Steve McCurry’s beautiful Afghan Girl portrait appeared on the cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic.
Later, National Geographic would name is as the single-most recognized photo in the history of the magazine.
So how did Steve shoot this photo?
According to Nikon World magazine, Steve used a Nikon FM2 camera, a 105mm f/2.5 lens, and Kodachrome slide film.
Unfortunately, all three are now discontinued. However, there are plenty of high-quality telephoto lenses that will give you a very similar point of view if you’d like the same combination of a razor-sharp subject and a beautifully-blurred background.
On the Canon side, you can choose from three lenses: the 100mm f/2, the 85mm f/1.8, and the 100mm macro. The 100mm macro is the most expensive at about $570, so only pick it up if you’re interested in macro work (bugs, flowers, food) and need the extreme close-focusing ability.
And oh yeah, a spectacular subject and insane talent are not included with any of these!
Source: Nikon World Magazine, Summer 1988 Issue