Thanks to all for your feedback. This is great.
One more question if you don't mind.
Can you easily use a Hasselblad 501c/m with an 80mm and 150mm lens for candid shots of children?
When/why would you choose to use a MF over a 35mm camera for candid baby, children's, ... wedding photography?
I don't shoot formal portraits much, more the candid stuff.
Really the only time I use my MF stuff is for the posed formal shots, most of my candids are an on the run situation, that lends itself far better the the 35mm format, just in ease of moving around, the one exception, is I have used a Mamiya 645 hand held with a good flash for candids, but still it is quite a bit larger than the 35mm bodies which does not lend itself to moving as easy, and off course the cost of AF medium format is to great for my blood.
Like I said, 35mm works great when I am in a moving and changing enviorment and have found the 105mm zoom to work great for what I am doing.
Actually I usually use my Bronica S2A with the 135mm lens and a 15mm extension tube when I'm taking candid shots of children. I can set the camera on my knee or a table and use the waist level finder to be more inconspicuous. I don't see it as less flexible than a 35mm. The main thing is that it's an SLR.
Of course Cheryl Jacobs is using medium format for candid children's shots all the time!
I think the main attraction of MF over 35mm for these kinds of photos is the smooth skin texture you can get with the larger neg.
My two cents.
My favorite 35mm lens by far is the 85mm 1.8. It's very fast and allows for awesome shallow DOF, which is quite important when shooting kids candids, as you can't always have a perfect background. When working with a single subject, I almost always shoot at f/2 or 2.8. I would recommend getting the fastest lenses you can afford. There's a big difference between 1.8 and 2.8.
I love (LOVE!) my 24mm (wide angle) lens for my Canon. It lends such a unique perspective to wedding and candid work. The last wedding I did was almost entirely reportage, and I used the 24mm extensively. I'd love to get a tilt-shift 35mm lens, but I've got other priorities first.
For the wedding ceremony itself, which was held in a very dimly light, large church, I rented a 70 - 200 f/2.8 with image stabilizer. It was indispensible for the shutter speeds I was getting, which were in the neighborhood of 1/15th at 2.8 with ISO 3200 film! The IS allowed me to handhold, which is critically important to me with my style.
My only MF lens is an 80mm 2.8, although I frequently borrow and need to buy the 150mm 3.5. Fabulously shallow DOF when needed, and much more flattering for portrait work, particularly close up. As an aside, I found the Bronica Zenzannon lens to be every bit the equal of the Zeiss lens I used on the hassey I shot for a few months.
Zooms are great for certain things, but I never use one unless I really, really need it. I find that they're still not as sharp as a fixed lens, and you can get yourself in trouble when handholding them. If, for example, your meter reading calls for f/4 at 1/90th, you can handhold just fine at the 70mm end of the zoom, but once you zoom in, you're suddenly trying to handhold 1/90th at 200mm and you may not even notice. The result: lots and lots of images ruined by camera shake. As the quote goes, the best zoom lens (IMO) is my feet.
If you go with a 50mm for you 35mm camera, it's a great lens, but be careful -- if you try to shoot close-ups with it, you'll get a mild "dog-nose" effect, as there will be some lens distortion. Not generally a very flattering look! You can get away with it with children more often than with adults because they generally have smaller noses and less defined features, but IMO it's better to get a portrait lens if you're going to do portrait work. 85mm is perfect for me, but 105-ish would be awesome, too.
I do use MF for kids candids, but it is significantly more difficult. MF requires me to anticipate, whereas 35mm allows me to react. Both are equally valuable, but look significantly different. These days, I find myself using 35mm more and more due to terrible eyesight and the need for auto focus.
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With 35mm, I like the manual focus 85mm f/1.8 lens for the obvious reasons - lens to subject distance and speed. If I need to use a tele-zoom, I like the 50-135 f/3.5 IF I want something that's deadly sharp. If I want something a touch softer, the 43-86 is not a bad choice. I know, I know, that lens is considered the WORST zoom Nikon ever made. Well, maybe it is if you're shooting test targets, but for shooting people, it's quite often the BEST choice.
For reportage work, I keep a 24mm f/2.8 in my bag, but I find myself more often than not using the 25-50 f/4 zoom. It's a touch slow, but it's a damn nice piece of glass. As an alternate, I sopmetimes take my 24-40 f/2.8 Tokina AT-X if I know I'll be doing a lot of available darkness shooting.
Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
I use EOS cameras and find teh 28-135 IS USM great. At the longer end you still get good selective focus and the lens performance is superb. The image stabaliser really helps in low light too. I will soon be adding a 70-300 IS too. I have really been impressed by the work of Annabelle Williams (UK based porttrait/wedding photographer) and whe mainly uses the 70-300. Not sure what make your bodies are?
Hi Tom, I have all of Annabel's books and am also a big admirer of her work. A friend of mine has just returned home from the UK after attending one of her workshops. Wish I was there!!!
Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
I use Nikon gear for 35mm and digital. I prefer fixed lenses as I just can't to get the sharp, quality shots with a zoom. Maybe it's just me or I'm too picky. I believe Annabel doesn't shoot the very little, more challenging children much and unfortunately I don't have her budget - yet!
Nikon F90X - 50mm 1.4 lens
Nikon D70 - 18-70mm 3.5-4.5 lens & 50mm 1.4 lens
Hasselblad - 80mm 2.8 Planar CZ lens
Today I did another shoot with the digital as requested - it was for a website and urgent. Whilst 'processing in the digital darkroom' I kept being reminded why film is still far superior. Colour, depth and intensity and timeframe is all I can say. Yes, I love the creativity the computer allows me but ....
Nicole I use the Sigma EX 105mm 2.8 and I think it's a little cracker and for me the perfect lens for portraits and the odd (several) street shoots. Tony
Great to hear from you Tony. Is it sharp as a tack? How well does it work in low light (no flash here!)?
Originally Posted by TPPhotog