Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help

Started May 8, 2012 | Discussions
abdm436
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Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
May 8, 2012

I'm a little confused and figured the forums could help...

I'm in the market for a fast lens that will be primarily used for taking pictures of our new son (Coming soon). I'm done a bunch of research and found 2 different lenses that I'm trying to understand the main differences. Can you guys help me out?

Nikon Zoom W/A-Telephoto AF Zoom Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4.0D IF AF Lens

vs.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Autofocus Lens

I probably should also mention that I currently have a D80. I'm also looking at potentially upgrading to either the D7000 or D800. I think having video would be great for our new son.

If you have any other recommendations for preparing for this event that would be awesome. I've checked out some of the VR lenses as well (18-200 & 18-300).

Nikon D7000 Nikon D80 Nikon D800
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Camnu
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to abdm436, May 8, 2012

I got a baby in last January, she is 4 months old now; and I've taken a lot of pictures of her indoors (since it was winter here).

I absolutely love the pictures from my prime 50mm f1.4. It's sharp and vibrant. That lens is better than kit lens (18-105mm). In March, I bought the flash (SB700). It helps to go to another level. The pictures are crisper. In case if you don't have it yet, then you should invest in the flash before the lens.

So far, the aspect that disappoints me the most from my two lenses is the close-up picture. I can't have close-up picture of my daughter's hands, feet, ears, etc. Those two lens aren't good for macro.

I also consider to buy the 24-85 lens, although it's not a real macro lens, but it has a better capability.

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dbrowdy
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to Camnu, May 8, 2012

I posted my thoughts in this thread here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1030&thread=41191681&page=1

In sort, I agree with Camnu: get a flash and a macro lens.

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slimandy
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to abdm436, May 8, 2012

If you want a good fast lens get a 35mm f1.8 and save yourself some money.

I'm curious how you narrowed it down to those two anyway? One is a reasonably good lens and good value used, the other is much better and much, much more expensive. Which do you want, the best quality or the best value? Subject to your answer neither of the two might be the best choice on DX.

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sfnikon
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to abdm436, May 8, 2012

Definitely a macro for the newborn fingers, toes, face etc. The 60G will serve you well whether you stay DX or go D800. I agree with others the 35/1.8 will complement it well.

Eventually when you have a toddler I found that nothing beat the 24-70 for a fastmoving crawler or walker.

Looking into the future the 70-200 or 80-200 range zoom is the ideal playground lens and lens for little kids sports.

I got a terrific shot in the delivery room of the doctor holding my son 2 seconds after being born. It is one of those once in a lifetime shots that you obviously are never getting back. The OR lights are shining on them and it's very very bright. However 2min after birth when the nurse is examining and prepping the newborn she is in a much dimmer spot so you need to be prepared for both. 5min later when the baby is under a heating lamp it's a red/orange light. Prob the 35/1.8 lens and camera in RAW serve you well.
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abdm436
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to slimandy, May 8, 2012

Good question. I want to get a lens that will set me up for the future. Money aside (although I am trying to get the best value), I want to make sure I'm making a smart decision. In addition thinking about upgrading to a D800 or D7000 is playing into this.

I just though that 24-70/85 was a great range to have and also I want to try and get a F2.8 lens.

I'm totally open though for suggestions, thanks guys!

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NClens
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I avoided using a flash with my newborn
In reply to Camnu, May 8, 2012

I probably was overly cautious, but I avoided using my flash (including bouncing the light off the walls) when my son was a newborn. This meant I mostly used faster lenses. The 50mm 1.4 is very reasonbly priced (I believe it's under $500) and would work well stopped down on a D800. For a camera with a DX sensor, you may want a 35mm 1.8 (only $200 or so). With a baby, you don't really need a zoom because they don't move around much and you can zoom with your feet.

On a side note, I originally thought I would like taking pictures of my son's feet and hands, but this got boring very fast.

As your child starts to move more, that's when I would get the 24-70 zoom due to the constant 2.8 aperture and the very fast focus acquisition.

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NClens
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to sfnikon, May 8, 2012

Hah, I carried my camera into the delivery room and was too stunned to even take any pictures!

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abdm436
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to sfnikon, May 8, 2012

On the terrific shot you mentioned, what lens did you use?

Thanks so much this is exactly what I'm after. I want to make sure I capture the best shots in the OR an right after.

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slimandy
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to abdm436, May 8, 2012

Buy what you need now and not what you may or may not need at some future date. The 24~85 is not a constant f2.8. The 24~70 is but it is also expensive and heavy. Neither are very wide on DX.

A Sigma 17~70 OS might be a better choice, or get the 35mm f1.8 now as it will be excellent for baby shots, is faster than any zooms, is very cheap, small, and you can decide what to spend your money on when you know which way you intend to go.
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slimandy
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to sfnikon, May 8, 2012

sfnikon wrote:
and lens for little kids sports.

I got a terrific shot in the delivery room of the doctor holding my son 2 seconds after being born. It is one of those once in a lifetime shots that you obviously are never getting back. The OR lights are shining on them and it's very very bright. However 2min after birth when the nurse is examining and prepping the newborn she is in a much dimmer spot so you need to be prepared for both. 5min later when the baby is under a heating lamp it's a red/orange light. Prob the 35/1.8 lens and camera in RAW serve you well.

I had more important things to think about. Babies don't look their best at 2 seconds old anyway.

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nikoj
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to abdm436, May 8, 2012

Hi, congratulation on your coming baby. I've come from this progression with birth of my each sons - 1st Panansonic FZ 30; 2nd Nikon D80 with Kit lens; my last D700 with Sigma 50 1.4; the Panasonic was pretty much useless, as well as my D80 with kit lens for the shots in birthing room; I finally found D700 with the Sigma nearly perfect for the occasion. Few samples:

I found the high ISO performance of D700 + a fast lens in normal focal length to be the two most useful variables. The 24-70 is a fantastic lens, especially as your child grows up and starts moving, but my vote would be to start with D800 + a fast normal prime then augment/swap as needed as your life progresses with your child(ren). I found D80 and D7000 high ISO files too noisy, especially in poor lighting to recommend it for pictures under hospital lighting. Good luck!

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Camnu
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to slimandy, May 8, 2012

slimandy wrote:

Buy what you need now and not what you may or may not need at some future date. The 24~85 is not a constant f2.8. The 24~70 is but it is also expensive and heavy. Neither are very wide on DX.

A Sigma 17~70 OS might be a better choice, or get the 35mm f1.8 now as it will be excellent for baby shots, is faster than any zooms, is very cheap, small, and you can decide what to spend your money on when you know which way you intend to go.
--
http://www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

Beside the Nikkor 24-85 f2.8-4, I'm also considering the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4. They both have macro capability and a good range. Any one could please give us a good review of those two lenses. That would be greatly appreciated.

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sfnikon
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to abdm436, May 8, 2012

abdm436 wrote:

On the terrific shot you mentioned, what lens did you use?

Thanks so much this is exactly what I'm after. I want to make sure I capture the best shots in the OR an right after.

24-70. I was by the mother's head holding her hand but managed to one hand the D3 and squeeze at 9fs just as the OB was lifting the baby. I'm sure there was lots of camera shake but as I said the OR lights are very bright and the shutter was high. Given the vantage point there was no mother's modesty compromised so it was shared with extended family. Not sure if I want to share it with the world yet. Make sure everything is set ie. auto iso, aperture, focus/AE mode you want. You really are not thinking clearly when the moment comes.

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sfnikon
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to slimandy, May 8, 2012

slimandy wrote:
sfnikon wrote:
and lens for little kids sports.

I got a terrific shot in the delivery room of the doctor holding my son 2 seconds after being born. It is one of those once in a lifetime shots that you obviously are never getting back. The OR lights are shining on them and it's very very bright. However 2min after birth when the nurse is examining and prepping the newborn she is in a much dimmer spot so you need to be prepared for both. 5min later when the baby is under a heating lamp it's a red/orange light. Prob the 35/1.8 lens and camera in RAW serve you well.

I had more important things to think about. Babies don't look their best at 2 seconds old anyway.

Yup. It wasnt about the baby looking cute it was capturing the moment.

Actually the newborn has bad complexion, odd coloring and eyes mostly closed for a couple of weeks. That's when the macro comes in with shots of cute body parts.
--
Jake

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jeremynsl
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to sfnikon, May 9, 2012

I brought my camera to the delivery but took no pics until we were in post-partum... It's a pretty intense time (first child and 40+ hr labour!) and for me the last thing I was thinking of was "getting the shot"

After this, I took some decent pics with the 18-55 kit lens (all I had), but since then I picked up the 50mm 1.8g and am very happy with it! Awesome lens for portraits on DX at a good price. However, it is somewhat long indoors, so 35mm might be more to your taste. 50mm supposedly has better IQ and bokeh though...

I'll post some 50mm pics if I find some time! (yeah btw goodbye free time, new daddy!)

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slimandy
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to jeremynsl, May 9, 2012

jeremynsl wrote:

I brought my camera to the delivery but took no pics until we were in post-partum... It's a pretty intense time (first child and 40+ hr labour!) and for me the last thing I was thinking of was "getting the shot"

Yep. I was thinking "Is my baby healthy?" and "How is my Wife? Does she need anything?"

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yokosin
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Re: Preparing for a newborn - Lens Help
In reply to nikoj, May 9, 2012

The 24-70mm f2.8 lens is a good match on D700 which I have the opportunity of taken my twin girls from birth to 16 months.

If I were to decide which to buy, the decision is to decide on D7000 or D800. The cost of the 24-70mm lens might not a good match on D7000 especially if later one decide to upgrade to D800.

To top it off, I am using SB700 for lighting.

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Richard Lee

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