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Archive 2011 · Portrait lens for babys and kids
  
 
csebasti
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p.1 #1 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


I've never been much into portraits, but with a baby on the way, I figured I'm going to be taking a lot of baby and kid pictures. So, I'm trying to figure out what my best option is for a portrait lens. Here's the gear I currently have:

5DII, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200 f/4L (non-IS), 50 F/1.8, 100 Macro (non-L)

I'm trying to decide if either the 50, 100, or 70-200 would be sufficient. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be too happy using the 70-200 since it's only f/4. I feel like the 50 would be too short, and the 100 might work, but I'm thinking it might be better to have something faster for better bokeh and fast moving kids (although that'll be a while down the road).

Over the years I've seen a lot of praise for the 85L and 135L, but I think budget wise I would settle on the 85 f/1.8. So my question is, is the 85 f/1.8 going to make that much of a difference over my 100 f/2.8 or my 50 f/1.8? After reading the reviews, and looking through lots of sample images, I'm pretty much set on picking one up. But if it's not really going to make that much of a difference, maybe it's best not to spend the money. After all, I think I'll be picking up a flash as well...

Chris



Dec 29, 2011 at 09:56 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


I think you'll be OK with your current lineup. Use it for a while and then you'll know what you might need next. A flash can be useful, but it can also be 'wakeful'. Best wishes!


Dec 29, 2011 at 10:02 PM
kakomu
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p.1 #3 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


The biggest difference you'll notice is that the 85 f/1.8 will have much faster auto focus than the 100mm or 50mm lenses.

However, for a subject as small as a child, you can easily make do with a much shorter lens at 50mm or shorter. On the 5D, you may want to check out something in the 24-35mm range.

Moreover, unlike typical portrait subjects, kids have a tendency to not sit still, which will make a wider angle much easier to use.

If your biggest concern is bokeh, by all means get a long, fast lens.



Dec 29, 2011 at 10:04 PM
tandlh
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p.1 #4 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Here's just my opinion:

the 24-105 will be fine. Yes it's f4, but the IS will allow slower shutter speeds for dimly lit seens. So you lose the soft focus bokeh of 2.8 and lower, but seriously, is it that important on for a baby who wont even be able to hold it's own head for quite some time? Also, remember that it's likely most of the baby portraits will be with someone holding it who you would also like to get in focus, and for that f4 is a good way to go.

I'm not downplaying the 85 f1.8, in fact I have one in the mail to me now, but it's going to be for a very specific type of portrait and low light wedding ceremonies. If you know specifically why you want the bokeh for the type of portraits your envisioning then you may well need the 85. Otherwise, I'd save the money and make sure that you have a good flash.

Ted



Dec 29, 2011 at 10:07 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #5 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


kakomu wrote:
... kids have a tendency to not sit still.


Yes, but this one is 'on the way'.



Dec 29, 2011 at 10:08 PM
tandlh
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p.1 #6 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


jcolwell wrote:
Yes, but this one is 'on the way'.


Then he'll need a REALLY good flash



Dec 29, 2011 at 10:09 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #7 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Your 24-105 should do very well for a lot of the shooting. The focal-length flexibility will come in handy, as will the IS for those quick shots that present themselves when there's no tripod at hand. The f/4 maximum aperture won't be too much of an issue most of the time, but for really narrow DoF shots or low-light shots your idea of getting the 85/1.8 has merit, and at some point a fast 35mm as well.


Dec 29, 2011 at 10:12 PM
40Driggs
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p.1 #8 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


I would probably go with bounced flash and your 24-105. Hard to beat the versatility.

70-200 would be fine outdoors probably and I doubt you'll want a long focal length with a baby most the time. I started with a 28-135, 50 1.8 and flash and that got the job done until I was able to get better gear.



Dec 29, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Daan B
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p.1 #9 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Another vote for the 24-105L (+ bounced flash).


Dec 30, 2011 at 12:27 PM
Antonio Tiki
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p.1 #10 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


First, congratulations Chris.
I think the 135mm lens is my favourite lens ever.
Another excellent lens is the Sigma 85mm f1.4. Affordable, sharp, well balanced. Picked one up ecently.



Dec 30, 2011 at 01:00 PM
 

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RobertLynn
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p.1 #11 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


I have a son and I've used without any problem, all of my lenses.

From 16-250mm all in the house. You'll be fine. Last thing I'm thinking when I'm photographing my son is "is this the right lens".




Dec 30, 2011 at 02:09 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #12 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Frankly, unless you intend to do frequent formal portrait sessions with full on lighting and backdrops and all the rest... your 24-105 will probably do a great job for you.

Having brought up three of my own kids, I found that there were far more opportunities to photograph my kids in situations that were a lot less formal than that, and that zoom lenses often provided a lot better utility for that sort of thing.

Dan

csebasti wrote:
I've never been much into portraits, but with a baby on the way, I figured I'm going to be taking a lot of baby and kid pictures. So, I'm trying to figure out what my best option is for a portrait lens. Here's the gear I currently have:

5DII, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200 f/4L (non-IS), 50 F/1.8, 100 Macro (non-L)

I'm trying to decide if either the 50, 100, or 70-200 would be sufficient. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be too happy using the 70-200 since it's only f/4. I feel like the 50 would be too short, and the 100 might work,
...Show more



Dec 30, 2011 at 05:55 PM
reno.peterson
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p.1 #13 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


I'll third with a gavel slam...The lens that's on your camera is the best one...


Dec 30, 2011 at 06:36 PM
nads
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p.1 #14 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


The 24-105 is going to serve you very well. A good flash to bounce off tour ceiling will be the best thing you can add. You will be shooting a lot of candids indoors over the next few years. My sigma 500 super has served well, but I wish I had the canon.

It can't hurt to add one of the fast primes as well.



Dec 30, 2011 at 08:05 PM
csebasti
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p.1 #15 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Thank you all for the recommendations and advise. Sounds like the majority recommend sticking with what I have. And just when I was getting excited about buying a new lens...

I don't plan on a lot of "portrait sessions" but I do really like the separation of subject/background that a good fast lens gives. That was why I was looking into getting the 85 f/1.8. But I think it probably is best to just start out with what I have and give the 24-105 and bounced flash a go first.

Why do you all have to be so logical about this? I even had my wife agreeing that we needed a new portrait lens, and she was ready for us to buy it...

Chris



Dec 30, 2011 at 08:06 PM
reno.peterson
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p.1 #16 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Well if you're wife's forcing you to get a new lens....Then you'd better run right now and grab that 85 F/1.8 before she spends the money elsewhere!!! I truly loves that lens on every camera I mounted it to!!! Go get it NOW !!!


Dec 30, 2011 at 08:15 PM
Tom Dix
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p.1 #17 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


I l ike the 35l indoors and your 70/200 should work great outside. I do believe that you can do a great job with what you have.


Dec 30, 2011 at 08:21 PM
rhyx
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p.1 #18 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


I have done very well with the 24-105L. Occasionally a larger aperture would be nice but not absolutely needed. 90% of my pics are with the 24-105 on the 5D II.


Dec 30, 2011 at 08:26 PM
James Taylor
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p.1 #19 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


csebasti wrote:
I've never been much into portraits, but with a baby on the way, I figured I'm going to be taking a lot of baby and kid pictures. So, I'm trying to figure out what my best option is for a portrait lens. Here's the gear I currently have:

5DII, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200 f/4L (non-IS), 50 F/1.8, 100 Macro (non-L)

I'm trying to decide if either the 50, 100, or 70-200 would be sufficient. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be too happy using the 70-200 since it's only f/4. I feel like the 50 would be too short, and the 100 might work,
...Show more

Looks like you have enough good gear that you probably don't need anything else. My favorite lens to use photography my kids is the 50L. Your 50 1.8 should be fine. I used to own the 100 Macro and 85 1.8. I used the 85 1.8 more, but your 100 should do the job just fine. Shooting indoors I always wish I had more light. Flash is nice, but sometimes you just want to pick up the camera and shoot. I think your fast primes will be your friend in those situations. If anythings lacking in your setup I would think a slightly wider fast prime? Sometimes it's nice to include more of the environment. I have a 35L that I use a lot, but my friend shoots with the 35 F/2 and gets fantastic results. Maybe the 35 F/2 to give you - 35, 50, & 100 for indoor lowlight situations?



Dec 30, 2011 at 09:15 PM
alexandre
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p.1 #20 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


jcolwell wrote:
Yes, but this one is 'on the way'.


Woohoo! :-)
I used Rokkor and Canon 100 Macro, but really, you'll be fine with a pinhole, believe me.



Dec 30, 2011 at 09:18 PM
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