Baby on the way, recommend a lens?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by ckork, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. ckork

    ckork New to TalkEmount

    2
    Mar 25, 2013
    Very new to anything more than a point and shoot. I'm doing as much reading as I can in advance of our first baby. I purchased a 5r and have the 18-55 kit and 19 and 30mm sigma lens package that I got from B&H.

    I'm beginning to practice on our dog for when baby arrives. I'm going to want to do a lot of portrait of the baby and am wondering if you'd think that I'd be best served with the 50mm 1.8 or the 55-210 lens? Many books I'm reading say 50mm 1.8 is optimal but I've heard the sigma 30mm 2.8 on a mirror less system may give similar results. Of course I want that beautiful bokeh on many of the portraits.

    If you could only purchase one lens in my situation, which would it be.

    Also - if anyone found any resources for learning how to better take advantage of these cameras, especially for baby/portrait type situations, I'd love to hear it. I'm not crazy about my local camera shop for photography classes.
     
  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    The 50mm Sony does offer a few F stops lower, so that is an advantage if you have some dark rooms.

    However for 90% of your shots you should be just fine with the 19/30mm twins.
     
  3. Aaronius31

    Aaronius31 TalkEmount Regular

    51
    Feb 25, 2013
    If you have the time to get it before baby comes, I'd reccomend a Minolta 50/1.4 or really any Canon or Nikon manual lens at 50mm and less than f2.

    The Min50/1.4 would be perfect for what you're looking for...it is my first manual lens and I'm keeping it for the long haul. If you want any full-res samples I can send you some so you can see the bokeh.

    Other than that, do know with the 5r that LCD screens tend to be a bit innacurate when it comes to highlights. For example, if the top of baby's head is overexposed (pure white), then be safe and make the shutter speed faster or stop down the aperture. You'd rather be underexposed than overexposed so you can keep details in the highlights and brighten up the rest of the picture in post.

    Good luck!
     
  4. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    If we are talking about E-mount options then I don't think there's anything other than the SEL50 1.8 (maybe also the new Sigma 60mm)...
    If we are talking about lecacy MF lenses, then the options are limitless :D

    If it were me in your case (newborn baby shots), between the 55-210 and 50 1.8, I would choose the 50 1.8 since its a faster lens and you would benefit in dark indoors. But the 55-210 is a more versatile lens that would be more handy as the baby grows up :D
     
  5. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    The SEL 50/1.8 is a great choice as you will want the fast lens because flash is a big no-no for babies. The manual lenses will also work just fine but they take a tiny bit of practice (but very rewarding!) Bear in mind that as your baby grows up you're going to be wanting wider and wider lenses without giving up the fast aperture which you will be addicted to like a bad coke habit so that means 50/1.8->35/1.8->24/1.8 and so make sure you have enough savings so your kid doesn't starve! ;)

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
  6. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    I have just bought the Sigma 60mm and Sony 50mm (and three children aged 4 and under) The Sony is going back as the AF is just painful! So slow, it racks back and forward between every shot (it seems). I have the other two sigmas also, and find them all equally good, and equally good value. The 35mm 1.8 is very good, though possibly redundant if you have the Sigma 30mm.
     
  7. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    So... What did you have to give for the kids? :p
     
  8. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    Ha ha :D
     
  9. markoneswift

    markoneswift TalkEmount Veteran

    390
    Oct 17, 2012
  10. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    I really don't think you should give a new baby a lens but if you insist I agree with the others that mention the SEL 50 would be a good choice.
     
  11. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    I just took these with my 19mm Sigma

    DSC04384.JPG

    DSC04385.JPG
     
  12. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I highly recommend SEL50F1.8, you already have very good Sigmas but the 50 is the ultimate low light portrait lens for Sony. If you use a flash on a sleeping baby your wife may not like it ;) and f1.8 stabilized kills f2.8 non stabilized in low light. You can get it used for$220-250.

    An alternative is SEL35f1.8, which is a better all round focal length. But the 50 is nearly half the price, slightly sharper, a better FL for portraits, and you already have a sharp 30.

    Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2
     
  13. ckork

    ckork New to TalkEmount

    2
    Mar 25, 2013
    Great info folks, thanks. I think I'll be looking for a deal on a used sel50, I have until October. :)
     
  14. markoneswift

    markoneswift TalkEmount Veteran

    390
    Oct 17, 2012
    When you're taking the shots with your new lens, make sure you focus on the eyes not the nose. This is especially important if you're shooting with the lens wide open as the tendancy is for the nose to come into focus first. The 'catch lights' in the eyes are the things that draw the viewers' eye and they are so often dull and flat. I'm no expert at portraiture but if you look at my example pic of the baby in red, you can see the reflected windows in his eyes.
     
  15. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Just be aware the 50/1.8 does like to hunt some. The easiest way to stop it is set AF mode to flexible spot and use touch to focus

    088.
    The results can be dreamy :)
     
  16. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    I would sum up all this by saying, you probably would be just fine with what you have. The 19mm/30mm Sigma's will do 90% of what you want, no problem. The 18-55mm is great for outside shots, but stopping at 3.5, is probably going to hamper you.

    You could get the 35mm for more dark situations, 1.8 versus 2.8 is nice. Just depends if you want a similar lens to the already owned 30mm Sigma.

    I would caution against the 50mm for what you are planning though, primarily for the range. I have a 45mm 2.0 Rokkor that I love and that takes great pictures. However, I find myself having to back up quite a bit if more than one person is in the shot, and depending on your locations, this might become an issue. The images I included earlier I tried with the aforementioned 45mm Rokkor, but was unable to back up far enough to get the intimate shot I wanted. It is not ideal for inside shots.
     
  17. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    So did you make a choice yet?

    Since you have till October, I would use this time to practice the kinds of shots you think you will be taking. I would try the lenses you already have, primarily the 19/30mm Sigma twins. Then if you are unhappy with the results, you can shop around for a different lens.
     
  18. hyena

    hyena New to TalkEmount

    6
    Jul 28, 2013
    for the NEX I would go for the 50mmf1.8 - you should get a strong bokeh out of this bright lens as long as your AF is spot on (not back focusing)

    Try the 50SEL with the focusing light option switched off in the menu ... it sounds perverse but for me on the 5R it stops to a large extent the hunting in low light .. why I haven't a clue it just seems to help .. give it a spin before returning .. otherwise the 60mm sigma is pretty sharp, f2.8 no image stabilisation but decent AF .. its a lot cheaper (street price) than the 50SEL .. 60mm might be a touch too much for small rooms/close up though.

    although it only applies to the 5R (not sure about the 6/3N) is the focus bracketing app which takes a pic with a focus point either side of yours so if you are using manual focus and you are a bit out it comes to the rescue .. nice (not tried it out fully) :)