Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The MUST HAVE Lens for Parents that's not a 50mm

DSLRs are all the rage for parents. The biggest problem that most parents complain about is not being able to get good indoor shots of their children. Some parents have been told that they need to buy another lens if they want to take better indoor pictures of their baby. Almost all of those have been told that they need a 50mm lens. In short, you want better low light pictures but please let me stop you from walking into the 50mm trap.

The one lens all parents must have is the 35 mm prime lens. For Nikon users, look for the Nikon 35mm f1.8 (~$200). For Canon users, look for the Canon 35mm f2 (~$300). The reason why you want the 35mm over the 50mm is because in most cases around the home, you will frequently find yourself zoomed in closer than you would like.

Here are two examples of a 50mm versus a 35mm sitting at a table across from Calvin.

Taken with a 50mm, f/1.4 @ 1/100sec

Taken with a 35mm, f/2.0 @ 1/100sec

About 3 feet away from Calvin. Taken with an iPhone 3G.

The first shot was taken with a 50mm and while it is not a bad shot, you can see that it's a close-up photo. Imagine if all your pictures were all this close? The second photo was taken with a 35mm and it gives me more of the surroundings. I could have gotten the same shot with the 35mm lens as with the 50mm lens if I leaned in closer but the reverse is not true because I would have had to get out of my chair and walk back another 5 feet to get that same shot. Think about how often you are more than 3 ft away from your child.

This advice does not apply to owners of full frame sensor cameras such as the Nikon D700, D3 or the Canon 5D. For you folks, the 50mm is the perfect lens. But the rest of you will want to own a 35mm lens.

Stop reading now and go get one!

Rich is a modern family lifestyle photographer based out of West Los Angeles, California.
He specializes in candid, photojournalistic photography for children, family, and events and is known for capturing life moments in a documentary fashion.

Copyright © 2009 by Rich Mar Photography http://richmarphotography.com


Dave said...

I'm going to get one now!!!

Joe Chan said...

very good advice..i think i'm more shocked of the fact that the iPhone took such a clear picture

jzhu said...

any suggestions on a good wide lens? 10-24 vs 12-24 or 10.5 fisheye?

Rich said...

yea.. i was pretty shocked about the iphone's picture quality too. =)

j - i'd avoid getting a fisheye as your only wide lens. it's more of a gimmick/fun lens. you might want to take a look at the tokina 11-16mm

JD said...

Excellent post. I rely on my 50mm on the SLR but I can see a nice clear difference with the 35mm. Thanks, will be looking into adding this lens.
Also, your little NY Yankees fan makes a great subject. (Go Yankees!)

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