My second lens... what to choose?

Started 3 months ago | Questions
sean000 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,639
Re: Baby on the way? Fast prime in the 20 to 45 mm range

Rodrigo Cura wrote:

Hello everyone,

03 years ago I bought my Panasonic G7 with the standard Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power IOS lens. I am not a professional, but I am excited to use it for personal use such as leisure, travel and family portraits in birthdays and special occasions. After using it for a while, there are some aspects that bother me like the inability to take a selfie with my wife while traveling, the low light resolution, the inability to take pictures in small rooms that cover the whole scene (because this is not a wide angle). Other than that, we will soon be 03 with the arrival of a little princess in our family! Of course we will also be willing to take the best pictures of her (closes... maybe 50cm away?) and record videos as well. What lenses would you recommend?

Thanks! Really appreciate it!

Congratulations on the new baby! My oldest was born in 2010, which was the same year I bought my first m4/3 camera (Panasonic GF1 with 20mm f/1.7 pancake), and my second was born in 2012 (when I bought an E-M5). Prior to 2010 I shot with mostly Nikon DSLR gear.

For general photography needs in good light, the 14-140mm has you covered for moderately wide to tele. Yes it is nice to have an ultrawide lens, but for babies and toddlers the two lenses I used the most were the 20mm f/1.7 and the Oly 45mm f/1.8. Tough to choose which is better... I have used the 20mm more often, but the 45mm has taken some really special portraits of my family. The 20mm is definitely the more versatile of the two, but they are totally different focal lengths for different purposes. It's tough to beat the 45mm f/1.8 for portraits of newborns while they are sleeping.

As they have gotten older I have relied much more on a fast zoom (the Oly 12-40mm f/2.8). For now my advice would be a prime lens in the 20 to 45mm range. After that you could go for an ultrawide or even a fisheye (which is a lot of fun with kids). Babies and kids are a great excuse to buy more camera gear... just make the most of it because in 10 to 15 years they might stop letting you take their picture!

I believe you posted that you might be willing to spend $800 on a zoom, which puts you in range of the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 or Oly 12-40mm f/2.8. Either would be a versatile zoom that would get you both wider and faster. It's what I use to take the vast majority of photos these days, but the extra 1.5 stops of the primes makes a big difference in terms of low light and shallow depth of field.

 sean000's gear list:sean000's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Samyang 7.5mm F3.5 Fisheye Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro +6 more
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