VERY new...children's photography


TPF Noob!
Feb 26, 2009
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We just got a Nikon D60 for Christmas and LOVE IT! I'm still very new w/it and trying out different modes and such. My main interest is children's photography...not the "stand there, say cheese" type, but the more action oriented, catch them in their element type. I have some great shots that were done of my kids and I'm wondering what kinds of lenses someone would use for this kind of photography. I had one person tell me get that really good "fuzzy background", high DOF type of shot, I need a 50mm f1.8 lens.

What other lenses would you suggest? What would the best modes be to use? it seems like I get a couple great shots w/the sports mode, and then some terrible ones. Same w/the portrait and child modes.

Help a newbie out! Thanks!
Welcome to the forum.

Firstly, the best thing you can add, to improve your a bit of knowledge. If you can get a basic understanding of exposure, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, Depth of Field etc. it will really help you to take better photos but also to make a good decision on buying additional gear.

I really don't like the 'picture modes' on cameras these takes too much control away from the photographer. I would stick to P, T, A, and M....once you learn how to use them.

A simple answer to your question would be to look for lenses with a large maximum aperture (a low F number)....hence the suggestion for the 50mm F1.8.
A note on the Nikkor 50mm 1.8:

It will NOT autofocus on the D60. It is only around $100, but is probably the best lens around for the price.

50mm lenses that autofocus with the D40/D60 cost 4 times that much.

There is HOPE!! Nikon just announced a soon-to-be-released 35mm f/1.8 that WILL autofocus with the D40/x/D60. Price will be $200 +/-

If you are shooting children (did I just say that?:lol:) AND trying to learn the different modes/features of your camera, AND ALSO trying to figure out exposure (ISO, Aperture, Shutterspeed, White Balance + a WHOLE LOT MORE!!), manual focus is the last thing you want to worry about.

Oh, BTW....Welcome! You will learn lots and lots of STUFF here.
Unfortunately kids, like athletes, are fast and uncontrollable. So in that sense it is somewhat like Sport photography, which is not easy! This type of photog is easiest when you have a $2000 lens to help you get 2.8 at which ever range of mm's it is you are looking for. A 50mm 1.8 is a bad suggestion. As you stated you're looking to get action shots and you're not going to get that if you have to spin your lens around to focus it before you snap. Sigma has a 50mm 1.4 that sells cheaper than the new Nikkor 1.4G (which DOES autofocus on the d40/d40x/d60, both the Sigman and the new Nikon). I would check out those 2 lenses for sure. If you were to say that money was not a factor i'd say go get a Nikkor 24-70 2.8 ED or the 70-200 2.8 ED.

Hope that helps!
I just got the Sigma 50mm 1.4 and this thing kicks major butt on my D60. This is what I would suggest and I got it for $499 the AF on it is fast and very accurate . Just remember on Nikon lenses if it has the AF-S on it it will AF on the D60 . If you are looking at Sigma lenses make shure it has HSM on it for AF on the D60.

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