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Madusha & Hemal: Engagement Session & Canon 200mm F1.8L

We met Hemal through a friend’s birthday party, and he said that he loved my work…so  somehow along the way ended up doing his Engagement photos. We chose Roma Street parklands because of its versatility. I’ve been there countless times to photograph weddings, engagements, portraits..you name it! And every time, I try to work with the location and the people so that its shot in a refreshing and non-typical way. This is why I decided for Hemal & Madusha, I would shoot in the afternoon using a few different lenses that I don’t usually bring to weddings or engagement….read the rest of this post and you’ll see why.  One of the lenses I brought to shoot…is a lens that I’m going to pass down as my family heirloom…because it is THAT extraordinary….

I want to talk abit about the Canon 200mm F1.8L ….it’s a legacy lens….it’s the largest aperature 200mm ever produced, and it’s the last of the lead giants. We all know that…the stuff that kills you…is the most beautiful in craft. They had to stop making this lens because of environmental issues. So it’s like an endangered species. When someone around the world smashes one….there is one less lens living in this world. It’s a collector’s item now, in a few years it will be museum worthy. Mine is a mint copy. Hope I don’t drop it *TOUCH WOOD*, since they don’t repair these anymore, no more spare parts available….and the stuff available in the 2nd hand market…is usually not well looked after. So if you happen to find one online, it’s my advise to check it properly and make sure that the seller has a good return policy. It’s very likely that the lens probably has broken parts (which can’t be repaired) or that it’s not working properly.

It was originally designed in 1988, and tested by pros at the 1988 seoul olympics for capturing indoor sports without flash…so using it for portraiture, the working distance is in tens of metres…so you need a megaphone or a big voice like me! And it’s one of the only few lenses that will appreciate in price..or at least keep it’s value. The optics have been designed to give excellent background blur. Try it with the maximum aperture to give ultra shallow depth of field. It’s a monster weighing in at 3kgs, need to go to gym to do shoot free handed…the way it presents the imagery is different in style as to 50mm 1.2L and 85mm, and more similar to 135mm F2L. The 85mm F1.2L is very buttery and the subject melts into the background….In comparison, the 200mm 1.8L the subject is tack sharp, and the background is a big blur behind, and the subject pops out.

If you love 135mm F2L, you will sell your soul for the 200mm F1.8L with the even longer focal length together with the larger aperture will separate the subject even more from the background.
The guys at digital picture have written a pretty comprehensive review on the lens:

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