T2i lens advice for indoor baby photos

edited March 2012 Posted in » Canon Lens Talk
Hi @Moose - My wife and I just purchased a Canon T2i body and picked up a nifty fifty (Canon 50mm f/1.8). This will be a nice lens to have, but we also need a lens that will shoot better close ups and have more range. We are expecting a baby soon and this is the main reason for the upgrade in camera. I assume most of our pictures for a while will be indoors of the baby.

From doing research, I thought I had settled on the 18-135mm, but now I'm second guessing myself. Should I just buy the kit lens 18-55mm and play with it for a while or go ahead and upgrade now? I am looking to spend under $500 (lesser the better). I have also looked at the Sigma 17-70 and the Tamron 17-50 (would like a little more zoom that that one provides). Thanks for the great site!


  • Howdy @Boomer01 - Welcome to fatherhood! My wife and I just had our first back in July. It's a blast.

    There are really two types of lenses...those that are designed to be used outdoors (only) and those that can shoot both outdoors and indoors. You can tell the difference based on the maximum aperture for the lens, represented by the letter "f" followed by a number.

    Lenses that have a maximum aperture between f/3.5 to f/6.3 tend to be "outdoor" lenses. Think of them like a pair of dark tinted glasses (shades).

    Lenses that have a maximum aperture between f/1.2 to f/2.8 are fantastic in all types of light. Think of it like crystal clear glasses (shades).

    Your "nifty fifty" is both an outdoor and indoor shooter, because it has a maximum aperture of f/1.8. The 18-55mm kit lens and 18-135mm lenses are outdoor shooters, because they have a maximum aperture between f/3.5 and f/5.6.

    The Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 is borderline. You'd be okay at wide-angle, but the moment you apply any zoom you'll be left with a maximum aperture near f/4. The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is both an outdoor and indoor shooter, because it has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the zoom range.

    If you feel like you need something with more zoom for outdoor shots, then I'd go with the Canon 18-135mm (see here). This lens gives you some flexibility when composing a wide range of subjects/scenes outdoors.

    You might also take a look at the Tamron 18-200mm (see here). This lens is a bit more affordable than the Canon 18-135mm and gives you a slightly longer reach.

    With your remaining budget, I would put it towards an external speedlite like the Canon 270EX (see here) or 320EX (see here). An external speedlite will allow you to bounce the flash off of a ceiling rather than directly at your baby's eyes. By bouncing the flash, you're actually spreading it throughout the room evenly which produces much more natural looking shots indoors. Coupled with your "nifty fifty" and you'll be in business for some eye-popping baby shots.

    Hope all of that makes sense. Happy shooting! :)
  • edited March 2012
    Thanks! I am more worried about indoor shooting than zoom, so I'm leaning towards the Tamron 17-50. It give me the low f/number while being affordable. Do you think it is a good walkaround lens? I'm thinking I can get a zoom lens later.
  • @Boomer01 - Yep, it's definitely a great walk around lens for the types of shots a small family would take. I think you'll be quite happy. Best of luck to you and happy shooting! :)
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