If you had to choose one lens...

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by TylerF, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. TylerF

    TylerF TPF Noob!

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    IMO recording the DX portion of the image is the same as not working. Why would I want to do that after buying a FX camera? And like I said, I do portraits but I also want to be able to take it out of the house and shoot other things like when I go on trips or walks. I've heard pretty good things about the sigma 135?

    I'm almost thinking getting a decent wide/standard zoom for the all-around stuff and then the 85 for portrait work.


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Just one lens for Nikon FX? 28-105 AF-D or 24-85 VR-G
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Because the FF pixels are bigger and have a better SNR (signal to noise ratio).

    35 mm and 50 mm prime lens are often recommended on online forums mainly because they are relatively inexpensive and lots of people have them.
    So confirmation bias kicks in and people recommend what they or their buddy have.

    For my portrait business I rarely used a focal length of less than 85 mm. I mostly used a 200 mm f/2 prime lens but also often used a 105 mm f/2 DC or a 135 mm f/2 DC (Defocus Control).
    From groups of more than 6 I usually used a 300 mm f/2.8.
    I only used 50 mm when there was not enough space for me to back away from a subject.
    But, fast telephoto lenses are not inexpensive.

    By using longer focal lengths the photographer is further outside a subjects 'personal space', which generally makes subjects more relaxed, and hence, more photogenic.
     
  4. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    24-120 f/4
    It has a longer reach and is lighter than the 24-70 f/2.8. And is only 1 stop slower.
     
  5. snowbear

    snowbear fuzzy-wuzzy Supporting Member

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    Fast 85 or 105 prime for portraits. Use the DX zoom for other stuff until you can afford a second FX lens.
     
  6. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As a GP lens, I would not select the 24-70 f/2.8. Too big and heavy.
    Unless you are young and strong, where weight is not much of an issue.

    Another alternative is the 24-85 f/3.5-4.5.
    It is smaller, lighter and cheaper than the 24-120, but has less reach on the long end.
     
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  7. TylerF

    TylerF TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for the replies. I think I am going to get both a 24-70 for general purpose and then an 85 for portrait work. Taxes treated me a little better than expected this year lol. Really appreciate it!
     
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  8. shadowlands

    shadowlands No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Kudos on the 24-70. I have Nikon's (the non VR) and I adore it.
     
  9. LWW

    LWW No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    NIKKOR 80-200 AF-D FTW!
     
  10. mrca

    mrca No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One lens is a compromise so I would recommend a zoom. The 24-120 4.o gives you plenty of width and enough length for portraits. The f4 isn't ideal, but not far from the 3.2 I find myself at to get both eyes sharp with a 135. 85 is too short for headshots for my taste, minimal compression. I shoot with the 135 2.0 dc and I like the compression, clearly more flattering, and bokeh is stunning. Lots of folks like headshots at 105 but for me that is improved upon with the 135. It is still short enough to speak with your subject. Sure, folks use 200 or 300, I have even used my 400 mm 2.8 but you need a walkie talkie to communicate with the subject. Literally on a shot with it on a crop d500 and 1.7 teleconverter, so 1000 mm equivalent had me 50 yards away. Got to test the transmission of my strobe triggers. What do I carry, a 50 1.4, an 85 1.4, the 135 2.o and a 70-200 2.8. I also pack a 24-70 2.8 or a 35 2.o in case I want more environment included. I disagree with the 24-70 for headshots, too short. 50 even worse. Remember, it's not the lens length that is determinative of compression it is your shooting distance to subject. We think we look like what we see in the mirror in the morning, so what is that, 2' counter, 2' back into mirror or 4 '. At 6-say 9 or 10 feet, the nose is compressed but not enough to be objectionable. Try standing at the counter, watch the nose and take a step back, then another. Watch the compression. The reason the 135 works for me is it pretty much fills the frame at 6-9 feet and I can communicate with the subject. Shoot at 4 feet and it doesn't enhance or may even distort the subject the other way. Want an example of that, use a 35 and get close enough to fill the frame and watch the nose get huge. I have never had anyone tell me they wanted their nose look bigger. But with the 135 they like the photo but don't know why. If you have a zoom, try head shot test shots at 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 , 12 and 15 feet zooming to fill the frame at each location. See which one you like. See where the nose stops being clown sized. See where the nose starts being obviously shortened. That should help you find the range of lengths you like.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  11. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog TPF Noob!

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    The new portrait king is the Nikon 105mm f1.4E with melt in your mouth buttery bokeh, it really is just stunning. The rendering of this lens is remarkable and it is crazy sharp. If it were me and I only had one lens, this would be it, it replaced my 1970's 105mm f2.5 AI.
     
  12. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OUCH !!! At $2,200, it should.
    Way too rich for my wallet.
     

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