Portrait Lenses

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by droyz2000, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. droyz2000

    droyz2000 TPF Noob!

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    I am currently in the market for a portrait lens and from the research I have done, the Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/50 ZF is the best portrait lens out there. I was just wondering if there are any lenses out there that are quite comparable which cost less? I have a Nikon D200 camera so I want nice glass I am just not sure if the Zeiss is the best for the money.
     
  2. bla

    bla TPF Noob!

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    I don't know what you would call the BEST lens. Most companies out there offer pretty good glass, for portraits a 50mm should work great with the 1.5X conversion factor on your Nikon. But there are other alternatives to the Zeiss lens, Nikon has some very nice 50mm 1:1.4 lenses.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the main issue here is price. Given the quality of 50mm lenses, your pictures shouldn't have any noticeable difference.
     
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  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are textbook answers, of course. The "classic" portrait lenses for 35mm were in the 85-120mm focal length range. That doesn't mean they are a requirement for portraiture. I used to do head shots with a 300mm lens on a 35mm camera. It just means they produce what most people consider a pleasant perspective for a head shot. So the 50mm on a digital camera would be considered a little short by many photographers for a portrait lens for head shots. It would be about the equivalent of a 75mm lens on a 35mm camera.

    It might be a good choice for a full figure portrait. It might even be a good choice for head shots if you prefer the deeper perspective. So, answers to questions like these normally just open the door to more questions, I'm afraid. The book answer is the lens is too short. The real answer is - maybe, maybe not.
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I'd say an 85mm f/1.4 becuase that way you'd have a shallower DOF, and you can get further away from your subject so you're not cramming them in.
     
  5. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    The 50 f/1.4 (either Nikon or Zeiss) will make a nice portrait lens, but the bokeh on any of the 50mm lenses just can't match the 85 f/1.4 (Nikon or Zeiss is a tossup there - some prefer the Zeiss bokeh, but the Nikon's is legendary AND it has AF, which is rather convienient)
     

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