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Lens recommendation - Indoors with toddler

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by sgreszcz, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2012
    Hi there, I'm looking for a recommendation of the "right" lens for getting good shots of my toddler indoors with my EM-5.

    I have the Panasonic 20mm, which I love as I can pocket the camera and it seems to focus fast when outdoors in daylight. Sometime is takes too long to focus outdoors, and it definitely hunts indoors many time missing the moment. Maybe this is the right lens, I'm using it wrong, and someone can give me tips on how to better keep up with my son.

    I also have the Olympus 45mm, which is fast indoors or out, but it is tricky to get more that half-body shots indoors unless it is a large room.

    I guess that leaves the Panasonic 25mm, which might be a bit large/heavy, or the new Olympus 17mm which might be a bit wide?

    If it is the Panasonic 25mm that would work the best, has anyone ever seen it go on sale, or is it always $499?

    Thanks for any responses!
  2. shepx13

    shepx13 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2012
    Tyler, TX
    I love the 25, and and it's definitely my favorite lens. It's great for indoor and outdoor shots of my little ones. If you're looking for a deal, you may want to just pick one up used.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. wanderenvy

    wanderenvy Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2012
    $499 is the recently reduced price for the PL25. The lowest transient price I have seen is $479. It was going for $539 for a few months and more than the $579 MRP about six months ago.

    IMHO, even if you see a sale, it's unlikely you will save a large amount.

    Summary, get it while your toddler is still a toddler. It is truly spectacular and you won't regret getting it.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Hudsonhites

    Hudsonhites Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 14, 2011
    I find the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 to be my most used lens when photographing my kids

    The fov is great for small areas & when working in tight on children.
    The f2.5 I find fast enough given the EM5 high iso capabilities and image stabilization. The auto focus is pretty quick too.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    People indoors, for me, says moderate wide angle. Around 35mm equivalent focal length, so something like the 17. Wider tends to give you frequent perspective distortion while playing catch-the-kid, and longer, as you say, crops too much at normal distances.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2012
    I was going to get the 14 from eBay anyway as my wide walk-around and the prices are quite good and then i can compare the field of view and see if I want more than the 20 (17mm) or less (25mm).

    Thanks for the opinions and feedback.
  7. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    The 20/1.7 was my go-to lens when I first started out with m4/3 cameras, but I replaced it with the PL25 after it came out and almost never used the 20/1.7 again. To me, the much-faster AF speed makes the difference between capturing an in-focus shot of my toddler or not, especially when the lighting condition is challenging. Besides, the f/1.4 maximum aperture means you can capture more sharp indoor shots without using a flash light than when using the 14/2.5. If you could wait till next month, the Olympus 17/1.8 might be a good alternative...
  8. greenlight

    greenlight Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2012
    Colin B
    My little one is only a babe in arms as yet; the PL25 lives on my GX1 most of the time.

    I have the 14mm too but I rarely use it for people shots, for two reasons: the low light capabilities are substantially inferior (I shoot a lot indoors) and the wide angle results in unflattering distortion when used close up.
  9. jar

    jar Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    I just spent Thanksgiving chasing after my 6 and 3 year old cousins. The PL25 worked well, but occasionally I wished for a wider or longer perspective. I think the 12-35 2.8 would be great if it's in your budget. If the light was good, I often shot at 2.8 anyway so I could still get something web usable out of slight focus misses. Part of that is I need more practice with the other AF modes. For everything else, I use the smallest single box in the center and focus/recompose for every shot. That doesn't work so well on fast moving kids.
  10. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    S.Yorkshire, UK
    I'm going to suggest trying zone focussing, here.
  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I'm getting a Sigma 30mmF2.8 delivered soon, I'll let you know if it does the job.
    I agree the 45mm is too narrow for some scenes, and with my 17mmF2.8 I mash the shutter and hope for a good one in the set, which works too. The 17mm is a great view for a little child and their toys, you just need to get close : which is where this lens works best.
  12. vinay

    vinay Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2012
    I have to agree w/ savvy here.. Zone focussing takes AF out of the equation.

    The 14mm, wide open and pre-focussed at 2 ft gives you about 0.5 ft of working DOF. At 3ft, it gives you about 1 ft of working DOF.
  13. Rig Vader

    Rig Vader Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2012
    I have a Daughter around 1.5 years now and I replaced the 20mm with the 25mm 1.4, when she was about 1.

    Due to her relatively small size, doing resonable crops with the 20mm in camera, sometimes led to a quite some perspective distortion. The 25mm fits better here and can comfortably do both fairly close up and wide shots and look great in both cases. Also the focusing speed if much much better. I also have the 45mm 1.8, but this can be a bit of a chalenge to use, especially if she moves around. Also not as flexible focal length.

    The 25mm would be my first choise for a small child.. Oh and it's just a wonderful general lens. Unless you don't like 50mm equivalent of course.
  14. Rig Vader

    Rig Vader Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2012
    p.s. She's not small for her age, just smaller than someone older :) 
  15. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Good focal length for this job, you can get rid of the mess of toys and walls but choose whether to go close for a face or out for the scene.
    I like this 30mm so far, after ... five hours ownership.

    This picture is NOT to show sharpness, rather to show what happens holding the thing about a yard away and using the focus-assist light to aim the camera.

    e-pM1. auto-ISO, dramatic tone. Sigma 30mm F2.8
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    He's staring down the long straight and calculating his braking point ...
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