Nikkor 70-200mm f/4 or 85mm f/1.4 prime

Fingtam

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Towards the end of this year I am going to be starting a photography business dealing mostly with outdoor family photos.

I currently own a D800 body and a phenomenal 16-35mm lens, a very good 50mm prime, and a somewhat cheap telephoto zoom.

For a long time I've been seriously considering buying the nikkor 70-200mm f/4g ed vr (or possibly the more expensive f/2.8 version), but I've also heard a lot of people say that for portraits you really need to go with a fast prime.

The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G IF AF-S Nikkor has caught my attention. Everything I've read about it online has been nothing but extremely impressive, and it is in about the same price range that I have been considering.

With that said, I think I would feel really limited by the one set focal length with the prime as opposed to the 70-200mm zoom.
Really the only thing that bothers me about the 70-200mm is the max aperture of 4 (or paying about a thousand dollars extra for the 2.8, plus the extra size and weight of the bigger lens)

At this point I cannot afford to purchase both, so I would love to hear any input that might help me make my decision.
 

Mach0

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What are you using it for ?
 

Nikanon

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Since you are doing portraits outside I would say get the 70-200 2.8 VRII over the 85 1.4 simply because you have more room to work with zoom capabilities. BOTH are fantastic portrait lenses and either lens would be a good choice BUT if you decide you want to shoot sports one day then 70-200 VR II will come in handy!
 

slow231

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i'd go with a 70-200 before an 85 prime. needless to say the 85 will produce beautiful images. and everyone always says "oh just get a prime and move your feet" for framing, but when working in environments that you do not control, with subjects that you may not be able to fully control (think kids), space and timing are premiums. the zoom gives you more flexibility with both. maybe look for a used 2.8, if you can afford it, it's worth the $ imo.
 

RobertsPhotog

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I have the 70-200mm f/4 and the 85mm f/1.8 and 50mm f/1.8. All three are great. But I think the smarter combination for you with economy in mind.. is to get the 70-200mm f/4 and the 50mm f/1.8. Those are the two lenses I use 90% of the time.
 

jamesbjenkins

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Unless you simply HAVE to have the f/1.4 aperture, just get the 85mm 1.8G. It's probably the best $500 you can spend on Nikon glass. It's 98% of its f/1.4 big brother.

You can get the 70-200 f/4 and the 85 1.8 for less than just the 85 1.4.
 

sandollars

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Unless you simply HAVE to have the f/1.4 aperture, just get the 85mm 1.8G. It's probably the best $500 you can spend on Nikon glass. It's 98% of its f/1.4 big brother.

You can get the 70-200 f/4 and the 85 1.8 for less than just the 85 1.4.


Totally agree ^^. IF you have the extra grand, go with the 2.8.
 

CouncilmanDoug

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Unless you simply HAVE to have the f/1.4 aperture, just get the 85mm 1.8G. It's probably the best $500 you can spend on Nikon glass. It's 98% of its f/1.4 big brother.

You can get the 70-200 f/4 and the 85 1.8 for less than just the 85 1.4.

seriously this is the best option, the 85mm 1.8 and 70-200 f4 , they're both at the very top of recommended lenses for the d800 in that dxo article, DxOMark - Which lenses for your Nikon D800?, and they would just be a good combo with your other lenses
 

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