Which Lens for my OMD? (Newborn Baby Pics)

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by loko12345, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. loko12345

    loko12345 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 8, 2012
    Hi all,

    I have the OMD with the kit 14-42 lens and I love the camera so far.

    My wife an I are expecting our first child in November and I want to purchase a lens that will let me capture the first few weeks and months of our child's life, including at the hospital.

    Right now, I am considering the Oly 45mm 1.8 and the Panasonic Leica 25mm.

    Seems like the Oly may be great for full baby shots, or getting close shots with my wife and the baby on her. It is also cheaper than the 25mm, and will not suffer from any purple fringing (CA) issues I've read about (though I'm not sure how serious of an issue this is).

    While more expensive, it seems like the 25mm would be more versatile in that I could get more people into the baby shots if necessary, and I could also use the lens more often in the future in non-baby contexts. Is the purple fringing something that I should stop me from considering the 25mm? I ask because I've never seen this issue in action.

    Then, my mind wanders off and starts thinking about what I will do after I buy my first prime? Probably buy another prime in the next year or so, which gets me thinking about splurging for the 12-35mm Panasonic and forgetting about the whole prime option. But then again, the purple fringing issue comes up again with the Panny 12-35mm and there is a rumor of an Oly 12-60mm.

    Going back to the original point, which lens would you recommend for me, the 45mm or the 25mm? Sample baby shots with either of these lenses would be awesome too!

    Thanks much!
  2. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Congratulations super big time to you. I'm sure once the baby arrives you will forget about that metal thingie in your hand and just shoot away.

    On a more practical note, the 25mm requires less physical space to work with. It may be an easier to work with option.

    - tdp
  3. bcaslis

    bcaslis Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2011
    Wilsonville, OR, USA
    Real Name:
    Brian Caslis
    Between the two I think your biggest concern is focal length. Set your zoom to 25, take a bunch of photos to represent how you expect to take photos later, then repeat at 42 (not quite right but close enough). See which focal length suits you best. Some like wider and some tighter. Personally I'd get the 45, but see which reflects your usage best.
  4. metalbernd

    metalbernd Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 1, 2012
    I have bought the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 this week, it's a nice focal length on my OM-D. I haven no problem with banding so far, and its very sharp.
  5. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I love the 45mm, it's a great lens and will work well in lots of situations (such as sitting on a couch photographing a crawling baby or a wandering toddler). The Panny 20mm is a cheaper option than the 25mm and is also excellent in low light. The 25mm is a bit better lens, but with a baby coming the 20mm is a fine lens and saves some money. :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 2
  6. btango05

    btango05 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 8, 2012
    Lathrop CA
    Save the cheddar and get the 20mm for now...its my fav lens so far out of the kit 14-42 and the Oly 45mm...The 45mm is nice but you have to stand quite a bit further away....Im sure as with my 3 kids during the first few months you'll be sitting next to mom and want to shoot over her shoulder or to one side...the 20mm is perfect for this! Also since its a pancake lens the center of gravity is nestled in your palm and not front heavy as the 25mm would be....don't want an accidental camera drop on new baby:wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  7. loko12345

    loko12345 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 8, 2012
    Thanks for the feedback regarding the 20mm. I looked at it, and one drawback I read ,at least for close-up portrait style shots, was "facial distortion". Is this something I should be concerned about?
  8. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    I think that every millisecond counts if you want to capture baby moments and the PL25's autofocus is faster than the P20. I've owned the O45 and though it's a great lens, I always find myself reaching for the PL25 instead since I often come across situations when I just want to shoot one individual but then 2 or 3 people decide to join in. I don't have moving baby pics but here's a baby portrait taken with the PL25.

  9. McDark

    McDark Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 26, 2011
    I'd vote for 20 too but it has slower focusing then both 45 and 25 so when your baby will start crawling you could likely want faster AF lens... And yes, i'ts definitely short for face portraits.

    edit: yekimrd, exactly )
    • Like Like x 1
  10. btango05

    btango05 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 8, 2012
    Lathrop CA
    This is panny 20mm at about 12 inches from subject:

    This is the Oly 45mm at about 19-20inches from subject-basically min focal length:

    This is the panny20mm at approx 6 inches! About min focal length:

    All shots were wide open on M mode ISO250 and 1/80th Exp

    Sorry mom doesn't let me post pics of my kids on the net so their toys will have to suffice ;)
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Radiohead

    Radiohead Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 1, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I happen to have all of the lenses mentioned earlier in the thread and also happen to expect my second child due in november. My personal opinion is that the optical quality of the 20, 25 and 45 are all excellent. Using the 20 indoors in poor lightning i find that it's suffering from slow focus and sometimes can't lock focus at all (using olympus cameras). Mainly for this reason i decided to get the PL 25 two weeks ago. Not that babies move that fast but in low light, the 20 does struggle a bit compared to the 25.

    Focus speed aside, the difference in focal length / working distance world be the major difference between them as mentioned by earlier posters.
  12. loko12345

    loko12345 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 8, 2012
    Thanks for all of the feedback. I am going to further consider all 3 of these lenses and will report back to the group with what I do (and the experience). Thanks again.
  13. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Oly 45 no doubt. Short tele is essential for baby pics (to me).
  14. tuanies

    tuanies Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 13, 2011
    Graham, WA
    Real Name:
    Tuan Huynh
    I had a 20mm but found the low light autofocus to be too slow so I sold it and picked up the 25mm and added the 45mm. Can't go wrong with both for baby photos, the wider aperture + ISO 800/1600 is great when they start running around :)
  15. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    Real Name:
    between the two, I'd say the 45mm since you can cover the 20 & 25 with your kit lens. one thing that I don't get to see/read often with m43 shooters, don't hesitate to use a flash when shooting under low lights. you don't want to miss a great shot just because you refuse to use one.

    and congrats to you & yor wife :)
  16. Pili

    Pili Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2012
    Boulder, CO
    Real Name:
    I would stick with the 25 or 20. While the long reach is nice, you are going to want to get close and interact to get the best smiles. This is your family after all, you're not sniping shots from across the street!

    The AF on the 20 is annoying yes, but for the money you can't beat it. I took these of my cousin's kids recently.

    • Like Like x 1
  17. angusr

    angusr Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2011
    I've got the 20 and the 45. I've also got a 3 year old and a 3 day old. The 20 is brilliant for the baby, the 45 is great for the 3 year old. If you've got the cash, get the 20 or 25 now, and then add to it if necessary.
  18. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    The 25mm is nice for portraits that surround the baby with objects like a cradle, toys, etc. (Would that be called an environmental portrait)? The 25mm also stands up to cropping quite well, particularly on a great camera like the OMD.

    On the other hand, for facial close-ups, I'd be inclined to use the 45mm to avoid the distortion (e.g., more prominent nose) that accompanies being very close with a 20mm or 25mm lens.
  19. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Real Name:
    The problem with using a flash on baby is that babies have very sensitive, underdeveloped eyes, which could be harmed by the flash. I'd say flash is a big NO, NO for babies. In other low light, and even bright background light situations, a flash is very handy...

    Regarding the OP's question, I'd go for the 25mm because of its flexibility and AF speed. You can always move closer to the baby for the close-up shots, but you cannot always move away from the target if you want to get couple more people in the shot...
  20. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    You really cannot go wrong with either (or both!) lenses in terms of image quality. I'd avoid the 20 Pannie for the purpose; it's a great lens but not really a portrait shooter. The distortion up close may not bother you, but it is there. (You can see the elongated cheeks in the doll shot) The 25 would offer more flexibility as an all-round shooter, I think, but the 45mm is a just about perfect lens of its type. As stated above, see what focal length suits your shooting most. You can get in quite close with the 25 without noticeable distortion.

    You'll notice that opinions vary; one man's distortion is not present or bothersome to another. So.... It's up to you!