Which full-frame sensor produces the most beautiful portraits

Trying to simplify and want to pick a Nikon FF body to use exclusively for portraits with a 105 lens. I don't care about age, megapixels, or video. The D2X would be my first choice, but it is a little too old. Of the subsequent full framers does one stand out in particular as doing the best with skin tones and gradations? I use a D810 right now, and it's fine, but maybe a little too clinical.


  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    I think your D810 is fine. The more important question is, "Which lens should I use?"

    Is your 105 the Macro? If yes, the 105 1.4 will produce a spectacular improvement for less money than a new body.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,463Member
    The D850 has been getting some rave reviews for skin tones and other colors. But the differences are all minor compared to the changes you can make in post processing.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    edited September 2017
    The D2X is a DX body, so it's age wouldn't matter if you want FX.

    Any modern full frame body will do a great job, the lens will make a much larger difference than the body. My favorite all time FX Nikon body for portraits was the D700 (out of four FX camera's that I've owned over the years), but they are a little over priced for the age. Just keep using the D810 you have now, no need to change bodies.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
    edited September 2017
    I dont do many portraits but the ones i have done with my old D610 have been very nice.

    I must say that the d850 images I have seen have not impressed me.. sorry... that weird nikon neon tones are back... in the d850 :-(

    I would think that you should stick with your D810 for portraits...
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 991Member
    The D810 is great, very clinical indeed.
  • bigeaterbigeater Posts: 36Member
    edited September 2017
    Thanks guys. I may just stick with the 810 and just sell a kidney so I can buy the new 105. I use the 135DC now and it's stunning, but it's a tiny bit long for headshots indoors, though magnificent for everything else.
    I know post-processing can do wonders, but I'm very old and can already feel Death's icy fingers on the back of my neck, so I try to do as much in camera as possible. "Shoot swiftly and move on" is my working methodology nowadays.
    Post edited by bigeater on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    I have the 135 DC 2.0 and it is magnificent. But the 105 1.4 is a step up. I can't prove it is as sharp as my new 400 2.8E, (I am sure it is not) but I am finding it hard in many circumstances to tell the difference. Wide open it is not the 400, but better than the 135 at any aperture.
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited September 2017
    D800 or a D810 would be all you'd need. Sensor aside, your biggest ally is proficiency in post processing. I've read many times how some photographers migrate to Capture 1 Pro simply for better skin tone processing over LR or PS.
    As for the lens indoors, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art.
    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

  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    edited September 2017
    @Rx4Photo makes a good point about post-processing and using Capture One for the best skin tones. The workflow that gives me the most satisfying results for portraits is starting in Capture One initially then send the file to Adobe Photoshop using the Edit With as a TIFF file for my finishing touches.

    PS: Best portrait skin tones with natural light and strobes straight out of a Nikon digital camera for me was the Nikon D3 which is an absolute steal on the used market today.
    Post edited by TriShooter on
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