Nikon Lens for D3100 ~Newborn & Family~

mammamarshall

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HELLO!
I AM EXPLORING MY PHOTOGRAPHY HOBBY. I AM LOVING TAKING PHOTOS OF NEWBORNS AND FAMILIES! WE ARE ACTUALLY THINKING OF MAKING A LITTLE STUDIO IN OUR BASEMENT. I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS THOUGH.

I JUST HAVE THE LENS THAT CAME WITH MY CAMERA. I AM LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO START WITH THAT WILL ALLOW ME TO TAKE AMAZING PICTURES AND FOCUS ON MY SUBJECT AND BLUR THE BACKGROUND. I WOULD ALSO LIKE SOMETHING THAT IS GREAT FOR INDOOR AND OUTDOOR USE.

LIGHTING... DO I NEED TO GET ANOTHER SOURCE OF FLASH FOR MY CAMERA? I AM TOTALLY NEW TO ALL OF THIS SO IF THERE IS A SITE I SHOULD CHECK OUT OR VIDEOS TO HELP ME, PLEASE SHARE!
 

PaulWog

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HELLO!
I AM EXPLORING MY PHOTOGRAPHY HOBBY. I AM LOVING TAKING PHOTOS OF NEWBORNS AND FAMILIES! WE ARE ACTUALLY THINKING OF MAKING A LITTLE STUDIO IN OUR BASEMENT. I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS THOUGH.
I JUST HAVE THE LENS THAT CAME WITH MY CAMERA. I AM LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO START WITH THAT WILL ALLOW ME TO TAKE AMAZING PICTURES AND FOCUS ON MY SUBJECT AND BLUR THE BACKGROUND. I WOULD ALSO LIKE SOMETHING THAT IS GREAT FOR INDOOR AND OUTDOOR USE.
LIGHTING... DO I NEED TO GET ANOTHER SOURCE OF FLASH FOR MY CAMERA? I AM TOTALLY NEW TO ALL OF THIS SO IF THERE IS A SITE I SHOULD CHECK OUT OR VIDEOS TO HELP ME, PLEASE SHARE!

Lenses to look at (assuming you're on somewhat of a budget):

Nikon 35mm 1.8G ($200-$250)
Nikon 50mm 1.8G ($200-$250)
Nikon 85mm 1.8G ($500)
Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 ($650)

The Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 might be a great choice for you since it's going to be a zoom and it will be good for "indoor and outdoor use".

Getting a flash unit will be pretty important if you're doing studio work. If your D3100 doesn't have commander, then you'll want to either get a flash unit with commander built in, or get a flash wire so you can hold your flash unit off of your camera instead of just connecting it to the top (the wire is the cheapest option for single-flash solutions).
 

goodguy

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Lens for a cropped sensor that is reasonable in price is the Nikon 50mm 1.8G, it will give you good bokeh (blur the background).
Its a good lens for night photography and in general a good all around lens with fantastic sharpness.
A flash is always a good thing for indoor shooting.
Lots of flashes to choose from, Nikon has of course its flashes and there are lots of aftermarket flashes for a much more reasonable price.
 

Derrel

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I'd second looking into a 17-50mm f/2.8, or the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 DX...focal length flexibility is really nice to have. I honestly think that a professional photographer needs at minimum, a four-light studio set-up. Period. Four identical light units. Not a lot of power, but four identical lights is easiest. FOur, 150-Watt-second studio flash heads, something low-cost, like the Adorama Flashpoint 320M units, with three softboxes, and a few good reflectors and grip arms, and about six or eight light stands. A fifth light is also very handy.
 

shadowlands

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I would agree with the Nikon 17-55 F2.8, if you can swing it.
If not, a combination of the Nikon AF-S 35mm F1.8G and Nikon AF-S 50mm F1.8G would serve you well.
 

MartinCrabtree

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I just picked up a manual focus 50MM 1.8 Series E Nikon lens for $6. Sure I have to meter externally or shoot and adjust but with digital the 2nd choice is easy. This is truly "straight from the camera",no post adjustment. In camera settings,vivid,sharpening +2 and Active D on. Not a great photo but a lot going on to demonstrate the lens's capability.

_DSC0391_zps306b9aa0.jpg

If you're willing to learn the manual use of the camera some great glass can be had cheap 'cause no one wants manual stuff anymore and Nikon saw fit to make the F mount almost universal for the bodies,film or digital. The lens is currently living on my F5. I might finish the roll today and get it developed to see just how good I did for $6.

And I picked up a SB-400 for about $50 used. Haven't bothered with it off camera but tilt it up and bounce off a card for a nice diffused light.
 
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Braineack

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Lenses to look at (assuming you're on somewhat of a budget):

Nikon 35mm 1.8G ($200-$250)
Nikon 50mm 1.8G ($200-$250)
Nikon 85mm 1.8G ($500)
Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 ($650)

The Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 might be a great choice for you since it's going to be a zoom and it will be good for "indoor and outdoor use".

Getting a flash unit will be pretty important if you're doing studio work. If your D3100 doesn't have commander, then you'll want to either get a flash unit with commander built in, or get a flash wire so you can hold your flash unit off of your camera instead of just connecting it to the top (the wire is the cheapest option for single-flash solutions).

I got the 35mm as my first; love it. I'm thinking of skipping the 50mm and going straight to the 85 right now (i say this because I end up shooting at 70mm a lot with my walking lens).

As for the 17-50. I think that's a great idea for a walking lens. I have a 17-70mm f/2.8-4 and I wish i had a 17-55 or 24-80 f/2.8 instead. I honestly don't think I'll buy anything but a prime lens ever again.
 

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