105 VR Macro or 105 DC for portraits??

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I've heard a lot of good things about both. Some love the 105 VR Macro for portraits and some say the 105 DC is better. Thoughts or examples???

Thanks!!!:smile:
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
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Western PA
Some people say that the 105 f/2.8 is actually too sharp for portrait work. Anything can be fixed in post though. Personally, I like the look of the DC lenses and would definitely use the 105 f/2 for that type of work. I think the DC lenses are more kind toward your subject. I have the 135 f/2.

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Jes 2011 by David Pinkerton, on Flickr
 
Joined
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105DC for me, i've owned both at the same time and used both. However if you want to get closer (tighter) the VR would do that where as the DC lens has a MFD to deal with.

Regardness to sharpness I believe both are very sharp, but the DC lens is much kinder to skin tones and possibly bad skin?
 
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Nov 10, 2008
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A sharp image can be softened, but a soft image can not be sharpened.

That said, if you do a lot of portrait work, why work that hard.

The only thing is I have read about DC lenses not always auto focusing properly. I am no expert, but doing portrait work, I want auto focus to work to perfection.

DC correction are pretty easy in photoshop.
 
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South Central Pennsylvania
I have had the 105 VR and now shot with the 135 DC.

It all depends on what type of portrait work you do. Is it studio? Do you use a back drop behind your subject? If you do then I would say go with the 105 VR. In these types of photos you are not taking advantage of the DC effect. If you do outdoor or on location portraits then go with the 105 DC. Once you learn the DC ring there is more control over your photos not just the foreground or background bokeh. Depending on your set up with the DC your subject could be much softer. If you go with the DC route test it with several non-paying subjects first. At different apertures take photos adjusting the DC ring for R and F settings. Understand the differences. For instance photos taken at f/2.8 and DC 0, F2, R2, F5.6 and R5.6 will look very different.

Hope this helps
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2011
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British Columbia, Canada
That's a bit of a tough question even though on the surface it should be an easy answer portrait = DC. But the Micro has VR and AF-S along with updated optics materials etc... and with a similar price that doesn't help with a deciding factor either.

I have the older 105 f2.8 D, 135mm f2 DC and 85mm f1.4 G so while not exactly the lenses you're weighing up, a bit of perspective on the FL and general characteristics. I find the bokeh on the 105 D to be harder than the 135 DC, not a surprise, but I'm usually fairly pleased with the overall look with portraits taken with it.

If you're advertising portrait services or they are a strong part of your photography I would say go with the 105 DC because it's going to give those 'wow' results. But if it's just a sometimes thing for you and you like the appeal of macro work then go with the 105 Micro for that and the VR AF-S bells & whistles.

Philip
 
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I do both inside and outside. I was going to use it outside and I like a very creamy bokeh !! Yes I do portrait work and have my own business.
 

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