Deadman’s Carnival – March 2015
I took the 85mm for a spin at last night’s Deadman’s Carnival event at the Mirimar Theater in Milwaukee. Even managed to get some decent seats.
Although entirely recreational, this was an illuminating shoot. While getting settled in our seats, I realized that my lens was missing focus, something I noticed at a portrait shoot a few days earlier. Since the band was playing music prior to the show, I decided to calibrate the lens. I found that it was front-focusing pretty significantly (-15 setting). Fortunately I was able to dial in before the show started.
While the show was going, it occurred to me that there are hot spots on the stage from the overhead lights. I think the next time I shoot this event, I will have to pay closer attention to this. I also noticed that at times my dynamic range was being challenged, and it occurred to me as I was working in post that I might be better using a single point or center weighted metering setting instead of matrix metering, given that the subject is often brightly illuminated on an otherwise very dark background. I don’t generally care if my blacks get crushed, but I do care if I lose detail in my highlights.
And last, while I missed being able to adjust my framing with my zoom lenses, I did appreciate the quality I was able to get working with a faster lens. Even though the f/1.8 lens is only 2/3rds of a stop faster than my f/2.8 zoom lenses, I was able to shoot at a significantly lower ISO. Most of these shots were taken at ISO 1250, f/1.8 and between 1/100 and 1/800. One of my goals for later this year is to invest in a Nikon 55mm AIS f/1.2 lens. Although that’s manual focus, I think it would be really interesting to see the difference I could get with another 2/3rds of a stop aperture.