nikon 35mm 1.8 or 40mm micro for baby shoots?

Started Oct 17, 2012 | Questions thread
joejack951 Senior Member • Posts: 2,682
Re: nikon 35mm 1.8 or 40mm micro for baby shoots?

photospots wrote:


You could also consider the 85 1.8g or the 105 VR macro. It gets you a little further away from the baby. Check out a picture I took with the later for my 6 month year old son:

In my opinion, either the 85 or 105mm lens is far too long for newborn portraits. Even if they did work for now, eventually your newborn will grow into an infant and eventually toddler. At that age, you'll want to be able to interact with your kid to get the best photos. With a 85 or 105mm lens on a crop camera, you'll have to stand pretty far back just to get their entire body into the frame, let alone capture any of the room.

In my experience, 35mm is a far more versatile focal length for these types of pictures. For starters, it feels quite natural to use. What you see without the camera in front of you is what you see through the viewfinder. Second, the fast aperture and short focal length allows for using natural light rather than flash. An 85mm lens might require 1/125" exposure for a sharp photo whereas with a still subject, you can shoot at 1/50" with a 35mm lens. Of course, you won't always be able to shoot that slow once they start moving.

I will caution that as they grow, a zoom will become more and more desirable. At least with the 35/1.8 you are not heavily invested. You'll probably want to get a 17-55/2.8 or similar lens at some point in the future. The telephoto end of the zoom will be better for those adult portraits as well but the 35mm will be usable.

When my son was born, my wife and I used a 35/1.4G exclusively on our D300s. As he became more mobile, we started using the 17-55/2.8 more and more (we already owned it). Now, with a D3s, we still use the 35mm the most but up until yesterday our only other option was the 105VR. The 24-120/4 VR just arrived yesterday and I feel like it will be getting a lot of use as our son begins to walk.

 joejack951's gear list:joejack951's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D300S Nikon D3S Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF +5 more
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