I have the 50mm 1.8 and am looking at the 85mm 1.8. If anyone has both, I am hoping for a few comments as perference. It seems to me that the 85mm would be better for portraits. I am using a D70. Comments appreciated. Thanks!!
The "owning both" qualification slowed down your responses, Jonathan. 16 people have read your thread (counting you), but apparently can't meet that criterion.
I don't own either of them, but, fortunately, that won't stop me from offering an opinion .
The 85/1.8 isn't any "better" than the 50/1.8, but it would give you additional working distance and increase the degree of isolation you'd be able to achieve when using a wide aperture. The 85/1.4 is considered to the the cream of the crop in portrait lenses, but it comes at a steep price.
I have used both 1.8 versions, but find sharpness to be similar, what I like about the 85mm is given its extra length, isolating the subject and the background is better, subjects seems to pop out more from the background.
I have both and it really depends on what type of portrait you are shooting and how much room you have to work with. Most of my shots are head and shoulders and I prefer the 85. I also think the 85 is sharper than the 50 at the same aperture.