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Thread: 85mm 1.4 or 105mmVR

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    Member bluerob101's Avatar
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    85mm 1.4 or 105mmVR

    What would you guys think as the ultimate as a portrait lens out of these two?

    I am using a D300s using natural light where I can (or using the SB900 if I really have to) on a tripod.

    Predominately head shots and sometimes full body.

    Thanks!

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    85 1.4
    Darren
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    as a canon user id have to agree the 85 F1.4 will give some amazing shots...

    i am so happy with my 85 F1.8... and that is half the #####... a 1.4 would be

    M
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    My vote goes to the 85 1.4, definetly regarded as one of the best. Id love to own one anyways!
    Nick

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    85 1.4 hands down.
    Cheers, Lani.
    Bodies: Nikon D700, D300 Primes: Nikon 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4G, 105mm VR 2.8, 300mm f4. Zooms: Nikon 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200VR II 2.8, Sigma 10-20mm Processing: Photoshop CS5 extended, LR 3.2.


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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Both great portrait lenses, but the extra 2 stops worth of light with the f/1.4 lens makes it a no brainer!

    VR is not a substitute for aperture for portraits, and unless you also want really close closeups of things(incl people), the 85mm will be the better lens.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    another vote for the 85
    i had the same dilemma recently but went the 85
    the focal length is more suited to dx anyway

    haven't used the 105 vr, but i quite like the 105 2.5 for portraits too
    i don't shoot micro so i can't comment there
    Thanks,
    Nam

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    Ordered the 85.

    Thanks for the replies!

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    Member dsaini's Avatar
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    85 all the way.

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    I did a recent internet review on these two lens and the 85mm f/1.4 is the better portrait lens. Creamy bokeh and the current gold standard with a price to match.

    The 105 VR is great for macro but apparently a little hard to manual focus on the eyes at greater distances (e.g. half body shots) due to less range on the focus ring.

    Disclaimer: This is only from reading the internet comments.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Actually for the Nikon system the ZF 85/1.4 is the gold standard lens for portraits, whereas the Nikon version is AF, and is the better Nikon branded lens(because some folks prefer to stick to the manufacturers specific lenses due to loyalites) but if you want the best 85mm portrait lens for Nikon you need to look at the ZF85mm.

    Once a long time ago, I read a 'review' made by someone on DPR(in the forums), and they rated bokeh on a few 'portrait' lenses, and the one thing taht struck my interest was that the 105VR had the best bokeh. That was the most neutral looking of the lot, and that included the ZF85(not as good as the Nikkor, and the N85/1.4 as well as the 105/2DC.

    The difference is in that you can blur more with the 85/1.4 due to the larger effective aperture covering the the same field of view(the ability to blur the background more covering the same FOV).

    I read that user review on DPR before I purchased my 105VR lens, and that swayed me towards that 105VR over the 85/1.4. Even though the 105VR is more compromised as a portrait lens, it can do portraits in a pinch and come out with images that are up there with the best. It does produce more contrast, so on old wrinkly blemished skin you have to be careful, and ficusing on the eyes doesn't give you the shallow DOF that helps with softening skin naturally(as opposed to the stinky PS piggery method of plasticising the skin to please the current generation of photographers).
    But then again the 105VR focuses a lot closer than the 85/1.4 so it's a little bit more versatile

    And many pros seem to comment that the 200/2 is the best portrait lens that you can currently purchase in the Nikon lens lineup. Being a big heavy 200mm lens it looks to be one hell of a annoyance to use though, in portrait shoot environment.

    Another portrait lens of note in the Nikon lens lineup is the 58/1.2.. but the prices being asked of this lens gets you three D3x's, two 200/2's... and a partridge in a pair tree!

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    Member 2cr4ck's Avatar
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    I'm thingking 135/2dc rather 105/2.8vr or 105/2dc. But again I'm still thingking also

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    Ausphotography Regular kaiser's Avatar
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    I have the 135 DC and it is great, albeit the DC feature can give the Nikon autofocus system a bit of trouble on some occasions. Takes a bit more skill and thought to use effectively (and get correct focus), but then if you're used to shooting with very narrow DoF this shouldn't be a problem. Stopped down to f/8 in studio setting it is razor sharp.
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