Decided on portrait lens for newborn close-ups (85mm F/1.8). Any comments?

Started Aug 30, 2006 | Discussions thread
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pavel_k Regular Member • Posts: 189
Decided on portrait lens for newborn close-ups (85mm F/1.8). Any comments?

Decided on portrait lens for newborn close-ups. Any comments?

I have my first baby coming up in November and would like to purchase a lens that can give me a sharp picture with shallow dept of field. After a lot of research, I think I'm ready to get the 85mm F/1.8. I currently have 20D, 17-85 IS, 580EX. Photography is my hobby and my existing equipment has served me well for most purposes. The 17-85 lens is a decent and convenient lens, but it won't give me the DOF and sharpness that the 85mm F/1.8 can provide. At first I was concerned that the 85mm will be a little bit to long on my 20D (136mm), so I set my 17-85 to 85mm and tried to take pictures inside of the house of places where I think the baby may be sleeping or resting. It turned out that the length would work in most cases. The length definitely shouldn't be a problem when taking portraits in a pre-arranged setup (with backdrop, lights, etc.) I'll probably use my 17-85 for candid shots and the 85mm for baby portraits with many close-ups on his face, hands, feet, etc. I figured the 50mm would be too short for these and I would have to get fairly close to the subject. After few years, as the baby grows, I may add the 50mm or 30mm or whatever is on the market at that time for indoor, and use the 85 for outdoor or indoor home-studio shots. In the end the 17-85 will continue to be my day-to-day lens and the 85mm a specialty portrait lens.

I have also strongly considered the following:

50mm F/1.4 - too short for extreme close-ups, lower quality than the 85mm
Sigma 30mm F/1.4 - too short

New Sigma 50-150mm F/2.8 - Outside of my budget, prefer F/1.8 aperture, beyond my budget ($400) for the moment.

Considering all of the above:

1) do you think 85mm is a good choice

2) do you think that Canon may release updated 85mm F/1.8 in the next few month? I would prefer to get the lens now (3 months before the baby) so that I can get enough practice with it.
3) Any other thoughts/ideas?

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions.

 pavel_k's gear list:pavel_k's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/21 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/28 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35 Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50mm F2 +1 more
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