Looking for a lens for portraits (More specifics in the post)

Lcrunyon

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I think paired with the 12-40, the 56 1.4 is a better choice with fewer redundancies. But, I recommend trying the 60mm macro first, to see if you find it to be enough background separation control and whether you think the (general) focal length will work.

Making a Flash image look like it didn’t use artificial light is a hard skill to master. Getting the flash off the camera and to a good angle, dialing in the right flash power, and either diffusing or bouncing the light are all important. In some ambient lighting situations, you might also need a gel over the flash so that their temperatures are the same. It’s not something easily done on the fly, but with training and practice it is doable.
 
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JanW

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I would have the feeling that f 1.8 is not as significant of a difference then f 2.8 on our small format.....

In my experience the f1.7/1.8 lenses with a bit wider focal lengths give you dof control that is just usable where f2.8 lenses don't have enough control.
That is based on my 20/1.7 and I just shot a quick comparison with what is on our dining tablet (was drinking coffee and reading m43 :))
F/1.7:
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F/2.8
1040142.jpg
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L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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You have almost 2 months to prepare which is great. My first suggestion is to get a doll about the expected size of your subject. Practice with that subject- approximating the surroundings as best you can. Your results should give you an idea of what to do. Check your library for nooks on baby phoyography. You pick your faves and practice those shots. This could be a good time to work in B&W.

One of the most important things to remember during practice sessions--DON"T give your GF a lot of chances to hint about... you know- jumping off a cliff.

Back to seruous- if you expect to shoot at your home set up a suitable area (studio?) and practice, practice, practice. or visit a local hospital's nursery to learn what you can Pretend to be a doting uncle.

Have fun with your challenge
Thanks, I really appreciate the advice. The last part about pretending to be an uncle ... that's a bit too much for me :p
My GF asked me to do the pictures of her sister's incoming newborn, as a surprise gift for her :) (Not the other way around ^_^)

I will look on YouTube for portrait and newborn photographers, Good idea about B&W, with so much less variations of textures and shapes (they are smooth as a baby's butt after all :p ) B&W can suite a lot better for new babies. Didn't think about the doll idea, that does sound brilliant, will have to talk to my GF about it ... I don't want to end up looking weird when she comes home and sees me playing with dolls:
 

Erich_H

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OK, I see where you're coming from. All this AF, zoom, new lens stuff. While I can respect that, hell, I just got myself an AF zoom lens, I'd really recommend you to get a Helios-44 f:2/58 mm.

You'll gather valuable experience of manual shooting. Which actually isn't that hard or complicated with the modern camera bodies. With mode dial on P, you'll just have to set the f:stop and focus.

You'll have a perfect focal length for all kinds of portrait use (@116 mm eq.) on your E-M1.

But, I need my AF, you say.

To that I respectfully respond: How fast do you think the average mini baby moves? And for portraits of the gf, she would probably hold still for you, if you ask nicely. I'm guessing it won't be the worst of the things you have asked her to hold still for...

The dog bit might be a little challenging, though.

With manual lenses, it's all about anticipation of events. Look at the Robert Capa picture of the guy getting shot dead from the Spanish Civil War.

No AF there. Of course, some say that one was staged. Anyway, that's a picture everyone remembers, staged or not. And Capa shot a lot of non staged, completely valid, non AF pictures besides the one I'm referring to.

Just think about it a little, will you? The investment will be negligible, compared to what you could gain!

Anyway, best of luck, Ovidiu!
 
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M.V.

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I tried hard not to like the diminutive Zuiko 45mm 1.8, but somehow this cheap lens performs great for portraits.

My personal preference for portraiture is otherwise the 25mm 1.2 which renders a certain magical outlook very much like the old and legendary OM Zuiko 50mm 1.2, but this is outside your budget. Also, 25mm focal length noticeably distorts the faces when shot at close range (to maximize the shallow DOF effect) - 45mm 1.2 would be better suited for portrait work (I wish I could afford it).

My personal recommendation is therefore the 45 1.8 over 12-40 2.8, if this meets your intended budget. The extra 2/3 of stop helps a lot when doing natural-light portraits, particularly indoors, and there will be less DOF too.

Marko
 

Gerard

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Normally I shy away from taking pictures of people. No need for that with my granddaughter.
Maybe the photo is not perfect, sharpness on the hair, not at the eyes, but do I care?
As said I lack any experience making photos of children.
As I understand, neither do you.
But as you see, it is not rocket science to get a pleasing pic of a child.
I am sure this kind of result can be had by any other lense.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Normally I shy away from taking pictures of people. No need for that with my granddaughter.
Maybe the photo is not perfect, sharpness on the hair, not at the eyes, but do I care?
As said I lack any experience making photos of children.
As I understand, neither do you.
But as you see, it is not rocket science to get a pleasing pic of a child.
I am sure this kind of result can be had by any other lense.
You know, I do get that question from time to time with my camera and photos of the kids, and you can get really good results with M43 under most conditions. Besides, often times the blurry shots of them as they run by are a more accurate representation of parenthood anyway!
 
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