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Author Topic: What lens do recommend?  (Read 3136 times)

hgraf

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What lens do recommend?
« on: October 22, 2013, 07:52:33 PM »
I'm expecting my first child in the near future and I was wondering what the group thinks I should do for those first shots in the hospital.

I only have a crop body. I have the 50 1.8, and a Sigma 18-50 2.8.

I've never been too enthused about my 50 1.8; on crop I find it isn't wide enough or isn't telephoto enough for the kind of shots I like, and its minimum focus distance isn't that great.

I don't have much money and have been eyeing the 28 1.8 or 35 2 (around $300-400), which would you recommend? I'm interested in the shallow dof shots that I've seen all around.

Is there something else in the <$400 used range I should consider? The 85 1.8 is so tempting, but I feel it'll be too narrow on crop (the room isn't that big)?

Thanks for any advice!

Ttyl
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 07:58:07 PM by hgraf »

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What lens do recommend?
« on: October 22, 2013, 07:52:33 PM »

johnf3f

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 07:59:52 PM »
I have found that my Canon 28mm F2.8 performs pretty well on crop sensors and is cheap + cheerful. I do prefer my 25mm F2.8 Contax-Zeiss (with a 10 GBP adapter) is better but it's entirely manual - does not suit everybody.

Drizzt321

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 08:09:56 PM »
85 f/1.8 is a solid lens optically, however it may be a too narrow of a FoV on a crop body.
40 f/2.8 is a fantastic lens for the price, decent FoV on a crop, although a touch longer than 'normal'

A 24-35mm might be a good focal length choice, although I haven't really done much research on the non-L Canon primes in that length, and the new Sigma 35mm is quite a bit more than you're ~$400.

If you want the shallow DoF, the 85 f/1.8 would be best. At narrower FoV and wide apertures you get that significantly thinner DoF you might be after.
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Dylan777

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 08:12:46 PM »
I have found that my Canon 28mm F2.8 performs pretty well on crop sensors and is cheap + cheerful. I do prefer my 25mm F2.8 Contax-Zeiss (with a 10 GBP adapter) is better but it's entirely manual - does not suit everybody.

Unless I had bad copy, most photos I took with 28mm were soft-soft-and more soft.

@ OP,  Canon Ef-S 17-55 IS 2.8 is one of the best lens for crop. It's little over your budget. I hope you can find a decent used lens on CL.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 08:14:42 PM by Dylan777 »
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verysimplejason

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 08:18:25 PM »
You can't go wrong with a28mm. I used the 28mm f1.8 as my normal lens on crop body and it's much better than any zoom lens I've tried.  The sigma 30mm f1.4 will also do the trick.  It got a lot of nice reviews.  I just opted for the canon 28mm because I intend to go for fullframe after some time (and I did).  The MFD of 28mm F1.8 is so close that you can almost practically stick it to your child's face.  It is very sharp from F2.2.  If you don't have AFMA, you'll have a hard time shooting fully open.

I forgot to add, the AF of 28mm f1.8 is also fast enough to cover moving kids which later on I believe you'd want to take.  That's one of its advantages over the Sigma 30mm F1.4.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 08:23:22 PM by verysimplejason »

hgraf

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 08:25:29 PM »
I have found that my Canon 28mm F2.8 performs pretty well on crop sensors and is cheap + cheerful. I do prefer my 25mm F2.8 Contax-Zeiss (with a 10 GBP adapter) is better but it's entirely manual - does not suit everybody.

Unless I had bad copy, most photos I took with 28mm were soft-soft-and more soft.

@ OP,  Canon Ef-S 17-55 IS 2.8 is one of the best lens for crop. It's little over your budget. I hope you can find a decent used lens on CL.

I have the 18-50 2.8 and find it's dof isn't narrow enough for what I'm looking to get, hence why I'm looking at primes.

Thanks. Ttyl

neuroanatomist

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 08:39:26 PM »
I found the 85/1.8 to be great for tight portraits on APS-C. 
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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 08:39:26 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 08:40:13 PM »
I have found that my Canon 28mm F2.8 performs pretty well on crop sensors and is cheap + cheerful. I do prefer my 25mm F2.8 Contax-Zeiss (with a 10 GBP adapter) is better but it's entirely manual - does not suit everybody.

Unless I had bad copy, most photos I took with 28mm were soft-soft-and more soft.

@ OP,  Canon Ef-S 17-55 IS 2.8 is one of the best lens for crop. It's little over your budget. I hope you can find a decent used lens on CL.

I have the 18-50 2.8 and find it's dof isn't narrow enough for what I'm looking to get, hence why I'm looking at primes.

Thanks. Ttyl

If you want to get the narrow DoF, try getting closer to your subject with it at 50mm @f/2.8. The DoF tends to get narrower as the subject gets closer to the camera. That's about the only way you can get stuff thrown really out of focus with a super-wide like 14mm or 8mm fisheye, get the subject really, really, really close to the lens, then the background manages to get far enough out of the acceptable DoF you can actually see it.
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jdramirez

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 10:11:12 PM »
I have a 2 month old... one that doesn't want to go to bed tonight... and I have mostly been using a 85mm f/1.8 with her.  I have a full frame camera and that does make a huge difference, but I like the results.  The shallow depth of field, the sharpness, etc.

I did have a speedlite attached and I would bounce light from the walls and more often than not I got a results I was really pleased with. 

Take a bunch of photos... the babies don't do much at that age so you have plenty of time to frame the shot.
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thomasjpello

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 10:44:38 PM »
How about Sigma 18-35 1.8 for APS-C it's pricey ($799) but I think it will be the to go lens for a long while.

hgraf

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 10:52:25 PM »
How about Sigma 18-35 1.8 for APS-C it's pricey ($799) but I think it will be the to go lens for a long while.

Unfortunately it's far too expensive for me.

It's sounding like the 85 is what the group thinks is the better choice for the kind of images I'm looking for.

Thanks to all for the recommendations!

wsmith96

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 10:57:57 PM »
I've found the ef-s 60mm macro to work well for babies and for general portraits.  I have a crop camera and I found that I prefer the 60 over the 85 1.8 for such shots.   And, of course there is the macro shots of feet, hands, or what ever your imagination comes up with.
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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2013, 01:28:38 AM »
I would concur with the 85 f1.8 for crop or FF.  My favorite portrait lens is the 70-200 on crop or FF, so I would agree that the focal length would work well. 

For shorter lenses, I have the old non-IS 35 f2.0.  It is a good lens and relatively sharp on crop.  For closer portrait/candids, the isolation has been quite pleasing.  But, I have essentially replaced this lens with the 40 f2.8 pancake on either crop of FF for those times when I don't want the bigger zoom.

One other note.  For infants, I would recommend a USM or STM lens.  When my daughter was young, my old Tokina 28-200 (on a film Rebel) was so loud in focusing that it often spoiled the moment because my daughter would hear it.  I switched to a short Canon USM zoom and had better success at these moments.   Maybe this won't be a big issue, but the 50 1.8 and the older 35 2.0 just might be loud enough to spoil some moments, especially at close range.

All things considered, I'd grab the 85 f1.8.  Even on crop, I think it will give you enough room to frame portraits in most indoor settings.  It will also give you the isolation that you're looking for and would be great "stealth" lens for candids.  I love my 70-200 f2.8, but the 85 f1.8 and the very similar 100 f2.0 are still on my wish list for this reason. 

Frankly, if people, candids, and portraits are the norm, then the 40 f2.8 and the 85 f1.8 would make a nice combination.
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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2013, 01:28:38 AM »

andersde

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 02:03:24 PM »
For the hospital itself i'd say the sigma and the 50mm should have you covered.

After that i'd agree the 85 would be a good choice.    The length will be great for a new born. 

I  used the 100mmL myself almost exclusively (on crop) for my sons first few months.  In the hospital I found 50mm was perfect.

Also consider getting some extension tubes for some close ups!

sdrose

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 02:59:43 PM »
When my boy, now 2 years old, was just about to be born, I wanted very badly a 24-70.  I purchased one used, but in excellent condition, 3 days after he was born.  I know this specific lens is outside of your purchase budget by about 3x, although I will say it's now my favorite lens of all my lenses.  I have a 7d crop camera.

What I have found is, I very rarely use less than, say, 45-50 mm focal length when photographing portraits.  I just don't like the wide-angle distortion of people's faces.  I will only use less than 45mm when photographing a small room of people only if I wouldn't get any photo at all by observing my 'don't shoot under 45mm' rule.

Even though people do the 'math' of, 'well, it's a 1.4 crop factor times a 35mm focal length, so that's right about 50mm....', that is not accurate.  It's still the exact same distortion of a 35mm focal length.

So, to the point of your question, generically, I would not recommend any lens less than 45-50mm focal length, with a max aperture of smaller than 3.2, for the photographic purposes you stated.   I don't know what specific lens that would be to recommend, but there it is.

For the time i was in the hospital, I honestly just used my cellphone camera and my Sony DSC-N1 snap-and-shoot camera.  I used my DSLR after returning home.

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Re: What lens do recommend?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 02:59:43 PM »