Question for members who have both a macro 90/100/105mm and Nikkor 85mm

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Roosje, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Roosje

    Roosje

    828
    May 25, 2005
    The Netherlands
    I am contemplating to buy a 85mm 1.8, but since I have a Tamron 90mm I am in doubt if I should do it. I would love to hear experiences of those who have both and why they use their 85mm instead of their 90/100/105mm.

    I was playing with the idea of buying in about a years time a D700 for its unbelievable high iso possibilities when the prices have gone down a bit and I have saved enough. I chose my lens collection based on the focal range for a DX camera and will have to adjust to how they will work on a FF camera. I also find the D700 a bit too heavy a camera for me and am therefore now contemplating to get a D90 and a 85mm instead. My thought is that together with better high iso possibilities of a D90 and a faster lens it will compensate for me somewhat the loss of the high iso possibilities I would have had with D700. A 1.8 lens lets in about three times as much light as a 2.8. I would then have a 30mm 1.4, Nikkor 50mm 1.8 and a Nikkor 85mm 1.8 for low light situations.
     
  2. I don't have an 85, but I do have a 135/f2 as well as the Tamron 90. I find that I use the 135 only if I have a need for f/2. Of the 500 or so frames I have from the 135/f2, only about a dozen are shot stopped down beyond f/4. The Tamron makes far more trips than the Nikkor, since it is close enough in focal length, nearly as fast, and weighs a LOT less. The latter doesn't apply so much to the 85/f1.8, but I'm having a hard time imagining when I'd use an 85/f1.8 more than I do the 135/f2, if not even less.

    Back in film days I used a 28, 50 and 135 and I really can't think of many times when I needed something around 80-90 that I couldn't work around. More recently I have on occasion gone out with Tri-X and the 35/f1.4, 50/f1.4 and 135/f2 and that still works just fine.

    If I were you, I'd just get the new body and try it out with your existing lens. It's not as if you're going to get a discount for buying the body with an 85/f1.8.

    As far as the low light capability goes, try working from what you need, rather than from what you might have gotten. Look back at your archives. When you shot at f/2.8 in marginal conditions, would one stop have fixed it, or did you really need two? (Or four?)
     
  3. fks

    fks

    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi roosje-

    i only use my 105mm micro for macro shots. it's painfully sharp for portraits, and AF is slow. i would much rather use my 85mm f/1.8 or 105mm f/2 for portrait work.

    ricky


    i don't use my 105mm micro (or my old sigma 90mm macro when i had it) for portraits as the images were usually too sharp, and AF is slow on a micro lens.
     
  4. Roosje

    Roosje

    828
    May 25, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Brian and Ricky, thank you for your responses.

    Brian, you are right, it is wise to first work with the camera and try my existing lenses. I have been so caught up in looking at all the possibilities with what steps I should take, I tend to take too many at a time.

    Ricky, I have read so many enthousiastic reactions about the 85mm it has made me very curious about this lens. It is interesting to hear that the 85mm AF is faster than the 105mm micro, it certainly will be much faster than the 90mm.
     
  5. pforsell

    pforsell

    Jan 15, 2008
    Hi,
    I had the AF 85/1.8 but sold it because it was useless to me.

    In the portrait focal range I do have:
    • AIS 105/1.8
    • AIS 105/2.8 Micro-Nikkor
    • AIS 135/2
    • AFS 28-70/2.8
    • AIS 50/1.2
    • AF 50/1.8
     
  6. I use the 85mm F1.8 a lot and I like it. Mine is sharp and compact. I tried using the Micro Nikkors as general purpose and headshots lenses but they were better used as micro/ closeups lenses. I had the Nikon 55 F2.8 MF, 105 2.8 MF and AFD.
    The new pair; 60mm and 105VR might be better for general purpose.
     
  7. Roosje

    Roosje

    828
    May 25, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Peter, I can understand that when you have a 105mm 1.8 that you won't have much use for the 85mm :)

    William, so you did find use for the 85mm beside the micro lenses :)

    Thursday evening I made some photos during a lecture about Medieval food in France using the Sigma 30mm 1.4. There was hardly any light, I was surprised how low I could keep the iso compared to a 2.8 lens and did not really expect that they would turn out any good. I read that there is a 2/3 stop difference between a 1.4 lens and 1.8 lens and 4 stops with a 2.8 lens. I thought the 85mm would of been very handy to have during such an evening on a second body.

    2828448801_a0754b4299_o.jpg
    Exposure Bias Value: -1.333333
    Exposure Mode: Manual exposure
    Exposure Program: Manual
    Exposure Time: 1 / 40
    FNumber: 1.4
    Focal Length: 30
    ISO Speed Ratings: 250

    2828449013_6b098f34fd_o.jpg
    Exposure Bias Value: -1.333333
    Exposure Mode: Manual exposure
    Exposure Program: Manual
    Exposure Time: 1 / 40
    FNumber: 1.4
    Focal Length: 30
    ISO Speed Ratings: 250
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2008
  8. The sequence is f/1.4 -> f/2 -> f/2.8, so it's only two stops from f/1.4 to f/2.8. Two stops means a factor of 4x from a shutter speed or ISO perspective. The difference from f/2.8 to f/1.8 is 1.3 stops.

    Personally, I would have shot either of these with a slower lens and flash, if that were permitted. (If I didn't know in advance, the f/1.4 glass would have been at least in the car if not in the bag.) The lighting is uncomplimentary to the subjects.
     
  9. I am going to be a downer here.
    I sold my 85mm f1.8 and picked up the 105 VR, for a couple reasons.
    the 85mm f1.8 has quite a bit of CA in contrasty situations
    I couldn't get the fine tuned focus to be as accurate on my D300 (D200 and D50 it seemed fine)
    The AF was really slow on it
    And I find on the crop bodies the 50mm to be a more useable indoor portrait focal length.
    the 105 I only really use for headshots and Macro pictures of course.
     
  10. paulskimcb

    paulskimcb

    577
    Feb 12, 2007
    Midwest
    I have had the 105mm f/2.8 VR for about a year now, which I love. But the 85 f/1.8, which I recetnly purchaed, is a great walk-around/portrait lens.

    I'm not sure I'd get the 85mm if I had a 90mm Mmacro, but I find the pairing with the 105mm VR is perfect...
     
  11. Roosje

    Roosje

    828
    May 25, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Brian, thank you for the explanation, I am gradually beginning to understand how it works, but still find it difficult to grasp.
    I can understand that some will choose to use a flash in this situation. I myself prefer to record (right word?) how the situation actually is, to also reproduce the atmosphere and the lighting. One has to be really good with lighting to reproduce the right atmosphere with flash. I myself find that flash usually takes away a lot of the atmosphere. It all has to do taste :smile:

    Paul, You can compare the Tamron 90mm in use with the 105mmVR. for me the price difference was too big so I got a Tamron 90mm.

    What I see is that it all depends on ones preferences and way of working if it is worthwhile to have a 85mm together with a micro lens or not.

    I am very glad with all of your reactions, it has given me some material to think about.