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Author Topic: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help  (Read 9385 times)

elflord

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2011, 08:53:19 PM »
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50mm 1.4 - I'm considering this because of the USM and more light gathering than the 50 1.8.  Same concern of stopping down and focal length.

Highly recommended -- this was my goto lens for my first daughter. I would take this over a slower (f/1.8) lens for the shallow dof and the better (as in more blades and therefore more round) aperture. It is a worthwhile addition even if you have a macro lens for the extra stops.

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28mm 1.8 - I'm considering this because the focal length/wide angle seems more appropriate for a crop sensor, its 1.8 max aperture, and the USM.

I had a terrible time with the image quality of this lens, and ended up going with the 35mm f/2 instead.

Some people really like using wide angle lenses to photograph children. These can produce really nice shots, but it is a big challenge to compose the picture because they pull everything into the background.

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2011, 08:53:19 PM »

JR

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2011, 09:51:36 PM »
Well congrats on the new upcoming baby!  Of the lenses you mention I really like the 50 1.4 for babies.  On your 60D this will equate to 85mm which is a very good focal lenght for portrait.  You should also consider the 85 1.8 as some already pointed out.  For the 50mm, while I shoot mostly with my 1.2L, I still kept my 50 1.4 because it is a really good lens and very light too.  A definite keeper compared to a 50mm 1.8.

Good luck with the dadyhood!  Enjoy it!
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MartinvH

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2011, 03:02:17 AM »
You allready own the 60mm macro lens which is so sharp only baby's and children's  perfect skin can benefit from the added detail and sharpness it provides.
It will really show every little line or skintone in your face and I therefore highly recommend it over the 50mm 1.4 in your situation with the baby.

You allready have a great zoomlens in the 15-85 to cover the wider side , so I think you dont need extra lenses.
Buy a flash instead like the 430 exII /omnibounce to ad some extra light indoors for your 15-85 lens.

I would however have bought the Canon 17-55/2.8 over the 15-85 for the constant 2.8 aperture which really helps when taking pictures inside the house with the baby without a flash.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 03:10:48 AM by MartinvH »

whatta

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2011, 03:40:39 AM »
test the lens out in store to make sure its not focusing off back or forward because you cant adjust it in camera
that is what I had done before I bought the sigma.. (it was not a scientific test though)

but I would still love to have AF-MA in my next camera, especially because it is only a software feature.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 03:51:06 AM by whatta »
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jebrady03

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2011, 11:19:07 AM »
Thank you everyone for your replies.  You've definitely given me a lot to think about (which is what I was hoping for).  I think I'm leaning towards a wide angle prime right now.  As it is, I have triple coverage in the 50-60 range (15-85, 60mm macro, and 55-250) and when the 430EXII I have is thrown in the mix, I have a LOT of options in that range.  Granted, I don't have anything faster than f2.8 but what I do have there is very sharp.  So, that's why I'm thinking a fast wide angle prime would be the best addition.

But, I'm also considering throwing in the 50 f1.4 as well, perhaps as a gift to my wife as she enjoys the creative aspects of photography as well and I think a fast prime in that focal range would be great for her.

Down the road, I could see me adding the 85 f1.8 (hadn't even considered it until this thread) as well.

Thanks again to all and I look forward to any additional replies/recommendations!
jb

dstppy

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2011, 12:21:45 PM »
60D (recent upgrade from the XSi)
60mm macro
15-85 (recent upgrade from the 18-55 that came bundled with the XSi - and sold with it as well)
55-250 (also bundled with the XSi but I kept it and have debated the benefits of going with the 70-300L since this lens isn't used very often - but when it is the pictures are often on once in a lifetime trip)
With the exception of the tele-zoom, you're in a really good place.  The 15-85 is hyper competent and very fast at focusing.  People like to get all artsy with baby photos, but in reality, the majority of photos you're going to want to keep/share will not be done  at narrow DOF.

Babies are less like snakes and more like monkeys . . . flea-ridden, plague-carrying monkeys.  ;D (you'll get that joke after you've gotten sick for the 3rd time in a season) -- seriously though, newborns are nice and still, after they start moving, they don't stop unless they're sleeping.  Stick with something that focuses fast.

I have and like the 50mm f/1.4, but it's best in lower light, or when you're trying to make a creamy-bordered portrait. 

Photographing your own kids is different from child photography as well, at least for me.  I tend to be very 'front row' for events/parties/etc.  On a crop body, that means most things above ~60mm are way too tight, especially there's action.  The 85 f1.8 is a wicked lens, but I'd prefer to shoot it on FF for that reason.  I've never felt it necessary to try and use the 60mm as a portrait lens . . . I really need to start using it more.
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7enderbender

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2011, 12:46:12 PM »
I also recommend the 50 1.4. Very very good for baby pictures even (or maybe even because of) it's a little soft when wide open. On your 60D it would be more like an 85mm lens, so depending on your preferences you may then add a fast 85 or fast 35 later. I say fast for two reasons: 1. more depth of field options (especially important for a crop sensor) 2. baby pictures in natural soft light are always a great option.

The build quality of the EF version of the 50 1.4 is not outstanding but good enough for most applications. A little normal care an permanently leaving on the hood should get you a lot of millage. I've no experience with the 1.8 version. The 50L just seems like a mismatch for the rest of your gear. Other options may be the Sigma 1.4 or any of the Zeiss manual focus lenses.
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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2011, 12:46:12 PM »

RayS2121

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2011, 12:50:02 PM »
Considering the cropped body, some focal lengths would be too long and you seem to be well covered on the long end with the zooms.

For wide to normal primes for indoor ambient light shots, both 50 f/1.4 and EF 28mm f/1.8 are good calls.  EF 28mm would be near normal for the cropped body (~45mm) and 50mm would be a perfect portrait lens (~80mm). Plus they are versatile and can grow with the baby and future FF bodies.

There is a recent blog from Kirk Tuck on the virtue of wider shots for kids:  http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2011/12/magic-of-big-fat-soft-warm-rain-drops.html

EF 50 f/1.4 is a no brainer...excellent lens. Good build, quiet, fast. Get it if you can.

While I have moved to 24LII,  EF 28mm f/1.8 used to be in my roster and it is a very capable and highly underrated   lens. Take the snipers from the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 owners with a grain of salt. The Canon 28 f/1.8, unlike Sigma, is a full frame capable fast prime, and close down a tad to f/2, it is sharp and constrasty and you are still fast and low light capable even if you move up to FF. One of the fastest affordable non-L wide angles in Canon's list hands down.

Best with the new arrival! :)

« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 02:11:59 PM by RayS2121 »

bigblue1ca

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2011, 03:14:54 PM »
I have a 60D and love my 50 1.4 on it for taking portraits of my kids.  I tried the 1.8, but if a couple of hundred dollars isn't a big factor to you, I like the bokeh better and how it focuses with the USM vs. the 1.8.  This lens should serve you well into the future.  I also recommend the 430 or 580 flash with a diffuser and off camera cord, so not all of your pictures look like front on flash.  When you are done buying these items, start a savings account, you still have lots of time for when your child starts playing sports...that's what lead to my purchase of a 70-200 2.8. IS II....a lens I now love for everything from sports to portraits to everything.

stan_tall_man

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2011, 03:33:27 PM »
I've taken baby pictures professionally for several years and everything you've read so far has been great advice.  What worked best for me was the speedlight and my tamron 28-75 along with a sigma 10-20.  The super wide angle was by far the most useful lens when I was taking my kid places when she was very little, up until she was about 2.  I found myself always sticking next to her (for obvious reasons) and having that super wide angle was great because I could be very close and still get good shots with perspective.  Plus the super wide angle is a ton of fun for video.  I also have a 70-200 2.8 is, which is amazing but I didn't use it as much because I had to be so far away from my kid.  Just my 2 cents.  The 50mm 1.8 or other 50mm is great too, your macro may do just fine in all reality though.

jebrady03

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2012, 10:27:35 AM »
I'd like to thank you all, once again, for the great advice you've given.  The time and effort you've put in is GREATLY APPRECIATED!

I believe I've narrowed down the focal length to ~28mm for a prime.  I was fairly set on getting the 28mm f1.8 lens from Canon, but since this thread was started and ran it's course, I've seen that the 28mm f2.8 IS should be available prior to my little girl (just had the ultrasound this past Friday to find out that it's a girl and I'm ecstatic!) being born in August.

I have three questions I was hoping to get some help for
1. Would the greater than 1 stop decrease in light gathering be well-compensated for by the IS in the lens?
2. What is the depth of the area in focus when shooting at 1.8 or 2 from 5 feet away?  10 feet?  (I know there's a formula to figure this out, I just don't know what it is)

If you couldn't tell from the nature of the two questions, I'm basically wondering if f1.8-f2.8 is truly a useful depth of field for this application and if it's usefulness outweighs the benefits of IS - especially in light of the fact that the technology (IS aside) in the f2.8 model is 17 years newer (my research has told me the f1.8 was released in '95).

I'm really leaning towards the 28mm f2.8 IS but I greatly respect y'alls opinions and would certainly be happy to save ~$300 by going with the f1.8.

Of course, the price is high but based on the press release, the build quality should be quite high as well.  And, we'd expect the image quality to be fantastic.  The final lingering question I have is
3. If the 28mm f2.8 IS is the way to go, should I forgo it, sell the 15-85 (which I LOVE dearly) and get the 17-55?

Still in quite a nasty conundrum!!

FYI, I have no intentions of going FF any time in the future.  Not saying it won't happen, but it's not in the cards at all.

Thanks for any insight you can provide!
jb

Tijn

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2012, 10:46:40 AM »
+1 for the Canon 50mm f/1.4. It's got some haloeing wide-open (dreamy look, baby time haha) but greatly sharp from f/2 onwards. The further advantages it has over the cheap f/1.8 version is that it's much better built, that its autofocus is more silent and that it has full-time manual focusing enabled. That means that after you used autofocus, you can tweak it using the focusing ring without having to switch to manual focusing mode first.
On top of that, if you use smaller apertures with this lens, it's even more sharp than the 50mm f/1.2L version.

The 50mm focal length will do medium tight head shots from up close and medium portraits from a small distance. You can "zoom out with your feet". But since babies are small, you won't need to move so much at all. You'll probably get the hang of the focus after a bit of experimenting.

Beautor

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2012, 12:15:42 PM »
Without having seen any pictures using the unreleased 28mm F2.8 IS, the biggest difference you'll have between that lens and the 28mm F1.8 is the loss of one and a half stops of light. If you're stopped down to a higher aperture than F2.8 you'll likely appreciate the IS when using a slower shutter speed. But if your baby is moving at all in just ambient room lighting (without using your flash) that extra stop and a half of light that a F1.8 lens gives you, allowing a faster shutter speed, might be the difference between a sharp memory and blurry arms and legs. Personally with a wide angle prime like that, I'd rather sacrifice the IS for a much lower aperture; and saving $300 is always nice too.
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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2012, 12:15:42 PM »

00Q

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2012, 12:45:37 PM »
first of all, congrats on the baby.

if you are going to keep the canon 60D. Get the sigma 50mm 1.4. It is the best 50mm out there at 1.4, bokeh is much better than the canon equivalent(cost more too). In case you are moving FF, the 50 will become a true 50 and will be very nice. otherwise the 75mm equivalent is a nice portrait for your beautiful baby.

elflord

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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2012, 09:46:38 PM »
I'd like to thank you all, once again, for the great advice you've given.  The time and effort you've put in is GREATLY APPRECIATED!

I believe I've narrowed down the focal length to ~28mm for a prime.  I was fairly set on getting the 28mm f1.8 lens from Canon, but since this thread was started and ran it's course, I've seen that the 28mm f2.8 IS should be available prior to my little girl (just had the ultrasound this past Friday to find out that it's a girl and I'm ecstatic!) being born in August.

I have three questions I was hoping to get some help for
1. Would the greater than 1 stop decrease in light gathering be well-compensated for by the IS in the lens?

No. IS will help you shoot at slow shutter speeds but if you're shooting a baby you will want faster shutter speeds.

Also, the slower lens doesn't allow for shallow depth of field which comes in handy for baby shots.

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2. What is the depth of the area in focus when shooting at 1.8 or 2 from 5 feet away?  10 feet?  (I know there's a formula to figure this out, I just don't know what it is)

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

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If you couldn't tell from the nature of the two questions, I'm basically wondering if f1.8-f2.8 is truly a useful depth of field for this application and if it's usefulness outweighs the benefits of IS - especially in light of the fact that the technology (IS aside) in the f2.8 model is 17 years newer (my research has told me the f1.8 was released in '95).

Yes and yes. Prime lenses haven't improved radically in the last 17 years. With an APS-C sensor, you really want the fast glass -- f/2.8 with a wide to normal lens and a typical subject distance won't give really shallow depth of field on APS-C. I'd highly recommend the 50mm f/1.4 for that reason -- it's fast, cheap and produces beautiful images.

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Of course, the price is high but based on the press release, the build quality should be quite high as well.  And, we'd expect the image quality to be fantastic.  The final lingering question I have is
3. If the 28mm f2.8 IS is the way to go, should I forgo it, sell the 15-85 (which I LOVE dearly) and get the 17-55?

Maybe, but the 15-85 is a really nice outdoor lens and if you have some fast primes you may not have as much need for the 17-55.


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Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2012, 09:46:38 PM »