Dilemma on which lens for taking pet's photo


roark

New Member
May 30, 2011
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#1
I currently use a Oly E-M10 and have the following lenses (all M zuikos):

14-42 pancake F3.5/5.6
40-150 F4.0-5.6
60mm macro
45mm F1.8

Lately I am taking lots of photos of my new puppy and usually uses the 14-42 and 45mm for this purpose.
The 14-42 seems too slow to take decent pics of my active puppy and while the 45mm is capable in the speed and
low light/indoor aspect, the focal length is rather too long for indoors shots.

Considering to pick up another lens to help with this and also complement my current lenses.

Kinda torn between Zuikos 12-40mm F2.8 or 17mm F1.8. Am leaning towards the 12-40 for its versatility and can replace my pancake kit lens but worried if the F2.8 is good enough for an active puppy. Still an amatuer and learning to take better photos with what I have, but puppies grow so fast and I don't want to miss his cutest stage.

Appreciate any suggestions from the experts!
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#2
What do you mean with 'slow'? Slow as in not wide enough to get enough light or slow as AF will take long time to lock or track the puppy?
What is (likely) required is more light to have a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion. Use flash (as bounce flash, of course), use Manual mode, f/5.6, 1/100 or faster, let the flash do the rest via ETTL. That's what I do with my cats. Different lenses won't help here. Also keep in mind: shooting at wider aperture results in shallow Depth of Field. A slight movement with result in out of focus images. Pictures where only the eyes are sharp but the rest of the animal is blurred are a funny technical game, but not necessarily a good picture.
 

roark

New Member
May 30, 2011
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#3
What do you mean with 'slow'? Slow as in not wide enough to get enough light or slow as AF will take long time to lock or track the puppy?
What is (likely) required is more light to have a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion. Use flash (as bounce flash, of course), use Manual mode, f/5.6, 1/100 or faster, let the flash do the rest via ETTL. That's what I do with my cats. Different lenses won't help here. Also keep in mind: shooting at wider aperture results in shallow Depth of Field. A slight movement with result in out of focus images. Pictures where only the eyes are sharp but the rest of the animal is blurred are a funny technical game, but not necessarily a good picture.
Thanks for the advice!

Slow might be a wrong term, my bad, I guess I was referring to the F3.5 of the lens not being big enough to allow sufficient light in at high shutter speed to achieve a good enough photo. Flash is out as it spooks the puppy and makes it either charges at the camera, or runs away and hide. And it gets worse indoor and esp at night or poorly lit places like pet cafes where his playing and running around would make interesting shots where I find difficult to do at this moment.
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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#4
Thanks for the advice!

Slow might be a wrong term, my bad, I guess I was referring to the F3.5 of the lens not being big enough to allow sufficient light in at high shutter speed to achieve a good enough photo. Flash is out as it spooks the puppy and makes it either charges at the camera, or runs away and hide. And it gets worse indoor and esp at night or poorly lit places like pet cafes where his playing and running around would make interesting shots where I find difficult to do at this moment.
Well, photography is about capturing light. If there is little of it then Physics tell us to use either high ISO or long exposure or add light to the scene. The last part involves flash or other forms of permanent light. What have you tried so far?
Have you checked about bounce flash and how it works? Of course you must not blast the flash straight into any animal's eye. Bounce flash is a method where the ceiling or wall is used to bounce the flash from so that it becomes soft, wide spread and does not irritate the person / animal.
 

roark

New Member
May 30, 2011
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#5
I've tried off camera flash but the lights flashing distracts and spooks him. Increased ISO with fast shutter speed but most situations would include considerable motion blur, unless when I'm using the 45mm F1.8. But with that focal length it becomes hard because of space constraints indoors hence the consideration of getting a lens that allows more light like the 45mm F1.8 with a much closer focal length.
 

SilentSeth

New Member
Jun 7, 2011
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#6
As usual.. If unsure, I would suggest you to rent or borrow those lenses to try before you commit to buy.

I've tried off camera flash but the lights flashing distracts and spooks him. Increased ISO with fast shutter speed but most situations would include considerable motion blur, unless when I'm using the 45mm F1.8. But with that focal length it becomes hard because of space constraints indoors hence the consideration of getting a lens that allows more light like the 45mm F1.8 with a much closer focal length.
 

Daoyin

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2008
2,808
6
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West
#7
Dear TS,

Not much use with a f1.8 on a active puppy if it is uncooperative. Too shallow unless your camera's continous focus is good.

Try to set speed (at least) 1/200 onwards, drive mode at continuous shooting and Auto ISO. Take trial shots and adjust.

What you really need is sufficient natural light and plenty of patience.

May you capture plenty of happy memories. Good luck.
 

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Zichar

Senior Member
Apr 22, 2008
2,079
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#8
You can try conditioning him to the presence of lights and flash?
Simple routine exercises at home first: just bring out the camera, bounce flash off the side of the room then reward with treats after - may come to associate the camera with a positive intent
What matters is a consistent repetitive action. Can wean off once the bond is made.
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
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#9
put puppy on bed , or resting blankie.

usually pets will sit within containers.

cats love boxes
 

Apr 22, 2014
456
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16
Singapore
#10
switch on more lights , open up the windows, switch off your AF assist. with sufficient lightings, your kit lens with the EM10 is more than enough to shoot puppies. Puppies are easily distracted, use a squeaky toy to attract his attention.
 

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