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08-17-2011, 05:49 PM   #1
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Lens for baby pictures

Hi all!

I have a baby on the way, and I am looking for a good lens for baby pictures. I've heard that it is really best to use macro lens otherwise you lose some soft details. Is that true? Or would a lens like the FA 31mm limited do the job? I see its spec lists the minimum focusing distance as 1".

So I have three options I am thinking about. The DA 35mm limited macro, the FA 50mm macro, or the FA 31mm limited if it won't distort the image too much since it isn't a true macro lens. I'm only listing the 31mm limited as an option because I already have one. It is a fantastic lens, but I am concerned it will not function well as a macro lens. What do you guys think the best option is?

08-17-2011, 06:08 PM   #2
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I use the DA 70 for kitten pics, and would use it with babies in a heartbeat. Excellent performance right out of the box, and a good working distance.

Your 31 should be fabulous as well. Just remember, you're not shooting with a spork when you shoot with one of these, it does what it does better than just about anything, but it doesn't do everything all at once.

For extreme close ups, and to get a longer working distance, if you wish, the 50 would be my choice, if I already had the 31. Otherwise, do you have a kit lens or something similar? These will do for that sort of thing, with babies.
08-17-2011, 06:41 PM   #3
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With babies and young children, you want to use a fast lens (f1.4 or f1.8) to avoid using flash. A flash would distract them and your shots would appear un-natural. I have young children myself and I get excellent shots with the FA31mm f1.8 (AF), VL 58mm f1.4 (MF) and CZ 85mm f1.4 (MF). I get my best pictures without flash

The FA31mm f1.8 is a fantastic lens and a fast lens. Go for it.

For portrait, a focal length between 30 to 100mm is typically recommend. With a 30mm, you will need to come closer while, with a 100mm, you can stand back.

I would not use a macro lens for a baby. Since you already have the FA31mm, use it.

We look forward to see your shots.

Last edited by hcc; 08-18-2011 at 01:31 PM.
08-17-2011, 06:52 PM   #4
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A lot depends on what kind of photo you are trying for. The only place where I think a macro lens is good with babies is with hand/foot/finger type photos. I find that it is nice to be relatively close to the infant and so a focal length somewhere between 28mm and 50mm work well. My personal favorite lens is the DA *55 (I know Peter (Axl) has liked it a lot too -- see the DA *lens club).



08-17-2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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That's a great picture, Rondec! I do have a couple of fast lenses in that range other than the 31mm limited, in case baby thinks I'm too close. So come December, I'll be posting some pictures for critique.
08-17-2011, 07:10 PM   #6
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Get a fast manual focus prime lens. Save some money and enjoy the results shooting a near motionless subject with great lenses. M42 Takumars come to mind if you use a Pentax body. This forum has a wonderful rating of the older lenses.
08-17-2011, 07:14 PM   #7
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I mainly use my MF 50/1.4 lenses. I always shoot wide open to avoid flash. Increase ISO if necessary. I have an 55/f1.2 and it gives great images when I'm able to hit the focus right which is really rare
08-17-2011, 08:46 PM   #8
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Congratulations on your good news.
I think you will find that nearly any lens is a good choice, given the right lighting. I think you may be experiencing 'pre-delivery perfectionist anxiety' (other people spend a fortune decorating the baby's room) - once the baby arrives, you will have thoughts other than lenses & teddy bear wallpaper!
;-)

08-17-2011, 08:56 PM   #9
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Thanks guys! I think I will not worry about a macro lens, unless I find one less than $100. I will use the lenses I already have since they seem like they'd work and stop obsessing over getting the perfect shot (unless I find a macro lens cheap, I so have LBA).
08-18-2011, 01:23 AM   #10
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Not to long lens and a fast one I think.

The fun answer is offcourse: Lensbaby.
08-18-2011, 02:06 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by miltona580 Quote
I've heard that it is really best to use macro lens otherwise you lose some soft details.
I've never heard this and to be honest I can't imagine why you'd need a macro lens (other than taking detail shots of little fingers, but even that doesn't really require a macro lens).

Your existing FA31 will be great for baby pics, don't worry. I bought and used Sigma 30 for this, it worked well for the indoor baby pics of my daughter, so I'm sure your FA31 will also do it for you.
08-18-2011, 03:13 AM   #12
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FA 31 is fine, but you'll need to be a little up close for the head shots. I'd suggest having a 50-75mm prime for the head shots - something like the FA 77 is perfect for that.
08-18-2011, 05:50 AM   #13
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I take lots of snapshots of my nearly-3-month-old with my 43mm, but the working distance is sometimes a little close to get a good full-frame head shot. So, my vote is to use your 31 ltd and something a little longer than my 43 -- either of the ~70mm ltds would be good for that as said by others.

Also, I think you might have meant that the minimum focus distance of the 31 is 1 foot, not 1 inch.
08-18-2011, 06:49 AM   #14
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Grab yourself the FA 50 1.4 for natural-light portraits that won't disturb the baby (flash can startle) , a good portraits length too, that isn't so long that you could back up with it and take full body shots / mommy + baby shots.

31 would be good, but too short for portraits, 77 would be good, but very tight indoors, generally. No need for a macro (soft details actually tend to look nice, too much detail in the face makes people look bad... think HD sports network vs the olden days)...
08-18-2011, 07:08 AM   #15
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DA 40mm. not distracting at all
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