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Photography Question 
Rachelle P. Cooper
 

Fast lens for photography kids in natural light??


I mostly use just natural light when doing photography since I do alot of small babies. But I find when I do children, they are moving alot and I cant get the pictures as sharp as I want. I guess I am wondering if I should get a faster lens since I dont have a ton of light??
The fastest lens I have is a canon 28-135, f 3.5 lens, so any suggestions of a good fast lens?? is one needed??
I have tried increasing the iso and using some flash but its still not where I want it to be. I dont use a tripod since its just too hard with the moving kids.
Any suggestions on setting as well? I usually try to shoot at 1/500s...
Thanks


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11/12/2008 8:26:18 PM

 
Bernard    Hi Rachelle
I can't imagine small babies moving so fast that you can't use a tripod, I'm sure you can use one sometimes that will solve aleast half the problems yu encounter.
as far as the f3.5 you are using! the more prepared for the job you are, the better your results, I find myself in challenging situations even while using 50mm f1.4, 17-50mm f2.8, 50-150mm f2.8,
if you can afford it' go for a faster lens.
happy shooting


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11/12/2008 8:45:57 PM

 
Bernard    Hi Rachelle
I can't imagine small babies moving so fast that you can't use a tripod, I'm sure you can use one sometimes, that will solve at least half the problems you encounter.
as far as the f3.5 you are using! the more prepared for the job you are, the better your results, I find myself in challenging situations even while using 50mm f1.4, 17-50mm f2.8, 50-150mm f2.8,
if you can afford it' go for a faster lens.
happy shooting


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11/12/2008 8:47:42 PM

 
Rachelle P. Cooper   Hey its not for the small babies, but for older kids, like my son who is 2 yrs old. Ya, believe me it just doesnt work, you are constantly moving with them...


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11/12/2008 8:52:18 PM

 
W.   
Sorry, Bernard, I have to disagree with you on this one. You can't solve this with a faster lens. Rachelle simply needs a ton more light to freeze the kids' movements: flash! Preferably softened, or bounced via ceiling and/or reflectors. The sync speed of your camera is excellent, Rachelle, because the flash' duration is the effective shutter time (after sundown): generally between 1/5,000th and 1/30,000th of a second. Trust me, that freezes them solid, in a manner of speaking.

Like you, I like to work with handheld camera in these kinds of situations. So for lighting I have a few (up to 5) 5600HS D flash guns on their own tripods, wirelessly slaved (IR) to my camera. Reflectors are invaluable to fake softboxes and open up heavy shadows.

Have fun!


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11/12/2008 9:26:24 PM

 
W.   
And, oh yeah: moms are great independently controlled, remotely operated reflector holders...!


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11/12/2008 9:33:40 PM

 
Bernard    I agree with you W.S. for children around two and above freezing action with flash is preferred, I visioned little babies.


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11/12/2008 10:11:33 PM

 
A C
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/6/2004
  flash is awesome for kids. But sometimes I love to take pics without it. I especially like to go with natural light when I'm trying to take pics of the kids as they play rather than just doing posed shots.

I use my 50mm f1.8 lens ... it is less than $100. If you own a Canon, it's an awesome little lens (if you own an entry level Nikon you can't auto focus). Sure it's not a pro series, but it is a prime and that counts for something when it comes to quality.

here is the lens:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/12142-USA/Canon_2514A002BA_Normal_EF_50mm_f_1_8.html

of course, there is no way that you can really get to 1/500 indoors using natural light. I have three kids, ages 7, 4, and 1 and large enough windows. I often shoot between 1/100 and 1/200 with an aperture of 1.8 to 2.2 and an iso of 100 to 400, sometimes 800. When I shoot higher iso's I use noise removal software. Imagenomic has a free noise removal edition that has it's limitations but is awesome if you're on a budget and putting your money into lenses and lighting. You can try their community version unless you want to go for the full version (I have the full version):

http://www.imagenomic.com/download_nwsa.aspx


the one major downside to using a faster lens at larger apertures is that the depth of field can be too shallow at times ... especially if you want group shots. So that's when flash really comes in handy!

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when using flash, I like to use my flash unit wirelessly instead of using strobes plugged into the wall. Here's a website to get you started if you're interested in that: http://strobist..com/.

In most (not all, but most) wireless setups you won't be able to shoot faster than 1/200 or 1/250. The only time I need to shoot faster is outdoors when trying to get a shallow depth of field plus overpower the sun to get a good balance. For indoor stuff you won't need to shoot faster than that.

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the setup I had for a long time was the 50mm f1.8 and a flash unit on my camera that I could bounce off of walls and reflectors. It's easy to swivel the flash around as I move around to follow the kids and get different angles. My suggestion would be to start with this setup and move on to wireless flash or strobes later if you feel this setup isn't cutting it for your needs.


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11/16/2008 8:50:45 AM

 
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