Portraits: Nikon 85 1.8G vs. Tamrom 90mm f/2.8

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by idcanyon, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. idcanyon

    idcanyon No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How much additional background blur can I really achieve at f/1.8 vs f/2.8 at 85mm?

    I'm considering adding a Nikon 85mm f/1.8G to my kit. This is all about portraits. I already have a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1, which is a decent portrait lens. Though the Tamron is usable at f/2.8, I'm not completely happy with its sharpness until I stop down to f4 or beyond.

    This is mostly for an FX camera, a D600. Though it may see action on a D7100 as well.

    Would I be wasting my money?


     
  2. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    the 85mm is sharp at 1.8; and you can make an 85mm perform close to the Tamron with extension tubes for macro work:




    their MTF suggests it's the sharper lens:

    upload_2018-1-8_10-16-27.png

    vs. the Nikon:

    [​IMG]


    higher is sharper. But that's also 2.8 vs 1.8.

    honestly, on paper that looks impressive -- but dxo mark testing suggests the Nikon is much sharper at all stops, and especially in the corners.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
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  3. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I pick up my 85mm lens for nearly all or my portraiture, unless I have a really good reason not to (usually space and larger group related, where I typically use my 50mm instead).

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
     
  4. Dave442

    Dave442 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've borrowed an 85mm f/1.8D lens when needed and find that it does a much better job than my 60mm f/2.8G lens for portraits. The background blur is just better. I'm using a crop sensor body. Will it make a difference to you or your customers - I can get by without it so even though I would like to buy one I would not make enough use to justify.
     
  5. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Wide open portraits at 85mm- if they are important then the f1.8 is better. But generally f2.8 at 85/90 is probably wide enough. F4 probably is also. Do you really need portraits to be razor sharp?
     
  6. idcanyon

    idcanyon No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the thoughts and opinions, all. I ordered one. I'm really wanting minimum DOF for a project this coming Friday. Probably again mid February. After that, who knows. I seem to be shooting portraits more and more. I'll see how they feel side by side and then either keep both or sell one.
     

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