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85 1.8 - an informal portrait machine

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Harry Lavo, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Taken on an overcast 5th of July family picnic.

    These were taken at f/2.2 (NEF) and have had no sharpening (d300 set at six) other than minor transfer sharpening, no or minor contrast tweaking, and minor cropping:

    #1 My oldest sister (age 73)

    #2 My middle sister (age 63)

    #3 My youngest sister (age 58)

    #4 Her daughter, my niece (late '20's)

    And this was taken at f/4.5:

    #5 My nephew's girlfiend (about '30):


    The moral is: don't feel you have to have an 85 1.4 to take decent portraits. The 85 1.8 is a great lens in it's own right, with very high sharpness, great color, and decent bokeh.
  2. Great Harry. An overlooked lens sometimes for sure. Great sharpness.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. WOW...awesome facial details
    some say never use this lens on anyone over 21
  4. wow

    i think this confirms that the 85 1.8 is good enough for me....great pictures.
  5. Great series Harry!!!!! It is nice to having willing models :)  I bet they would all love a copy.
  6. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Nicely done, Harry! I think those are very fine images. Nice and sharp. Something about going down to 1.4 though...it has it's advantages. Gives portraits a whole new look and feel.
  7. digitalzed


    May 14, 2006
    N. Cal
    Thanks for sharing Harry. I love my 1.8 for the same reasons.
  8. Excellent shots Harry. Is the lens AF or MF. The most beautiful picture of of all is of the oldest. Such stunning detail in the first shot
  9. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    nice shots Harry .....;-)
  10. Stephan54


    May 13, 2006
    Good portrait shots. Lots of detail.
  11. Thanks, Mike. That's why I occasionally feel compelled to point out its virtues. IMO it really shines for this kind of shooting.

    LOL! Thanks Randy. Perhaps in this case, over 30. But, I always figure, their are ways of taking the detail down in PP. Besides, this is family and they don't mind.

    Thanks Daniel. Put it to good use!

    Thanks, Pat. I've given it to them over the internet, and will be sending either 5x7's or 8x10's at Christmas.

    I'm not disputing the greatness of the 85 1.4, Francis. It clearly has a way of being soft and sharp at the same time wide open that is bewitching. If somebody presented one to me, I'd happily accept it. Its just that I think it often overshadows what one can do with the 1.8....and I hate to see Newbies in particular get the idea that they've got to pony up a grand before they can get decent portrait results.
  12. shtarka1


    Feb 1, 2008
    Great Job Harry!
  13. Very awesome captures, but remember a 1.4 is still....................a 1.4
  14. Jonathan


    Jun 11, 2005
    Southern Maine
    Very nice

    Very nice shots, and great bokeh.

    but remember a 1.4 is still....................about $600 more:biggrin:
  15. licaga


    Jan 7, 2008
    Peter Vooijs
    hmm beauty's great work

  16. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    ya right ..lol
  17. Very Nice

    Those are very nice photos, Harry. I will have to dig out my 85 1.8 and give it a try. When is the next guided photoshoot of Northampton?

  18. Thanks, Jeff. How about showing us some?

    CC, the shots were all AF with focus just between the eyes and above the bridge of the nose. Since my D300 was repaired by Nikon focus seems incredibly accurate.

    Thanks, Nute, I'm honored.

    Lots and lots of detail. Wouldn't be surprising at 2.8, but at 2.2? That makes this lens special.
  19. Thank you Steve.

    And a cigar is still a cigar.... Thanks Accino. No question it is not a 1.4.

    LOL, Jonathan. Thanks!

    My family thanks you, Peter.

    If we could all use it as you do, Nute, we'd all get our $600 worth.

    Good to have you here, Dave. Northampton up in the air, but probably in the Fall.

  20. I'm convinced that the law of diminishing returns rears its head with a step up to the 1.4 in good light.

    At 1.4, the DOP of so small, that the margin of error for focusing becomes all the more critical.

    Wonderful photos, though. I do concur that the lens's sharpness becomes a variable when shotting older women. I don't think that these subjects like the honesty of what the lens displays.

    But then again, Kudos to women who can age gracefully without the need for artificial surgical procedures and enhancements.

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