Best portrait so far?

I don't know... probably because I shot it full manually, so it kinda gives a satisfying feeling of mastery (call me Sensei). In all seriousness though, the image was shot from a couple of meters away and is cropped quite a bit. hence the forgiving DOF. But it was shot at f/1.4, so I wasn't expecting the entire face to be that sharp. Was pretty amazed by the outcome. It definitely gives a confidence boost to go analog on shoots. I don't know if it was pure luck or just coincidence, but I actually decided that day to start shooting without filters. That's right, we got a badass over here! Generally speaking, an extra layer of external glass will inevitably reduce the image quality / reduce the aperture speed, regardless the price of the glass. The amount of reduction in image quality and f-stop may vary of course, but the key fact is that it does decrease! I personally don't spend loads of money on filters. Primarily, I buy them just to protect the front element. But the other day, I just realized that it is quite counter-productive to invest shizzleloads of money on expensive optics, and then mount a cheaper piece of glass in front of it. Don't hate! I bet Confucius would have said the same thing. 

How can one possibly dislike this shot? 

A few of many honorable mentions from the same days: