50 1.4 or 85 1.4

Joined
May 5, 2005
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I have another grandbaby coming in September. I'm thinking about purchasing a fast lens before the birth. None of my local stores have either of the above lenses in stock.

If you could only buy one to use for photos of babies and young children, which would you choose and why? Thanks for any advice you can give me. I've decided that I am going to stick with my D200 for a while longer and concentrate on purchasing the lenses that I want. I did the same thing when I had my D70. I purchased the 10-20, 17-55, and 70-200 before I got the D200. It was a move I didn't regret.

Which would be the best lens for use on a full frame camera later?
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
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Massachusetts
Oh boy........tough, for the reason that you tossed in FX (later). :smile:

I suspect many will point you to the 85, but I would say the 50 is better. It gives you a touch more environment with your shot. The 85 has a long working distance, and typically when shooting babies, you're not that far away. Tiny babies can't support themselves, so they have someone holding them. The 50 lets you include that person.

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Now for my personal caveat. I hated the 50 on DX. it was a very awkward focal length for me. Thus, I would HIGHLY recommend the 35/2 for use in shooting low light on DX. It's a wonderful lens which makes for beautiful skin, and is very close to the 50 on FX (in terms of FOV).

You can also hand hold the 35 / 50 in lower light than you can the 85 (its got some heft to it).

So I would suggest either the 50 or the 35 for now, and save the 85 for later. (I offer this as a Mom who is always trying to snap shots of the kids, often in the house......the 85 has too long a minimum distance for most 'in house' shooting). :smile:
 
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One other I'll toss out: 28-105. Because of its macro abilities, you can really get in tight and frame up individual parts. I love this little gem (Thanks to Uncle Frank!), and it can be found used for $150-175.

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Joined
Nov 18, 2005
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I have both lenses and a small baby too...no matter how good the 85 can be for many applications, the 50mm will be a much better lense for that use.
 
Joined
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I'm pretty much with Sandro. I think the 85 will be a little more versatile on fx, while the 50 might have a tiny edge with dx for what you're specifically looking for.
 
N

Nuteshack

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for dx on babies -> 50 1.4 is the one!

Ava's first day in the world
d200/50 1.4 @1.4, 1/25s, 400iso
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Joined
Oct 17, 2007
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Houston, Tx
I have the 50 1.4 and use it to take pictures of my son all the time. I also use the beast and love it. I want the 85 1.4, but I have a lot more saving to do before I get that.

If money is not the object, the 50 is a great lens. But having seen many pics from the 85, I'd love to have that over the 50 for portraits.
 
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I took the 35/2 when my son was born. It was perfect for getting full-length shots of him just after he was born. I'll use it again if another comes along someday.
 
Joined
May 1, 2007
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Halftime in Central Florida, halftime RV'ing.
Hi Terri,

I don't own the 50 1.4, but I agree the 35/2 is a great lens. But hey, the shot of Nute's with the 50 makes me want one of those too. Oh lens lust is terrible affliction. lol Have admit the 85 1.4 is near the top of my list as well. Have fun choosing, and congrats on the new family member.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
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Washington, DC
I would say the 50 is better. It gives you a touch more environment with your shot. The 85 has a long working distance, and typically when shooting babies, you're not that far away. Tiny babies can't support themselves, so they have someone holding them. The 50 lets you include that person. . . .
So I would suggest either the 50 or the 35 for now
Good advice. I notice that almost no one is suggesting that you go beyond 50.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
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San Jose, CA
If you could only buy one to use for photos of babies and young children, which would you choose and why?
I'd recommend 2 lenses... the 85/1.4 and 35/2. They make an awesome combo for any kind of portrait session... infants to headshots to groups. They'll be great on FX, too.

But if you can only get one, and it's specifically for little kids, make it the 35/2. Gretchen already gave you the reasons, so I'll just back her up with some samples covering infants through sophisticated three year olds...

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and you can even use it for big babies... errr, make that babes. :Love:

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Joined
Jan 26, 2005
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One other I'll toss out: 28-105. Because of its macro abilities, you can really get in tight and frame up individual parts. I love this little gem (Thanks to Uncle Frank!), and it can be found used for $150-175.
A terrific lens... but it's not very fast, which is an issue for low light indoor baby pics for those of us shooting d200s.

But as a grab'n'go, it's outstanding. My kid brother is buying his first dslr and is on a tight budget. I steered him to the d200 and 28-105 combo.
 
N

Nuteshack

Guest
Nute, that is such a great shot.
thanks Rich:biggrin:
another from the d200/50 1.4 just the other day @2.2
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Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
125
Location
SF
Im with Nute on this one.
The 50 1.4 is the go to lens for your situation.
The 85mm is too long and not fast enough in low light indoors (try getting a shutter speed of 1/130 indoors)
The 35mm f2 is good but not as fast nor will isolate your subject as well.

That means the 50 1.4 is your answer. Its much easier to achieve 1/80 or get away with 1/60 of a second indoors with this lens. Not to mention the ease of isolating your subject from the background at f1.4.
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
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UK
Why decide? why not just buy all three :Devil: .

Seriously, I bought a 50/1.4 and it can be a bit awkward indoors. However for portrait use that is usually ideal. I wish I did get the 35/2 instead, but nevermind because one day I'll have an FX sensor and 50/1.4 will be a great prime to have I hope :smile:.

By the way nute... half your stuff is magical :Love: - keep it up!
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
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Michigan
I don't have the 50mm but do have the 85mm. Honestly as a DX 85mm owner I'd say while this setup can be an incredible one, the biggest issue you're going to run into is simply having enough room to shoot at that range. I'd love to have the 50mm as an option.
 
N

Nuteshack

Guest
Why decide? why not just buy all three :Devil: .

Seriously, I bought a 50/1.4 and it can be a bit awkward indoors. However for portrait use that is usually ideal. I wish I did get the 35/2 instead, but nevermind because one day I'll have an FX sensor and 50/1.4 will be a great prime to have I hope :smile:.

By the way nute... half your stuff is magical :Love: - keep it up!
thanks pal:biggrin:
 

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