lens help please - photographing children indoors...

jerseygirl

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i have a canon EOS digital rebel with a 28-105 mm lens 1: 3.5-4.5 II USM. a new mommy, i have been taking tons of photos that have once again sparked my interest in photography. for the life of me, with the above lens i can't achieve sharp, well lit, indoor close-ups. i find the manual setting to be the best, but the autofocus doesn't do what i want, and to attempt a manual adjustment with a squirmy 7 month old, well...i lose the shot...

i think i need to invest in another lens, but am open to suggestions. i have played around with ISO speeds, apereture and shutter speed combos both in pre-set and manual modes.

i think my next lens should be a macro, however i don't know which one would achive my desired results. basically, i like to shoot people (lately the little one) close up and using natural light, but i don't want to stand on top of them. outdoors is a non-issue, it's in my poorly lit home that i run into problems...

what are the pros/cons of a Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 macro vs. a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM macro. how close would i need to be to get a good shot? what do i need to consider as far as the lighting goes?

thank you!
 

outdoorlover

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Are you sure you aren't getting too close?? And not able to focus
Have you tried different zoom levels?
All zooms have a sweet spot, maybe that will help some.
If you get good focus and clear shots outside, then you should be able to indoors.
It could be a artificial lighting issue, but even then you should be able to work around it.
Sorry I don't know about the other lens
 
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jerseygirl

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Are you sure you aren't getting too close?? And not able to focus
Have you tried different zoom levels?
probably, but when i stand further away the photos become darker :confused:
If you get good focus and clear shots outside, then you should be able to indoors.
It could be a artificial lighting issue, but even then you should be able to work around it.
come to think of it, the outdoor shots are generally taken from a longer distance...what to try indoors? i try to shoot in an area where natural light comes through the window. generally i don't use artificial light during the day...thanks!
 

markc

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That's a decent all-around zoom, but isn't quite the lens for what you want to do. I'd recommend a 50mm/f1.8. It's quite inexpensive, but has a large maximum aperture (f1.8 ) so that you can do shots without flash. You won't be able to get as close as you do with a wide angle, but wide angles aren't that great for people shots anyway. The minimum focus distance should be decent also. I don't think you need a macro lens. They are more for insect and flower shots. For reference, all of my people shots are with either a 50mm/f1.4 or 85mm/f1.8.
 

outdoorlover

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can you post some pics so we can see what you are talking about?
 

Jeff Canes

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Have you tried different auto focus modes? the wrong mode could cause isuess. For example if you are using a single point and focus lock, this will let you pick a point on the subject to be in focus. You set the camera to a single focusing point. Then pick point on the subject you want in focus, focus at that point by hold trigger haft way down, this lock the focus, then recompose the shot and push trigger the reset the way down
 

xfloggingkylex

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do you feel the auto focus isn't working correctly because it is a low light situation? if so the 1.8 will help that. With such a large aperture you'll find the lens focuses much faster because it allows more light to enter the camera.
 

Jeremy Z

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With the 1.5x multiplication factor on your camera, the 50mm works out to more like 75mm, which should be a very good portrait focal length. (typical portrait lenses are 85-105mm, for 35mm format)

Since it is so fast, it will be easy to focus manually, if needed, and autofocus should always be very fast.

It should be noted though, that you do give up something to get this lens for $75. A true macro is always going to be sharper, better-corrected for distortion, and usually can be pushed into service elsewhere too. (for great ebay illustrations of tiny details, for instance) But it is a bit slower, so the natural light indoor stuff won't be as good as on the 50mm f/1.8.

The 50mm f/1.4 is a better lens all around. It it has the quieter (ultrasonic) focusing motor, internal focusing mechanism and has the opportunity for even shallower depth of field. It also has a steel lens mount, so it will probably last longer and take more abuse. With this lens stopped down to f/2.8, it should be almost as good as the f/2.8 macro. Another cool thing about it is that if you want a slightly longer portrait lens, you can add the Canon 1.4x teleconverter, and it will still be fast, (it will slow down to an f/2) and you will have a 113mm lens.

This would also work with the f/1.8 lens, but with the 1.4x teleconverter, it would be a little slower.
 
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jerseygirl

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That's a decent all-around zoom, but isn't quite the lens for what you want to do. I'd recommend a 50mm/f1.8. It's quite inexpensive, but has a large maximum aperture (f1.8 ) so that you can do shots without flash. You won't be able to get as close as you do with a wide angle, but wide angles aren't that great for people shots anyway. The minimum focus distance should be decent also. I don't think you need a macro lens. They are more for insect and flower shots. For reference, all of my people shots are with either a 50mm/f1.4 or 85mm/f1.8.
my parents live in pittsford, just spent the holidays in your neck of the woods...

i was wondering about this lens as well, thanks for the info. how far would i have to stand to get a well lit, focused version of the attached (hmmm, can't seem to attach photos :confused:)? why would i want the 50mm vs. the 100mm? thanks!

thephotoforum1.jpg

 
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jerseygirl

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With the 1.5x multiplication factor on your camera, the 50mm works out to more like 75mm, which should be a very good portrait focal length. (typical portrait lenses are 85-105mm, for 35mm format)

Since it is so fast, it will be easy to focus manually, if needed, and autofocus should always be very fast.

It should be noted though, that you do give up something to get this lens for $75. A true macro is always going to be sharper, better-corrected for distortion, and usually can be pushed into service elsewhere too. (for great ebay illustrations of tiny details, for instance) But it is a bit slower, so the natural light indoor stuff won't be as good as on the 50mm f/1.8.

The 50mm f/1.4 is a better lens all around. It it has the quieter (ultrasonic) focusing motor, internal focusing mechanism and has the opportunity for even shallower depth of field. It also has a steel lens mount, so it will probably last longer and take more abuse. With this lens stopped down to f/2.8, it should be almost as good as the f/2.8 macro. Another cool thing about it is that if you want a slightly longer portrait lens, you can add the Canon 1.4x teleconverter, and it will still be fast, (it will slow down to an f/2) and you will have a 113mm lens.

This would also work with the f/1.8 lens, but with the 1.4x teleconverter, it would be a little slower.
very interesting, will have to read up on the teleconverter... how far away does one stand from the subject with these lenses?
 
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jerseygirl

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can you post some pics so we can see what you are talking about?
ug, i'm trying :banghead: ... as a newbie can i not attach, just reference url's?

okay, got it, here are some examples...

1. no flash & out of focus

thephotoforum2.jpg


2. flash, crisper, but don't like the color vs. natural light...

thephotoforum3.jpg


3. no flash & kind of focused, but not crisp

thephotoforum4.jpg
 

markc

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With a baby that size and a 50mm on a Digital Rebel (1.6 crop factor), I'd guess that you'd spend most of your time between 3' and 6'. The blur on the first one might be camera shake or it just might be too close. That lens has a minimum distance of .5 meters (1'8"). I'm guessing that you were around that when you took the shot. The third one looks like camera shake. With a wider aperture lens, you will get more light in and can use a faster shutter speed to help freeze that.

For reference, this was taken with my Canon 10D and 50mm/f1.4 (same field of view we are talking about for you) at f1.8 and 1/1500 sec. We were both sitting on the same couch. I'd say I was about about 4.5' away or so.

M3007.jpg


If you really want to see exactly what you would be getting, set your zoom to 50mm. You'll be seeing just what you would see with the new lens. The difference will be the wide aperture which will let in more light.
 
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jerseygirl

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With a wider aperture lens, you will get more light in and can use a faster shutter speed to help freeze that.
this is what i was thinking, but was not 100% sure...

For reference, this was taken with my Canon 10D and 50mm/f1.4 (same field of view we are talking about for you) at f1.8 and 1/1500 sec. We were both sitting on the same couch. I'd say I was about about 4.5' away or so.
beautiful shot :thumbup:

If you really want to see exactly what you would be getting, set your zoom to 50mm. You'll be seeing just what you would see with the new lens. The difference will be the wide aperture which will let in more light.
great idea, will try...
 

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