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The Stopped Down Cream Machince

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Uncle Frank, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Nute and I were talking about our luv for the 85/1.4, and the fact that, even stopped down, it does a great job of rendering creamy backgrounds. He volunteered to start a thread for samples, but he must of had a senior moment and forgot :rolleyes: . So here's a few examples.

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    And it can be used for more than portraits.

    View attachment 216769

    OK, Nute, let's see some good stuff.
  2. Nice photos, with nice cream.
    Well, 85 1.4 will make creamy @ f11, if you get in close to the subject.
  3. cottontop

    cottontop Guest


    This is one of the several Nikkor prime lenses (35-105mm) used by the nation's premier portrait photographers in his (large) studio. He does not seem at all bothered by having to change lenses several times in a session (dust, hassle; better him than me, far far better!).

    It's a pretty good bet that his lighting setup calls for stopping down one heck of a lot more than f/4.

    Of course, when working in a studio, the background is not an issue.

    My point being, that this lens is probably used stopped down even more than you have done here - say f/8 to f/16 - simply because one tends not to change studio lighting once one "gets it right". And I'd like to see what you come up with at f/11

    This post is not in any way intended as a criticism of your (mostly outdoor) excellent photographs where background is a constant issue. Finding background without hotspots is an art form blessed by luck.
  4. isn't it a sin to

    shoot the 85 1.4 at anything other than 1.4 ? I see so much work @ 1.4 I often wondered if it went down any smaller :tongue:
  5. not much stopping down :(  But have an f2 thus far I can show :) 

  6. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    if you intend to shoot at 5.6-11
    get an 85 1.8
  7. I don't own either, but I have to think the differences run deeper than simply an f number.
  8. While wide open is fun for creativity and sometimes necessary, I will usually stop it down to where I need it given the circumstance.
    I believe you limit the usefulness of this lens if you only shoot wide open. Look at it like getting a Ferrari and drive it with the pedal to the floor all the time.
  9. Sure, and so will any lens. But to my eye, the Cream Machine does a champ job of it, particlularly with regard to background elements that are in the transitional area. However, that's jmho, and I'd rather stay away from lens comparisons, as they often seem to end in bruised feelings.
  10. Simply wonderful! You can show pictures like that on any thread I start, regardless of topic :Love:/
  11. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla

    well they do but
    I think the 1.4 is somehow optimized for wider opened shooting, like the 17-55
  12. panda81


    Feb 7, 2008
    In this case, not much. The bokeh from the 85/1.4 is undoubtedly smooth, but the 85/1.8 is also fantastic as well. Like Frank said, if you're shooting exclusively at f/5.6-f/11, there's hardly a justifiable reason to pay 3x for the 85/1.4.

    Just my opinion, anyway.
  13. timkoo


    Oct 9, 2007
    You wouldn't drive pedal to the metal? I know I would :rolleyes: 
  14. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    me too
  15. Precisely. Hey, you've got the cameras, glass, and beautiful models. Quit wasting your time on ebay buying bird lenses and start shooting your clients.
  16. Frank and Gary, TY both!!!
    Frank, I almost owe you some credit for my (pending to be signed) mag. contract. The Beast and moreover Cream machine helped my imageing immensely and the images taken are what got me noticed. I dof (lol) my cap SIR!
  17. WOW!!!! Great images. Now we all wait for Nute for his additions. :smile:
  18. Not at all. All comparative samples I've seen have the 85/1.4's bokeh better than the 85/1.8 at f/2.8 and f/4. At least to my eyes and in my opinion -- everyone's perception of good/great/acceptable bokeh is different, and what they're willing to pay for the those perceived differences.

    The 1.8's bokeh begins to get rather hexagonal with background light spots at f/2.8, which IMHO contributes to rougher bokeh. The 1.4's bokeh stays relatively circular at f/2.8 and f/4, with a less pronounced outlining effect. The 1.8's aperture blades just don't form a round enough shape at those apertures and it contributes to how bokeh is rendered.

    If the 85/1.4 was only better at f/1.4, I wouldn't have bought it. Most of my portraits are not done at f/1.4 -- I leave that specialty to nute, the king of f/1.4.

    Most of what I've taken is at f/2, f/2.8, or f/4. Had I found the 85/1.8 to produce results as nice as the 85/1.4, in those apertures, I would definitely have preferred to save the money.

    These pages have some direct comparisons that include side-by-side bokeh comparisons at f/2.8 and f/4.




    Again, at the risk of starting a lens comparison war -- everyone perceives and values bokeh differently, and everyone shoots in different circumstances. Some folks use very controlled backgrounds and bokeh differences in lenses don't matter. Some folks shoot a style that often has distracting backgrounds (e.g. photojournalist-style) and appreciate any help they can get.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2008
  19. panda81


    Feb 7, 2008
    With all due respect to Gary, Uncle Frank said what I was thinking too :tongue:
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