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Archive 2011 · Portrait lens for babys and kids
  
 
BrianO
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


csebasti wrote:
...Sounds like the majority recommend sticking with what I have. And just when I was getting excited about buying a new lens... ...I even had my wife agreeing that we needed a new portrait lens, and she was ready for us to buy it...


Oh, well then...

You absolutely need a portrait lens. What you have is fine for quick snapshots of kids at play, family gatherings, and so on, but for "portraits" it just won't do.

Tell the missus that you MUST have an EF 85mm f/1.2L to get decent results of her little darling.



Dec 30, 2011 at 09:39 PM
Corojo
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


my wife does the kids stuff... using 85 1.8/24-105 in studio...70-200 outdoors on 1D2s frames.


Dec 30, 2011 at 10:18 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


csebasti wrote:
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
...Show more

Ah, because we understand where you were going with this. Really, we do. :-)

Dan



Dec 31, 2011 at 01:37 AM
bcguy
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


For newborns, the 100mm f/2.8 Macro is my go-to lens.


Dec 31, 2011 at 02:33 AM
HenkvdT
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


24 f1.4L II. Seriously.


Dec 31, 2011 at 10:28 AM
nads
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


csebasti wrote:
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
...Show more

I still recommend getting the new lens... you will find need for the 85mm 1.8 beside subject/background separation. For instance, you might want shots of your newborn while the nurses are weighing/measuring him or her. No reason to risk f/4 there!

I shoot APS-C and keep the 17-55 on the body most of the time, but never go anywhere without either the 50mm 1.4 or 85mm 1.8.



Dec 31, 2011 at 01:47 PM
Studdles
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Just completed my first year of fatherhood, starting with the hospital Jan '11 (a good flash is essential). I also notice my lens line up is very similar to yours, all be it I use a cropper body. The vast majority (95%) of my keeper baby shots (congrats by the way) over the year used the 35mm L generally shot between f2 to 2.8, keeping the eyes in focus. Clearly a lot of photos are going to be indoors making a large aperture ideal. Further, not a lot of chasing needs to be done making my 135mm redundant. You do want to be up close and personal with your child! The boketh of the 35mm L at wide apertures also declutters the envitable baby clutter from the background.

For your full frame camera a 50mm L would be equivalent-ish. Whilst parenthood is expensive great photos are priceless. Make sure you get plenty of practice with any new lens before the birth! (and nights out of course)

Chris



Dec 31, 2011 at 09:00 PM
Tenn.Jer
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Best wishes for your new family...

I found that the older my daughters grew, the farther away the photographer had to be; but you have LOTS of time ahead for getting lenses to address future needs...nowadays, all my (planned) portraits are made with the 50L (for bokeh) and either the 70-200 2.8 or 135L (for distance from subject)...

Always remember, you can't take too many pictures of your children (get 1TB hard drives for backup), and those bundles of joy are the best reason you'll ever have for...

...buying new photo equipment!

Congratulations!



Dec 31, 2011 at 09:49 PM
eric_m
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


The 24-105 has very fast autofocus. It's my "go to" lens for taking pictures of my kids (1, 5, 10) when there's enough light. When there's not enough, I use the 35/1.4 on full frame or 24/1.4 on 1.3x crop.

I had the 85/1.8 before the 24-105, and once I bought the zoom, I find myself using the 85/1.8 on very rare occasions. At first, it was for inside sports where the light was dim. Now, it's not even for that. I was surprised how quickly the 24-105 focuses.

For the birth, I'd suggest taking just the 50/1.8. I didn't take photos during any of the labor and delivery process because I valued my life. My wife saw some labor and delivery pictures just this past week and commented how nice it would be to have had them. But she quickly follows that up with she'd have killed me if I tried taking them. She wanted me there for support, and would have rather had somebody else taking the photos. So I kept my camera put away until after it was just the three of us in the room, with Mom nursing baby and the lights dim.

I also have the 135/2, and it's great for inside sports.


Eric



Jan 01, 2012 at 02:03 PM
RobertLynn
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


In the delivery room, I used 16-35, then day two picked up my 24-70.


Jan 01, 2012 at 04:06 PM
 

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James Taylor
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


All this talk of newborn images made me go back to see what I used in the delivery room.  Both these images were with the 5DMKII & 50L at F/2.  She's 18 months now - the time goes fast!  Whatever you end up using, make sure to take lots of photos!!!
1
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4039/4625333931_c0e33f783a_o.jpg
2
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4053/4625327589_1af2bd63cd_o.jpg



Jan 01, 2012 at 07:20 PM
hextor
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


actually your 85 1.8 might be a tad short for babies.. since they are so small I find myself either going to 50mm in close spaces or for "full portraits" or directly to 135mm for faces. The 85mm works marvelously for me, but for "bigger" ones.




Jan 01, 2012 at 07:26 PM
robinlee
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


My 50mm f/1.4 is pretty sharp at 1.4




Jan 01, 2012 at 09:02 PM
csebasti
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Well, more great advise. Only problem is now I'm getting more options, and more logical responses telling me to stick with what I have.

For those suggesting a 35mm or 24mm, do you not find them too wide (causing distortion)? I wouldn't have guessed they'd be good for portraits, but then again, I've never been much into taking photos of people so what do I know? but I typically try not to go that wide when shooting people.

The 85 f/1.8 is attractive to me because it gives me a fast lens at a very affordable price. I just don't really think I can justify the other options (35L, 24L, 50L, 85L, Sigma 85 f/1.4, etc.). But since so many are recommending that I stick with what I have, maybe I'll just get the flash for now, and see how things go. Then buy something else later if I'm not happy. I just hate to miss shots because I didn't have the right lens.

If I do buy a new lens, I'll probably end up buying used anyway. If it doesn't get used much, I can always sell and get my money back, or close to it, and consider it a long term rental... Although the 85 f/1.8 is only $358 at B&H with no tax and free shipping. That's barely more than used ones are going for on the B&S board... Quite tempting, even with all the advise telling me to stick with what I've got.

I guess I shouldn't have brought up the topic if I wasn't going to like the results...

Ah, the big decision... Give in to logic and use what I have? Or use this a the perfect excuse to buy new gear? (rhetorical question)


Thanks again to everyone for all the great advice!

Chris



Jan 01, 2012 at 09:15 PM
tandlh
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


The deal at B&H is only good till the 7th. If you are always going to wonder, and can afford it, then just get one. As you say at this deal you won't loose much money if you resell, and if you get a couple of truly special pictures with it that you couldn't with the others then you're even. You know you want it and were just hoping for us to tell you that you need it. While your baby may not be ready for a true 85 1.8 portrait for a while, your wife will be. So just get it.


Jan 01, 2012 at 09:46 PM
15Bit
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


My bundle of joy is now approaching 6 years. Indoors i use a 50mm f/1.4 mostly (and a Samyang 85mm f/1.4 also). Outdoors a 70-200mm f/2.8 L. This has been the setup for the last 4 years and works well for me.

I find the short MFD on the 50mm is very handy for close-ups. Accordingly the surprisingly long MFD (1m+) on the 85mm lenses (both Samyang and Canon) i find quite annoying.



Jan 01, 2012 at 10:07 PM
kjcramer
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


If you have a good copy of the 50 1.8, you'll be good with that on 5D2. If not I would consider the 1.4 (assuming like you said you can't justify the L) The 50mm focal length is a bit more versatile and you get get closer with a newborn. Your zoom is great but not always fast enough inside and like others have said you don't want to use a flash all the time. A 50 prime makes your 5D body easy enough to grab and shoot quickly, don' t underestimate the value of this with a tiny person that's constantly changing Smaller package with good light gathering = more shots. When my daughter was born I used a T1i with a Sigma 30mm 1.4 most of the time. My 1D body sat on the shelf a lot.

Congrats by the way!



Jan 01, 2012 at 10:37 PM
BrianO
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


csebasti wrote:
...For those suggesting a 35mm or 24mm, do you not find them too wide (causing distortion)? I wouldn't have guessed they'd be good for portraits, but then again, I've never been much into taking photos of people so what do I know? but I typically try not to go that wide when shooting people.


On a full-frame body like your 5D I think a 24 would be too wide for any except very specialized shots. A 35, though, would be more useful; not for classic head & shoulders portraits, but for environmentals, like mom giving baby a bath and that sort of thing.

The perspective distortion with a semi-wide lens is a factor of close camera-to-subject distances, rather than the focal length itself, so getting a bit further back and taking in more of the scene is where it would really come into its own.



Jan 01, 2012 at 11:30 PM
BrianO
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


James Taylor wrote:
All this talk of newborn images made me go back to see what I used in the delivery room. ...

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4053/4625327589_1af2bd63cd_o.jpg


James, this is one of the most beautiful newborn photos I've ever seen. I love the use of narrow DoF. And the colors! The colors! Shades of pinks and blues. Wonderful. (Having two beautiful subjects didn't hurt, either.)



Jan 01, 2012 at 11:34 PM
James Taylor
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


BrianO wrote:
James, this is one of the most beautiful newborn photos I've ever seen. I love the use of narrow DoF. And the colors! The colors! Shades of pinks and blues. Wonderful. (Having two beautiful subjects didn't hurt, either.)


Thanks Brian! Appreciate the kind words. It was one of my fovorites of the day as well



Jan 02, 2012 at 04:14 AM
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