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Archive 2011 · Portrait lens for babys and kids
  
 
thedutt
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p.3 #1 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


My 2 most used lenses on 5D for my son's photos are 35f2 and 135f2. A good 80% + of the photos are shoot using these two lenses.

From age 0-1 year, 135 was used a lot more (your 100 should do you just fine here)
From then onwards , 35f2 added an intimacy that
On a 5D, 35f2 brings you close the the subjects and I the the photos have an intimacy that I really enjoy. Plus this lens is has such a small form factor that its perfect for on the go photos.

Good luck and enjoy your family



Jan 02, 2012 at 05:00 PM
dmcharg
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p.3 #2 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Stick with what you have. 24-105 & 50 1.8 should cover you very nicely. If anything spend your money on a flash i.e 430EXII. The 85 1.8 is a gem of a little lens but given you already have 50 & 100mm primes i don't see a need for the 85. I used to own the 35 1.4/85 1.8 but i ended up selling them to move to the 24-70, for kids i find the flexibility of the zoom invaluable and 2.8 was fast enough for my needs.


Jan 02, 2012 at 11:37 PM
bbvaj
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p.3 #3 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


First of all, Congratulations. I do not have any experience with photographing babies but have a couple of comments based on what I heard and also some general photography experience.

I do not recommend using flash on new borns for a couple of reasons. Some say its not good for the young eyes. Also sometimes you may scare them or disturb them (when sleeping or in some activity). Its also not great if you want some great candid shots when your baby does something interesting.

Most of the time you will be shooting indoors in lowlight. That makes 35L, 50L or 50 1.4 very good choices. Considering you are using 5D i thing 24mm is too wide but 35L should be normal perspective and will also give you great DOF/boekh. 35mm @ 1.4 @ 1/35s is about 1.75stops better than 85mm @ 1.8 @ 1/85s. Longer lenses are much more hard to handhold for indoor/lowlight use.



Jan 03, 2012 at 04:22 AM
hextor
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p.3 #4 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


and btw checking some of my pics I find that even with fast glass in many cases it makes sense to use bounce flash in the room - so then your f4 lens would be perfectly ok. You just have to find nice ways of bouncing it so that you dont get flat lighting, but usually that is possible, specially in kids rooms.


Jan 03, 2012 at 12:24 PM
EyeBrock
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p.3 #5 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Lens choice is a very personal thing. That said, I have the 24-105 which I rarely use indoors and I have a small child. Most of my shots of her and her gorgeous mother I have taken with primes. My 50L has done a great job of following the little lass around. I got the 35L last year and that has really taken the throne from the 50. My experience is as follows;

Bounce flash is ok but I like available light and Iíve got to know the light in every room of our house really well. If you want that bokeh/de-cluttered look itís going to be a prime pretty wide open.

The 24-105 gives half-decent bokeh at 105 but Iíve just not warmed to F4 with a 580. Iíve found indoors, moving is more intuitive than zooming, especially chasing kids for that perfect shot.

The 35 is very nice at F1.4 to F2.8 and the 50 is great even at smaller apertures. The 35 is a perfect FL for me indoors. Sometimes the 50 is just too long. I did have the 24L II but I didnít like the bokeh and I found it wider than I needed personally and I replaced it with the 35L.

I believe the 35 F2 is a good lens too and will give you available light options. Personally though Iím using the quick lenses pretty wide open with ISO bumped up and loving the results.

Whatever people say, the 50L at 1.2 is very nice and the 35L at 1.4 is well good. Iím finding the 270 a great little fill for available light to get rid of dark shadows on the face (bounce or direct but on minimum power).

Good luck!



Jan 03, 2012 at 02:22 PM
 

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RobertLynn
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p.3 #6 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


EyeBrock wrote:
Lens choice is a very personal thing. That said, I have the 24-105 which I rarely use indoors and I have a small child. Most of my shots of her and her gorgeous mother I have taken with primes. My 50L has done a great job of following the little lass around. I got the 35L last year and that has really taken the throne from the 50. My experience is as follows;

Bounce flash is ok but I like available light and Iíve got to know the light in every room of our house really well. If you want that
...Show more


When I get home, I'll post a few photos...I've shots in my tiny living room, with the background cluttered, and the bokeh melted it to an acceptable level. F/1.2, no, but still great for 5.6.

Also, you say you like "available light".
If I own it, isn't it available to me?



Jan 03, 2012 at 02:52 PM
cgardner
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p.3 #7 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Type of subject notwithstanding, the you need to understand that shooting distance, not focal length, is the factor that controls near/far size perspective of body parts. What causes exaggerated near/far perspective in WA shots isn't the focal length but the fact the shot is taken very close to the nearer object.

You can see this cause and effect for by taking a lens at a fixed 50mm "normal" focal length, starting at minimal focus distance and then shoot the same face turned 45į to the camera from increasing distances. Close-in the size of the nose will be exaggerated vs. the ears and relative size of the eyes will appear different. As you move further back in the range of 7-8 feet the relationship between nose and ear size will look more "seen by eye normal". If you move further back the near/far perspective will start to distort size the opposite way making the further away ears and back of the head seem larger that "normal".

By comparison you should see that some distances are more flattering than others. But that varies with the shape of the subject's face and the camera angle. What I do when shooting portraits is start from a baseline distance of around 8ft. then move closer and further back and observe how it affects the appearance of the face. Once I find what I consider the most flattering perspective I will then select the focal length that produces the desired in-camera crop.

Something you need to take into account if using a single focal length lens and changing crop by varying shooting distance is that it will change the appearance of the face as you move in and out. I shoot with a 1.6 crop 50D with my 24-70mm on the camera most of the time because it allows me to shoot a range of crops from full length to H&S from the same flattering distance for both. The appearance of the face doesn't change from wide to H&S shots. When I need a tighter head shot than the 70mm (112mm equiv FOV) allows shoot from the same distance but will switch to my 85mm or 70-200mm zoom.

The origin of the "rule of thumb" for 35mm portrait lenses in the range of 85mm ó 150mm stems from this near/far perspective cause and effect. I find that a distance of around 8ft. where perspective matches "seen by eye" normal and that range of focal lengths will produce a range of in camera crops from loose H&S to tight face only close-ups.



Jan 03, 2012 at 03:29 PM
EyeBrock
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p.3 #8 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


RobertLynn wrote:
When I get home, I'll post a few photos...I've shots in my tiny living room, with the background cluttered, and the bokeh melted it to an acceptable level. F/1.2, no, but still great for 5.6.

Also, you say you like "available light".
If I own it, isn't it available to me?



Play on words Rob.

If you note I just posted what works for me. You don't need to prove to me that you can great bokeh at 5.6.




Jan 03, 2012 at 03:44 PM
bipock
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p.3 #9 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


My little girl just turned one Christmas Day, so been here, done this.

I think what you have will be fine. I prefer smooth bokeh so my kit was/is the 24-70 and 70-200II on either a 5d or 1D4. Very rarely miss a shot. I would also suggest a flash for when the time requires it. I for one did not like the 35L on either camera body but am pretty sure I would like the 50.

I agree that zooms work better especially when they get to moving. My daughter knows when I break the camera out and does her absolute best to not look at me. But I become a whole lot less noticeable (read "ninja-like") when I'm across the room shooting at 200 vs right in her face.



Jan 03, 2012 at 04:48 PM
csebasti
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p.3 #10 · Portrait lens for babys and kids


Lots more great advise. Thank you all for weighing in. I appreciate everythiong you all had to say.

Last night I placed an order with B&H, and now I'm anxiously awaiting my new gear. I decided to take advantage of the current rebates, and ordered the 430EX II, 85 f/1.8, and the 35 f/2 (unfortunately no rebate on that). I've enjoyed the narrow depth of field with my 50 f/1.8, so I decided I really wanted to give some other fast primes a try. And I think I'd like to keep the flash use to a minimum with the newborn baby.

My plan is to see which of the 35 and 85 lenses I like best, then sell the other. Or, if I find that I end up using the 24-105 most of the time maybe I'll sell the 35 and 85. Of course, plans change, and I suspect I'll be tempted to keep them both. Only time will tell...

Anyway, thanks again for all the great advise!

Chris



Jan 03, 2012 at 08:32 PM
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