FE 50mm F1.2 GM | Ideal for newborn photography | Review by Ding Dong
Ding Dong finds joy in capturing the special moments in our everyday lives, especially memories of our children and their growing up years – and he does so with this Sony Alpha 7C camera and favourite FE 50mm F1.2 GM prime lens.
Memories that last (beyond) a lifetime
My fondness for photography started from a young age. I still remember the dozens of family photo albums we had in my childhood home. My father took lots of photos of our family as we visited the parks, beaches and playgrounds that were near our home.
And though those photos are now old and faded, they are still an important part of my youth – and a big part of our family's shared memories. Every time anyone opens up one of these family albums, my mum lights up and reminisces on the memories we had growing up.
What's more, these albums have also shown me another side of my dad. Growing up, I always remembered him as a typically strict father who was always concerned about our safety and making sure we followed the rules – but flipping through the pages of our family albums, I see another side of him. I see his expressiveness, openness and the deep love that he's always had for our family.
Now that I'm a father too, I understand why my dad was so enthusiastic about taking photos of his kids - and I share that same compulsion to photograph my daughter, Xiaoshi.
It's all because of love.
And thanks to modern camera and lens technology, instead of taking a few snapshots, I can capture my lovely daughter from all angles – in high-resolution photos and videos.
My camera of choice is the Sony Alpha 7C, and my favourite lens is the FE 50mm F1.2 GM prime lens, from Sony's outstanding G Master range.
The reasons I choose a prime lens
I've used every model of the Sony Alpha 7 series that's ever been released, but have kept one thing constant – a 50mm prime lens.
Being engaged in a scene
The reason is simple – the fixed focal length of a prime lens means I need to move around the scene more to get the “perfect shot”, which makes me feel more involved with the scene (instead of being just someone who's “shooting from the outside”).
It's a small shift in perspective, but it means a lot when taking photos of your child.
The biggest difference between a prime lens and a zoom lens (besides the zoom) is the size of the aperture. Generally, the aperture of a prime lens will be larger than F2 – giving your photos a greater sense of clarity, which also translates into more impressive bokeh.
It takes a bit of practice, but the results are worth it!
Lightweight, easy to use
With the Sony Alpha 7C and FE 50mm F1.2 GM prime lens, I've changed the way I take photos (for the better). I can now operate this lightweight combination of camera and lens with one hand, which means I can now use the touchscreen (instead of the viewfinder) for better angles and simply tap the shutter to capture the moment perfectly. It's a simpler way of shooting, and one that's given me better results.
Capturing every meticulous detail with natural lighting
One recommendation I have when shooting with the FE 50mm F1.2 GM prime lens, is to shoot against the light. This is where you'll really appreciate the strength of this G Master lens. The photos you'll get are clear and meticulously detailed, while also giving you a “relaxed” feel that adds warmth and charm to your photos of babies and toddlers.
Convenient aperture ring
A feature I really like on the FE 50mm F1.2 GM prime lens is its aperture ring, which is especially convenient when shooting on the Sony Alpha 7C. You can just let the dial on the camera control the shutter.
Quiet, fast and intelligent focus
When taking photos of sleeping babies, silence is incredibly important. That's why I value the FE 50mm F1.2 GM's simple and quiet focus. Plus, when your child is awake, the lens can detect your child's eyes and focus quickly and automatically – making it easy to capture all the special moments of your child's development. I remember having lots of fun with this feature, while documenting Xiaoshi as she learnt to crawl!
The Sony Alpha 7C's flip screen is great for shooting from the waist. This allows you to shoot at low angles without bending over (as you would with a viewfinder). As first-time parents, my wife and I would always be bending over when changing our daughter's diapers, giving her a bath and cleaning things she's scattered onto the floor. So, being able to capture these moments without having to bend over, has been a definite plus!
A moment to snap. A lifetime to remember.
While I love having digital albums of Xiaoshi's growing years, I also plan on developing these photos for her – so she'll be able to flip through the pages of our memories when she grows up, just like how I've enjoyed looking through my dad's photo albums.
Since Xiaoshi was born, I've realised the value of having a compact camera and lens with me – as this combination allows me to snap photos of Xiaoshi at any time.
Plus, even if my daughter doesn't remember any of these moments when she grows up, she'll always have a collection of clear, detailed photos of our time together as a newborn – and proof of her parents' love for her.