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Capturing the newborn. Which lens and why?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by alaios, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Hi,
    my wife and I are expecting our new born.

    I would like to ask you to provide your recommendation for the newborn (well I mean lens!) for his first year of activities (beginning mostly sleeping but the action will also appear at the end of the year)

    Which lens would you go for if
    a. there is no restriction in the selection (focal distance, OSS support, Auto focus support)
    b. it should support OSS and Auto Focus
    c. it should be around 50 mm or slightly more (as I think I should be able to shoot from a distance of 2-3 meters) with no other restriction

    Please go ahead and start commenting

    Regards
    Alex
     
  2. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Well, since you say you need AF and OSS that pretty much limits your options to the SEL50F18 I think.
     
  4. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    I think the 18-55 kit has OSS as well.
     
  5. Micke

    Micke New to TalkEmount

    7
    Mar 5, 2013
    Sweden
    Congratulations!

    Since you shouldn't be using a flash considering the newborn eyes I'd say go with a fast lens to make better use of the availible light. And since you wanted a 50 mm there's really only one choice - SEL50F18.

    I'm in the same position myself although my daughter is a month now and I got the SEL35 as I think it's a little bit more versatile focal length + I have some legacy 50's for portraits.
     
  6. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    You are correct, I guess I had the impression he was looking at a prime for some reason. I should go to bed, it's way past my bed time. :)
     
  7. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Well I gave you
    a,b,c to allow you to give more options.. or my English are so bad ?:confused:
     
  8. Skipperjonce

    Skipperjonce TalkEmount Regular

    72
    Dec 27, 2012
    Norway
    Firstly, congratulations! You have a very entertaining and emotional year ahead.

    I mostly use the SEL50f18 to capture my toddler. It gets some lovely depth of field and works well without flash in low light. The only drawback is the relatively slow focus. Now my daughter is walking and running I often lose 3 out of 5 shots trying to keep up with her.

    I am now saving up for the SEL35f18 as this will give me a better focal length to capture the movement within a scene and has some great reviews.
     
  9. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    I started with the kit lens then moved to the 50/1.8. But soon I was craving a wider lens especially now my 11-month-old can stand. Now with the 35/1.8 I rarely use the 50 - if I were you I would go straight to 35 (it wasn't out when I got my 50). I also dabbled with the FD 28/2 which is an excellent alternative too, if you get used to manual lenses.
     
  10. demiro

    demiro TalkEmount Regular

    120
    Mar 2, 2012
    I would go with the 35/1.8 as well. 50 can be a bit tight for baby shots. Maybe pick up a nice legacy 50 to give that FL a try.

    Alex, you didn't say if you had a budget, but if you do my advice is not to let it limit your ability to capture great shots of your first baby. Truly once in a lifetime stuff. I wish I had gone in to debt to help me capture better images in the same situation.
     
  11. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
  12. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    what about the alternative legacy lenses that support OSS and auto focus?
     
  13. demiro

    demiro TalkEmount Regular

    120
    Mar 2, 2012
    When I'm suggesting legacy lenses I'm talking about options that are strictly manual focus, with on-lens aperture control and no stabilization. Something like this: MINOLTA MD ROKKOR 50mm 1.7 FAST PRIME LENS 0043325400308 | eBay or this: MINOLTA MD W.ROKKOR 28mm 1:2.8 LENS WITH CAPS IN LOVELY CONDITION | eBay

    With an NEX camera and focus peaking I would not be hesitant at all to use manual focus for baby shots.
     
  14. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    With a limited budget the next option is the Sigma 30/2.8 which is a steal at $99 or so new. You'll get AF but no OSS but at that focal length it's rarely missed. Once your baby starts moving you will want a bit of auto though I had wonderful results with all manual lenses for the first 6 months or so and can still get keepers with zone focusing. The main problem was my daughter starting to be aware of the camera shooting her and then wanting to approach the camera all the time. My house is quite small so 50mm got too cramped too fast.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
  15. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    I meant those sigma lenses... (before I had forgotten the name)

    From my experience, with the manual lenses I have to go to a shutter speed of 1/250 to reduce shaking... which means that I loos a lot in light I get (so I have to increase iso a lot, typically 3200, 6400 for indoor)
     
  16. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Hi, what that means? You find the 50mm not too good right? You want larger or smaller? I also have the same experience that with a too wide lense you will have to move really close and loose part of the "I have not seen the photoshooting man"
     
  17. Mattithjah

    Mattithjah TalkEmount Veteran

    244
    Jan 17, 2013
    Czech Republic
    Matěj
    I could NOT recomend Nikkor 50/1,8 D for MF use, bokeh of this lens is sometimes harsh (depends on what is in background). For AF purposes Nikkor is OK, but for MF I would rather buy some older lens, strictly manual, with better optical formula and rounded aperture blades. Maybe in this thread is one very good 50 lens: https://www.talkemount.com/f12/winner-1764/index2.html
     
  18. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    3200, 6400 ISO for shooting indoors in a house is to high in my opinion (I use max 800 in mine). You can use the flash to be able to use lower ISO and if its a problem with using flash and the newborn baby then you can just use the little flash bouncer and thus not affect it. Perfect solution ;)

    Plus, if you want to use a high shutter speed like 1/250 as you say, maybe try and use a faster lens (lower f number) to overcome the lighting issue ;)

    But overall, the Sigma does sound perfect for your case
     
  19. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    As I said I prefer the 35mm length. 28mm would also be great. Perspective distortion is only an issue with ultrawide lengths, even 19mm is not much of a problem.
     
  20. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Aug 6, 2011
    Congrats on the baby! I used a short telephoto (30-50mm) lens more than any other with the photos of my kids when they were babies and then moved to normal primes (28-35mm) as they got a little older (toddler age and beyond). I think the short tele is great for babies since their so little, and you're mostly just photographing them and not so much them + their environment.

    As far as a particular lenses to get, I agree that the best option would be the Sony 50mm OSS if budget allows and Sigma 30mm f/2.8 (first version) if looking for a less expensive autofocus lens. Just about any manual focus 50mm lens will work well also. I'm partial to the Canon 50mm f/1.4 FD lens but there are many terrific choices.