Lens Choice

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by AlexColeman, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Hey-
    Getting into Senior portraits, after having bought a D3S, and am looking for a portrait lens. I already have a 70-200 2.8, and am trying to decide between the 85 1.4 and the 135 F2 DC. Any Help?
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The 85/1.4 has nice bokeh and would be a good environmental lens. The 135/2 has defocus control and with its longer focal length, it gives a very rapid transition from out of focus, to the depth of field zone, and then a rapid transition to the out of focus background. Both lenses are optimal around f/4 to f/4.8. The 135/2 suffers more from color fringing. The 85 has more tendency toward flaring when shot right toward the light. Both are high-quality lenses; the 85's images look more "natural", while the 135/2's images look more "dreamy", due to the longer focal length and shallower depth of field, and the way it magnifies the size of background objects in relation to foreground objects.

    Splitting the middle is the equally superb 105mm f/2 DC lens, which is the most flare-resistant lens you're likely to have. It can be shot right at intense,strong backlight and not flare or ghost. I prefer it to the other two lenses,and it is optically a little bit better than the 135/2.
     
  3. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Sounds good, 105 in lieu of the 135? LCA isn't a problem, the newest nikon bodies automatically correct for it.

    Any other opinions?
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Unfortunately, it's not lateral chromatic aberration the 135/2 suffers from, but longitudinal or "bokeh" CA...there's a pretty strong green/red fringing at times, and longitudinal CA is the type the Nikon cameras cannot correct out. I only mention it because, at times, the longitudinal CA the 135/2 gives will give very strong green/red edges, especially when shot at wider apertures. I should have been more correct in my original post, where I referred to color fringing. I should have more properly stated the problem.

    The lens is very well-corrected against lateral chromatic aberration, which is the type the new Nikon cameras *can* correct for. The issue is pretty similar to that from the 85/1.2-L Canon.
     
  5. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    No problem, didn't know about that. 105 is better in that regard?
     
  6. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    bump
     
  7. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Anyother opinions? If not, I will probably go with the 85 1.4
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yes, the 105mm f/2 AF-D Defocus Control is better in terms of longitudinal chromatic aberration...it's a superb lens. It is very easy to focus and had beautiful image quality. I prefer it to the 135/2 for most shots. The 85/1.4 is also a fine,fine lens, but it is not quite as good when shooting in backlighted situations--the 85 will flare sometimes, where the 105/2 is almost impervious to even the sun in the frame or right outside the frame. Both the 85 and 105 lenses have stellar reputations; the 85 might be the handier lens for indoor use or in smaller, more intimate outdoor situations, or where you simply want to have more "scene" shown behind the subject, or wish to work more full-length stuff into the mix.

    The 105 is "skinnier" and feels a bit better in the hand to me, and I prefer it over the 85, but then I have always felt an 85mm too short for *my* personal taste, but each person is different. You can not go too far wrong with either lens for senior portraits.
     
  9. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    Stick with the 135. With senior portraits you don't want a shallow depth of field (most people want the entire frame in focus) which makes the prime aspect of the 85 f/1.4 pretty much useless. No point in a quick lens if you're going to keep the diaphragm at a normal size.
     
  10. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Sounds good, thanks.
     
  11. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    Sure there's a point, you can stop it down to f2 for more sharpness on the in-focus areas and still keep a relatively narrow depth of field.

    I flat-out disagree that most people want the entire frame in focus. OOF areas isolate the subject and bring attention to the face, and if the DOF is shallow enough, even mainly the eyes. Makes for a much more pleasing portrait.

    Another option for the OP would be the 24-70 2.8, though it's above the price range of the other two lenses you mentioned. Really though the 70-200 makes a good portrait lens already.
     

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