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My (Beast) 28-70 f/2.8 consistantly outshoots my...

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by SRA, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. SRA


    Jul 29, 2005
    Orem, Utah
    ...85mm f/1.4. I find the photos are sharper with the beast, easier to compose due to zoom abilities, and the light has not been too much trouble.

    Anyone else have the same experience?
  2. smera


    Aug 11, 2005
    Hi Scott,

    Will try to make a comparision between the two. But my non-scientific and preliminary observation tells me that 85/1.4 outscore The Beast at medium apertures. Will try to post the results soon.

    Best Regards,

  3. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Both lenses should, given proper technique, give images with very high quality. There will always be areas in which one of them reign supreme, but for the most part they are neck and neck as far as optical performance is concerned.

    Personally I find the 28-70 easier for hand-held shooting because of its bigger weight. I have notoriously unsteady hands (price to pay for all those years on asthma medication) and a heavier lens, within reason, makes for steadier shooting.
  4. Interesting observation Scott. Since I have neither lens I can't comment. I am in the market for an 85mm f1.4 lens to further my portrait shooting. I will be interested in the comments of others.
  5. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    But which one is sharper at f/2.0? :smile:

    Seriously I think when you get into lenses of this caliber, the differences in sharpness at medium apertures are going to be pretty minimal unless you're shooting resolution charts and blowing up the images to 200% onscreen. Either lens is plenty sharp enough to make me happy, but they do both have their own strengths. The 28-70 is great when you need fast focusing and the compositional flexibility of a zoom, while the 85 is champ in low light and shallow DOF situations (not to mention smaller/lighter/less intimidating).
  6. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I just added the 85/1.4 to my bag of tricks. From the shots I have of my kids with both lenses, in my opinion, below f4 the 85 wins without question. Above that I can't answer because I like to shoot at 5.6 or wider.
  7. I would not say my copy of the 28-70 keeps up with my copy of the 85 1.4. It is a nice enough lens, except perhaps for the blue fringing I see here and there, and sharp. But not quite that sharp.

    Rendering wise, my favorite lenses are the 55 2.8/3.5 (don't see a difference), 17-55 DX and the 85 1.4.
  8. Show us some examples.

    I think my 28-70 is fantastic but the 85.1.4 is more so.

    I think at this level of exellence we start to see a subjective qualitative difference where one isn't better or worse. Rather, they just are not the same. I may like one better. If you disagree we may both be right.
    It's like arguing over weather Beetheven's 7th is more satifying to listen to than his 9th. Matters not.
  9. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    BLASPHEMER!!! :tongue: :smile:
  10. Hey, Jeff....
    His 7th gets my blood pressure up. My doctor says too much pressure is a bad thing.
    The 9th gets my testosterone up. My wife says too much testosterone............

    Well, you get the idea. :wink:

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2005
  11. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Well at least you have the good taste to recognize his two best, most people I think would have listed the 5th or Eroica instead of the 7th. I love the 7th, especially the slow movement, but it's the 9th that still gives me chills everytime I listen to it (can't help but flash back to the scene in Immortal Beloved).
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2005
  12. We're getting way off topic here, but as much as I enjoy the symphonies, I think the REAL Beethoven is in the piano sonatas ( and I know some would say the string quartets, but I just can't get into those).
  13. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Yeah I love his chamber music, especially the piano sonatas and late string quartets. Problably the only pieces of his I never really got into were the concertos.
  14. avalanche161


    May 17, 2005
    Boston, MA
    Vernon, now that you have spent some quality time with both leses, which would you choose for a portrait/general purpose lens if you could only have one of them?
    Thanks, Alan.
  15. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Nah - Clockwork Orange! (and Zardoz or Nicholas and Alexandra for the 7th.)
  16. I'm interested in Vernon's response, too. But since you specified general purpose along with portrait, I'd imagine the 28-70. The 85/1.4 is very much of a specialty lens... low light, and tight portraits. The Beast covers much more territory. Jmho.
  17. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    If I only understood why this lens is designated the "Beast" ??? In no way does it deserve such a nickname. It is not that big, compared to quite a number of Nikkors I own. Neither has it impressive maximum aperture, close focusing limit, or anything else to setting it apart from the crowd. True, it is a sharp and utterly reliable professional lens as it indeed should be at its asking price. But definitively nothing "beastly" associated with it. My viewpoint of course, for what it counts.
  18. I coined that nickname for the 28-70/2.8, Bjorn, and it should be taken as an affectionate appelation. I got the idea when I read an article that described the 28-70 as 'beastly' in size. Granted, it's not that big compared to a telephoto, but it's probably the largest lens designed to be used at close range, and can be intimidating to subjects, particularly with the hood on. One reviewer likened it to putting a coffee can full of lead on the end of his camera :biggrin:.

    Your viewpoint counts for a lot for me. In fact, I read your review several times before I bought the 28-70, and ofen refer folks considering the purchase of a midrange zoom to it. I greatly appreciate the information you've placed on your website, and rely on it.

    Btw, the Great Debate is whether the 28-70 or the 17-55 is the better lens for general purpose use. I know you own both. Which one spends more time on your cameras?
  19. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    One, both, or neither, depending on whether I'm working in "wide", "normal", or "long" mode.

    I tend to use the 28-70 a lot more than the 17-55 when traveling the countryside. Main reason is that I frequently use wider lenses (12-24, fisheyes, etc.) on these occasions, so the 28-70 gets the position of a "normal" lens. For shorter trips I switch between the 17-35 or 17-55 and rarely bring the 28-70. Then I probably enters "wide" mode, a long-standing habit because I used to have the 24/2.8 as a standard lens on my film Nikons.

    When I'm in "long" mode, the shortest lens typically is the 85/1.4 in AF or AIS disguise, and the 200/2 (VR) is my preferred lens. I might add a 300/2.8, 400/2.8, 500/4, or longer to the "long" kit. But definitively neither the 17-35, 17-55, nor 28-70.

    A 300/2, now that's a true beast if there ever was one :biggrin:

  20. I dunno'. I sort of think the name fits considering it is the most imposing thing I, and most, consider using as a "normal" lens.

    So many of us cut teeth on a 50f1.8. We moved up to something big like a 43-86 or 35-70.
    Kit lenses are handy and light in the hand. A hunk like the 17-55 is big.

    For my normal lens the 28-70 is a monstrosity. Sure it's lighter than a 70-200 and much smaller than a lot of heavy glass.
    It is big and heavy. I've been conditioning for karate by walking 2-3 miles with 100 lbs. of free weights so I don't thing an extra pound or two is any big deal but it is relative.

    Lenses, life, beauty, riches, religion, the universe......relativity is such a ubiquitous and familiar, yet uncomfortable to many, concept.

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