Olympus 75mm F1.8 real images and tests available. Beautiful.

Started Jun 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
tt321 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,271
Re: This depends

RaymondR wrote:

tt321 wrote:

When someone came onto this forum asking what lens they should get to photograph portraits of their expected baby, a laughable suggestion, seconded multiple times by a loud chorus, was the 45/1.8, presumably by people who have never viewed their own babies properly. Newborn babies tend to be held very close and inspected, and for that type of distance (well under half a metre, more like 30 cm), the 45/1.8 cannot be focused, let alone having an angle of view to cover the head.

I am still trying to figure out if I agree with your overall point but the paragraph above is more than a bit hard to take. Did you think about what you were saying when you wrote this: "people who have never viewed their own babies properly"? Putting aside how totally obnoxious that sounds, it isn't selling. Don't know if you have kids but I have two (though they are teenagers now) and I saw them in their mother's arms or the arms of others and in the cribs, chairs, on the floor, playing in the yard etc. as much or more than I saw them cradled in my own arms. I think a 45 f/1.8 will do just fine for baby portraits thank you very much and minus the laughter.

Reading it again, it's likely I failed to think through properly before writing. A reaction is necessarily expected and I should be able to take it on the chin as I dished it out. So if it did cause offence, apologies are on order and unreservedly given.

It was pent up energy from reading the strong chorus for the 45, but that's not a good enough excuse for not thinking carefully.

Personal memories also colour our own prejudices. When I recall how my son looked like from the point when he became separated from his mother and my snipping the cord clumsily with a quite blunt pair of scissors, he is always about 30cm away or closer. Just close my eyes and this is what I see now. I suppose people are different and others might have more stand-offish memories.

Photography for most hobbyists is fundamentally a selfish pastime and rightly so. We care about our feelings and take photos for our own entertainment and satisfaction. From this point of view what we see is paramount. However, photographing a new baby is necessarily a family undertaking so a bit more consideration for the wider audience (e.g. the mother, and the subject when they grow up) is in order, perhaps. I took a lot of photos and videos of my new son from various distances and indeed used mild to long tele views on a number of occasions. The favourites not only for my wife (especially) and me but also for wider family and friends including the young man himself are from WA or standard FL's at close quarters. Anecdotal and non-scientific, but the foundation on which my own prejudices are built.

So for an expectant father who has an M43 with kit zoom and wants to know what additional lens they should buy and practise to use before the big event, my considered suggestion would be the 20 or 25. Then after the event they will have months to decide whether a 45 or something like that should be added, as the child achieves milestones of independence. The 45 being the only fast lens in the hospital in the hands of a new photographer?

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