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105/2.8 VR as a portrait lens?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by craig.martell, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Cool macro lens, but is anyone using it for portraits or candids? If so, please do show!

  2. lmorgan


    Jun 27, 2008
    NCentral IL
    I've used it on my daughter only, but it worked great! Let me see if I can dig some up. I've heard it is too sharp for teens or anyone who doesn't have perfect skin.

    Ok, it is a snapshot, but that is all I had uploaded to flickr.

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    And a crop of her eye to show how sharp it is.

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  3. gazthelob


    Sep 10, 2008
    That lens is REALLY sharp, its got me wanting to buy one.
  4. hmmm, maybe I'll sell my Tamron 90 and get the 105. That picture is sharp!
  5. I read elsewhere that if you turn down the contrast in camera, you get a much better setting for portraits for the 105 VR. Too sharp is definitely better than too soft.

  6. Yes the 105 VR will make a good portrait lens, however, better on a full frame than on a DX sensor. Although at an effective 157mm portrait lens on a DX will work, it seem to be too much distance between you and the subject.
  7. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    I prefer a softer rendering for portraits

    one reason I don't like the 17-55 for people pictures

    for portraits the 105DC is much nicer,IMO

    although the 105VR is more verstaile I guess...
  8. KeithR


    Jun 21, 2008
    I like the versatility of the 105 macro. It does make a fantastic portrait lens and is a favorite for macro. Too sharp? I'd rather have it too sharp and bring it down in post(if needed) than not have it and not be able to get it back in post. Besides in post, I can be selective as to what areas I want sharp and which I don't. Remember, if it's not there to begin with, no amount of post work will be able to put it there.
  9. A great portrait lense is soft on skin, but sharp on everything else (eyes, hair, teeth, clothes, etc.). If that's what you want, you'll need to buy the 105/2, not the sharp-on-everything 105/2.8VR. Or you can just replace your 85/1.4. :wink: Jmho.
  10. Good points Frank.

    I got the lens for Macro work, but I was curious about its portrait capabilities. You see mixed comments on the web.

    As to the 85, I am curious what Photokina might bring.


  11. AviSys


    Mar 31, 2008
    Placitas, NM
    I guess I need an education here.

    How is a lens "soft on skin and sharp on everything else?"

    Please explain that. Isn't that kind of against the laws of physics or something?
  12. leifw


    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    See this thread (https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=185912), specifically BarryD3's post.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  13. AviSys


    Mar 31, 2008
    Placitas, NM
    >>>> "Nikon designed this lens to have the red focus slightly displaced from the blue-green focus. This trick is what gives that special look to portrait photos made with this lens." <<<<

    And you say that doesn't affect sharpness of anything but skin?
  14. It seems that way.

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  15. lisa_h


    Sep 6, 2008
    New England
    Beautiful shot Frank :) 
    My 105 came last week w/ major front focus issues.
    It's en route to the Nikon Factory Service Center :) 
  16. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    Craig, I used it last year for my weddings as a portrait-lens.

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    Same pic, but pastel in NIK software

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    Now I will use my new 85mm f/1.4 - the 105VR was a bit "long" on DX for me, but everybody was happy with the results from the 105VR.
  17. gregsi6


    Jan 17, 2008
    south NJ
  18. Steiner and grigsi6, both really nice shots. I particularly like the first wedding shot. Really nice detail on the hands and bouquet. In the ghaygood shot, I can see why some might say this lens is too sharp for portraits, but I really like that overly sharp look.

  19. I do not have any experience with the 105 VR lens so I cannot make any comments on it but I have used very successfully my old 105 f4 AIS for portrait photography. I should also say that I have a 105 f2.5 AI converted lens, single coated from 1967, that still gives me awesome portraits but I have to be careful no lights shine on the lens front element because it is not multicoated.
    William Rodriguez
    Miami, Florida.
  20. VDMTom


    Jun 24, 2008
    CA, USA
    i sure don't see why not !
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