paid for it and be prepared ok, the first one is wide lens you need a wide lands preferably like a sixteen to thirty five would be great okay uh I mean if you get the sixteen thirty five two point eight or whatever you had a couple thousand bucks or sixteen hundred dollars but whatever fine get it right more power to you but sometimes those are big ge sometimes they're having guests flat I own the sixteen thirty five carl size two point eight that thing is a tank man it's heavy I have it I don't use it right? So you've got to realize that when you're shooting a two point eight or lower a lot it zoom winds a lot of the times they are big and heavy and you've got to think about your career and wearing two camera bodies and having lenses and walking around and you know, doing that for ten years with all that weight and everything it starts to add up after a while, eh? So you've got to go easy on yourself sometimes when you can that's another reason why did get an assistant because they can help you carry your crap to which is good. Okay, so wide angle lenses and so if you were going to do a wide angle and some people just use primes, ok, that's cool, then, you know, suggested ranges anywhere from like, a seventeen millimeter or twenty four millimeters. Sometimes I use that as my wife sometimes do a wedding, and I'll just have a twenty four millimeter prime on one camera and an eighty five millimeter prime on the other, and I do most of my shooting just with those two, and I can do that, and then I'll have a zoom lens just in case they need it, but I couldn't do a whole wedding, basically with the twenty four and in eighty five, and that works for me if you and then their specialty wides, like a fish eye lens is twenty millimeters or wider, those that kind of you can't really live on those types of images, but maybe every once in a while it's cool to throw them in just a kind of change up your portfolio and show a little bit of a different look at it. The reason that fish eyes not really cool all the time is that it distorts the image and it distorts people and their features and it's I mean it's really hard to win an award shooting with the fish islands I mean, most of time you're not gonna win uh if that one of things that you want to do cares if you don't want to you but in general that type of lenses not considered it's more of a specialty thing and it's not something that bread and butter tio really views in a regular basis not lets you shoot in the middle lot you crop out but in general don't okay now you need a medium range lands uh just to give you that medium range maybe for if you have to shoot an event and you're shooting group photos um and so you need to be able to shoot you know group of ten people within a short distance or you know you've got to go wide or you just need some a portrait and see zoom it out to seventy so anywhere twenty four to seven is really good for a medium lends toe have to substitute that with the prime some people for that medium range they use a thirty five millimetre prime and a lot of people love that that's a very, very popular uh um range is a thirty five millimetre prime some people use a fifty millimeter which is kind of cool and some people actually do wide angle shots using a fifty millimeter which is an interesting look they just back up a long ways and so that's kind of a cool look, so some people just use fifty another is an eighty five, which is a little bit to me more on the telly long land side and then there's one hundred two, which is kind of more on the long range side for a medium lands I wouldn't really I don't know why classified it there, but anyway, as I put it there, ok, so I would throw that more on the long side, actually, the hundred millimeter okay, eso on the long and it's the seventy two, two hundred range ok, and if you are going prime, that would be like an eighty five of one, thirty five, two hundred prime or sometimes a specialty if you want even longer, you have seventy two, three hundred you know I'm not a sports guy, but I don't have crazy four hundred millimeter and all that kind of stuff, but for in general, if you're not just shooting people and portrait's and weddings, those air kind of the specialty lenses that they have out there but you need along somewhere in there, okay, then you need a low light portrait lens there's going to be situations where it's just dark and you've got to be able to put your f stop that, you know, one point eight sometimes or especially if you're using video light, then you want a fast lens so you can keep your shutter speed up higher. Okay, so everybody, if if this is no excuse, everybody should have one of these because everybody makes a cheap fifty minute every brand camera brand makes a cheap fifty millimeter lands for like around one hundred dollars. Okay, so, it's, just good to have one of those get one thought in your bag. You have it just in case. It's very versatile because you could you could use is a portrait. You can even use it as wide, but you just have to go back more, but its low cost and it's great. Okay primes, right? Course the eighty five those those are right there for the portrait. Lend some people use one hundred in there. Uh oh that's usable two and then a macro lands, which is good being fifty millimeters, sixty millimeter or one hundred million millimetre it's good to be able to get in close. Especially if you're doing detail shots for weddings like I would say it's pretty much a must, uh, tohave but there's some very, very low cost ways to get a macro lens without spending a lot of money what she'll talk about a little bit later, okay, all right, so those are the five lenses and if you can afford you know you know thousand thousand two thousand two thousand four out of five more power to you but a lot of it of a lot of us can't especially when you're first starting out and you're trying to like convince your spouse or something you're going into this and how much are you spending like you're going to get a lot of pushback so I recommend um just getting the one lens that you use a lot and spending a lot of money on it so if you're a seventy two, two hundred person maybe you just buy that seventy two, two hundred two point eight and you've got that that's your main lands go ahead spend a lot of money on it um and then I kind of look at how you shoot and what you have and go well, I might need this range, but if I don't shoot it a lot maybe I can get a cheaper substitute for it and spend a couple hundred bucks but I'll still have that range and I'll feel confident going into a job so I won't have that missing peace to do a job and so let me give you some alternatives now okay? Oh let me just show you what these lands is due so this is a sixteen millimeters it looks like that like right really wide uh get some nice scenic shots this is medium range, right? That's, even at twenty four millimeters to the left. And this is at sixty millimeters to the right, with the black and white shot. Ok, and that's, that you get that whole kind of range within there on that medium lens here's a long lens. Here. This is at one hundred thirty five million twinkle lights. Oh, geez, what do you know? So one hundred thirty five millimeters? Uh, there. So that's? Not even quite two hundred, but you know, if you do a lot of wedding work and you shoot ceremonies and sometimes the reception before the first dance, the reception halls are quite large, so you might need that two hundred to zoom in or if they're doing that toasting or whatever. You might need a long lands to do it, but I find more maybe because the wedding's I'm doing are getting smaller and smaller. I don't know. I'm finding I'm less kneading the two hundred range and that I can kind of get away with eighty five a lot. Here's that fifty millimeter lens. Um, I'm actually using an indie feel to hear my variable nd filter, but this is that raise that does a very nice portrait for that range and a macro lens, okay, um I don't really need a macro lens because my camera has digital zoom on it so I just do stuff like that I just put the digital zoom and boom macro lens so but uh you should have one of those okay and that's the type of photos that you get with the macro okay, here we go now what happens if you don't have all the money in the world? What are your alternatives in each of those categories? The wide which is the land that I keep talking about all the time that I love anybody know anybody only it is the nineteen thirty five toki no ok and what's great about that lands which was probably made I don't know twenty years ago thirty years ago they were made for all the brands they were made for nikon they're made for cannon and they were made from minolta but you know sony but minolta out and they use their mouths so those minolta lands works for sony now. Okay um and so they make it in all the brands that ok? So there's a lot of different lenses in that category. It was a very, very, very, very back in the film days. That category of a nineteen to thirty five range was extremely popular and so they made a ton of aa lot of every manufacturer made that range but to me and I've kind of tested them all out for you, right? I feel that that toki noah is the best that is the best one out of all those just the way it's built you see the images that shoot with it it's sharp and it's great and so and it's it you know it's heavy right? I passed it around and I anyway sits right here we'll get into a little bit later we're showing it stands but it's really this has the adaptor on it but it's really well made and see what it isthe is back then when they made stuff okay it's just built better if they were to duplicate look at that that's a middle mount on their right if they were to duplicate this lens today they couldn't do it for two hundred dollars that's why they don't make it because it costs so much they might as well just get you into an l ends or something like that you get it because of inflation because of of the dollar losing its value and things they just don't make it this way anymore it was impossible for them to re create this quality at that price point they can't do it so that's why some of this older stuff um it's great now you know what I love about lenses to me it's like buying stock have you ever heard of a good lens going down in price? Never ok, so when I was with cannon and when I switched over to sony and I was selling my l lenses some of them I was selling at more than the price that I bought it at so when you buy a popular lands um that is good and people tend to use it and it's kind of considered a standard lens in the industry it keeps appreciating it keeps going up and up and so so when I s I can't help it sometimes I should stop it's I don't know if my wife I was about this but anyways I fanatic so like I just can't pass up a good deal I guess that's the chinese in me just buying stuff all the time when you see a good deal I just see this stuff on ebay or our shows or wherever and I say it's a great price I just buy him okay? I probably have twenty of these you know phil, but I have them but because sometimes my students need him or whatever and I go well, you know, probably one of my students need him whatever I'll just have it, I'll just stick it here right there they're only going to appreciate right? So now you know these things are appreciating and so it's like I'm not really losing any money on him just buy it, and if somebody needs it, so if you can't find it on ebay, femi an email, I'll see what I can do with you. But, you know, all the lenses that I sell, I kind of see myself lend shop because I can afford to, like, you know what? Hey, I give you six months on have been anything happens to it. I'll just give you we want, because I have another one of my stock, right? I'll just switch it out if something happens to it for you, but I love it, okay?

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Crazy Stupid Light Review
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Keynote 3
Gear Guide
Final Exam
Going Big on a Tiny Budget - HD

Ratings and Reviews

Dan Frumkin

I read several reviews on this site which gave me hesitation to buy this course. Nonetheless, I pressed on. Now I have a suggestion for those considering parting with their cash. Before you buy, go to any of Scott’s galleries online. If you can shoot at Scott’s level move on. If you cannot see the artistry in Scott’s work, move on. If you cannot conceive of the technical proficiency Scott has with flash, move on. But if you are mortal photographer that desires to improve your work, compare your personal portfolio to Scott’s. He wins awards for good reasons. Invest the time and money. You will be amply rewarded. Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques is worth every penny. So is Crazy, Stupid, Light. I purchased both and now use Scott’s advice and techniques daily. Plus, he provides a good dose of inspiration and humor. Scott is an awesome professional, fantastic photographer and a wonderful teacher.


I already own Lim's class, "Crazy, Stupid Light" as well as two of his Strobie 230 flashes with transmitter (in addition to my Canon speedlight). I appreciate being able to get into lighting with flashes and equipment that costs much less than Profoto lights etc. that I couldn't afford yet. Lim has a very organized and energetic teaching style. He is a great speaker in that he is excited about what he is doing and seems to love to help others learn how to be successful with their lighting. He is very animated and funny and has the right blend of being confident yet self-effacing and admits his mess-ups during class. I find him very engaging and interesting. If you have less than $500 or $600 to spend on lights, but want to start adding lighting to your photo shoots, he is a great place to start.

a Creativelive Student

This class was fantastic! I've always opted for the easy way out when it came to lighting my subjects, usually resorting to using just natural light and a reflector even though I always have my lighting kit with me. I learned in this class how creating my own light can be the easiest way to get the results I want. It's much easier than trying to make the natural light do what I want it to do. Scott's passion for photography and teaching are evident, and his commitment to the success of his students is amazing. I definitely recommend this course for photographers at any level. I came away with many ideas on how to build upon the lighting tips presented here to make it my own. Thanks Scott Robert Lim!

Student Work