Lens for newborn photos.

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Roswellien, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Roswellien

    Roswellien Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Sep 1, 2014
    New Mexico
    Joshua
    Heya everyone, I have my first child on the way soon and I am looking to do some newborn portraits... Well a lot of them. I have about a $350 budget but the lower I can bring it in the better. I would like a portrait lens and a macro if possible. I have an em10 with kit lens, 40-150, legacy 50mm, legacy 145mm, and legacy 1:4 macro currently.

    I was thinking of picking up a oly 45mm with a macro converter for the rare times I need macro. Anyone have any other suggestions?
     
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  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    In good light, the 40-150 will work well at full telephoto. What legacy 50 do you have? Many of them are excellent portrait lenses, and infants don't move that fast (wait until the toddler years!). The 45mm lens is fine and affordable.

    If the legacy lens is good for portraits, you might also want environmental photos, and I don't see anything in there other than the kit lens, which is not great indoors. Maybe the PL25, Oly 25, or even the panasonic 14mm would be all good lenses to get indoors shots without flash in your budget range. Or the P20.

    One word from someone with kids in their pre-teens. Whatever you have in your budget now, just spend more. Find a way. These days go by QUICKLY, and pretty soon as pre-teens they are too busy or don't want their pictures taken. Get good fast lenses now, before the picture opportunities are gone.

    Also, take a good amount of video. Hearing their voices, seeing them move around. You never get that back.
     
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  3. Roswellien

    Roswellien Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Sep 1, 2014
    New Mexico
    Joshua
    For legacy glass I have the Olympus 50mm f1.8 OM, tokina 28mm-70mm macro om, and a suntar 135mm f2.8 m42. I really enjoy the 50mm but for portrait work with the adaptor I have the aperture work has to be operated on the lens itself. Which means if I want to shoot of tripod remotely I can only shoot wide open.

    Thanks a ton for the tips, I'm trying to see if I can wrangle the cash in the future to pickup a 20 or 25 native lens to go with my 14mm panasonic which I really enjoy. But primary goal is a fast portrait for now.
     
  4. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I'm not a fan of those other legacy lenses. I would look for a good 50/1.4 -- OM, takumar, Nikon
     
  5. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Honestly, if you put in the effort....what you have will work just fine. If you want to get something, get a fast prime like the Oly or Panny 25/1.8 - 25/1.4 or 45/1.8 - 42.5/1.2

    The Oly will be less expensive.
     
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  6. griswoldo

    griswoldo Mu-43 Regular

    81
    Sep 27, 2011
    My son is 3 now, but up through age 1 I used my Konica 50/1.4 for portraits almost exclusively. Of course I didn't have all the lenses I have now at that time, but looking back at the photos it did the job well enough. I'd put a vote in for getting either the Olympus or Panasonic 25mm though - it's called a "normal" focal length for a reason. While it may not be the absolute best focal length for portraits or environmental shots, it definitely does them both well.

    +1 for this, most definitely. Yet another reason I now keep an AF lens attached to my camera at all times around my kid.

    With my second child on the way, I too have been contemplating what lens to add to my collection. Even though I have the 12-40, I'm tempted to get the Panasonic 15/1.7 for delivery room shots. That extra stop and half might really help out I think. On the other hand though, I'd probably get more use out of the Olympus 45mm down the road.
     
  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    The 60 macro is a great lens, but it is over s top slower than the 45, so if you will not be using flash, this is a consideration. You could buy the 45 and get a Marumi close-up filter/lens for the 40-150, depending how close to 1:1 you want to get.

    Good luck (with camera and baby).

    --Ken
     
  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    You could also get an extension tube and attached it to the 40-150 for dedicated macro work.
     
  9. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    The 45 would be nice. But for your $350 budget you could also get both the 30mm & 60mm Sigmas. They are only 2.8s. but still very nice. I got my 60 used for $160 and my 30 new through GreenToe for $170. I would think you could probably get both new through GreenToe for your $350 budget.
     
  10. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 Top Veteran

    993
    Jun 12, 2012
    Sweden
    gus
    I had the P20 when my son was newborn, I loved it! And then u swap it when your kid is around 3 years old. (Af on p20 isnt the fastest:)
     
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  11. swede

    swede Mu-43 Veteran

    277
    Oct 25, 2014
    My vote goes to any of the 25mm... kids fit perfectly inside that fov. It looks natural and can still include the enviroment in which they are. My 25 is glued to my camera and i have two kids 4 and 1.
     
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  12. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    484
    May 2, 2012
    A commonly used "field of view" is a 35mm or 50mm . This is the "norm" for most newborn photographers.

    I'd suggest a P25 but in some cases you'd need to walk backwards indoors to frame the shot. Another suggestion is the Oly 25 f/1.8.

    Since your documenting your child I'd suggest using the long, medium and wide angle of all of your gear you own. Close up portraits are great but wide angle tells a story much better. It all depends on how you want to document the moment.
     
  13. skellington

    skellington Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Mar 4, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Keith
    Most of my best pictures of my infant last year were with the Olympus 45mm.
     
  14. Levster

    Levster Mu-43 Top Veteran

  15. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    Really the 2 lenses that I found best for my infant are the 60 2.8 macro and the 42.5 1.2 (although the 45 1.8 is a great alternative). The 60 2.8 macro is great for capturing all the little details of a new born and the 45 1.8 great for capturing the whole baby. I would have thought that a 45 1.8 with extension tubes is a good way to go.

    port-1.
     
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  16. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I guess it's what you do with what you have, not just what you have :)

    Great work from a 25 and also from a 45/60.
     
  17. Roswellien

    Roswellien Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Sep 1, 2014
    New Mexico
    Joshua
    Love the shots levster & robbie. Exactly what I'm going to try and accomplish for my newborn shots. I have actually been putting the pieces of a small home studio together over the past month and am almost complete.

    Also just found a great deal on eBay for a Olympus 45mm for $230 so I may be able to scrounge up the funds for a 25mm oly or 20mm Panasonic. I won't be able to order that til next month that's for sure though.

    And again thanks everyone for all the tips and thoughts. It's definitely going to help me going forward.
     
  18. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Watch for sales of Olympus refurbished lenses if you are not in too much of a hurry.

    --Ken
     
  19. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    It is generally recommended in baby books that you dont fire studio flashes at new borns and young infants on the basis that the flash 'might' damage their eyes. Personally I think it is unlikely but who am I to argue with baby books.

    My personal recommendation is that you get a light (a Godox is great) but a speedlight is fine. And point it away from the baby up towards a corner between the ceiling and the walls on the opposite side to the subject. Then just add 2 or 3 stops of light to the photo (not blast it or you will end up with shadows) and the flash will act as a pretty soft in direct light. I use this one light set up all the time. The light is very flat but that is what you want in general with new borns.

    This one earlier in the week isnt of a newborn but she is a bit of a babe

    aaa1_1_of_1_.
     
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  20. Roswellien

    Roswellien Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Sep 1, 2014
    New Mexico
    Joshua
    Thanks everyone!

    Thank you for the idea on the Marumi Ken, looks like i can pick one up fairly cheap (under $100) and that should really solve my needs for Macro since I will be doing very little of it.



    Another question for everyone, I went ahead and picked up the 45mm Oly. Coming next month I may have the funds to pick up another lens and need a few opinions.

    I should be able to afford the Oly 25mm, the panasonic 20mm f1.7 both look like they will be just within my price range. Or I could pickup the pair of Sigmas (30mm and 60mm). I am personally leaning towards the Oly 25mm but I know the other lenses are pretty well regarded.