1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

50 1.4 or 85 1.4

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Terri French, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. I have another grandbaby coming in September. I'm thinking about purchasing a fast lens before the birth. None of my local stores have either of the above lenses in stock.

    If you could only buy one to use for photos of babies and young children, which would you choose and why? Thanks for any advice you can give me. I've decided that I am going to stick with my D200 for a while longer and concentrate on purchasing the lenses that I want. I did the same thing when I had my D70. I purchased the 10-20, 17-55, and 70-200 before I got the D200. It was a move I didn't regret.

    Which would be the best lens for use on a full frame camera later?
  2. Oh boy........tough, for the reason that you tossed in FX (later). :smile:

    I suspect many will point you to the 85, but I would say the 50 is better. It gives you a touch more environment with your shot. The 85 has a long working distance, and typically when shooting babies, you're not that far away. Tiny babies can't support themselves, so they have someone holding them. The 50 lets you include that person.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Now for my personal caveat. I hated the 50 on DX. it was a very awkward focal length for me. Thus, I would HIGHLY recommend the 35/2 for use in shooting low light on DX. It's a wonderful lens which makes for beautiful skin, and is very close to the 50 on FX (in terms of FOV).

    You can also hand hold the 35 / 50 in lower light than you can the 85 (its got some heft to it).

    So I would suggest either the 50 or the 35 for now, and save the 85 for later. (I offer this as a Mom who is always trying to snap shots of the kids, often in the house......the 85 has too long a minimum distance for most 'in house' shooting). :smile:
  3. One other I'll toss out: 28-105. Because of its macro abilities, you can really get in tight and frame up individual parts. I love this little gem (Thanks to Uncle Frank!), and it can be found used for $150-175.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 220774
  4. Sandro Bravo

    Sandro Bravo

    Nov 18, 2005
    I have both lenses and a small baby too...no matter how good the 85 can be for many applications, the 50mm will be a much better lense for that use.
  5. I'm pretty much with Sandro. I think the 85 will be a little more versatile on fx, while the 50 might have a tiny edge with dx for what you're specifically looking for.
  6. I'd suggest the 50/1.4 The 85 with a 1.5 crop camera is a special situation. You have effectively a small telephoto.
  7. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    for dx on babies -> 50 1.4 is the one!

    Ava's first day in the world
    d200/50 1.4 @1.4, 1/25s, 400iso
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  8. The Ben

    The Ben

    Oct 17, 2007
    Houston, Tx
    I have the 50 1.4 and use it to take pictures of my son all the time. I also use the beast and love it. I want the 85 1.4, but I have a lot more saving to do before I get that.

    If money is not the object, the 50 is a great lens. But having seen many pics from the 85, I'd love to have that over the 50 for portraits.
  9. I would go with a 35 F2.It focuses closer than the 50mm F1.4.
  10. Nute, that is such a great shot.
  11. Dr A

    Dr A

    Feb 2, 2008
    State College, PA
    I took the 35/2 when my son was born. It was perfect for getting full-length shots of him just after he was born. I'll use it again if another comes along someday.
  12. Hi Terri,

    I don't own the 50 1.4, but I agree the 35/2 is a great lens. But hey, the shot of Nute's with the 50 makes me want one of those too. Oh lens lust is terrible affliction. lol Have admit the 85 1.4 is near the top of my list as well. Have fun choosing, and congrats on the new family member.
  13. rgordin


    Jun 3, 2008
    Washington, DC
    Good advice. I notice that almost no one is suggesting that you go beyond 50.
  14. I'd recommend 2 lenses... the 85/1.4 and 35/2. They make an awesome combo for any kind of portrait session... infants to headshots to groups. They'll be great on FX, too.

    But if you can only get one, and it's specifically for little kids, make it the 35/2. Gretchen already gave you the reasons, so I'll just back her up with some samples covering infants through sophisticated three year olds...

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 220779

    View attachment 220780

    View attachment 220781

    View attachment 220782

    and you can even use it for big babies... errr, make that babes. :Love:

    View attachment 220783
  15. A terrific lens... but it's not very fast, which is an issue for low light indoor baby pics for those of us shooting d200s.

    But as a grab'n'go, it's outstanding. My kid brother is buying his first dslr and is on a tight budget. I steered him to the d200 and 28-105 combo.
  16. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    thanks Rich:biggrin:
    another from the d200/50 1.4 just the other day @2.2
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  17. jadog2


    Dec 18, 2007
    Im with Nute on this one.
    The 50 1.4 is the go to lens for your situation.
    The 85mm is too long and not fast enough in low light indoors (try getting a shutter speed of 1/130 indoors)
    The 35mm f2 is good but not as fast nor will isolate your subject as well.

    That means the 50 1.4 is your answer. Its much easier to achieve 1/80 or get away with 1/60 of a second indoors with this lens. Not to mention the ease of isolating your subject from the background at f1.4.
  18. perplex


    Jun 21, 2008
    Why decide? why not just buy all three :D evil: .

    Seriously, I bought a 50/1.4 and it can be a bit awkward indoors. However for portrait use that is usually ideal. I wish I did get the 35/2 instead, but nevermind because one day I'll have an FX sensor and 50/1.4 will be a great prime to have I hope :smile:.

    By the way nute... half your stuff is magical :Love: - keep it up!
  19. Wrxified


    Mar 10, 2008
    I don't have the 50mm but do have the 85mm. Honestly as a DX 85mm owner I'd say while this setup can be an incredible one, the biggest issue you're going to run into is simply having enough room to shoot at that range. I'd love to have the 50mm as an option.
  20. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    thanks pal:biggrin:
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.