85 1.4 Thoughts

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Nov 9, 2007
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Huntsville, AL
Okay, I have the "cream machine." I've used it and it's a sharp copy, but I just don't find myself pulling it out of the bag often. Am I missing something? I read where so many people can't take the 85mm off their camera because they love it so much.

Weddings make up 85% of my business. I use the 17-55 and the 70-200 at ceremonies, in addition to a few shots with the fisheye.

When I do portraits indoors I use the 17-55 and outdoors mix between the lenses listed above. Should I be pulling out the 85mm for these?

Don't want to sell the lens, just want to know what situations it is best used in and how to put it to use.

Thanks for any tips/advice,
Cindy
 
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Oct 27, 2007
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It absolutely poured at this most recent wedding I shot. We were all stuck under a tent, and all I had was the 85/1.8. My bag was in the house, and there was no chances of me getting to it. I shot over 100 photos and they were among my favorites.

It was an incredibly pleasing focal length to use, and wide open it really excelled.
 

McQ

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Okay, I have the "cream machine." I've used it and it's a sharp copy, but I just don't find myself pulling it out of the bag often. Am I missing something? I read where so many people can't take the 85mm off their camera because they love it so much.

Weddings make up 85% of my business. I use the 17-55 and the 70-200 at ceremonies, in addition to a few shots with the fisheye.

When I do portraits indoors I use the 17-55 and outdoors mix between the lenses listed above. Should I be pulling out the 85mm for these?

Don't want to sell the lens, just want to know what situations it is best used in and how to put it to use.

Thanks for any tips/advice,
Cindy
I'm only just learning to shoot photos that can be remotely called "portrait-like" (in other words, I stink!), but I use it all the time for them. I love the lens for people pics! I also use it for indoor swimming and low-light shots at outdoor swimming events. I don't shoot weddings, being a hobbyist...I leave that stuff to the pros! So I don't know why it wouldn't be good for them. I assumed it would be fine.
 
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Jun 5, 2008
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Alberta
Cindy: I went to your web site. Great site and very nice photo's. If It aint broke dont fix it. Wide aperture lenses like the 85 1.4-105 1.8 used wide open are very specialized in there use. If your getting great Images with your other lenses than keep going with that. So many times we feel that unless we are using ____ over ____ we might be missing somthing. The fact is being there and taking the shoot is 90% of photography.
That being said if you want to get the most out of your 85 1.4 especially wide open. I would try using it for candids wide open when your flash might ruin the moment. I find the 85 1.4 a little short for tight head shots but perfect for 3/4 shots and pairs with smooth creamy backgrounds.

Gregory
 
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Jul 4, 2007
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Redmond, WA
I'm not a pro, but I have those three lenses as my "best three." And similarly, the 85/1.4 gets used the least. I love the lens, but it's specialized to certain kinds of photography.

What I do is "make time for it." It might sound odd, but sometimes I think I'm neglecting it, so I specifically plan to use it. It forces me to look to compose with it, find backgrounds and shooting situations that it can take advantage of. The results in these cases are always rewarding and remind me that while specialized, it's just awesome at what it does. The two zooms are much more versatile, but the 85/1.4 can have its place.

That is -- if you can find use for it. If not, there's nothing wrong with selling an unused lens. I can certainly see how for weddings the 17-55 and 70-200 combo can do all of your shots.

For your outdoor weddings, I'd try it for waist/chest-up and somewhat tighter shots at f/2.8 and even f/2, with backgrounds that you can really blur out and show off for dramatic effect.
 
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Rockingham, NC (Currently in Afghanistan)
I have the 85/1.4 as well as the other two lenses you mentioned above. At my last wedding, I carried the 85 in a bag on my shoulder with my 2 camera bodies toting the 17-55 and the 70-200. I never took the time to use the 85. Don't get me wrong, I love the lens, just didn't love it enough to take the time to put it on during the wedding or reception. :-/
 
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San Jose, CA
I find the 85 1.4 a little short for tight head shots but perfect for 3/4 shots and pairs with smooth creamy backgrounds.
That may be true on your d3, Gregory, but it's just right (for me) on a dx platform.

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That may be true on your d3, Gregory, but it's just right (for me) on a dx platform.
I agree. I've gotten some nice results with the 85/1.4 in tight.

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For some reason, the images are larger when viewed on this site, than they are on my pbase site. What I don't get is, the images properties say they're the same size here as they are on my pbase site. Any clue as to why they show up larger (and less sharp) here than on my pbase site?:confused:
 
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Mike and Frank. Wow, great captures. It's not the lens that has the problem, its me. I just feel so in the face of a subject with the 85 1.4 AIS. If truth be told, most of the my best people shots have been with a 300 2.8 and the 135 f2 AIS. Even when I shot fashion in the studio the 300 2.8 was my go to lens:redface:. However Im working on getting closer and more personal:smile:. Its sad , but somtimes people use the camera as a sheild. And for many years thats was me:redface:. Im trying to make a connection using shorter less covert tactic's. Next week Im going to begin to post some of my life's work over the last 25 years. on the nikon cafe. Judge for your self. I regret nothing and have a light heart giving them up. It's just my experience over that time that candid ment unaware. And over that time there is one thing I know that if a person is aware of a camera pointing at them, it changes them. They become self aware. And for me that moment before when they where just being , was "it". Oh course that gave me the imunity to be unknown. I didnt want to get involved, make money with photo's, be famous. Carry a F3 with Md4 and Nikkor 300 2.8 over the shoulder shooting(b+w) behind the arm see the shot coming raise the camera. Focus , pup pup pup. (moter drive) walk away. Soup it my self show no one but ny closet friends. I did it for me. Even when I had Image,s that where/are worth big bucks. I always never did it for that. Photography was my always for personal satisfaction. Maby thats why I still Use Nikkor AIS glass 8mm-800mm and cant understand why anyone would want AF. Its just wrong:tongue:So what if its in focus, you never did it? Now I see Af has opened up Super-Telephoto Images that MF will never be able to do. And yet Im still able to get the odd decent if focus shot with my Nikkor AIS. Now you know

Gregory
 
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Tripping the light fantastic
Well...

I don't use it a lot and that's why I sold it the first time... Then I bought a new one and I still don't use it a lot...

It is not a focal length I use often, I prefer either wider of very long. Gimme a 28mm any day over an 85mm or gimme a 200mm over the 85mm...

I find it useful for some images as such it is a keeper.
 
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Jan 11, 2006
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Clearwater, Florida
fixed focal lengths at a wedding are a COMMITTMENT
maybe the zooms work better for you because you don't have to constantly move back and forth to FRAME the image to your liking

when you are ON THE RUN.... zooms will always be "QUICKER."
 
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Bedford, MA
Funny, when I had my Canon gear, I loved my 85 1.8 (Canon doesn't sell 1.4, just 1.2 in this FL), but I rarely used it on my crop. I think the awkward focal length was a deterrent for me even though it produced fabulous bokeh and was great for low-light.
 

McQ

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One of my favorites, using the 85mm f/1.4....I do like this lens!

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Joined
Jan 29, 2005
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St. George, Utah
Cindy, I understand where you are coming from. I too own the 17-55mm and use it a lot. I do have to think to pull out the 85mm f1.4 lens but it is worth it when I do. I have come to rely more and more on the 85 for close up portraits. Still like my 17-55mm for all around shooting though.
 
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