Portrait lens for Df

BaltonskiBaltonski Posts: 9Member
edited July 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I was recently lurking around the web to choose a general purpose wide-ish lens to complement my 50mm f 1.8G lens for my recently acquired Df. I ended up with recently introduced AF 28mm f 1.8G due to budget constraints. While looking through DxO website, I saw that AF 85 f 1.4 D (which I own) was ranked way down compared to both G-series 1.8 and 1.4.
So, my question is for you guys, is it worthwhile to upgrade to G-series 85mm? Would I see noticeable improvement?

Cheers
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Comments

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    Only you can really answer this
    the AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G will be better than AF 85 f 1.4 D
    but the AF 85 f 1.4 D remains a very good lens
    I suspect the difference will show up most, when photographing against the light
    eg girl in bikini on beach at sunset
  • BaltonskiBaltonski Posts: 9Member
    I'm sure that the big differences you saw were based upon comparisons using a D800 that can capture much more detail. The difference in quality will be much less noticeable on a Df. I wouldn't spend the money upgrading and would concentrate on filling other holes.
    Don"t be so sure :-) . It was actually an article for Best Primes and Zooms for Df.
    What surprised me with Df most is that, when I put on my 12-year old Sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM APO lens, it work and focused perfect producing very good results. I could not say the same, for instance, for Nikkor AF 35-70mm f2.8D :-(; although it was producing excellent results on my F100 and D200 a decade ago...
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    I am sure that it was the best lens. They would never promote a D series over a G series and the G is better.

    What Pitchblack is saying is that the difference is not going to be huge (but there will be some) on a DF as it is only 16 megapixels compared to the D800's 36. The D has great bokeh, it is just not quite as sharp wide open.

    If you look in my signature you will see that I have a 135 DC 2 that came out in 1990 and a 85 1.4G that came out in 2010. Sometimes I am not sure what is a better lens though when I look closely the 85 wins. Even though the 135 is 20 years older, it is not a slam dunk in favour of the 85.

    I don't have the 85 D, but I suspect that the difference is similar.

    So as Pitchblack said, be happy with this lens and fill your holes elsewhere.

    As an aside, you only have four posts so have likely not read Pitchblack's contributions (or perhaps seen his website) in order to appreciate how much weight you should give his views. As somebody with loads of experience pushing portrait lenses to their limits (and past them), there is nobody on this forum that is as qualified to express an opinion on portrait lenses as Pitchblack.
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 561Member
    edited July 2014
    As for a portrait lens - is the 135 F2 DC still worth it? Someone has a used one for sale and I was thinking about buying it.
    Post edited by henrik1963 on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    the 135 f2 is not called the King of Bokeh with out good reason
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    As for a portrait lens - is the 135 F2 DC still worth it? Someone has a used on for sale and I was thinking about buying it.
    Buy it, is awesome. Here is a sample shot:

    Simone
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    If you like your 85 keep it. Great lens, nice for portraits. The 135DC is also an excellent lens and has more uses. My favorite for portraits is the 105DC. Any of the three are great.

    framer
  • BaltonskiBaltonski Posts: 9Member

    As an aside, you only have four posts so have likely not read Pitchblack's contributions (or perhaps seen his website) in order to appreciate how much weight you should give his views. As somebody with loads of experience pushing portrait lenses to their limits (and past them), there is nobody on this forum that is as qualified to express an opinion on portrait lenses as Pitchblack.
    That's the idea. Since I am only an enthusiast amateur, it is forums like these that I seek pro advice. Back in the day, I had the option to go for either for the 135DC or for the 85D and I chose the latter at the time. But I will keep it as I like the bookeh it produces.

    Thanks for all the feedback...
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited July 2014
    I recently was looking at the 135 dc and 105 dc.

    As for the 85mm 1.8g and the DF. It is my favorite prime on that body.

    Here is a street photo at 2.8

    DFB_4546-VMS
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited July 2014
    I recently was looking at the 135 dc and 105 dc.

    The 135 DC is amazing - on par with my 85 which I think is a little sharper, but with a shorter focal length. I have often thought about the 105 as I am sure that it will be quite good. However, I will wait and see how Nikon updates that one. I would wet my pants if they came out with a 105 1.4G (and twice if it was a DC) that followed the 85 1.4G's optical performance tradition. I would hand over $2,500 for that in a heartbeat.
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    My 105 DC was my favorite portrait lens with my film Nikons, and became so again when I switched to FX digital with my first D3.

    I have not tried the 135 DC, because I like the 105 FL for portraits.

    I am referring to head ans shoulder portraits, the 105 is too long for full body, where I use a 50/1.4 D, usually at F2.

    I use a 90 series 4 Summicron on Leica's for the same purpose. FL equals out because I frame the viewfinder camera somewhat looser.

    .... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Yes, the 105 is very good to. They are identical except for the focal length.

    I use the 85 for full body. I will only use a 50 for portraits if I must do to space limitations.
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 561Member
    How does the 105 DC compare to the 105 F2.8 macro? I know the macro does not have the DC part but other than that?
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    My educated guess is that the macro will be sharper but the DC will have much better bokeh. Apparently, however, the 105 is still quite sharp and this seems reasonable given the sharpness on my 135. This is based on what I know about the 135 and 200 in my signature.
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 561Member
    Thanks WestEndBoy. I have used my 105 2.8G macro for portraits before. It is wicked sharp and it does blur the background nicely. But I have heard so much about the 135DC and the 105DC - how they are special in the bokeh department.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited July 2014
    The central design philosophy of the macros are reproduction ratio, lack of distortion and sharpness. For the DCs, it is bokeh first and sharpness second (but still very important as a portrait lens).

    I am going to try my Kenko extension tubes with my 135 DC2.0 at some point. It will be interesting to see if I can come close to a real macro (Reproduction ratio greater than 1:1) with great bokeh.

    The bokeh on my 200 only goods good when the background is almost completely washed out. The bokeh on the 135 (and 105 I assume) looks good even at f/8.0.
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    Wouldn't the 105 DC lens have the perfect look for a Df portrait lens?
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    As in classic design as it is an older lens?
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    Yes, classic design with silver ring.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Yeah, I suppose that would look good on a DF. But I think my manual focus lenses would look even better and would also be more consistent with the design philosophy behind the DF.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    MF is fine if you have the eye and time for it. I don't. I also keep reading that the screen has not been optimized for focusing and that the focus confirmation indicators are not as precise as the AF mechanism. I don't know about these things, have had no experience with them and therefore cannot have an educated opinion on them. However, I have read from many sources that AF is more precise than MF on modern bodies.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    I use the green dot as a starting point but then really use the VF to determine if the image is in focus or not. Plus i have the DK-17M already on it so that helps me.
    I have not tried mounting the 55mm AIS on the D800 but on the DF it does a great job once you have had practice with moving subjects. For stills and such its a no brainer.

    However you can miss focus by a slight twist in the focus ring. Practice makes perfect in this scenario for me.

    I ran into a Leica store and tried several range finders. I really didn't like the split screen but I liked the screen that duplicates the image and when it is in focus there is no double image.

    I don't remember the name of that screen but that on the DF would be gold.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Also, these are wide angle lenses, except for the 50, so focus is less critical.

    I use these on my D800 and it works well. Mostly use my eye. It definetely takes some practice and more time for the shot.

    Also keep in mind that I use my MF lenses for landscapes at f/5.6 to 8.0 on a tripod. Landscapes also don't run that fast.

    Sometimes I shoot cyclists with my 50 1.2 just to practice my focussing skills. THAT is a challenge with manual focus.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    MF on moving subjects? Yes, that is a real challenge because they will have moved between the focus and the shutter release unless they are moving parallel to you. MF is commonly used in macro shooting by moving the camera/lens back and forth once desired composition is achieved. But this thread was about a good portrait lens for the Df body and I suggested the AF 105 f2 DC lens because it has that old style silver ring.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    It is a beautiful lens to look at (my 135 is the same). The 50 1.2 is also nice, visually and by feel. Also the manual focus is incredibly smooth.
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