new EPM-1 owner looking for good toddler lens

Started May 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
Senior MemberPosts: 5,070Gear list
Re: but 20mm f/1.7 focus SLOW, Toddler moves too fast
In reply to 007peter, May 19, 2012

007peter wrote:

In theory 20mm f/1.7 is the ideal lens, but in reality, 20mm f/1.7 focus slowly ar too slowly for a Toddler that continuously moves about. 20mm f/1.7 is better on adult s who pose for photographs, but not for active toddler. They look at you, then away from you in fraction of a seconds. Every speed counts in capturing toddler.

The 20 1.7 is no speed demon but is more than useable for candids of toddlers. The 25 1.4 has much better and more silent AF, but the 20 1.7 focuses much closer.

Panasonic 20 1.7

Minimum Focus Distance : 0.66' 0.2 m

Panasonic 25 1.4

Minimum Focus Distance : 11.81" (0.3 m)

Not just for photographing children, but as a lens for general photography, as much as I love the 25 1.4, the 20 1.7 in many situations is nicer to use because of the awesome close focus abilities.

I recommend Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 because it focus so much faster than 20mm f/1.7. Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 is awesome, but it cost $550. I'm not sure Annie is ready to spend that kind of money on a lens that cost more than her camera itself.

The 14 2.5 a tricky lens to use when photographing people. Because wide angle lens exaggerate our sense of depth, close to your subject, especially if you point the camera up slightly, your toddlers are going to appear to have large heads and tiny bodies. This effect can sometimes look cool, but usually it's not flattering to the subject.

A good and affordable optionis Sigma 30mm f/2.8 . It is only $199 and focus fast as well.

I really like the Sigma 30 2.8 and even though I've only had it for 24 hrs, early tests confirm what the reviews concluded: it's a sharp, high quality, affordable lens. Max aperture not as large as a few of the other choices, but but a slightly long normal lens (60mm vs 50mm that has been considered a standard lens for years because the 50mm gives a view similar to how we normally see) is great for photographing people (i.e. candids, 3/4 portraits).

Anyway, the Sigma has quiet, accurate AF, and is very sharp wide-open (f2.8), has decent bokeh, and works well for video due to near silent AF. (I do wish it came with a lens hood like the 19 2.8, which includes a nice bayonet lens hood, but there a tons of inexpensive screw-on 46mm lens hoods on Ebay would work perfectly).

To sum up: the Panasonic 20 1.7, which later you can pair with the superb Olympus 45 1.8, would be a great choice if it's in your budget.


The Sigma 30 2.8 EX DN, in spite of it's slower max aperture, is a fantastic buy, quality optic, and wonderful focal length for what you are interested in doing.

Good luck, and happy shooting, Markus

jazzbass62 wrote:

Annie: I think you'd really like the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. It's about $350 new, cheaper on eBay. The 1.7 means it has a wide aperture to let in more light and allow you to up the shutter speed to freeze that motion. With a lens like that you may want to use "Shutter Priority" mode so you can control the exact shutter speed to freeze the action. For kids moving around its good to use a lens with a fairly wide field of view like the 20mm (about 40mm equivalent on a full-frame 35mm camera, and compared to your D3100 it's like having a 25mm setting on your typical 18-55mm zoom lens).

The Oly 45mm f/2.0 is great for portraits, don't know if it suits for fast moving kids close up... a Panasonic 14mm f/2.8 would work ok if you like wide angle perspective though it's not quite as "fast" as the 20mm lens.

 marike6's gear list:marike6's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P330 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Nikon D800 Fujifilm X-E1 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +7 more
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