Torn between 2 lenses (yes, another what lens thread)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by dpolston, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    I shoot an 18-135, 3.5-5.6 lens for portrait because of economic reasons. I went for the D200 body and a 70-200 2.8 first, over the portrait glass.

    So... I am ready to buy a good portrait lens. I think I need a prime over the 17-55 2.8 that I really have my eye on but I honestly can't decide on which one.

    I wanted to know from you portrait people out there if you could only take 1 lens on a portrait shoot (1 to 3 people in the frame) would you grab the "nifty 50" or go for the 85mm? I am talking primes here not short range zooms.
     
  2. PushingTin

    PushingTin TPF Noob!

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    Wow I am almost in the same situation as you. My D200 is on the way (currently using a D50) also have the 70-200 2.8 and would love the 17-55. (I need something in the 17-70 range)

    I also have the 50mm 1.8 which is really sharp and you cant go wrong with the price of it. I believe the 85 is a better focal length for portraits though.

    I also have the 105 macro which is a great lens for portraits (I use it for macro though) but costs $$$

    I am now seriously considering the Tamron 17-50 instead of the 17-55 purely because of costs. Apparently its a really sharp lens.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    The 17-55 is dynamite for the environmental portrait, 17mm f/2.8. However, I find myself using my 80-200 for the portrait most of the time because of the bokeh.
     
  4. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    Actually Switch... I do the same thing (lately). But given the choice, I really need to not stand 30 feet away for a good shot.
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    lol, exactly.

    I've used 50mm's before, and when I had my 17-55, I always left the 50 alone because of the flexibility of the 17-55. i sold my 17-55, but if I had to do it again, i'd still choose it over the 50mm.
     
  6. Bevel Heaven

    Bevel Heaven TPF Noob!

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    i have the 1.4 version 50mm recently got it. Also have the 17-55 f2.8 - I really really love both of these lens. I spend too much time thinking which lens to use etc...... I got the 17-55 for my 'walk around' lens - when I only take 1 lens. Well now starting to take the 50.......... That sucker is bright. I have been playing around with the 85mm 1.4 and that is another whole new ball game people.... Have shot at just before dark with this lens and still getting decent results - may have to add it to the stable. Today went for a walk with the wife and baby - took the 17-55 and of course pulled off some amazing blue blue blue sky shots with the green hills in the background. I love this lens..... OK what was the question again????? ;)
     
  7. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    I gotcha. I just thought a prime might be better. It is a full stop up and more in some cases.

    I will probably go through my last few portraits and see what focal length they were shot at. I have a feeling I'm going to see it hover around 85.

    (shameless bump) I need opinions here... 'bout to buy a lens (maybe 2)!
     
  8. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here's a vote for the 85 mm f1.4, the bokeh is like melted butter, but it does need a bit of room to use when mounted on a cropped sensor. Your 70-200 does cover that focal length but is significantly heavier and way more intimidating. I've got mine mounted on a d70 and tend to use that combination a fair bit of the time, especially in available light situations. My 70-200 and 17-55 are mounted on d200's. My 50 mm f1.8 seldom gets used, but then I don't much like changing lenses from bodies.

    Pat
     
  9. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Honestly, and this is just my opinion, I have the 70-200 VR 2.8 and the 85 1.8 and aside from the portability factor I regret buying the 85 since that range is well covered with the 70-200.
     
  10. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    Good grief... this is almost confusing! lol

    But am I sensing that I should reconsider the 17-55 2.8 aside from a 50 or 85 prime? Franky, I can get the 50 AND the 85 less cost than the 17-55 but I already hate switching lenses. (I need a new body too! <bother>)
     
  11. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've used the 35-70 2.8 for a long time both on DX and now FX bodies. I like the one-touch feature and have grown to depend on this lens. It is a little short on the D3 but I still like it's sharpness and speed in use.
     
  12. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If your looking for something you can be close but not close enough to intimidate your subject, I'd go with a 50mm f1.4. It's tack sharp and you can get them for about $300. Or, if cost is a factor, the f1.8 is only $100 and just as sharp. At 50mm on a crop sensor your going to be about ~5 feet away, where I imagine the 85 will keep your back on the wall if your shooting in a studio.
     

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