Which lens would you pick in my situation?

13

Comments

  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Very reasonable comments RJ.
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    JSHickele- I do love my grandpas old MF 50 1.4. That and my trial of the new 50 1.4 is what is holding me back from pulling the trigger on the 50 1.8. I got some pictures I really liked with both of those. As for the many instance of my favorites being at 50, they were taken with my my 18-105 zoom, but you are onto something in that many times, I set the focal length to 50 and went from there rather than letting the situation dictate the focal length choice. I did so out of a possibly irrational thought that would be a sure fire focal length. In retrospect, I could've played more. I shot mostly portraits of my baby so perhaps this wasn't too off base. So the past year my be unfair representation.

    A couple of my favorite images can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/howdelighted
    By that I mean the one of my daughter in the pink shirt and overalls taken with the 50 1.4g, and the similar one with her in the blue dress outdoors...but that was taken with the kit lens. I should really upload more images, forgive eye I just got started with Flickr. Anyhow. Part of me is nervous I won't be able to get that awesome background like I'm the one with the overalls, with the 50 1.8, but this might be irrational, since I took that at 2.8! And also the one with kit lens was much more closed down and I still like it! During my trial of the 50 1.4 I got several nice nature shots where part of the image was isolated. Another thing holding me back possibly more based in reason. That being said...I agree Adam I felt the 1.8 slow to focus as compared to the 1.4 (I tried the 1.8 at best buy yestday). The weight is much lighter on the 1.8 which is nice. It even seemed like it might be sharper...

    But can someone link me some visual comparisons of the difference in subject isolation or bokeh in wide open comparisons? I'm sure I am overthinking this. feel I could get that 1.8 with no issues. I certainly don't want to get another bad copy of the 1.4, what a pain.

    Iron heart - yes shooting raw and processing in LR. The images are acceptable. But I'm probably pushing the limits of my gear in the given light. some days are better than others light wise. And I look at a lot of pro work so this colors my view of what my work should look like. (When I am not quite there yet).

    I a very close to pulling the trigger on the 50 1.8 and then later I will get the 85 1.8. Probably I will get the 24-70 too unless this is a redundant combo. Ah future plans!
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @Charmdesign, the reason I ask is that you could try and be more aggressive with the software noise reduction on the high-ISO shots. The pro work you are looking at, undoubtedly is pushing the limits there as well (unless in a well lit studio).
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    @Charmdesign, the reason I ask is that you could try and be more aggressive with the software noise reduction on the high-ISO shots. The pro work you are looking at, undoubtedly is pushing the limits there as well (unless in a well lit studio).
    Yep, I've attended professional retouching seminars where they say that even for photos shot at ISO 100 and 200 that a certain amout of Noise Reduction is still added in post (especially for weddings) simply to give the images a smoother appearance.

    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    i have a 15month old and of all the lens that i have (N 24-70 50mm 1.8g, 85mm 1.8g and 70-200 sigma 35)
    I would say that the 85mm is your best bet.
    The other lens are great but 85 does the trick for me.
    Keep in mind your daughter will be moving around and if you do the photos by yourself get the 50mm so you are not to far ahead from her.

    The others lens are heavier and if you have to decide between dropping the equipment or your child make sure its the 50mm or 85mm.

    Consider a black rapid strap just in case.

    I personaly like the 70-200 for the studio where I strap her down to the high chair and use lights anyways but for everything else such as low light/natural light the 85mm is very pleasing

    thanks @msmoto and @golf for convincing me to keep it. :)
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    @Charmdesign - I really like your approach on the flickr pictures, the mood on them is really phenomenal. however, there's an AF problem on some of them. the focus is not where it should be, and this pictures are already downsized. the picture you referring to (your daughter in pink shirt) was shot with f2.8 - at least that's what you wrote on it. so basically, any lens that can be opened to 2.8 will let you get such a subject isolation. let me be more specific here. for me subject isolation is the DOF, which is connected with f-stop. the wider f-stop (smaller number) the better subject isolation you have (smaller DOF - depth of field). on the contrary you have bokeh, which is of course connected to f-stop but it also depends on the number of diaphragms. it's said that the nicest bokeh is achieved with 9 of them. another factor that improves your subject isolation is distance towards your object. the closer you are, the better subject isolation you can achieve - no matter what f-stop you are using. last, but not least is the focal length. as a general rule, telephoto lenses have better subject isolation than wide-angles. shorting this up. get 85/1.8 and be merry :) you wouldn't be disappointed.
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @ Charmdesign you're getting a lot of good advice, and you've really done the right thing by going over your shots to examine what you like taking and sizing up what you like most to see what makes sense in buying.

    Zoom lenses don't usually stop down below f2.8, but I suspect I'd advise you not to open up to much more too often unless you're planning on a very, very narrow DOF shot, and even then, make sure you know what your getting. Narrow DOF is pleasing today (this sort of thing is like fashion - it comes and goes), but if you plan to sell photos, you may find that some of your customers may want to see their children's faces completely. IOW, plan to make your photos for you and your customers. (My first studio job was taking baby pictures with a 5x7" camera - that was not a 'spontaneous' experience.)

    As you've also discovered, 'sharpness' isn't so much the cost of the lens - the kit lens is sharp, but the speed and quality of the build, well, that's what costs more and makes shooting some things at some times difficult. You'll be shooting in less desirable light using fast shutter speeds with slower ISOs (for fine-ish) grain (you can forego some of the build quality, you won't be in a tropical rain forest). You can read about the results of f-stops at various places. The difference in light through a lens from f2.8 and f1.8 is one and 1/4 stop or twice and some as much. At f2.8 and f1.4 that's 4 times as much. When you're thinking in terms of ISOs and and low light, it can get pretty daunting. From your kit lens at wide open (f3.5) it is just about stop less light than f2.8, but that means a lot (and you would likely be shooting at the longer end of the lens (cheaper lenses have variable f-stops

    Most here would suggest that an FX camera would be part of the answer - a larger sensor would allow for a couple of additional stops increase (doubling in ISO) without noticeable grain. Or get more light on the subject. ;-)

    These are things to look at.

    My best,

    Mike

  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    Adam- my first Feedback on my photos! You made my day. I can't wait to share the photos from the past year in all their Midwestern glory. Thanks for the info! I will upload full size images at some point her and trouble shoot my focus issues. I believe my d7000 has a back focus issue. It really compounded with the 50 I use to take the pink shirt photo, as that lens had a major back focus as evidenced in my tests also up on that link. The kit lens may have a slight back focus too. I plan to reset the camera and retest then fine tune if necessary.

    Mike - thanks for the info, I have yet to memorize the mathematical details like that so it's good to read up on that. I do think going FX will help I am not sure if that will happen now or within 6-12 months from now. Jury is out! I think the d800 and 85 1.4 is my dream combo but I may end up sticking with my camera and the 50 1.8!
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited January 2014
    Hi Charmdesign, I think all the advice that you have received since my previous post has been great and you have been exposed to a variety of great perspectives. I am afraid that I only have two substantial things to add.

    One, I often shoot my lens at 1.4 (the 85 and 50 and the MF at 1.2). The difference in bokeh at 1.8 is VERY minor.

    Two, Bokeh is a little more that how out of focus something is. There is also a quality to the background that is out of focus. I think it has something to do with Chromatic Abberation, which is tricky for a lens designer, because they don't want Chromatic Abberation in the "in focus area", but having it in the background improves the bokeh.

    Oh, and one more thing. I love the photos of your daughter.

    Cheers,

    Jeff
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    Thanks Jeff, very encouraging! I will report back when I finally make a move ( which should be by end of next week since I want the lens in time to do baby's one year photos!
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @ Charmdesign If your D7000 is less than an year old, it is protected under warranty, and Nikon will repair it. My D7000 had some AF issues, too, and were fixed under warranty and the cost was only shipping. It only took a couple of weeks and worth every penny. I doubt that any cost to the repair will be great, either if out of warranty, so the sooner it's taken care of the happier you'll be.

    Some users will service their cameras and equipment by Nikon's published standards; I do, but I come from a background of large organizations that have large inventories and have benefited from that experience. It also makes perfect sense that a camera will out-live its technology (lenses are another matter).

    Speaking of lenses, using a f2.8 60mm Micro for a portrait lens (DX) isn't a bad idea (same to be said for a f2.8 105mm), I have both and use both, but for tots and general portraiture, I tend to use a 50mm.

    image

    image

    These are from an inexpensive f1.8 50mm on a D90, D7000 or a D7100.

    That is a very serviceable lens and should be in anyone's kit for DX.

    image

    This is from a f2.8 60mm Micro that's close to 30 years old and still sharp. It replaced a 55mm Micro that was almost that old.

    The pictures of your daughter are adorable.

    My best,

    Mike
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    edited January 2014
    Thanks Mike! What does "micro" mean in the case of the kens you mentioned? I like the results! I think macro is for close ups....
    My camera is two years old, drats! Ya know, I wonder if I should just send it in. The fact Adam could tell have issues right off the bat....

    Adam- was the main thing that made this obvious the pick of the father holding son? Or we're there other things that said " AF problems"? I don't know if I should attempt to fix this or just send it in. I hope it doesn't take long or cost much.

    How does one start the process to send in?

    Post edited by Charmdesign on
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @Charmdesign - Micro means close up lens. In the 60mm I used it it the several generations younger than this shown on

    http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/Camera-Lenses/2177/AF-S-Micro-Nikkor-60mm-f%252F2.8G-ED.html

    Remember, 'Nikonese isn't English. English is my second language, too. I was born and raised in Arkansas.

    As I said, I would send it in; it will make a world of difference.

    At the link below you can begin by following the "schedule a repair link". Fill in the paper work and send in the gear to the place for repair.

    I am assuming you are in the US - this is the Nikon USA website, but similar websites are available for other citizens.

    https://support.nikonusa.com/

    My best,

    Mike
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited January 2014
    From 2012 an example of the D800 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 at 70mm ; f/4.5 ; ISO 200.
    BD_beach_portrait1-.jpg
    Post edited by Rx4Photo on
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 561Member
    Very good shot Rx4Photo. The 24-70 2.8 is a very capable lens when it comes to people shots. Some may argue that a 85 1.4 would be a tiny bit better. That may be. But OP has limited herself to only one lens. Rx4fPhoto could have turned around and made a stunning landscape at 24mm. The point being that the 24-70 2.8 can do a lot of things whereas a 85 1.4 is a specialized tool. Worth considering when you are on a limited budget.

    I think there is a very good reason why a lot of pros have a basic kit consisting of the 3 2.8 zooms - it is the most economic way to make a kit that will do most thing very well.

    I will recommend that you start out with a basic kit that will allow you to do most things well. Later on you can add specialized lenses for specific tasks.

    But even when you start buying specialized lenses you need to consider where you get the most bang for your hard earned money. A 105 2.8 macro is a very good lens for portraits and it will allow you to do macro work - all for half the price of a 85 1.4.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited January 2014
    I don't quite agree.

    See the prices below. These are from Nikon Canada's website, but the relative difference should be similar everywhere.

    24-70mm 2.8 $1,869.95

    24mm F2.8 $479.95
    35mm F2.0 $399.95
    50mm F1.8 $249.95
    85mm F1.8 $529.95
    Total $1,659.80

    So for $200 less, she covers a larger focal length range, gets equivalent (and possible superior) image quality and faster glass. The only downside is that she cannot zoom. However, if you are willing to zoom with your feet, she could eliminate the 35 (or the 50) and save even more money. She may also have more fun, but that is my bias and everyone is different.

    Also, she may not see much value in the the sub-50 focal length, based on her earlier comments. She might be happy to eliminate the 24 or 35 or maybe both (though I predict that she will eventually want the shorter focal length).
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • GarethGareth Posts: 159Member
    I shoot children professionally (see my site in my sig) and I can tell you I hardly every use the 70-200, partly because it is not my favourite focal length (and I can use my 300 2.8), but mainly because it is too big and heavy. I wouldn't want to try and shoot with it one handed and I doubt you'd be able to shoot with the 24-70 one handed while moving things around with your other hand.

    Being maneuverable is super important with small kids.

    I would DEFINITELY go with primes just for this reason, but you also get much better subject isolation and the ability to shoot at lower ISOs as major side benefits.

    I doubt you'll notice much of a difference in bokeh between f1.8 and f1.4, but you will between f1.8 and f2.8.
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 561Member
    @jshickele: I do agree. You can build a basic kit consisting of primes. The newer 1.8 lenses are a bargain for what they do. I am very happy with my 50 1.8 G. And I plan on adding a 85 1.8 some time in the future if I don't win the lottery and buy a 1.4 version :-) If you go the 1.8 route then you end up with a basic kit at the same or lower price than a 24-70 2.8. I was talking about 1.4 lenses and the OP clearly stated that she was after a one lens advice as she could not afford more than one.

    What complicates matters in this case - OP has a DX camera but plans to upgrade to FX in the future. Putting together a bag of lenses that covers both is not easy. The old 24 2.8 may not hold up very well en the long run leaving her with a 28 1.8 as the widest affordable lens in Nikons lineup.
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 561Member
    @Garath: If you are a pro you are in a very different situation than OP. And I´m sure you have more than one lens in your bag :-)
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    edited January 2014
    Thanks for all this food for thought I am loving it! Totally appeals to me desire to be thorough and that you guys are!

    UGH. So new developments. After some crunching and discussions and some mighty contemplation over springing for a used d800, it looks like that is not in the cards ATM. It could be, but it would be a tad irresponsible and truth be told I looked back and realized that I haven't logged a year yet (will be a year this June) shooting RAW / Manual. I'm trying to pump the breaks. If I can make it though the summer / and fall that's a start. If I can hit 2 years shooting DX I'll KNOW I put my time in. a

    I was sure I was settled on the 50mm focal length since used that most this summer. It struck me today as I rolled out the fake wood flooring (roll of vinyl I bought at Ollies) in preparation for practice for my daughters cake smash and one year shoot which I need to do this week, that 50mm may be too tight in my living room! Ee gads, the focal length I've loved all summer is all of a sudden failing me. Suddenly I realized that shooting her indoors is just a whole different cup of tea and is forcing me into making choices I probably would've have made otherwise. Well, that and finally coming to terms with the fact I am up to one year off of buying an FX camera unless fortunes change (possible).

    After all this, I'm looking at running to my local Best Buy (because I need to do this 1 year shoot within the week) and picking up the 35mm 1.8g for DX camera. Sad face. I am frustrated because I didn't want to invest in DX lenses and go through the pain of selling it a year from now. I guess I could plan on keeping my camera as a backup when that day finally comes, and keep the lenses that go with it. I'm also frustrated that I'm not getting the 50 I had my heart set up. But I finally realized 50 probably won't work in this specific instance which is pretty important to me. I'm trying to temper this with the money savings and the whole 'paying my dues' mentality. I keep reading about how 35mm is the normal view for crop camera which I probably should heed.

    Alas. Spring is around the corner, and I have a $50 b&h gift card to throw at something. I'm thinking in time for the warm weather I will save up a bit add a 50mm. Then I know I'll be set for summer! I'll just need to come to a final desicion between the 1.8 and 1.4. Been reading about this so much. Photography life suggests that most people will be happy with the 1.8 that is performs better except not as nice bokeh. Seems like that may be the *smarter* choice from what I've read despite the fact that I will probably lust after the 1.4. (probably irrational).

    Deciding to stay DX for awhile and the need to shoot in my cramped living room has dictated this choice. I believe that there are some swap groups online so selling shouldn't be a problem if I ever need to.

    I'm not even going to worry about testing my 35mm lens when it comes because if it acts up or seems off I'm just going to ship it and my body which I think is back focusing, back to Nikon.

    I dream about FX camera and 85mm 1.4 classic portrait lens. Ah, perhaps by next summer (!?) Maybe if I can start a photo biz I can get it sooner ;) At least for what's left of winter and for next winter I'm covered indoors with this DX lens.
    Post edited by Charmdesign on
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,366Member
    edited January 2014
    delete
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,348Member
    PB_PM how come come Canadian retailers do not have to sell at the VAMP price? May have VAMP wrong, could be VAP...I forgot. Any way really curious how they are allowed to sell below that fixed price.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,366Member
    Nikon Canada does not force Canadian dealers to sell at MSRP "Merchant Suggested Retail Price" because it is just that, a suggestion. If the store can afford to sell it for less (they take less profit as a result) then that is up to them.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @Charmdesign: The Nikon 35 1.8 DX is a fantastic lens which will produce great image on your D7000. In fact, that lens has been preeminently mounted on my D7000 since I got my D4. However, if you are worried about the funds not going towards a FX lens, then within the 35mm focal length, you may want to wait and see what the new Nikon 35 1.8 FX has to offer. Otherwise, the Sigma 35 1.4 Art series is your only true alternative.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,348Member
    I know what MSRP is, but I thought there was a lower VAPM, or something like that, that was less than MSRP and dealer could not sell below that cost or Nikon would pull their product line from that store.

    That is why B&H, Adorama, and others now throw in free stuff plus a 2 or 4% rebate if you are a member of their club.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
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