First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
Barry Twycross Senior Member • Posts: 1,968
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
1

When I first started, I worked out myself what my current kit didn't do, so what I wanted to buy in addition. So I favor asking her.

When I started over with m4/3 last year, after the zooms the first thing I bought was a fast 42mm (mainly because I wanted a f/1.2 lens to play with, a 42/1.8 would probably do just as well). After that was a fast standard lens (I got the 20/1.7). Definitely a fast prime would be what I'd recommend.

As you said indoor sports, I also might suggest the 75/1.8. I very nearly got that when going to a sporting event just after the camera arrived, but couldn't source it quickly enough.

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OP Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Enough already, let her enjoy the experience ❤️
1

Jeff wrote:

barbara j wrote:

Marty Lo wrote:

When it comes to weatherproofing it's a yes and it's less stress for both of us. However who doesn't like light and compact.

As to focal length she just seems to pick up whatever and snap away. Currently, all her shots are taken in aperture priority with the exception of sports. ISO is left at 200 or Auto. The only settings she is adamant about is usually during post processing (I'm a fan of machine learning, she abhors it).

I probably should take her into the store again to try them out, that's how we picked out the camera in the end.

How can she experience the joy of mastering something new if you insist on doing all of the learning and all of the leg work for her. This is her camera, her creative outlet, i think you might be trying too too hard to “improve” her experience. Sounds like you are trying to direct the post processing as well.

It is very hard when you love your child so much and you want the best for her but in this case, I think, and this is probably just me, but I think you need to back off and let her ask for your help and then only give the help that is requested. Otherwise, the images she produces will be your images, she will smile, but she will not value them.

You do sound like a wonderful father, just a little over enthusiastic 😄

Did you look at her photos? She's doing all right, to put it simply. She's 9, and dad is just trying to keep up.

If I took even a modicum of pride in my artistic talent (hey zero is still a number) I probably would avoid this forum. I’m pretty sure I’ve failed at every art project in my schooling. The only hope I have in producing a pleasant photo is through the marvel of machine learning and massive data sets, namely an iPhone and that nifty algorithm button.

I simply explain more technical concepts to her in simple terms so she can do what she enjoys, I don’t have the faculties to decide looks right.

That just gave me food for thought...I taught her the basic physics using a common sport (grappling) to us.

Photography might just be a good entry to painless lessons in trig, log, exp even calculus in the future...awesome.

The only constraint I place upon her photography is situation awareness whilst shooting (cars, cliffs etc)

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OP Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

It is, but kids want what older kids have and they won’t use what they won’t like. I could try show her Flickr in the future. I’m the meantime I maintain control with both of us logged in on our devices. So technically it’s my account and she’s the content creator/director and I’m...spell checker 😂

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OP Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

Jeff wrote:

Photo Pete wrote:

9 is very young and it is quite probable that the infatuation with dedicated camera gear might not last long once she sees friends snapping away with their smartphones and having fun with the other phone features too.

Not once...years ago already. Most of her friends spend weekends fixated to small screens watching YouTube channels of other kids playing video games. 
I found recognition is a better form dissuasion from that garbage than simple rules. It’s perverse in a way, the best way to keep a kid from social media it seems is to let said kid enjoy creating more of it.

It would be great to keep her interest though so I’d concentrate on providing lens options that smartphones can’t really match. Go for a lightweight long telephoto such as the 70-300 or an ultra wide angle such as the 9-18 or a macro lens. In a child’s mind being able to zoom in super close or capture a really wide view of a room or being able to take photos of tiny objects is surprisingly appealing.

Being able to shoot with shallow depth of field is not really so unique as many smartphones are emulating the effect anyway. 9 year olds tend to be less concerned about it appearing a little artificial than us old grumpy photographers.

She's young. But if you look at her instagram feed that this 9yr has a pretty sophisticated eye

I was also very young when I got started with photography and my first instamatic, followed shortly thereafter by granddad's and uncle's old cast offs. It was a lot of fun, even if they weren't in the same ball pack as this young person. Though I've had dry spells in the 5+ decades since, photography has always been a passion. Bet many of you would say the same thing. This may be hers, too.

You simply can't predict what's going to happen at this age. So take a flyer and have some fun while it lasts.

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Jeff Veteran Member • Posts: 6,157
Re: Enough already, let her enjoy the experience ❤️
1

Marty Lo wrote:

Jeff wrote:

barbara j wrote:

Marty Lo wrote:

When it comes to weatherproofing it's a yes and it's less stress for both of us. However who doesn't like light and compact.

As to focal length she just seems to pick up whatever and snap away. Currently, all her shots are taken in aperture priority with the exception of sports. ISO is left at 200 or Auto. The only settings she is adamant about is usually during post processing (I'm a fan of machine learning, she abhors it).

I probably should take her into the store again to try them out, that's how we picked out the camera in the end.

How can she experience the joy of mastering something new if you insist on doing all of the learning and all of the leg work for her. This is her camera, her creative outlet, i think you might be trying too too hard to “improve” her experience. Sounds like you are trying to direct the post processing as well.

It is very hard when you love your child so much and you want the best for her but in this case, I think, and this is probably just me, but I think you need to back off and let her ask for your help and then only give the help that is requested. Otherwise, the images she produces will be your images, she will smile, but she will not value them.

You do sound like a wonderful father, just a little over enthusiastic 😄

Did you look at her photos? She's doing all right, to put it simply. She's 9, and dad is just trying to keep up.

If I took even a modicum of pride in my artistic talent (hey zero is still a number) I probably would avoid this forum. I’m pretty sure I’ve failed at every art project in my schooling. The only hope I have in producing a pleasant photo is through the marvel of machine learning and massive data sets, namely an iPhone and that nifty algorithm button.

I simply explain more technical concepts to her in simple terms so she can do what she enjoys, I don’t have the faculties to decide looks right.

That just gave me food for thought...I taught her the basic physics using a common sport (grappling) to us.

Photography might just be a good entry to painless lessons in trig, log, exp even calculus in the future...awesome.

The only constraint I place upon her photography is situation awareness whilst shooting (cars, cliffs etc)

Photography is absolutely full of lessons in physics and, if you think about visual perception, biology, too. One of the best introductions I've seen are the course notes for CSE 178 at Stanford,

https://sites.google.com/site/marclevoylectures/home

and

https://photographycourse.net/digital-photography-course-stanford-professor/

On perception: https://caltechletters.org/science/color-perception

This would be way overkill for a 9 year old, but I could see some of this material entirely appropriate for a middle school or high school science level course.

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sean000 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,670
Re: 25/1.8

addlightness wrote:

As my kids come of age, I teach them to drive with manual transmission first. And for photography, a MILC with 50/f1.8 efl first (in this case, a Nikon V1 + 18.5/1.8 prime).

IMO, once they learn to work with constraints, they appreciate the physics behind them.

another vote for 25mm f/1.8. The normal field of view is versatile, and the f/1.8 allows one to experiment with depth of field. I learned on a Nikon D70 with 35mm f/2... which provides a normal FOV on Nikon DX.

I learned to drive manual transmission as well back in the 80’s. Sadly it has been years since I’ve even been in a car with a manual transmission. The last car I owned with one was a ‘91 Saab 900s.

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addlightness Senior Member • Posts: 3,105
Re: 25/1.8
1

sean000 wrote:

addlightness wrote:

As my kids come of age, I teach them to drive with manual transmission first. And for photography, a MILC with 50/f1.8 efl first (in this case, a Nikon V1 + 18.5/1.8 prime).

IMO, once they learn to work with constraints, they appreciate the physics behind them.

another vote for 25mm f/1.8. The normal field of view is versatile, and the f/1.8 allows one to experiment with depth of field. I learned on a Nikon D70 with 35mm f/2... which provides a normal FOV on Nikon DX.

Yep.  Every camera system I bought (film, DX, CX, M43) over the past 38 years, the 1st lens was always 50/1.8 efl, followed by 28/2.8 efl

I learned to drive manual transmission as well back in the 80’s. Sadly it has been years since I’ve even been in a car with a manual transmission. The last car I owned with one was a ‘91 Saab 900s.

When you find yourself out in San Francisco Bay Area, you can reminisce driving manual transmission with either one of my two 6-speed cars 

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jsaras Contributing Member • Posts: 523
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
1

I vote for the 20mm.  It’s a great optic that’s fast, cheap and versatile.

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Spluurfg New Member • Posts: 21
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
1

I restarted my photography hobby recently with a similar set of gear.  I did end up buying the 12-40 and it's an amazing lens, but as others have mentioned, probably a bit overkill.

I personally would strongly recommend the 25/1.8 or 25/1.7 Lumix.  Depth of field control is such an important early photographic concept and it's also a lot of fun, it's a reasonably priced and high quality lens, really you can't go wrong.

Very personally, I feel like the 17/1.8 is an amazing lens to handle and feel, and the manual focus clutch is wonderful, but it's very ... Grown up?  It's kind of ideal as a FOV for an almost documentary or photojournalistic look, great for travel.  If she is shooting lots of half portraits or groups of people then go for it, but for me I would lean towards the 25 if she's taking random, interesting still lifes etc.

Another thing to consider is other cheapie manual focus lenses.  I got the 7artisans 25 and 50 and they are very fun to use, I am even thinking to add the 12 or 7.5 fisheye.  Let's not forget, these are toys!  And more buttons/knobs/rings are great especially at a low price and where absolute critical sharpness is not needed.  Manual aperture and focus is also a great thing to learn.  And they're amazing for video, they have a very nice character to them, I find.

One last suggestion - filters can be a lot of fun, especially a soft focus / halation.  It's got a limited set of uses, but I have found playing with the marumi soft fantasy filter quite enjoyable, and it forces you to consider light sources within the field of view. And they're cheap (relatively) assuming you don't go for a full set of Tiffin pro mists.

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PhotoFactor Veteran Member • Posts: 3,294
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
4

Seems like quite a bit of kit for a nine year old.

I would think that what she already has could keep her busy for a long time. Sometimes riches in hardware aren't the best answer for learning.

Since she has two zooms, I'd get a prime. The 25 f1.8 is inexpensive. The 20mm f1.7 is small and well-loved. I also like the suggestion to ask her what she wants help her understand what each lens offers.

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Bob Janes
Bob Janes Veteran Member • Posts: 3,348
Consider..
1

Consider a macro.

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DavidBrother
DavidBrother Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: Enough already, let her enjoy the experience ❤️
2

Buy her a 9-18 Olympus wideangle and ask her to take funny, strange pictures

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dwkyre Regular Member • Posts: 187
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
1

I am in the prime camp. A pro zoom might give her more image quality and a bit wider aperture, but it won’t give her any intrinsically different capability. A prime is going to be a very different experience and a much better way to practice/learn. If she really does like long focal lengths and portrait work, the 45mm is great, but the 25mm will be more versatile. Could go either way. Those are my only primes, btw (well, the panasonic 42.5mm, but functionally the same.) The 42.5mm feels awfully long indoors, and might be frustrating as her only prime. On the other hand, if she wants to do portraits with a shallow depth of field and good background blur, that longer prime is going to be a good way to go.

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Martin.au
Martin.au Forum Pro • Posts: 13,564
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

First thought is...what do they like to shoot? That will determine the best lens to get.
However, as others have said, the 60mm macro is a pretty strong choice. It opens up a realm of photography that may not have been considered/attempted yet, and it a versatile useful for portraits, indoor sport, etc. It was one of the first lenses I bought, and I've never regretted that.

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Max Iso
Max Iso Senior Member • Posts: 8,122
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

My advice is, ask her what she likes to shoot most. You already have 12-150mm covered, which is pretty much everything from WA landscapes to some telephoto work, but nothing in there is "fast" for extreme lowlight or DOF controled portraits ect. Neither of those are macro lenses either. So, there are some holes.

Ask her what she wants to shoot most and buy the lens that will suit that best, if you don't know what that is, we can help when you get to that point.

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OP Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

Auf Reisen wrote:

With Panasonic lenses on Olympus bodies, you can either use the lens stabilisation or the in-body stabilisation of the camera, but you cannot use both in conjunction. Double IS only works with bodies and lenses of the same manufacturer.

That's good to hear,

I found a Panasonic 25mm F1.7, it's $200 less RRP however doesn't match the whole retro look the Olympus combo unit provides.

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Barry Twycross Senior Member • Posts: 1,968
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

Marty Lo wrote:

Auf Reisen wrote:

With Panasonic lenses on Olympus bodies, you can either use the lens stabilisation or the in-body stabilisation of the camera, but you cannot use both in conjunction. Double IS only works with bodies and lenses of the same manufacturer.

That's good to hear,

I found a Panasonic 25mm F1.7, it's $200 less RRP however doesn't match the whole retro look the Olympus combo unit provides.

That's expensive, or is that a different $?

It's still $148 (US) from Amazon, I have one lying around unused on the shelf my wife would love me to get rid of. I prefer the 20/1.7.

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OP Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

Barry Twycross wrote:

Marty Lo wrote:

Auf Reisen wrote:

With Panasonic lenses on Olympus bodies, you can either use the lens stabilisation or the in-body stabilisation of the camera, but you cannot use both in conjunction. Double IS only works with bodies and lenses of the same manufacturer.

That's good to hear,

I found a Panasonic 25mm F1.7, it's $200 less RRP however doesn't match the whole retro look the Olympus combo unit provides.

That's expensive, or is that a different $?

It's still $148 (US) from Amazon, I have one lying around unused on the shelf my wife would love me to get rid of. I prefer the 20/1.7.

At our national chain store in Aust, the rrp for the Zuiko 25mm $AUD499. The Lumix 25mm was $AUD300.

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JaKing
JaKing Senior Member • Posts: 6,046
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
1

Marty Lo wrote:

Barry Twycross wrote:

Marty Lo wrote:

Auf Reisen wrote:

With Panasonic lenses on Olympus bodies, you can either use the lens stabilisation or the in-body stabilisation of the camera, but you cannot use both in conjunction. Double IS only works with bodies and lenses of the same manufacturer.

That's good to hear,

I found a Panasonic 25mm F1.7, it's $200 less RRP however doesn't match the whole retro look the Olympus combo unit provides.

That's expensive, or is that a different $?

It's still $148 (US) from Amazon, I have one lying around unused on the shelf my wife would love me to get rid of. I prefer the 20/1.7.

At our national chain store in Aust, the rrp for the Zuiko 25mm $AUD499. The Lumix 25mm was $AUD300.

Marty, my f/1.8 25 Olympus was AUD$ 339 at Michael's in Melbourne.

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OP Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

JaKing wrote:

Marty Lo wrote:

Barry Twycross wrote:

Marty Lo wrote:

Auf Reisen wrote:

With Panasonic lenses on Olympus bodies, you can either use the lens stabilisation or the in-body stabilisation of the camera, but you cannot use both in conjunction. Double IS only works with bodies and lenses of the same manufacturer.

That's good to hear,

I found a Panasonic 25mm F1.7, it's $200 less RRP however doesn't match the whole retro look the Olympus combo unit provides.

That's expensive, or is that a different $?

It's still $148 (US) from Amazon, I have one lying around unused on the shelf my wife would love me to get rid of. I prefer the 20/1.7.

At our national chain store in Aust, the rrp for the Zuiko 25mm $AUD499. The Lumix 25mm was $AUD300.

Marty, my f/1.8 25 Olympus was AUD$ 339 at Michael's in Melbourne.

It's 520 now.

https://michaels.com.au/collections/photography-lenses-mirrorless-system-lenses/products/olympus-25mm-f1-8-silver-lens-55079?_pos=1&_sid=134af6108&_ss=r

I was tipped off on a HK vendor retailing at around the price you purchased at. I think it's a go.

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