Using Sony A7II + Mitakon 50mm F0.95 For Wedding Photography

Jul 13, 2015

Will Chao

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Using Sony A7II + Mitakon 50mm F0.95 For Wedding Photography

Jul 13, 2015

Will Chao

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

sony-a7ii-mitakon-DSC01598

A little about me,

First, I’m a wedding photographer based in Melbourne, Australia.

Second, I’m a HUGE fan of large aperture lenses. I shoot every lens almost 100% of the time at the maximum aperture possible. At any given wedding, over 90% of my photos are taken with 35mm F1.4, 85mm F1.2, and 200mm F2.0, each at its widest aperture setting. I’m also one of the few people who use F1.2/F1.4 for group shots.

I also have a Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art lens, beautiful, beautiful piece of glass, image quality is extraordinary, but I still find the aperture a bit tiny ?? That’s why I bought the Sony A7 II + Mitakon 50mm F0.95 combo, because I just simply have to have the largest aperture possible that is within my wallet depth.

I get criticised for this a lot: “What if you want to vary the DOF?”, “What if you want multiple subjects in focus?” “You’re one of those newbs who think aperture is everything” etc. blah blah

Do I run into depth of field issues? Well not necessarily. Of course, stopping down the aperture is an easy way to increase the depth of field, but where’s the fun in that! I always say, if I buy a 85mm F1.2L and use it at F2.8 most of the time, it’s literally worse than simply using a 70-200 F2.8 IS.

Instead, stopping down is the last thing I do to get multiple subjects in focus. I frequently adjust my distance, adjust my position, adjust my altitude in order to align subjects within the same focal plane, this not only adds a bit of challenge to an otherwise boring setup, it also helps me creatively by thinking outside the box. After awhile, it really becomes second nature and I don’t really think about it when I’m shooting anymore.

Anyway, enough about that, because you’re here to see how the 50mm F0.95 holds up in the real world!

Reason I’m doing this article/review is, well, we’ve all see tons of specialty lens reviews, but when it comes to large aperture, there’s something that always makes me cringe:

Why do everyone review 1.2/0.95/1.4 lenses on close up subjects, then comment on how unusable the shallow DOF is.

I honestly don’t know anyone who would buy a F0.95 lens just to shoot leaves or a pencil case, at that distance of course the DOF is 1mm and the resulting image will look no better than a F5.6 lens. (click any of the photos for a bigger version)

sony-a7ii-mitakon-DSC01395
sony-a7ii-mitakon-DSC01516
sony-a7ii-mitakon-DSC01400

sony-a7ii-mitakon-DSC01580

I’m rambling again, so here we go.

Firstly, I am truly impressed with this camera, it is everything my trusty 5D Mark III is not, it has no focus inaccuracy issues (when using AF lenses), it has a true what-you-see-is-what-you-get viewfinder, and the lightness is just the cherry on top. I am also a proud owner of a 50,000 mAh powerbank so I can charge the camera in the car as I move from location to location. There is no EVF lag what-so-ever with a F0.95 lens, no matter how dark it is. By the way, did I tell you I can shoot in almost pitch darkness with the combination of such an extreme aperture, great high ISO performance and the 5-axis in-body stabilisation?

sony-a7ii-mitakon-DSC01573
sony-a7ii-mitakon-DSC01569
sony-a7ii-mitakon-DSC01607
sony-a7ii-mitakon-DSC01598

Sharpness is not great, as expected from a F0.95 lens. But it’s not terrible either.

sony-a7ii-mitakon-100-crop

As far as multiple people go, there’s no reason you can’t get everyone in focus with F0.95

The key to aligning the focal plane is don’t just think on the x-axis, think on the y and z-axis as well.
sony-a7ii-mitakon-DSC01077
sony-a7ii-mitakon-DSC01080
sony-a7ii-mitakon-DSC01081

Of course, trying to manual focus at a wedding is no easy feat. Tracking is even harder but is made easier with the EVF, focus peaking also gives you a great starting point but it can be inaccurate sometimes.

Summary

The Mitakon 50mm F0.95 is a very welcome addition to my line-up of fast primes. The Sony A7 II also pleasantly surprised me in ways more than one, and the quality of the Sony sensor really is in another class compared to my 5D Mark III. Yeah I said it!

Now I just need to wait for the new A7r II and hope it can deliver the expectations of fast AF’ing Canon glass, by then I probably have no need for the Canon bodies.

So yeah I hope you enjoyed these photos, I will be doing a A7r II review once it’s out (If Sony is reading this, feel free to send me a review copy :P), and thanks so much for visiting! Feel free to comment down below any thoughts or questions you may have.

Credits

About The Author

Will Chao is a wedding photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. You can follow his work on his website or on Facebook. This article was also published here and shared with permission.

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

DIPY Icon

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

14 responses to “Using Sony A7II + Mitakon 50mm F0.95 For Wedding Photography”

  1. Tony Dunn F1 Avatar
    Tony Dunn F1

    Thats Ballsy

  2. Petar Maksimovic Avatar
    Petar Maksimovic

    I don’t think much of the beauty of these photos come from that particular lens, more like from good compositions, location, light and post. Could have been any other large aperture lens and whatever camera.

    1. David H Avatar
      David H

      I know the author of this blog post was wanting to encourage people to try a large-aperture-lens in environments that many might consider risky, but I don’t feel that he proved his case. Shooting with a large aperture makes for some beautiful photos, but getting things sharp or in focus can be difficult. Even the photos posted by the author have some focus issues (DSC01516.jpg, DSC01400.jpg, 100-crop.jpg).

      These photos look good, as you posted, Petar, because of the composition and lighting. I think they would have looked even better with a different lens that could get more of the bride and groom in focus. Wide apertures are great: I really like the look and shoot as wide as I can with the lenses I own; however, when the situation calls for a smaller aperture, I make the change.

  3. Gvido Mūrnieks Avatar
    Gvido Mūrnieks

    What’s with these “some have said, why this peace equipment doesn’t work for weddings, but here are my examples, that prove it is wrong” articles lately.

    ps.
    My grandfather, in his time, was shooting weddings with his ZENIT 12sd. So, seeing someone these days whining, that you can’t shoot wedding with “insert latest photographic equipment here”, makes me chuckle a bit.

  4. Robert Avatar
    Robert

    Wonderful images … Well done .. Don’t worry about the wide open DOF critics ..

  5. J.W.Smith, AIA, NOMA Avatar
    J.W.Smith, AIA, NOMA

    skills and composition are very well done.

  6. nace zavrl Avatar
    nace zavrl

    I feel sorry for those that find your photos so special becouse of so “amazing DOF” and low light in opposite of grat colours and most important the composition, please look again your photos from the eyes of non-dof–tech-lowlight freak,.. I mean , real lack of composition and creativity becouse of all other and more “important stuff”. (Btw which bride would like to have some monkey scolpture on her head while her groom is hugging her from behind? DSC01400.jpg ? Or maybe candle on head of one of girls DSC01081.jpg
    I don’t know… Maybe is realy all about DOF today?

    1. Bloggy Joe Avatar
      Bloggy Joe

      Two of the pictures have a weird sculpture, the rest are really nicely composed and very creative. Also when the review is about a lens, talking about the technical aspects in relation to certain environments is more important than talking about composition. How do you know those pictures ever got to the/ a client? They might be purely used to illustrate points in the article…

  7. Robin Avatar
    Robin

    Have to agree with comments about poor composition, some are just not thought through, I know how hard weddings are to shoot and have made these errors myself but the bride would never see them let alone the whole world.

  8. Don Avatar
    Don

    Thank you for posting the pictures. It shows just how bad that lens is. The photos are nice but the image quality is just not there for me. I’d stick with the Sigma Art and 200mm f/2 lenses if I were you.

  9. Vanitas Foto Avatar
    Vanitas Foto

    Geez some of the comments here are to say the least bitter…

  10. Roberto Benatti Avatar
    Roberto Benatti

    I believe that the most of the complain its because of the images it were posted in low resolution and are pixelizing.
    That such a nice pictures and the light its very good, some mistakes but the “focus” here its another…

  11. Simon W Avatar
    Simon W

    Nice photos Will. Looks like they were shot at Montsalvat just outside of Melbourne? Great location for wedding photos – loads of options.