Gear: Red Rings ….Canon 85mm f1.2 L II

canon 50mm f1.2

Here’s a small share about the legendary, Canon 85mm f1.2 L II lens. I decided to mount it on my DSLR for a few minutes and it was a nice experience. The barrel alone is quite a thing ….it is bulky but that’s because of all the glass elements within it.

In short …
I only got it mounted for a few minutes so there’s no deep review here. What I can say is that the lens performs good, but not good enough looking at the price tag. The photos show a lot of color fringing, nevertheless it does a good job at minimizing the vignetting at f1.2. The lens itself it heavy of course, but the worst thing is the slow focus. If I had owned this lens it would probably fill a empty space on my shelf because on the streets I need fast focus and less weight. But hey …it would be a pretty thing standing on my shelf 😉

Gear: Highly spoken of ..Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art

sigma 50mm art - copyright THE VIEWFINDER-0109

“..a piece of art.”

Before I get into this nice piece of glas,  let’s answer some of the common general questions I get: Why Sigma? Aren’t they just a cheaper imitation of the Canon lenses?

I get why people sometime ask me these questions, because yes Sigma used to produce cheaper versions of Canon lenses (also other brands). So several years ago one bought a Sigma lens to get a more affordable lens with almost the same quality. But that’s in the past now! Sigma launched their ‘Art’ series lenses, which aren’t only better in performance but some are even more expensive than the Canon lenses. Now when you decide to purchase an Art lens of Sigma you want to get the best in performance and build quality.

Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art
One of the most spoken Art lens is the 50mm f1.4, which seems to be even better than both the 50mm f1.4 and f1.2 of Canon. That’s why I decided to test this nice piece of glass.

This new lens is perfect for portrait and wedding photography. It’s great to see Sigma making such professional lenses. Thanks to the f1.4 the depth of fields is shallow and good for isolating the subject.

The 50mm lens is well designed and solidly build, as expected of an Art lens. I like the simplicity of its design and the large focus ring. There’s only a MF/AF switch on the barrel and of course the nice shiny ‘A’ logo. The weight and size of this lens is too much for me …walking the streets with this lens would be quite uncomfortable with a tired wrist at the end of the day. When comparing this lens to my Canon 50mm f1.8 II the Sigma really is large, heavy and professionally build.

When looking at it’s performance it does the job. The photos are sharp, shot fully open at f1.4 the centre is sharp but unfortunately it shows quite some vignetting. Closing the aperture to f2.8 makes the vignetting disappear and the photograph more useful, for me that is. When doing studio work, this lens could be your choice.

Yes, Sigma made one piece of ‘art’. The quality it delivers is good and the build is professional.  No doubt about it. If you need a lens that gives the best quality, the Sigma Art is the lens of choice. It may be heavy and large, but that’s needed to get the quality and light sensitivity. I already got the 24-105mm Art lens for most my shoots, which works perfect. The 50mm Art a nice lens for a shoot, wedding and especially studio work. For me I’d rather mount my Canon 50mm when hitting the streets, it’s smaller, lighter and also gets the job done (with less quality). On the streets it’s not only the quality that matters, the more practical use of the lens is more important in my honest opinion.

New York Streets: Yellow makes New York

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It’s almost impossible to capture New York with the colour yellow. Even though New York is known by the colours of their flag I think the yellow is the one that people associate with New York City. Of course I’m talking about the yellow cabs here. In many of my photographs you’ll see a yellow dot somewhere in the background, because they are really everywhere. And at night they really rule the streets so I thought it would be nice opportunity to capture a nice one without too many traffic surrounding it.

Favorite moments: Best place I blogged

blogging ny THE VIEWFINDER

“Combine that with your fave coffee flavour and voila”

With 100% certainty I can say that blogging in New York, especially a Starbucks with a good view on the always busy streets, is the best place I blogged. Why? Well I think it has to do with the fact that I’m surrounded with life …and by life I mean the life I need: fashionistas, gents, architecture, signs, sounds, working people, stories, interesting and contrasting street moments. Combine that with your fave coffee flavour and voila …I got myself the place to work.

I found working here just perfect, starting the day with a nice breakfast and coffee while checking the latest and posting new stuff for you guys. While working I got energized by only looking outside; the people, the traffic …all great moments to capture. So every day I couldn’t wait to finish my daily posts and grab my beloved camera and hit the streets!

Of course back in The Netherlands I also got these moments and places, but it just not that great as I experienced in New York …so can’t wait to go back again.

Shoot: 70’s flared, Nadeche

THE VIEWFINDER Nadeche-shoot-1-7958

Just finished a nice first shoot with the lovely model Nadeche de Zwart …we planned on shooting together since we met more than a year ago. So finally we came together and did a 70´s shoot (on her request) on the streets in Amsterdam. We had a great time, working together went smoothly so from now on you’ll be seeing more shoots with Nadeche.

See the whole shoot with Nadeche at the PORTFOLIO section.

Personal: The world famous skyline

new york skyline | THE-VIEWFINDER-5424-title

Of course you all immediately recognize New York City (Manhattan) by online seeing its skyline ..its contour …the skyscrapers. I’m talking about the most famous skyline out there. For a while, after 9/11, I thought that without those beautiful Twin Towers the skyline would never be as recognizable as before. Luckily the people of New York added a few skyscrapers, one in particular, that really gave back the city that unique skyline. The one that people nowadays immediately associate with New York City.

So one of my goals for my visit to New York in 2014 was to capture that beautiful restored skyline. However, I wanted to capture it from a unique angle to capture its beauty with another perspective. Luckily I was able to shoot from this rooftop in Brooklyn, thanks to my client Ink Global. I wanted to capture it with the beautiful Manhattan Bridge instead of the regular (awesome) Brooklyn Bridge. It was great seeing the skyline now with the finished Freedom Tower (last time I visited NY they were constructing the fifth floor) and its beautiful and respectful Memorial Pool.

(photo made by my lovely wife)

Shoot: Contrast feat. Jill

I had the pleasure of shooting with Jill again, this time for a studio shoot …the first one in my home studio. The idea was to do a contrasty shoot against a white wall for the subtle shadow to get some depth in the shots.

Go to the PORTFOLIO section to see the results.



Hey guys, I decided to add my portfolio to THE VIEWFINDER. Now you can easily get an overview of my work (outdoor & indoor shoots, look book, events etc) on the ‘ PORTFOLIO’ section and get more in depth info at my ‘COMMERCIAL’ section. Keep an eye on my portfolio to see my most recent work. For now it’s still incomplete so I’ll be adding more work in the upcoming days.