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A candid with 85mm f/1.4

Discussion in 'People' started by Frits, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. A candid spur-of-the-moment portrait of my wife Anne.
    Taken indoors with available light (@ 1/25sec. hand held)
    I like the AF 85mm f/1.4D, but it is definitely not my favorite for standard head portraits...(DUCKS!!! :eek:  )

    D2x, AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D (wide open)
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  2. frede


    Dec 9, 2006
    Princeton, NJ
    Beautiful Frits. I understand what you are saying, as I have been kind of under-impressed by my 85 1.4 for portraits. Probably more my fault though.
  3. A beautiful image Frits. From what I hear it is a bit of a finicky lens to get the hang od, but quickly gains feverish favor once mastered. Hang in ther with it as you of all people can make this lens sing.
  4. Thanks Dave!
    I feel very comfortable with the lens and it is an excellent one. It is just that its strength is not regular face size portraits - which I like to do at times. I'll stick with my Ai-S 105mm f/2.5 for those (another post on the subject with more on what I mean: https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=111559 ).
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  5. rbsmith


    Apr 13, 2005
    Saltillo, Ms
    Great shot, Frits. Anne always makes great pictures. But the lens is great too.
  6. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    I honestly can't tell if the eyes are as soft as they appear or if it's just the glare from Anne's glasses. I do know that using that lens wide open should be a last resort though. Very, very tough to nail both eyes at 1.4. I try to limit myself to f/2.

    The 85 is a tough lens to "master". I've had mine for about 8 months now and still have trouble with it sometimes....especially in low, natural light.

    But....when you get it just right it creates magical images.

    The quality of it's images is apparent at smaller apertures so even at f/4-11 it creates gorgeous shots that are somewhat unique to this lens.

    In the studio when shooting at 1/250 and stopped down it's a breeze and edges out my 28-70 slightly, but meaningfully.

    For Low Light portraits I have started using the 105vr micro primarily. It's bokeh is similarly creamy and the quantity of keepers is higher due to the VR feature.

    I do love the 85 for close portraits though.... with it's only real issue being it doesn't focus close enough. When I go through the photo's from a shoot my favorites were almost always taken with the 85.

    Don't give up on it....just stop down a bit.:smile:
  7. Thanks for the advice Stuart, much appreciated.
    The dislike I have stems mainly from the focal length. I like the perspective of the 105mm for regular portraits much better.
    For somewhat "artistic portraits", where you want to play with the 85 / f1.4's superb DOF / bokeh effects, it is second to none. Just not what I do a lot...
  8. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    Yep...I hear you. The 105 works great. I also really, really love my 180, but I can't always get back far enough!:frown:

    Everyone just has to find the tools that work best for them. I do love to preach the benefits of the 85 though.....sorry if I got going there for a minute!:redface:
  9. I'll never disagree with that Stuart, it is an outstanding lens. Definitely one of Nikon's very best.
  10. Frits,

    It's a difficult focusing challenge at f/1.4, for sure and this image is even more so, as you have to navigate or choose a focus point between the eyes and the glasses, and of course the glare does not help. That said, you wife is as lovely as always!

    I think that at f/2 or even f/2.8, this lens does a great job! In my case, I have the added burden of using manual focus with my AI-S 85/1.4, but when it works, it works! :smile:

    http://proger.smugmug.com/photos/144505773-O.jpg, at f/2.8
    http://proger.smugmug.com/photos/144212390-O.jpg, at f/2
  11. Frits, try f2.8, I have much better luck for closeups at that lens opening.
  12. Samer


    Sep 19, 2006
    Jupiter, FL
    May I add one quick point...

    I have had luck with low light portraits @ 1.4 but I wasn't so close. If that photo is uncropped then I think one couldn't hope to get enough DOF at that distance. For example, it looks like Anne's nose is quite out of focus.

    Also, I don't know how you got such an image at 1/25 hand-held. That's quite impressive. But it probably should not be the norm, unless you really are that good!
  13. lowlight_junkie


    Nov 28, 2005
    Superb Frits! How does a bloke with a face like yours get such a stunning wife? I guess you are rich :smile: or very lucky!

    Just kidding buddy :biggrin:
  14. :smile: :smile:
  15. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    Its a nice portrait Frits. I like everything about it, but I prefer to see more in focus (like the nise and lips). You have a very lovely wife who appears to be a natural in front of the lens.
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