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01-27-2011, 07:34 PM   #1
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Sigma 30mm/1.8 or 18-50mm EX DC Macro?

I finally got approval from the wifey for a new lens, but now I can't decide. We're expecting our first child this April, so I've been thinking about a faster piece of glass for baby pics.

I have the DA 40mm, kit lens, and M 50mm/1.4. I've been shooting for about 2 yrs and find myself preferring the wide end, usually from 18-50mm. Not sure if I should upgrade my kit lens to get faster at f2.8 at a wider end or if the advantages of a prime at 30mm is enough. I like the kit lens, but since I have the k2000 I can't go too high with ISO. Hoping f2.8 or even f1.8 will help more with low light.

Any ideas/thoughts?

01-27-2011, 08:41 PM   #2
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what's your total budget? do you want AF or is MF sufficient?

if ISO is your only concern then you might want to look into a new camera body or you can just add a flash to your existing kit.

if you want shallow DOF of a f1.4 then that's a different story, although you already have that covered with the 50mm
01-27-2011, 08:55 PM   #3
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I use the FA50/1.4 for pretty much all my indoor shots of my kids. Even 2.8 isn't fast enough without boosting the ISO past where you're probably comfortable. But while the FA50 is a gorgeous lens, it's a bit too long for indoors. I'd go with the Sigma 30/1.4 over the zoom if I were you. But the Sigma 28/1.8 may be a better choice. It's biggest downside is its massiveness. There's some discussion of the two here.
01-27-2011, 09:14 PM   #4
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400us. I thought about a flash but feel its just too much to carry around. I lke to keep my bag down to the body, 2 lenses, and batteries. I love the 40mm but its a bit long for indoors. I prefer af especially as the kids grow older. I just can't nail down mf to be comfortable

01-28-2011, 12:34 AM   #5
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given what you said i would recommend the sigma 30mm over 28mm for its size. the disadvantages are a lack of close focusing and the fact that it's a bit over your budget.

also, i recommend a low tech flash solution as seen here:
Reduce, Reuse, Diffuse: Make Your Own Flash Diffuser from an Old Film Container | Photojojo

i use it when i have to and it works surprisingly well. best of all - it's free!

give it a shot with your 40mm. the really neat thing about the 40mm is how fast it focuses and that's important when shooting kids.

good luck with whatever you decide!
01-28-2011, 09:36 AM   #6
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Eh, I would buy no wide lens. Babies are small :-) I would try the 40 or 50mm and see if it doesn't really work for you. Maybe near a window.
01-28-2011, 09:42 AM   #7
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@Specialk, I see from your tag line that you have the Sigma 18-50. Care to give me your thoughts of that as an alternative? I'm basically looking for something faster than the kit lens wider than 40mm w/ AF for indoor pics. Which version of the 18-50 sigma do you have?
01-28-2011, 09:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Eh, I would buy no wide lens. Babies are small :-) I would try the 40 or 50mm and see if it doesn't really work for you. Maybe near a window.
Babies are small but they have this unfortunate tendency to grow and start moving around

I think the 30 would be a good choice gives you AF, low light and is pretty compact compared to the 24 and 28 sigmas. 30 is really pretty much the equivalent of a true normal FOV, and if need be you can use the DA40 you have to tighten it up a bit or the 50 for portraiture (while the baby is still sitting sill enough to pull it off)

Though if I had the 40 and the 50 I would probably buy even wider myself as there are advantages for other uses (the 20 and24 have been calling my name quietly whenever i pass a shop carrying them)

01-28-2011, 12:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LucyGoosey Quote
@Specialk, I see from your tag line that you have the Sigma 18-50. Care to give me your thoughts of that as an alternative? I'm basically looking for something faster than the kit lens wider than 40mm w/ AF for indoor pics. Which version of the 18-50 sigma do you have?
I have the 2-versions-ago one :-) There is a later "macro" version with "SLD" glass. It is sharp, focuses pretty closely, and I have no complaints after several years of use. It was the middle range of my first three lenses, but as I've got more stuff now, that one is, coincidentally, pending sale...

Because this range of zooms are f2.8, I did not see any advantage for you over the DA40 for low light. Most people recommend a fast fifty for low light, which you already have. It's clear you just have LBA, but the Sigma 30/1.4 makes some sense, though wide open will have your fair share of out-of-focus shots.
01-28-2011, 01:18 PM   #10
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SpecialK, i agree that LucyGoosey has LBA

i still recommend looking into the k-r body as it might be a better bang for the buck over a new lens.
01-28-2011, 01:52 PM   #11
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That's a very good point on the body... I just upgraded to a K-r this week and my low-light lens collection magically increased!
01-28-2011, 01:53 PM   #12
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I had the Sigma 30/1.4 and used it almost exclusively for a year and a half with my 2 girls (it was present at the birth of my second!).

I still love some of the shots I got with the Sigma even wide open, but you'd be amazed how often f/1.4 and ISO 800 aren't fast enough. (I used it on the K100D, so maybe you'd get better results).

So while it was a fun and capable lens, I have to say that I'd recommend bounce flash for kids over a f/1.4 lens. Or both--you can pick up one of these and crank up your ISO to 800 and you have bounce flash for $30. Cheap, light, what's not to like?

Amazon.com: Professor Kobre's Lightscoop, Standard Version Bounce Flash Device, Universal Model, fits over the Pop-up Flash of most SLR Cameras (American Photo Editor's Choice 2008): Camera & Photo

But hey, if you can get a good deal on one of the lenses, I will not stand in the way of LBA.
01-31-2011, 01:57 PM   #13
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Ok, I admit it, just a little bit of LBA! I'm not ready to get a new body as I've only had my k2000 for about a year. With all the advice here, I'm leaning more towards a Metz 48 now. I'm not much of post-processor so I like to avoid high-iso noise, which the k2000 has plenty of. With a flash, I think I'll be able to keep from that tough job of thin DOF too.
02-01-2011, 01:04 AM   #14
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good call! a nice flash adds a lot of new dimensions to explore.
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