The New Lens
I love my dad.
My birthday is next Tuesday. I've never made a big deal out of it because I have this twisted logic that dictates that while I do like attention (I'm on YouTube after all), I love it when it's earned. If I ever get the channel to 100,000 subscribers, I'm throwing a party with my friends. That'll be the culmination of years of hard work and dedication, and it will totally justify a night of partying.
Simply being around another year? Eh, doesn't really warrant a party in my eyes. Now I'm not some grump that doesn't get people gifts for their birthday or rain on their parade at parties or anything. I just don't personally make an event out of mine.
That said, my dad typically goes above and beyond when it comes to birthday gifts, as much as I insist he doesn't have to. This year he got me a 50mm prime lens for my new camera. Now that's not some super camera lens or anything. I mean, there are some lenses out there that are $500-$1000 or more. This is definitely not one of those lens.
However considering my only two asks this year (when pressed multiple times about it) was one blu-ray (The Last Jedi) and one PS4 game (Far Cry 5), it still feels like above and beyond to me.
Anyway I didn't set out to write this to spread my bizarre birthday viewpoint or to brag about a gift. I really just wanted to talk about what it means for videos. Typically I'd reserve this for the podcast, but I figured I talked enough about camera's this past weekend.
Without diving too much into how different lenses work, this new lens will allow me to do two things:
- Open up the aperture to f1.8, from f4
- Drop the ISO down to 400 from 1600
So what does that do exactly? Well the f-stop change does two things. First, it creates a more shallow image when it comes to depth of field, meaning more space behind and in front of the subject is going to be blurry. I love this. I suppose it boils down to personal taste, but I love super shallow depth of field video and photos.
The second thing it does is let way more light into the camera. This means you usually have to adjust the camera's shutter speed or ISO to compensate, which brings me to the other perk.
Dropping the ISO from 1600 to 400 helps with the image quality. Typically, the higher the ISO on a camera, the more grainy the final image is going to be, but as a perk you require less light. It's great for really low-light settings. On the flip side a lower ISO requires more light, but the result is a much crisper, cleaner, image.
My goal for a while has been to lower the ISO some more on my camera because the grain would always be super apparent (to me at lest) in dark areas of the frame (specifically my bookshelf.)
So today I have the new lens a spin, and while I liked the results initially, I like them even more now that I'd putting up the test shot side by side with the 18-55mm lens. I lose a bit of the detail of the shelf since it's closed and more blurry, but overall I just think the frame looks a lot better.
I don't know if the ISO benefit shows in these shots since I'm not sure how much Squarespace compresses these photos, but in Adobe Premiere it's noticeable.
Anyway, I think I have a new setup that I like.
I initially thought that I still needed to improve my lighting setup, which I kinda do. I could use a bounce from below to get rid of the shadow under my chin, and maybe go really crazy and setup a backlight to hit my right should and separate me from the bookshelf more. However beyond that I think the issue is just me.
I need to start taking better care of my skin, getting more sleep, and continuing to lose weight. Just because I'm about to turn 31 doesn't mean I have to give up.