another 105DC/f2 vs 85/1.4 opinions post

J

jeremyInMT

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My wife works as a girl's dean at a small school and they don't have big money to toss to a photographer for things so one of the teachers and then I are the ones they turn to. I am looking at either the 85/1.4 or 105DC/f2 lenses for shots around the school including inside the gym (yes, bad lighting). I shoot with a D80. Can I get your thoughts/opinions on what you would do in my situation? I have the money for either lens but am not quite sure which direction to go. The 85/1.4 is faster by a stop, but the 105 seems like it is well-loved (fairly fast as well and sharp wide open). Your thoughts?
 
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I tried shooting some volleyball shots in my fitness center's gym with my D80 and 85/1.4 lens. The results weren't that great. The lens was too long most of the time, and the AF-D focus was a bit slow as well. That made it hard to get any real action shots, because by the time the camera got focus, the play was over. So, given that, I would consider looking at a 50/1.4 like the one from Sigma, which has the HSM motor instead, especially if you only have one camera body. If you have two, then maybe a wide prime or fast zoom like the 17-55/2.8 to go with the 85/1.4. If I'm ever shooting volleyball shots again, I'll probably bring my 17-55/2.8 instead of the 85/1.4
 
J

jeremyInMT

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I tried shooting some volleyball shots in my fitness center's gym with my D80 and 85/1.4 lens. The results weren't that great. The lens was too long most of the time, and the AF-D focus was a bit slow as well. That made it hard to get any real action shots, because by the time the camera got focus, the play was over. So, given that, I would consider looking at a 50/1.4 like the one from Sigma, which has the HSM motor instead, especially if you only have one camera body. If you have two, then maybe a wide prime or fast zoom like the 17-55/2.8 to go with the 85/1.4. If I'm ever shooting volleyball shots again, I'll probably bring my 17-55/2.8 instead of the 85/1.4
Interesting. I've been using my 70-200 in the gym and it was the perfect focal range. It seems like both you a Nute want a wider FOV and I hadn't even thought that was a problem at all. Maybe I need to re-think this. In the end, if FOV isn't a problem, which is better?
 
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Jeremy
if low light is your problem, maybe you could consider also 105 VR, which has AF-S and VR, allowing you much slower times than the 85.
Of course I don't know the distance from your subjects.
Actually, I had both and between them I preferred the 105 optically AND for the DC feature.
 
J

jeremyInMT

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Jeremy
if low light is your problem, maybe you could consider also 105 VR, which has AF-S and VR, allowing you much slower times than the 85.
Of course I don't know the distance from your subjects.
Actually, I had both and between them I preferred the 105 optically AND for the DC feature.
as far as getting the 105VR, I actually already own the 70-200VR so for 105mm and needing VR I'd probably use the 70-200...

I'm interested in that you preferred the 105DC's optical qualities to the 85/1.4's...I guess I have clumsily worded my question to begin with perhaps?
 
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Interesting. I've been using my 70-200 in the gym and it was the perfect focal range. It seems like both you a Nute want a wider FOV and I hadn't even thought that was a problem at all. Maybe I need to re-think this. In the end, if FOV isn't a problem, which is better?

Your 70-200 is better IMHO. Much faster AF than the non AF-S 85/1.4, plus you have the ability to change focal lengths as needed. The gym I was in put me right on the sideline of the court, so I was a bit limited with the 85 focal range on the DX cropped D80. It worked very well for serve shots where I could pretty much pre-focus on the shot ahead of time, but for the quick grabs of somebody returning a spike or whatnot, the 85 just could not focus fast enough. Next time I go to the court, I'll have my 70-200 on my D300 and my 17-55 on my D80.
 
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I'm interested in that you preferred the 105DC's optical qualities to the 85/1.4's...I guess I have clumsily worded my question to begin with perhaps?

I don't own the 105 DC lens, but from what I know about it, you'd pretty much only use the DC control for setup shots. Even then, the effect is pretty minimal. If you absolutely need a fast lens, irregardless of the focal length, and can live with less than stellar AF performance, then the 85/1.4 is probably better. Still, I would use the 70-200 over the 85/1.4 if I had it to do over again.
 
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Jeremy:Over the years Iv done alot of shooting in low light gyms. Shooting Rythmic Gymastics and wresltling. I think that going Nikkor AIS is your answer:biggrin:. I dont thing either of the AF can work well to focus action with your camera in those lighting conditions. At least not in light swallowing gyms Iv been in. On your budged you could get a Nikkor 105 1.8 AIS and Nikkor 85 1.4 for the same price as one new AF 105 D.C, give or take a few bucks:cool:. I just bought a Nikkor 105 1.8 AIS from a cafe member to suppliment my 85 1.4 AIS. So as they say, I put my money where my mouth is. As far as IQ is concerned I think all the lenses are first rate, even the AF one,s, I guess:tongue:. Getting capture's with perfect focus and peek action is the key. Good luck with your choice.

Gregory
 
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Getting capture's with perfect focus and peek action is the key.

And therein lies the problem... If my D80 can't focus my 85/1.4 lens fast enough to capture the peak action perfectly, there's no way I can expect to do it manually.... especially at razor thin 1.4 DOF when my viewfinder only lets me see at 2.8. If it works for you, that's awesome. I on the other hand accept and embrace my personal limitations.:cool:
 
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No one said it was going to be easy:tongue:. Consider Im using a D3 with a nice big bright veiwfinder:cool:. Maby its time to get a D-700:biggrin:. The big view finder of the FX nikon's with the fast glass make it so much more better to MF.

Gregory

P.s "Accept your limitations, and sure enough, there yours"
 
J

jeremyInMT

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so let's say I stick with my 70-200VR + flash in the gym. How about other aspects such as just grab shots of people? It looks to me like the 85/1.4 has more red/green chromatic aberration than the 105DC...is that correct? Do you folks notice it in either lens?
 
J

jeremyInMT

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Based on what you want to do go with the 85mm 1.4. Now if this was a portrait based decision I would lean the other way.

I love my 85/1.4 for portraits. That's what I bought it for, and couldn't be happier with the results. I've yet to see a 105 DC portrait that has made me regret my decision. Not saying they're not out there. I've just yet to see one.

So to be more precise about my shots (non-gym, I'll use the 70-200 + flash in the gym) a fair amount of them are grab-shots but are at least semi-posed..."hey you guys, smile for me!"...does that lean the discussion towards the 105DC?
 
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I love my 85/1.4 for portraits. That's what I bought it for, and couldn't be happier with the results. I've yet to see a 105 DC portrait that has made me regret my decision. Not saying they're not out there. I've just yet to see one.

I own the 85mm 1.4 too and I love it as well. But I recently sold a 135mm f2 DC and frankly I regret it a little. There is a difference in the look of the 85 and the DC lenses. It is a matter of preference. Both are great just different IMO:smile:
 
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So to be more precise about my shots (non-gym, I'll use the 70-200 + flash in the gym) a fair amount of them are grab-shots but are at least semi-posed..."hey you guys, smile for me!"...does that lean the discussion towards the 105DC?

I think you will need the additional speed of the 1.4 aperture. I do not hesitate to shoot the 85mm wide open and as Medic said it is a fine portrait lens.
 
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so let's say I stick with my 70-200VR + flash in the gym. How about other aspects such as just grab shots of people? It looks to me like the 85/1.4 has more red/green chromatic aberration than the 105DC...is that correct? Do you folks notice it in either lens?

The 85 can show CA/PF in high contrast scenes, but most of the time it is not much of a problem for me.
 
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a fair amount of them are grab-shots but are at least semi-posed..."hey you guys, smile for me!"...does that lean the discussion towards the 105DC?

For me, these types of shooting situations call for some sort of zoom. The way my luck is, I say, "hey you guys, smile for me!" and put the camera to my eye, only to find I've cropped out one or two folks because I'm too close for my lens.
 

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