Good prime lens choice for catching toddler action shots


mattie

Link Posted 05/03/2022 - 17:24
Hi all

I'd be grateful for any advice on a good focal length or specific prime lens for taking 'action portrait' photos of young kids (specifically, mine are 3 and 5 so posing is out of question). Although it would fall into the generally preferred 75mm-80mm film equivalent range, my 50mm F1.4 just seems a bit too telephoto for the role, and I can't get well framed images of both kids at once.

This is on a K3.

I'm sure others have struggled with this as well!

All advice gratefully received.

Lubbyman

Link Posted 05/03/2022 - 18:40
I usually used the 35mm f2.4 (on a K3) when my two grandkids were that age. Allow space around the (moving!) kids and crop to taste. And be grateful for any shots where the kids are actually looking photogenic rather than in the wrong place and looking in the wrong direction .

Steve

smc

Link Posted 06/03/2022 - 13:37
Agreed!

mattie

Link Posted 06/03/2022 - 19:08
Ta for pointer, I'll see if I can find one to give it a whirl

Daronl

Link Posted 06/03/2022 - 20:22
Sigma Art 35 mm 1.4 - as good as a lens can get
Daronl

mattie

Link Posted 08/03/2022 - 22:40
Daronl wrote:
Sigma Art 35 mm 1.4 - as good as a lens can get

That looks a cracking lens, at that price point I'd probably be looking at the 31mm ltd as well.

A little too expensive, sadly, although I do note a few 28mm FA up for sale that might be of use, although 28mm may be a touch too wide?

johnriley

Link Posted 09/03/2022 - 00:47
A fast standard lens should do the trick. On a crop sensor camera the 35mm f/2.4 is inexpensive and excellent. On full frame a 43mm or 50mm would be the equivalent. Probably the 50mm f/1.4 (not the new mega-expensive version) would be the most cost effective, but the 50mm f/2.8 macro lens could be a thought as well.
Best regards, John

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 09/03/2022 - 11:13
I have found the HD FA 35mm f/2 lens to be very good for taking pictures of my kids. While in theory it's the same optical formula as the much cheaper 35/2.4 already mentioned by John, I have found that the 35/2 is sharper and with better rendering. Of course it's also better built, has a hood, a distance scale and is film and FF compatible.

I remember that the 35/2.4 in testing with my DA 35/2.8 Limited only had a quarter of a stop advantage wide open rather than the half stop it's supposed to have, so really it's f/2.6.

The 35/2.4 provides a first prime that's better than the 18-55 kit lenses but given the quality difference the 35/2 I think provides better value. It can be found at a good price around black Friday and maybe other times of year.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

mattie

Link Posted 09/03/2022 - 22:20
I've found a 31mm ltd at a good price (well, one I could just about survive!), so it seems I've choices ranging from the 35/2.4 through to the 35/2 through to the 31 Ltd, going up in price at each step. I'm a fan of buying once and buying well, so hedging towards the ltd - although I'm conscious some of the Ltd lenses are getting a bit dated, not sure if the newer 35/2 would be a better bet given the more recent design. It's also cheaper (even brand new) than the 31mm limited.

There's a few 35/2.4 up for sale, so I'm happy to take a bit of time to choose.

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 10/03/2022 - 09:27
Obviously of the Pentax lenses around that focal length the 31 Ltd is king, with the HD version in principle better than the SMC. I didn't mention it due to price. I've never tried one but I would love to one day.

The HD 35/2 was released quite recently but it has the same optical formula as the earlier SMC FA version. However, I recall from my very early days with Pentax (around 2010) that the the SMC 35/2 was not very highly thought of and was generally considered to produce dull and lifeless photos. I haven't tried the SMC version but that has not been my experience with the HD version at all, so maybe the HD coatings do a lot more than just reduce flare.

So the optical formulae of both are about the same age, both are available in SMC and HD.

If it were me I'd get the 31mm and at least try it, if you've found one for an acceptable price.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

womble

Link Posted 10/03/2022 - 12:34
Having a 31mm Ltd, the only reason it isn't glued to the front of my camera is that I regularly do the "Single in..." challenge on the US fora and am working my way through my other lenses.

A left side thought... the cheap and cheerful F35-70 is surprisingly good and goes for very little money. It is a bit slower than the other options, however, but I am a bit spoilt with the K-3iii as I don't think twice about using IS03200 or 6400 these days.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

mattie

Link Posted 15/03/2022 - 11:17
Ta all - I've placed an order for th 31mm ltd, it's a bit more than I wanted to spend but hoping the value remains - the 35/2.4 and 35/2 were definite candidates, as was the sigma although I couldn't locate anything in used market, I only really pushed the button on the 31 ltd as it was at a very good price.

Now just need to spend a fortune in sweets and treats to bribe the kids into not pulling silly faces. Wish me luck!
Last Edited by mattie on 15/03/2022 - 11:17

womble

Link Posted 15/03/2022 - 14:04
I was extremely lucky getting mine at, what was then, effectively half price. It was before Brexit so no problems with ordering from Europe. Since then it has seen a great deal of use on my K-3 and then the K-3iii, and is currently seeing service on my MZ-S. Enjoy!
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

mattie

Link Posted 21/03/2022 - 11:10
I'm giving the lens a go now, it needed a fair wedge of fine focus adjustment but looks good. It seems a bit prone to overexposure though? I appreciate that the body is doing the metering but it seems to always be quite light with faces etc.

It's been very sunny so not surprised that faces etc get a bit blown, but it seems quit constant. Of course, easy to add a little bit of compensation but a bit surprised, I've not had any issues with other lenses.

(On a K3 with matrix metering, if it makes any odds)

johnriley

Link Posted 21/03/2022 - 12:07
Try using centre weighted metering and appying -0.3 EV exposure compensation. Works for me.
Best regards, John

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