I am looking to capture some baby photos over the next few months (first child due next month). I have the Canon 550D with the the following equipment:

  • 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens: Very good image quality, but limiting for indoor shooting, particularly on the long end. I have used ISO 6400 in some scenarios without a flash, but found the results quite poor, as expected.
  • 50mm f/1.8: Quite handy indoors and very good quality images, but can get a bit long in confined spaces. Focus speed is also pretty slow.
  • Metz 44 AF-1 flash with tilt & swivel head: Powerful, but not convenient for candids

From what I have read on the site, it seems that people recommend the primes in the 24-50mm range for baby photos, especially on cropped sensor bodies (flash is recommended too). To that end, I was considering the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 and have found that it has a pretty good reputation for its image quality (particularly on cropped bodies) on review sites. It is also a fairly fast and in the ideal portrait focal length range.

Should I consider this lens given my current equipment? Are there any other options for this purpose (budget around $500-600), keeping an eye on the future requirements as the baby grows?

  • \$\begingroup\$ It is good, but if they are moving even f/2.8 isn't that fast. You will want a flash to stop the motion in that situation. If you want low light indoor moving child portraits, then f/1.8 or f/1.4 in the 24-35mm range might be the best. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Jan 25, 2013 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


When taking pictures babies have two annoying tendencies: They move a lot, and they run at the camera. Fast shutter speeds and the ability to change framing gives a preference for a f2.8 zoom. I don't know how fast the Tamron focuses, but if you are going to use it at f2.8, I sure hope it focuses fast. Children move a lot in unexpected directions.

I really love my 50mm f1.4 (on a crop censor) when I can get far enough away from the child. 50mm fits my style for these kinds of photos. It gives a close clean feeling which I think suits babies.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for distance being key. My babies too ran at the camera. Now as teenagers, they run away from it :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Jan 25, 2013 at 17:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ How is the AF performance of the 50mm 1.4 that you mention? The f/1.8 that I have can be pretty slow, and when shooting wide open, I end up with the focus being off in many cases even on static subjects. \$\endgroup\$
    – ab.aditya
    Jan 26, 2013 at 4:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Nikon 50mm f1.4 is fairly slow, and wide open nearly impossible to get in focus with a moving subject. The Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 is super snappy, at f2.8 with a child running at the camera, it will usually get acceptable focus. \$\endgroup\$
    – Phil
    Jan 26, 2013 at 18:57

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