Looking into a new prime for my D800

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by CThomas817, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. CThomas817

    CThomas817 TPF Noob!

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    I have been doing a lot of family sessions outdoors and while I was very hopeful for the Nikon 85mm/1.8, I'm actually not loving the background separation nor the bokeh. At close range, I am happy with it. But when I pull further back for full body/group shots at f/4 it's just not what I expected. If I stop up I risk OOF people. Yes my background is a good distance behind the subject.

    Is a 135mm worth it? Or will I be a mile away trying to get kids' attention?


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    This is one reason why a 70 to 200 mm zoom lens is so popular for family portraiture. There is a fine line between camera to subject distance, and focal length, and lens aperture in use. yes, with a 135 mm lens you will be fairly far away on group photos. However it should be possible to use F2.8 or F3.5 from some distance, to get a good background separation.
     
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  3. CThomas817

    CThomas817 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I wish I could afford it right now! The Nikon 70-200 2.8 is on my wish list
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    An 80-200 might well be a more affordable option; good glass, well made, and almost the same focal length range.
     
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  5. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want a prime at a good price, look for a 105mm F2.5 AI or AI-S, it has lovely bokeh and is very sharp, although it may not be fast enough for you. The AF-S 105mm F1.4E is simply stunning and has a similar look as the AF-S 200mm F2.
     
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  6. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That Tamron g2 is on my list as next purchase. Half the price of the Nikon version, apparently very near the performance, a USB docky thing can be bought to ensure compatibility with newer bodies going fwd.

    I often said I thought a good f4 zoom is good enough, and I still think that's the case but an f2.8 stabilized zoom with such good feedback and the price is imo worth considering
     
  7. mrca

    mrca No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have both the Zeiss 85 planar and the 100 makro planar. Both manual focus but incredible micro contrast, bokeh. For killer bokeh, the 105 2.o dc and 135 dc. I have the 135, and it has been considered the bokeh king since 1994. 9 elements, fabulous micro contrast not quite as sharp as the zeiss but has auto focus as does the 105 dc. The zeiss "pop" or 3D like separation at smaller aperatures gives you the best of both styles, separation when closed down, it is stunning the first time you see it, or beautiful bokeh. Both 85 and 100 about 1k. Don't worry about manual focus, those 2 arrows in the lower L corner of the viewfinder have a ball appear between them when you twist to focus. If I were you, the 105 dc would be my choice if getting only one lens. I have an 85 1.4 with auto focus when needed and the 135 also when speed is of the essence. Otherwise, the zeiss 35, 85 or 100 are on my camera. Also, just got a 180 2.8 D for 450. 9 elements, auto focus, incredible micro contrast, depth and bokeh and blows away the $2400 in image quality. Much lighter and smaller. Now I only use the 70-200 for run and gun where I need the zoom.
     
  8. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I had the sigma 135 ART when I shot Nikon and I absolutely loved it. You’d have to be super far aware for a group shot though... even for a full length body shot of a single person I felt too far away from them.
     
  9. mrca

    mrca No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sigma art lenses are very sharp, but have flat, low micro contrast rendition. I don't buy wine on alcohol content nor do I buy lenses strictly on sharpness. I want rendition, depth, color, microcontrast and bokeh. Ever hear of leica look or zeiss pop? It's the glass, and sorry, but Sigma pales in comparison. If you are shooting much black and white, with sigma you get muddy contrast. I don't use a 135 for group shots, I reach for a 35 or 50. But then, I don't use a 35 or 50 for headshots. Use the right tool for the right job.
     
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  10. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I strongly disagree with this, as my Sigma 135 ART had excellent micro contrast and color rendition. Sure, the color was ever so slightly flatter than a comparable lens from Zeiss.. but if you’re shooting raw like most pros do then you have to edit the colors regardless, so the final product will be largely indistinguishable.

    Not to mention that last I checked Zeiss doesn’t make any autofocus lenses for Nikon cameras, and if they did they’d cost double or triple what the sigma does.
     
  11. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    i'd rather have cancer than MF lenses.
     
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  12. mrca

    mrca No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    13 elements in the sigma 135, 7 in the nikons 135 2.o dc that will have to be pried from my cold dead fingers. Bokeh is considered the best in any portrait lens. Micro contrast due to low element count blows the doors off sigma. If you shoot much b&w, that makes a huge difference in image quality. It is auto focus. And in 5 or 6 years, the nikon will be fine, not many sigmas last much longer and try shooting in continuous high speed and see how long those diaphram blades last. Oh, and "Art" is a bs ad name that means nothing.
     
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