Using Sony A7 II + Mitakon 50mm F0.95 for Wedding Photography

Using Sony A7 II + Mitakon 50mm F0.95 for Wedding Photography 9

Using Sony A7 II + Mitakon 50mm F0.95 for Wedding Photography

July 13, 2015 /11 comment(s) Gear reviews

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 ๐Ÿ˜› That’s why I bought the 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.

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?

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

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 isย don’t just think on the x-axis, think on the y and z-axis as well.

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:

First wedding venue: Montsalvat

Second wedding venue: Butleigh Wootton

First wedding photographed in conjunction with Clarte Photography

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  • Darryn McKay

    Great looking lens and beautiful photos too ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • InternationalOrange

    Really lovely shots in what looks to be some fairly challenging locations, so whatever you’re doing must be working.

  • Joseph Ferrari

    I don’t shoot weddings any more, but when I did, I went in with similar lenses! Nice shots!

  • Gabriel

    Thanks for this since I have the A7ii as well which I love.
    I own the Canon FD 50mm 1.4 and have been considering the Rokinon 50mm 1.4, the Mitakon .95 and even the FE 55mm 1.8.
    The .95 is the one more interesting to me because the possibilities a .95 apertures gives me. The Bokeh seems to look great some times and too nervous other times from samples I have been seeing around.
    The Rokinon seems to deliver a very nice bokeh most of the time but still is 1.4 “only”. Then again, much cheaper.
    The FE 55mm well..it has AF but so expensive for 1.8 that I just cant see myself paying so much for it.

  • Stephan Wetaas

    Great review. ๐Ÿ™‚ Like your reflections on how most other reviews of this lens is done as close-ups and they complain about unusable DOF. Dig your style! Wide open it is and should be. There are other lens for shooting at f2.8 and above. I prefer using the Mitakon between f0.95 and f2 using continous focus, and I nail moving targets almost every time. Photography is not just about pictures, its about art, and the Mitakon sure helps you with that.

    • Jose

      What do you mean, you use the Mitakon with continuous focus?

  • Thanks for sharing, Will. Appreciate your enthusiasm, professional execution and sharing of gear and tips. I’ve been shooting randomly since graduating from college – and after 29 years of corporate and agency communications, at what should be the peak of my career, am just about to start shooting professionally. I always shot Minolta and Nikon… I started researching professional gear last year and a friend turned me on to the A7R, telling me that the A7RII was going to come out. The A7R felt like my Minolta X570 so I decided “what the heck!” Actually that’s not true – the truth is I researched as much as I could and spoke to him a lot as he shot with the A7R and Leica glass. Well, I’m not sure I’ll do weddings as I’m more interested in portraits and landscapes but I’ll be doing engagement work… and regardless, viewing your site is both instructive and inspirational. Keep up the good work! (Instagram: @scottchicago)