Upgrade portrait lenses

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Kofman13, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Kofman13

    Kofman13 TPF Noob!

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    I mostly do portraits. For that I use the nikkor 50mm 1.8. I was wondering if there is any other upgrade portrait lens from this lens other than the nikkor 50 mm 1.4 af-s? Perhaps other companies?
     
  2. j-digg

    j-digg TPF Noob!

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    Perhaps a longer focal length for portraits.. starting at 85ish maybe. I know there is a Canon 85 1.8 that people tend to like for portraits. Im not sure if theres a Nikkor thats similar but Im sure youll be able to find something since youre willing to go third party.
     
  3. Kofman13

    Kofman13 TPF Noob!

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    50 is almost too long sometimes for me on a cropped sensor
     
  4. Idahophoto

    Idahophoto TPF Noob!

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    Yeah the 85/1.8 would be a perfect choice I think for you. For about 400 bucks you can't go wrong with it. Another great choice is the 90/2.8 Tamron is super sharp and has Macro one of the best lenses I have used. I went with the 60/2 Macro as I have a cropped sensor camera and the 60 puts me at about 93MM on the 50D so either of them 3 would be excellent depnding on what your after.

    I also really like the 17-50/2.8. Just noticed you reply lol. It gives alot of fexibility and is super sharp. There is also a VR version out now, but I went with the old version. There are times I wish I had it but they tend to be few and some time apart
     
  5. Kofman13

    Kofman13 TPF Noob!

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    hmm... is there another company that makes a 50 mm 1.8 thats better than the cheapo $108 nikkor 50 mm? also, i was looking at the nikkor 50 mm 1.4 AF-S.... i read that it makes focusing quiet... is that it? does it make anything better like clarity, crispness, speed, accuracy etc..
     
  6. j-digg

    j-digg TPF Noob!

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    Are you doing portraits strictly in a confined space? The 50 1.4 will probably have better AF, better build quality, better bokeh, and more than likely will have better overall image quality as well. Someone with experience with both Nikkor 50mms will chime in soon, Im sure.

    Sigmas 50 1.4 is known to be quite nice, maybe check that one out.
     
  7. Idahophoto

    Idahophoto TPF Noob!

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    It does. It has better sharpness in the corners and a bit less CA though the difference between the 1.4 and the 1.8 is not to much and it's a tough call to decide if the upgrade is worth it. If you like the 1.8 and use it a lot then it would probably be a good idea as you will get a bit more performance and overall image quality, but the 1.8 is no slouch and can compete well against it in most areas. There is good reason why it's a classic.
     
  8. Bryce

    Bryce TPF Noob!

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    I never hear a middle side with the 50 1.8. Some say it is great, fast, good build, and sharp and others say it is slow cheaply made and soft. I personaly love the 1.8 and I don't think it is soft when the f is closed a bit more and with portraits soft would be good.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The 50 mm is at the short end of the focal length range for doing portraiture, even on a crop sensor body.

    Great portraits are made with focal lengths out to 300 mm.

    So, it boils down that you need a selection of lenses to do portraiture.

    Primes of 50 mm, 85 mm, 105 mm, and 200 mm for Nikon bodies, though the Nikon AF-S 200 mm f/2G VR prime is a bit pricey at $4800, new.

    Zooms are also handy and pros often use the f/2.8 constant aperture zooms for portraiture. The AF 80-200 mm f/2.8D can be picked up used, and in good condition, for about $800 - $850.
     
  10. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ummm... OK, I'll try too.

    85mm

    -Pete
     
  11. sleist

    sleist Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    85mm 1.4 is the classic (expensive) - even on a crop sensor, though I think it excels on an FX body.
    I think Sigma is releasing an 85mm 1.4 soon. Nikon may be updating theirs as well.

    70-200mm VR1 or VR2 (VR1 can be had used for less, but still pricey)

    The Tamron 90mm macro is also supposed to be excellent as a portrait lens - and you get a macro as well.

    All 3 above have superb subject separation and bokeh. I have the 70-200 VR1 and it's quite outstanding. If you are really stuck on 50mm (75mm equivalent on DX) then I would suggest the 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor or the Sigma 50mm f/1.4. The Sigma will not save you any money over the Nikon (I think it may be more expensive), but I prefer the bokeh on the Sigma and I own an use it often.

    I do not like the Nikon 50mm 1.8. The out of focus rendering can be quite bad if you are not careful.
    People like it because for the $$$ it is more than acceptable. That does not make it a great lens though.

    This was taken with the Sigma 50mm 1.4

    [​IMG]
     
  12. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    i use my 50mm 90% of the time....
    but i really would like to get the 85 1.8, i tried the 1.4 a couple of time and damn its a nice lens, but the price tag is also there.
     

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