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85mm 1.8 Sharpness

Aayria

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I just have a quick question for anyone who has used this, and the 50mm 1.4 lens...

I've completely LOVED my Nikon 50mm 1.4, it's incredibly sharp and has been perfect for my purposes.

Now that I'm almost saved up enough for my camera upgrade (D700 soon!!!!), I'm thinking I may need a longer portrait lens on a full frame.

I've heard really great things about the 85mm 1.8..and it's pretty afordable next to the other lenses I've considered. I've also heard that it's nice and sharp, too.. But I was hoping to hear from anyone here who has experience with both lenses.. Is it "as sharp" as my 50mm??

If it's not as sharp...I might hold off and make due with the 50mm on a full frame until I can afford the 85 1.4, or one of the other lenses on my long list =P

Thanks!
 
I would get a medium range zoom f/2.8 if I were you like my 24-70mm sigma. Personally I think 50mm is perfect for a full frame for portraits.
 
It really depends on what you mean by portraits. If you're talking about the current trend in seniors portraits which is most often to shoot the whole person, or at least from the waist-up, the 85mm would be fine (Sorry, I've not used a recent version of that lens, so I can't comment on quality), if you're going to be shooting mainly busts, then I would consider a 135. The holy grail of Nikon portrait lenses of course is the 135 DC f2, which will run you used (If you're lucky enough to find one) between $800 - 1000. This thing is sharp enough to shave with and then some. 50mm I think is a bit short unless you really want to work 'in their face'.
 
I would get a medium range zoom f/2.8 if I were you like my 24-70mm sigma. Personally I think 50mm is perfect for a full frame for portraits.

50mm is awful for full-frame portraits, way too wide for anything but a full-body shot.

For a head shot you'd need to be only a foot or two away from the subject, extremely unflattering perspective distortion.

I like to be 10+ feet away from my subject when taking portraits, which makes a 70-200mm f2.8 a good lens choice.

The 85mm f1.8 on full-frame will be very similar to your 50mm f1.4 on a crop sensor, but the 85mm will have a more narrow dof wide open.
 
I have owned both the 85 1.8 and the 50 1.4 ( still own the 50mm, got rid of the 85 ). The 85 is probably going to be better for portraits, but given my close quarters, I kept the 50 because I needed to be able to work closer. Plus I can slap my 1.4x TC on it and get 70mm f/2. It also works great with extension tubes, although the 85 would give you a little more working distance in that aspect. They were both great lenses and pretty sharp. They aren't "L" lenses, but until I bought my "L" glass, they were probably the most consistent quality lenses I owned even though they werent the most expensive. I just needed to sell one, and found the 50 more useful as a walkaround lens for street shooting, so thats what swayed me to keep that one mainly.

Also, I don't think anyone is going to be able to say anything bad about either, so I think it mainly boils down to what length would better suit you. Some people say the 85mm gives better "Bokeh" due to the focal length, but they both do pretty well in that aspect IMO.
 
I <3 the Nikon 85mm f/1.8, I just wish it had AF-S because the AF action is so 1980's.

It's sharper than the 85mm f/1.4 believe it or not.
 
The 85mm f/1.8 won't dissapoint. The build quality is damn good. I need to drag it out more often.

The 85mm f.1/4 has the nickname of The Cream Machine though. :D

Quote from the photozone.de review.......
Verdict
The Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.8 D was a very boring lens during the tests simply because it showed a exceptional performance in all tested categories. Besides the lab results the lens shows a beautiful bokeh (out-of-focus blur). If I had to name a weakness it may be flare in contra light but it is a minor issue in the otherwise very harmonic package. So if you´re looking for a portrait lens or a similar application where you would like to isolate an object from its environment this is an ideal lens. Highly recommended!

This isn't ideal, but it's one shot that I can definetly say is from the 85mm f/1.8. It was taken to show the bokeh from this lens.

Frog-Reshoot-3.jpg





I would get a medium range zoom f/2.8 if I were you .........
Pay attention! The question was about prime lenses.... not zooms. :grumpy:
 
I guess I shoot too many babies. I wish my 50mm was shorter (crop sensor). Wouldnt she lose her kit lens if she goes full frame? Thats why I suggest medium zoom to replace that.
 
Wouldnt she lose her kit lens if she goes full frame? Thats why I suggest medium zoom to replace that.
The kit lens is the last of her worries if she goes full frame. The best practice is to start the lens collection before getting a full frame body. All FX lenses will work on the D300 and under.
 
Thanks everyone for your thoughts! I have more to say, but just came home from a maternity session and need to start editing. Lots to consider.. I'll let you know what I come up with =)
 
Whoops, I have the canon USM versions. Didn't realize you said Nikon. Sorry.
 
well there's supposed to be an 85mm f/1.4 AF-S announced tonight..

Pretty sure we all can figure out that if it's not over $2000, it's pretty darn close.
 
I would get a medium range zoom f/2.8 if I were you .........
Pay attention! The question was about prime lenses.... not zooms. :grumpy:

Hmmmm..... where in the original topic did it say "prime lenses only."

The TS wanted to know what would be the best choice of a portrait lens... my answer to that would be a 70-200mm f2.8 zoom.
 
Hmmmm..... where in the original topic did it say "prime lenses only."
The only lenses mentioned in post #1 were 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.4. As you know, they are all primes. The title of the thread is 85mm 1.8 Sharpness. My oh my, how did I get this so wrong? :confused:
 

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