Night Street Photography With a 50mm F/0.95 Lens

When you’re out taking photos during the night, you will find yourself hunting for light. With light being in short supply, you’ll find yourself doing either one of the following: raising the ISO, decreasing the shutter speed or widening the aperture. While the first two options can have adverse effects—causing blur and noise, respectively—widening the aperture is often the safest bet. But every lens has a physical limit. While most prime lenses go up to f/1.8, there are some expensive ones that go as wide as f/1.2 or f/1. In today’s interesting video, photographer Pierre T. Lambert and Coale Souder head around town during the nighttime with an f/0.95 lens. This lens thus should collect a huge amount of light while maintaining a razor-thin depth of field. Let’s see how the results come out:

For the purpose of the video, Lambert uses the TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 manual lens with a Sony A7III camera. Being a manual lens, nailing focus can be really slow if you’re not used to it. And when you’re working with such a wide aperture, focusing becomes even more of a challenge. If you’re using a modern-day mirrorless camera, you’ll find features like focus peaking and magnifying, which can ensure the lens is focusing on exactly what you want, even when using a wide aperture like f/0.95.

A great trick that Lambert uses is to place the subject in locations where there’s any sort of light available. This is important, as even having some amount of light on the subject makes them stand out from their surrounding especially when shooting in dark hours. Another trick he frequently uses in the process is to include reflections. Besides being an additional source of light, reflections also add a wow factor to the end result. While too many reflections can be distracting, they’re not an issue when you’re using a wide-aperture lens. You can easily blur them out or focus on the reflection and blur out the environment.

Have you ever tried going out during the night to take street photos? If you had an f/0.95 lens, would it help?

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