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11-10-2010, 07:16 PM   #46
Ash
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+1 on Jim's suggestion on flash.
Lighting is *almost* everything in portraiture.
Getting the right light naturally is very difficult, and ambient light is so variable and hard to control.
The DA 40 is perfect for this application.

11-10-2010, 08:07 PM   #47
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I also recommend a PTTL flash with a tilt & swivel head. The ability to bounce the flash off the ceiling or a nearby wall is tremendous. I wasn't truly happy with indoor pics of my daughter until I got the 540fgz flash unit.
11-12-2010, 02:23 AM   #48
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You should spend 100usd for a lightstand set (2 pcs of lightstand/umbrella/hotshoe-umbr mount) B&H, 60usd for radiotrigger (1 trans, 2 receivers) ebay. Recommend manual flash units like YN460 40usd each, or a bit more expensive LP160; at least 2 flash units. Then use manual mode on you camera - this is the absolute consistent. For much less than 500usd, you will have a portable studio. Then you can spend the few last months to master the light settings - This will move you to a new level of photography.

If you need to buy a new lens, consider macro lens for your baby. 35mm macro is too close. Sigma 70mm macro or longer focal length is ok. If you dont mind manual focus, get cheap used manual macro lens. The baby will be sleeping 23 hrs a day, no need for auto focus. I use mostly f5.6 - f8 to get maximum sharpness, no need for fast glass when you have flashes.

Keep the light source/umbrella close to the baby and set the flash power to 1/16 or less. This will not do any harm. 1 light source 1/16, 2 light sources 1/32 each and get more even lightning, but you will find out your best soon ;-)

I recommend to practice with a doll and learn the skill fast. You won't have time when the baby is coming.

Best regards

Last edited by hoanpham; 11-12-2010 at 02:41 AM.
11-12-2010, 02:49 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
....The baby will be sleeping 23 hrs a day, no need for auto focus. .............

Best regards
highly depends

11-12-2010, 12:39 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
If you dont mind manual focus, get cheap used manual macro lens. The baby will be sleeping 23 hrs a day, no need for auto focus. I use mostly f5.6 - f8 to get maximum sharpness, no need for fast glass when you have flashes.
Good advice overall, but I can guarantee the baby will not only be awake more than an hour a day (and the figure increases quite quickly in the first year of life!), but it will start to be mobile before you know it, and autofocus becomes a 'necessity' to get sharp images of your baby.

MF with children is almost an oxymoron, but if you've got sharp MF skills, you may do well with it. For improved mental health, though, I'd go with AF.

You want something fast yet relatively inexpensive, the FA 50/1.4 is the way to go. You'd rarely be shooting wider than f/2.8 with a baby, and the results at f/2.8-8 on this lens is just excellent. I'd also suggest that you'd get considerably better results with an FA 50/1.4 at f/4-5.6 than you would with a kit lens at f/4-5.6 - *much* better. And this is the aperture range I shoot a lot of child/infant photos at. So I'd disagree with the above.

But enjoy the rest of the pregnancy and all the best for the delivery.
11-12-2010, 09:53 PM   #51
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if financial is not an issue, me too i agree to get an af lens. but fa50/1.4 will be some redundant of da40 and wont be able to get close - like fingers and toes in the first weeks/months.

when the baby is getting older, i also depended on focus bracket and flip screen on my canon Gx to get low enough. kit lenses are ok as long as you are not enlarge the prints. yes, focus on walking kids is a real issue, may be it can be solved in the new k5.

Last edited by hoanpham; 11-12-2010 at 10:09 PM.
11-13-2010, 08:40 AM   #52
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23 hours a day? oh how I wish mine were like that sometimes!

QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote

The baby will be sleeping 23 hrs a day, no need for auto focus. I use mostly f5.6 - f8 to get maximum sharpness, no need for fast glass when you have flashes.

Best regards
11-15-2010, 01:01 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Good advice overall, but I can guarantee the baby will not only be awake more than an hour a day (and the figure increases quite quickly in the first year of life!), but it will start to be mobile before you know it, and autofocus becomes a 'necessity' to get sharp images of your baby.

MF with children is almost an oxymoron, but if you've got sharp MF skills, you may do well with it. For improved mental health, though, I'd go with AF.

You want something fast yet relatively inexpensive, the FA 50/1.4 is the way to go. You'd rarely be shooting wider than f/2.8 with a baby, and the results at f/2.8-8 on this lens is just excellent. I'd also suggest that you'd get considerably better results with an FA 50/1.4 at f/4-5.6 than you would with a kit lens at f/4-5.6 - *much* better. And this is the aperture range I shoot a lot of child/infant photos at. So I'd disagree with the above.

But enjoy the rest of the pregnancy and all the best for the delivery.
at least for me, unfortunatelty f/4-5.6 is not good enough. my baby is always on the move like crazy, indoor lightning is not sufficient, therefore, i should over-increase ASA which i prefer lastly. Then i use mf 50mm which takes much more light, gives me higher shutter speed and low asa. but %70 of my shots is oof because i am not a manuel master. i think i need a screwable flash unit, although i have some objections to use flash and master it.

11-15-2010, 01:22 AM   #54
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I forgot what site I was on a saw the thread title, good thing this is on a photography forum :-D
11-15-2010, 06:12 AM   #55
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I'd consider getting a K-x body to take advantage of its excellent high ISO. You'll be able to use ISO 1600 or higher, which will allow for good, hand-held, indoor, non-flash, natural looking photos with the lenses you have*. It'll also do a reasonable job with video.

A P&S with good high ISO might be a good alternative; Fujifilm F80EXR for example.

Dave

* Doubling the iso is equivalent to a one f-stop change on the lens.
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