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10-13-2010, 01:36 PM   #16
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I don't think you need more photo stuff. You've already got quite a bit. I think you need a book on how to use what you have (and I'm not referring to the technical part of it).

This is an excellent one here:

Amazon.com: How to Photograph Your Baby: Revised Edition (9781584797494): Nick Kelsh: Books

His book on "photographing your family" is one that I give to my relatives.

10-13-2010, 01:55 PM   #17
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You have a sufficient kit. The KM + DA 40 will give you great baby pictures. I presume you'll be spending lots of time inside after the baby comes (getting out of the house is a herculean effort at first). So if you're really itching to buy something, you could use a flash (will come in handy when she starts moving around!), or a fast, manual focus 50.

I cut my teeth manually focusing with a SMC A 50 1.7 when my first baby was still stationary. Its a good way to ease into manual focus (because the kid doesn't move much) and those old lenses have awesome IQ and are cheap (less than $100). Getting a flash you can swivel and bounce will also solve the "indoor, low-light" issue, though it will cost you more and may have a steeper learning curve (you'll find babies cut into time for learning new things).

For video, get something rated as very good in low light. "Low light" in video terms is different than photo terms. In my experience, anything less than "awesome light" will give you less than great results (grainy). I'd avoid the Flip-type camcorders, because they have tiny sensors, no digital zoom, and crappy audio.
10-13-2010, 08:11 PM   #18
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Obviously the poster just want to use this as an excuse to buy a lens and satisfy LBA.

Buy the lens that you have long desire for.... and say 'I buy this lens because I want to shoot my baby...'...

10-13-2010, 08:20 PM   #19
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As mentioned, you already have all you need - unless the lights in your home aren't the best for portraiture.
Try shooting with the DA 40 at home and see how your textures and shutter speed hold up - you may benefit from an external flash for better results, preferably one with tilt and swivel as well as wireless triggering...

10-13-2010, 09:53 PM   #20
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I will also vouch for the previous posters' suggestion on getting an external flash that can swivel and allow bounce flash.

Your lenses are fine but if I had that set of lenses to shoot my kids, the 40mm would be glued to the camera.
10-14-2010, 12:15 AM   #21
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+1 for the DA40. Its only drawback for your usage will be its inability to get in really close. You'll have to settle for cropping the pictures if you want real close-ups of details. I'd say the ideal kit would be the DA35 Macro + DA70 but that combo wouldn't be significantly better than the DA40. Enjoy!
10-14-2010, 01:00 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I'd recommend F/FA50/1.7 if you can track one down
I have one but am selling it (F 1.7- contact me if interested) as I find I have to step back sometimes indoors.
Going to get 17/18-50 f2.8 instead.
It does produce some great shots though:
Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) Blog Archive Patrick Dinneen
toes | Flickr - Photo Sharing!


Cheers,
Pa.
10-14-2010, 05:37 AM   #23
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My son is now 18 months old, so from experience I can throw in a few suggestions

You need something fast, after the first 6 months. I recommend the Sigma 30mm f1.4...I only got it 2 months ago...wish I had ought it earlier.
Fast 50 is the next est option...but I find it long indoors. Get autofocus, my fav is my FA50 F1.7...sharp wide open when you need it.

Flash is a great suggestion. I bought a Sigma 500 Super. Works great, and I like using it off camera to get shots that don't look like I used a flash. Note I didn't use a flash for the first few months...worried about the little guys eyes.

A good video camera is great, but will likely gather dust. T have a Canon HF100, which is a great cam, but hardly use it now that I have the K7. The K7 is not as good for video but its too much hassle to take around both, or switch.

Last, buy second hand off this forum. Whatever you get...if you don't like it, you can likely flip it for little loss.

Good luck!

10-14-2010, 11:47 AM   #24
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I vote for a manual focus fast fifty that can be had dirt cheap. That's all I've used on our new arrival so far. For a baby this small, you get plenty of time to focus and I don't think there's much of a point in using a flash as a startling device.


10-14-2010, 12:07 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I'd recommend F/FA50/1.7 if you can track one down
you can track one down if you PM me

also, i know that there are many manual focus users on this forum and if that's your thing that's great but i have an old MF 50 and even though i took some nifty photos with it when i first got it i got tired of MF really quick.

the main problem was shooting wide open and thinking the shot was in focus only to find out that it was not when displayed on a monitor.

on the other hand, the 50mm f1.7 + K7 = fast and accurate auto focus in most situations.

all that said, unless you really need a fast lens the 40mm should be sufficient.
i recommend putting some money aside now and if once the baby arrives you find out that you need something else it probably won't be very difficult to find exactly what you are looking for. this way you're not just guessing about what you might need at some point in the future.

good luck!
10-14-2010, 12:49 PM   #26
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I about grew up in my dad's small darkroom in the garage of our suburban L.A. home. My sisters and I were trained to the camera from an early age -- Dad would speak or yell, we'd stop for a moment, he'd shoot, we'd all continue. He used a Minolta Autocord TLR with a 75/3.5 lens, rarely with flash, and ASA (ISO) 100 Verichrome Pan film. And he won prizes. Think about that: not-fast film behind a slow normal lens on a manual camera usually held waist-high in existing light. Oh yes, and hand-metered.

The moral: A Kx with super-fast AF glass AIN'T NECESSARY for good-to-great childhood photography. Outdoors, there's usually plenty of light. Indoors, you can turn on room lights, open windows and curtains, stay watchful for well-lit spaces and pauses in activity, boost the ISO. And practice practice practice.

I recently shot a party in a not-well-lit house with adults-to-infants scurrying about. On my K20D @ ISO 200-800 I mostly used my manual Zenitar 16/2.8 (US$175) and Soligor-Tokina 24/2.8 (US$9), with a SMC-M 50/1.7 (US$50) for close shots in darker rooms, or further shots outside. Nothing super-fast. No flash. Lots of manual-mode-with-green-button metering. My newly-bought SMC-F 35-70/3.5-4.5 (US$12) arrived after the party; it would have been a bit long for the small inside space but fine for shots of that steep little backyard in Bernal Heights, San Francisco.

That's all you really need, maybe even skipping the Zenitar and using the kit lens. For shooting in larger outdoor spaces, a longer zoom or a cheap decent 135mm is handy. It can all be done on a pretty tight budget. Have fun!
10-14-2010, 01:26 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by WiseOx Quote
My son is now 18 months old, so from experience I can throw in a few suggestions
You need something fast, after the first 6 months. I recommend the Sigma 30mm f1.4...I only got it 2 months ago...wish I had ought it earlier.
Fast 50 is the next est option...but I find it long indoors. Get autofocus, my fav is my FA50 F1.7...sharp wide open when you need it.
Flash is a great suggestion. I bought a Sigma 500 Super. Works great, and I like using it off camera to get shots that don't look like I used a flash. Note I didn't use a flash for the first few months...worried about the little guys eyes.
A good video camera is great, but will likely gather dust. T have a Canon HF100, which is a great cam, but hardly use it now that I have the K7. The K7 is not as good for video but its too much hassle to take around both, or switch.
Last, buy second hand off this forum. Whatever you get...if you don't like it, you can likely flip it for little loss.
Good luck!
+1 on this. I have a 14 month old and would agree with everything he said. You need something fast because you will be taking a lot of indoor shots.

I mostly use my Sigma 50mm F1,4 EX DG Lens for stills but like Wise Ox said, this is a bit long indoors although it forces you to fill the frame which makes for nice shots. I really want to get a DA* 16-50 to cover the shorter range and for videos, but I am concerned about the dodgy motors. I think I am going to go for a DAL 35 when it comes out as a stop gap. Having a fast lens is absolutely necessary if you want to do videos indoors and capture the crawling, first steps, and play that will happen in the nursery.

You might also want to consider selling the k-m and buying a k-x so that you get the video option. Upgrading would probably set you back $150-250 which is less than a decent video camera or PS with video. Keep in mind that in 20 years we will be watching videos through brain implanted virtual reality simulators so SD videos will look so 20th century.

Good luck with your last 6 months.
10-14-2010, 03:43 PM   #28
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I am surprised no one mention the FA limiteds since most of the pictures will be Indoors you will need a fast lens, you will be amazed with the results . Expensive yes, but your baby will never be a baby again..

FA77 1/45 f1.8 iso800

IMGP1551m | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
10-14-2010, 08:01 PM   #29
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I concur with those suggesting a flash with a tilt and swivel head.

As soon as your baby starts to move (and it's sooner than you think), you'll need a respectable depth of field to keep them in reasonable focus. Personally, I find that F2.8 on my DA35 Ltd doesn't give me enough depth of field to reliably nail focus, despite being accurately calibrated on stationary subjects (e.g. test charts). So, shooting at F1.4-2 is a fool's errand, or at least incredibly prone to frustration.

By adding a flash with a tilt/swivel head to your arsenal, you gain the ability to control the amount and direction of light. So, you can go ahead and shoot at F4-5.6 (e.g. the kit lens) and still get good exposures at reasonable ISOs. Not only that, but you'll be in a much better position to freeze action (e.g. blowing out candles on a birthday cake, playing with toys, etc.) because the flash burst is in the order of 1/20,000th of a second and a large proportion of the total exposure comes from the flash, rather than the ambient light (in typical indoor shooting conditions). Also, by controlling the direction of light, you get much more flattering/interesting people shots. Where I live, most people have 8-10 foot high white ceilings in their houses. By bouncing the flash off the ceiling (with the flash zoomed out to the widest angle setting), you get similar results to those obtained with a soft-box (without the weight or expense).

Adding a flash will also greatly enhance your creative options in other situations - wireless pTTL is so fun and addictive that you may find yourself setting-up an impromptu studio around your kids by placing remote slaves around your livingroom. You can also experiment with high speed sync (HSS) to obtain shallow depth of field outdoors when you want/need some fill-flash.

With respect to a flash "hurting" a child's eyes, I'm pretty sure that's bunk. I'm not a doctor, but I've been blazing away at my 1 and 3 year-olds with a flash since they were born (primarily with indirect/bounce flash), and they haven't displayed any ill-effects. Naturally, you need to be comfortable with your own decision on this.
10-14-2010, 10:42 PM   #30
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Has anyone suggested a slingshot?
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