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Thread: Lens for mainly childrens portraits.

  1. #1
    Member Clara's Avatar
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    Lens for mainly childrens portraits.

    Hello
    Calling on everyone's wisdom again! I am looking into getting a new lens, I mainly take photos of my kids but also thinking of something for everyday photos too.
    I don't have heaps to spend so tossing up between the 50mm 1.4 or 1.8. I have read a bit about them both and it seems they are quite similar?? Is the 1.4 a lot faster as obviously children move (a lot!!) and the quicker the better I think. Or maybe a 35mm 1.8?? I don't really know a lot so am really confused???
    Cheers Clara

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    I would go with the 1.4...I think for kids you want the faster lens...I just got mine last week and love it. Its great for catching those moments quickly that the 1.8 would miss. Im glad I went for the 1.4 rather than the 1.8.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Perhaps an indication of camera model may help with people giving advice but my opinion would be to buy the best you can afford and if it is for a Nikon you should be looking at either the Nikon or Sigma 50mm F/1.4.
    If you are using a DX Nikon body and want the normal view for close up portrait work the 35mm F/1.8 is a bargain, very sharp wide open with pleasing colour renditions. It isn't the fastest focussing lens on the market but the bang for buck is great.
    Andrew
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    well I currently have a d40x but will be upgrading probably to the d7000, I am definately leaning towards to50mm f/1.4 though.. I'm not very good at making decisions!

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    I think the 35 is a better choice on a crop camera
    Darren
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    I have the Sigma 30mm f 1.4 , excellent lens on my D300 my copy is sharp as a tack from f 2 and up. Great all round focal length on DX. Plus the speed is great for kid photography when you need it.
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    I love taking candid photos of kids.
    For the last 6 years, I mainly used the 70-200 VRI to capture candid portraits of my kids and of our friends' kids too. Recently, I sold my 70-200 to buy the new 85/1.4 G as the zoom was too big and heavy for chasing kids and the f/2.8 wasn't fast enough for candid photos.

    This 85/1.4 is simply amazing wide open !







    Cheers
    Sar


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    Oh my goodness sar you are amazing!! They are
    exactly the kind of shots I would love to
    be able to do someday. Any tips for a newbie?!?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clara View Post
    Oh my goodness sar you are amazing!! They are
    exactly the kind of shots I would love to
    be able to do someday. Any tips for a newbie?!?!
    Hi Clara,
    If you're interested in candid portraits of your kids, a 85/1.8 will be the best compromise : usually affordable (in particular second-hand one), an 85mm of focal length gives you a comfortable working distance from the kid, the f/1.8 allows you to shoot at fast shutter speed and/or low ISO for better IQ and does a good job to isolate the subject from the foreground and background (without blurring it completely like a longer focal length).
    Don't worry about sharpness and CA (chromatic aberration) at f/1.8 : you can slightly improve sharpness in post-processing and if CA is to high on your image you could always convert it to B&W !

    Anyway, each focal length has its own style but I tend to use the fastest aperture as possible (usually f/2.8 for my other lenses) for candid photos.

    Other examples :

    MF 28mm, @f/2.8



    MF 105mm/2.5



    Or even with a 14mm f/2.8 !

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    Hi Clara,
    Here's a reply from Matilda about the lens that you were interested in... the 35mm and the 50mm... although she has the 1.8
    Hope this doesn't confuse you too much about which one to get..

    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...hlight=matilda

    Cheers.

    Nikon D700 in all it's glory!

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    I recently got the 35mm f/1.8. I find for taking pics of my baby, I decrease the aperture to increase the depth of feild (otherwise too much of the baby is out of focus).

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    Quote Originally Posted by super duper View Post
    I recently got the 35mm f/1.8. I find for taking pics of my baby, I decrease the aperture to increase the depth of feild (otherwise too much of the baby is out of focus).
    Exactly why I'd use a large aperture so that focus on the eyes and throw ac much as possible else oof

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    Also you need to work out where exactly you will be doing most of your work, that is, inside the house, or outside.

    If inside, do as Darren (Kiwi) suggests and go 35. If outside you can go longer. I have a 50mm f1.4 on my 50D and find it even a bit long inside sometimes with my grandson (depending on which room we are in), yet outside where I can get far enough away it is not a problem, it usually comes up a bit short on occaision.
    Lloyd
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    absolutely, indoors I use a 20mm or 24-70 usually. Outdoors anything from a 24-70 for head shots to a 70-200, or even a 400

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Outdoors anything from a 24-70 for head shots to a 70-200, or even a 400
    Even 600 (+TC)...

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    absolutely !!

    Here one at 400 + 1.4TC



    But yes,you are right SAR, the preeminent portrait lens for the Nikon (if you have the space) is the 85 1.4

    I regret I sold mine now. Oh well. Cant have everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post

    But yes,you are right SAR, the preeminent portrait lens for the Nikon (if you have the space) is the 85 1.4

    I regret I sold mine now. Oh well. Cant have everything.
    For inddor tight portrait without flash (candid portrait of course !), the 85/1.4 is the "King" for me.
    For outdoor, the f/1.4 isolates the main subject really well (and makes it stand out in the crowd) and at night time the bokeh is outstanding, especially with bright lights in the BG. But focusing with f/1.4 can be challenging...

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    But focusing with f/1.4 can be challenging...
    please explain?

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    its not necessarily harder to focus, its harder to focus on the right thing, its an issue of the depth of field at 1.4 say compared to f/5.6

    For a portrait there's a big difference between sharpness of eyes and not much latitide for error.

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    And @f/1.4 focus shiift can be a real problem with moving subject and/or unsteady hands, even with contineous AF.

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