My favorite lenses for newborn photography are pretty simple despite the hundreds of options on the market. After a decade of photographing newborns in my studio these are my personal opinions of what works best for my style.
Sigma Art 50mm 1.4 for Nikon
This is my go-to always grabbed lens. It is a workhorse, captures beautiful images, fast for toddlers and lovely bokeh. It is heavier than the Nikon 50mm 1.4/1.8 but I do not mind the extra weight. I can say this is my favorite lens for newborn photography.
These lenses have a tenacity for front and back focusing so calibration is a must. (FoCal is my tried and true calibration method). Using a mirrorless camera has made this a little easier to handle but I still expect there will be a day in my future to do some maintenance on the lens.
I love the fact that with a 50mm there is little distortion and it closely resembles what our human eyes can see.
If you are not a professional, grab the Nikon (or Canon) 50mm 1.8, they are great little lenses and affordable (if you could call buying lenses affordable).
Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 for Nikon
This baby sat on my camera for 5+ years and truly it is like an old friend. LIke the 50mm from Sigma Art, it is fast, sharp, and produces beautiful images. I have recalibrated that lens so many times I have lost count.
It gives a wider perspective and therefore amazing outside but can produce some distortion. I learned the hard way that it would make babies’ heads and hands look too big if I was not careful!
This lens is amazing for being able to shoot much closer to your subject. On the rare times I am working alone, this is my go-to lens of choice. Also it is perfect for standing on top of babies and photographing them.
When I bought my first DSLR I realized I couldn’t use the lens my camera came with in our tiny little house. the 35mm 1.8 was the answer that I needed. The kids would be playing and I could snap their pictures easily and with room to spare.
Nikon 105mm 2.8 Macro
You expected another Sigma Art lens? This lens was originally bought for wedding photography and macro images of the rings. In the studio it can create the most beautiful macros.
Tiny details of babies that mother’s stare at daily and never want to forget.
Macro shots are not something I do for every session but always if requested. They look amazing in albums.
Favorite Lens for Newborn Photography?
It would be the 50mm! When it comes down to it this is and has been my favorite for a long time.
This is a peak into my camera bag of my favorite lenses for newborn photography. I know other photographers will have different opinions, my friend swears by here 24-70mm! This will all come down to what works best for them and their style.