NYC Street Photography

Why I’m Exchanging the 85mm Lens, Part 2

2/14/18, 85mm, a7Rii, backpack, bubble coat, color, fur hat, Manhattan, New York City, NYC, Sony, street photography, sunglasses, Times Square, Zeiss Batis

I got some cool shots with amazing bokeh so I was am a bit sad at the idea of not having the 85mm anymore, but it just doesn’t work for the kind of photography that I do right now.  If I did any kind of portrait photography I would definitely reach for that lens every time.  The sharpness, the bokeh.  I know I keep mentioning bokeh, but I’ve just gone so long without having it in my photos.  It’s kind of addictive.  I know it isn’t everything but it is nice to have in certain pictures.

2/14/18, 85mm, a7Rii, color, food cart, Manhattan, New York City, NYC, Sony, street photography, Times Square, waiting, Zeiss Batis

This picture perfectly illustrates why this particular lens wasn’t good for street, at least for me.  There were a few cars behind him and I would have liked to have included them in the picture, but it just wasn’t possible to do so from where I was standing with this lens.  With my 35mm, or even the 55mm lens that I’m looking at, it would have been no problem.  But the 85mm lens?  In the words of my brother, “Ain’t happening”.  I still like this picture, but I just wish I could have included some of the background.

2/14/18, 85mm, a7Rii, backpack, Chambers St., color, glasses, leaning, looking, Manhattan, New York City, NYC, Sony, street photography, Under Armour, waiting, winter hat, Zeiss Batis

If that last picture illustrated why I can’t work with an 85mm lens for street, this picture shows why it would be perfect if I was doing portraiture.  I was waiting for the bus and this man was standing a little farther away, also waiting for the bus.  He must have been waiting for a while because he was leaning.  I love how sharp he is against the blurred background.

2/14/18, 85mm, a7Rii, cell phone, color, glasses, Manhattan, New York City, NYC, sitting, Sony, street photography, subway, train, Zeiss Batis

I was lucky to get this shot.  I don’t know what it is about trains but you can have a perfectly clear line of sight and at the last minute, someone has to walk into your shot for absolutely no reason.  This one guy (who’s thankfully not in the frame) almost blocked my shot but I still had enough room to shoot around him.  

2/14/18, 85mm, a7Rii, avocado toast, beard, bench, color, eating, glasses, lunch time, Manhattan, manspreading, New York City, NYC, redhead, sitting, Sony, street photography, Union Square, Zeiss Batis

I don’t get the fascination with avocado toast.  It’s overpriced and it doesn’t seem all that filling to me, but then again who am I to judge?  I spent $22 on a sushi burger at the Redeye Grill.  (Although I stand by my decision to do that as it was amazing!  😆 )

2/14/18, 85mm, a7Rii, backpack, bubble coat, color, fur hat, Manhattan, New York City, NYC, Sony, street photography, sunglasses, Times Square, Zeiss Batis2/14/18, 85mm, a7Rii, blue, bubble coat, color, long hair, Manhattan, New York City, NYC, Sony, street photography, Union Square, velvet, Zeiss Batis










Anyone who knows me knows that Seinfeld is one of my favorite shows.  I can find a Seinfeld-esque moment in anything.  I identify most with the character of George.  (No surprise there.  😆 )  The picture on the left reminds me of the episode when Elaine and George went on this spending spree when she was running J. Peterman, and the picture on the right reminds me of that episode when George was dating the woman who drew a doodle of him and she told him he could drape himself in velvet for all she cared.

2/14/18, 85mm, a7Rii, backpack, book bag, boys, cell phones, color, Manhattan, men, New York City, NYC, Sony, street photography, sunglasses, Union Square, Zeiss Batis

This couldn’t have turned out better if I had posed them myself.  I was intending to take a picture of the guy up front, but then the guy in white stopped suddenly where he was to send a text or something.  I liked how the scene looked and I liked how the man in the black leather jacket came out of focus, so I kept it.  I did take a shot of just the man in the leather jacket after the other man walked away but I liked this one best.

Returning the 85mm lens was a bit sad but I’m excited to really take the 55mm lens out for a spin.  I took it out today but I took it out later in the afternoon when it was getting a bit chillier so I didn’t stay out too long.  There isn’t a big difference between the 35mm and the 55mm (as compared to the 85mm) but I do like the sharpness better, especially with moving subjects.  For instance, I got a nice shot of a man running with his dog.  Also, the bokeh is pretty good.  I probably will have to wait until the weekend to really see what it can do, but I can do a few night tests with it to see how it handles in those conditions.

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