Sat 22-Dec-12 03:39 PM | edited Sat 22-Dec-12 03:42 PM by JonK
All of the advice above is valid; the choice of lens is subjective,l and depends on what you shoot, where you shoot, and how far away you are from the subject.
In high school and college the 105mm f/2.5 was my favorite and most-used lens. The added working distance made me less obtrusive, less part of the moment. The 105mm made for a great candid or street lens, super sharp and with excellent bokeh. The 85mm f/1.4 is stellar, in a class by itself, so fast and with perfect bokeh.
Fast forward thirty years. On a DX body I used the 85mm more because the crop factor made the 105mm a bit tight. That was, of course, true of the 85mm too, but I just backed up a bit.
Fast forward to today, where I am again shooting FX. I can use both lenses again, just like years ago. Two differences: the current 105mm f/2.8 is almost twice is big as my old 105mm f/2.5, and I'm not sure the bokeh is as nice. Also, I'm trying to break my habit of the past ten years of grabbing the 70-200mm f/2.8…
BTW, the sharpness of the 105mm — or any lens other than the 85mm f/1.4 shot wide open — can easily and wonderfully be handled by the NIK Dynamic Skin Softener filter!
The real answer: you should try them both. There is no wrong choice here; you want to determine your preference.
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!