lens for portraits on dx (until 700 replacement)

Joined
Mar 31, 2009
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464
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United States
Hello everyone, I am starting to do some portrait work(outdoors in decent light), and I was wondering how much better the 85 1.4d would be versus a 70-200vr2 and 105vr2 macro; putting aside the versatility of the 70-200's focal variations. I am currently using a d90, but when the 700 replacement arrives, will move to full frame. does the bokeh from the zoom rank up there with the 85 1.4d?
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
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nj/nyc
imho, the bokeh isn't quite "cream machine", but it isn't far behind...........throw in the versatile range and VR..........it's a definite winner!

does it replace the 85 1.4? NO, not at all..........it's just more useful:smile:








(i sold my cream machine when I got the 70-200vr2:biggrin:)
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
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Jupiter, FL
Have you thought about the 135 2.0? That would have approximately the same field of view as the 85 on FF. Either the DC or the older AIS depending on whether you need AF. I haven't used either, but have seen good shots from them.
 
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Mar 18, 2008
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Miami, Florida, USA.
"The bokeh isn't quite "cream machine", but it isn't far behind...........throw in the versatile range and VR..........it's a definite winner!
Does it replace the 85 1.4? NO, not at all..........it's just more useful."
:smile:

I am in total agreement. I have nothing against the 85mm f1.4 D for portraits and I believe it is an excellent lens. I never used one, I am basing my statement on what I have seen from that lens.
I never owned a 70-200 VR either but I have also seen excellent portraits from that lens and because it is a zoom it is very useful within its range.
Anybody will tell you it is much more comfortable to shoot with the 85 than using the 70-200 for portraits.
Another lens I have experience with is the 105mm f2.5, a great focal length for portraits using full frame.
As you can see you have several choices. Your style of photography should determine which one is most appropriate for your needs.

William Rodriguez
Miami, Florida.
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
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A big long zoom is a pain in a portrait situation. Avoid if possible.

An 80/200 is always size and weight of 200 even at 80 mm. Nature of zooms.
 
Joined
May 7, 2008
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Roseville, California
I disagree that a big log zoom is a pain in a portrait situation especially outdoors. Because of it's versatility and the ability to compress the background it's fantastic. I think many pros using this lens for portraits will agree. I own both the 85 1.4 and 70-200 vr II. If bokeh is what you are after the 85 is slightly better, but the 70-200 is no slouch. I think a slight trade off in bokeh but the added versatility of the 70-200 I would say go with the zoom, unless of course you can't handle the weight difference. The choice of lens will decided on the type of look you are after.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
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Seattle, WA
I disagree that a big log zoom is a pain in a portrait situation especially outdoors. Because of it's versatility and the ability to compress the background it's fantastic. I think many pros using this lens for portraits will agree. I own both the 85 1.4 and 70-200 vr II. If bokeh is what you are after the 85 is slightly better, but the 70-200 is no slouch. I think a slight trade off in bokeh but the added versatility of the 70-200 I would say go with the zoom, unless of course you can't handle the weight difference. The choice of lens will decided on the type of look you are after.
I disagree (respectfully) as well. Undoubtedly there is more metal and glass to deal with, but if you use a tripod and MUP/exposure delay for studio portraiture, at the point the lens attaches to the tripod, the convenience shifts in favor of the big zoom because you don't have to move and reset the tripod for different sized subjects as much or at all. I used my 80-200 2.8 AFS for my last two headshot sessions instead of my 85 1.8, and am very pleased with the results.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
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United States
Thank you everyone for your responses. You all have very good points of consideration. I am after that creamy bokeh look. I have always heard of compression that the 70-200 gives. Does minimum focusing distance play a big part for me in deciding to get the 85? I already have the 70-200, and a 105. I will be using this setup hand held. the 70-200 is not that bad for me hand held regarding weight.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
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302
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hawaii
1234,
Check out Lighthaus camera on Waialae. They have had a pre-owned one there for quite a while so you can see firsthand how the 1.4 is.
 
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
5,688
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los angeles
I think there is another consideration as well. How nicely the D version renders skin tones. It's just a taste or preference thing, but I like how the older lenses look.

That and 85mm and F2 on DX is just plain lovely.
 

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