WHO IS MICHAEL SUGIANTO
My name is Michael Sugianto, and I am a travel and lifestyle photographer based in Calgary Canada. Over the last four years of taking photos, I have developed my own unique documentary style to capture the world as I see it.
From my friends at Dreaming Tones, I have come here today to talk about my ideal lens set up. I’ll be explaining each lens individually, telling you why I use it and how I use it to capturing the images you see on my website and Instagram. This won’t be a very technical post, as I want to focus more on my own experience with the lens and why I love them. If you haven’t already noticed, I have specifically stated that I’ll be talking about my lens setup and not my camera setup as in my opinion your lens choice is much more important than your camera body. Alright, let’s get into it!
CANON EF 24MM F/1.4L II USM
The first lens I want to talk about is by far my favorite lens, the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM. This is the lens I am currently using 70% of the time. I find this lens to be highly versatile, in which I use it to take portraits, landscape and everything else in between The ability to stop down to f1.4 is one of my favorite things about this lens as you can get that dreamy bokeh background when you’re taking portraits as well as take photos of the northern lights. This is definitely not my favorite portrait lens, as you get some warping when you get too close to your subject. But with a little getting used to this lens offers a unique look that I truly appreciate. Where I find this lens really shines for me is capturing entire scenes. Something that is very important to me is telling stories through my images. This lens allows you to capture the emotions of people while also showing off the scene to give context to my story. Finally, the last reason I love this lens is it’s built quality, Canon L series lens are always top notch in that sense. They give you a piece of mind when your taking photos in harsh climates, such as snow, rain, and sand.
CANON EF 16-35MM F/4L IS USM
The second lens I am super excited to talk about is Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM. This was actually my most used lens up until I got the 24mm mentioned above. This lens is highly versatile, being that it is a wide angle zoom lens with image stabilization (IS). This is a great lens to capture an awesome landscape. I particularly love using this lens to taking photos of landscapes with people in them. It’s also very useful when you’re in a tight space but still, want to take a photo of the entire scene. This is particularly common when I take photos of waterfalls, the 24mm is usually not wide enough without post-processing. Just so I don’t have to mention it every time, all the lens I’ll be talking about will be of the L-series variety.
CANON EF 70-200MM F/4L IS USM
The lens that I want to talk about next, is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM. This is my go-to telephoto lens. If you haven’t noticed already, I have the f/4 version of this lens due to a couple of factors. The main reason I don’t own the f/2.8 version is the usability, I don’t particularly see enough scenarios where I would need to stop down to f/2.8 and therefore f/4 is completely fine for what I use it for. This is definitely just my opinion on it as I am sure there are probably thousands of people who would disagree with me. Not to mention the f/4 version of this lens is half the weight and cost of the f/2.8 counterpart. As someone who travels a lot carrying around a big bulky lens would probably deter me from taking it along on international trips. I use this lens primarily for amplifying the scale of different landscape, whether is punching in to take a photo of a mountain or show how small a subject is in comparison to the rest of the scene. This is definitely slowly becoming one of my favorite lens.
CANON EF 50MM F/1.2L USM
The last lens I want to talk about is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM. This is actually the newest lens to my kit and has easily become my go-to portrait lens. I mentioned above that I use the 24mm to take a lot of my portrait, but I’d like to clarify that I use the 24mm when I want to have more of landscape element in it. While with the 50mm I use when I want to put more of a focus on my subject or when I want to use that unique 1.2 aperture. In my opinion, this isn’t the sharpest 50mm available for Canon bodies as I believe the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art and the new Canon 50mm f/1.2 R are both sharper lenses. With that being said I’ve fallen in love with the look of this lens. There is something super special about how the photos taken at f/1.2 look, that in my mind make this lens worth every penny.
So there you have it! This is my current lens setup that I use to take all my photos. I hope that this little blurb of words gave you a little insight into who I am as a photographer and how I go about capturing my life. It was super fun writing this up, so I want to end it with a thank you to my friends at Dreaming Tones.