I want to buy a good Nikon FX for portrait taking, there a to many to choose from, I will be properly be buying used. I would appreciate any help I will get. I will proberly will be spending around $1000.00.
Fri 25-Jan-13 03:51 AM | edited Fri 25-Jan-13 03:53 AM by WildIsle
There's lots of threads discussing the merits of portrait lenses including this recent one
You can take a great portrait with just about any lens (although your spouse may balk at framing your latest fisheye creation!). But typically faster mid-range telephotos are looked at as the best focal length for pleasing facial perspective and shallow depth of field to blur backgrounds and highlight subjects, between 50 & 200mm give or take and ideally at least a f2.8 max aperture, going as fast as f1.8 or even f1.4.
$1000 could get you some great glass. If I were going to spend a grand for portraiture I'd probably buy a AF-S Nikon 85mm f1.8 G for $500 and a AF-S Nikon 50mm f1.8 G for $225. Once you add taxes that would probably take the lion's share of the budget but if there was any wriggle room I'd get little SB-400 Speedlight or a spare battery.
The other option would be to blow the whole budget on either a Nikon 85mm f1.4 D or either of the beautiful DC lenses: 105mm f2 DC or 135mm f2 DC which to keep in your budget would probably have to be used or a really good deal new. These older lenses don't autofocus with cheaper digitals (so far only the lower end DX bodies) but they have great build and have an almost cult like following. They would work beautifully on your Nikon FX body.
There you go - a few ideas to get you going... always fun to spend someone else's money
>When asking questions like this one, it always helps if you >fill in the "equipment" tab of your User Profile - >so that we know what lenses you already use and can make more >useful suggestions. > >Thanks! On that subject. I went to update my equipment profile and was going to add my D3200 in place of my D3000. But it seem Nikonians doesn't know the 3200 exist yet
Everybody has their favorite. Mine is the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 for portraits of individuals, and the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 for group portraits. There is evidence that both of these are superior to the similar Nikon offerings. Both are less than $1,000 and you can probably find good used copies at KEH and other locations.
One I would suggest if you can swing the extra cost would be the Nikon 70-200f/4 VRIII that just came out. Would cover many focal lengths and would be a double duty type of lens... I know f/4 isn't the fastest, but at longer focal lengths, DOF would still be narrow.
Second those. Shooting portraits, I'm willing to MF. The 105 2.5 is a classic portrait lens. The 180 is just one of my favorites, too. both very affordable. That said, I usually go with the 85 1.4 D. I'm used to it and like the results.
Along these lines I have been using my Sigma 150/2.8 macro lens to take portraits lately and it is phenomenal. I have the non-OS version which is well under a $1000. It is also a great macro lens if you are into that.
My two favorite lenses (both for their sharpness and for the wonderful way they throw all the boring stuff out of focus at maximum aperture are the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 and the 200mm f/2. Nikon has made versions of the 85 back into the 1970's, so you ought to be able to find a well used one for very little money. AF will of course cost you more. The 200 is a newer lens. Maybe you could find a used one for $1000.
I don't have much of a framework for comparison, but I did just buy a 105DC and that thing is insane! I've only shot a few sessions with it, but the results were fantastic. There just seems to be something about the "texture" (or "feel" or whatever you want to call it) of the photographs it takes.
>85 f1.4..."D" is my sentimental favorite and >cheapest. G is faster focusing (but that's not an issue for >portraiture. Save the dough and get the 85 f1.4D. It's >tasty ! I totally agree, it renders skin tones so beautifully and is my favourite lens..
I too love using the 85mm but I have the f/1.8 not the 1.4 and it's beautiful. If I could get one from my wish list it would be the 105 macro which would allow me to pull back and get beautiful compressed & shallow DOF. I also love my 50 f/1.4 for portraits as my general use lens. BUT one note: I shoot D90 but I would still vote these lenses on FX rima
The 105 f/2 DC is my go-to portrait lens. People comment even when looking at results straight from the camera that its images look three dimensional. I like the working distance, focal length, and quality of out-of-focus areas, though all of those are highly personal preferences. Try a few out and find what you prefer, all of the lenses mentioned are great.
I have the 85 1.8D It's very sharp with high contrast wide open and focus is dead on most of the time.
The new 85 1.8 AFS is on sale this month with $100 off. It focuses slightly closer 2.6 ft vs 2.8 ft I think the focus is faster but probably not a big deal for portraits.
I know a lot of people love the 1.4 Not sure unless you need/want crazy shallow DOF it is worth the cost and weight of a 1.4. The DOF on FX at closest distance is .03 feet at 1.8 (<1/2 inch). That's plenty shallow for me. At 6 feet the 1.8 will give you a DOF .15 feet and the 1.4, .12 feet. Not much different IMHO.
I also have a Tokina 100 mm 2.8 macro which gives great results and does double duty as a macro.
If I was looking now just for portrait lens, I would get the 85 1.8 AFS, take advantage of sale this month, save the other 600$ for something else. You can buy this lens and the 28 1.8 , which is also on sale this month, for environmental portraits.
"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga
I'm also in the market. I had my mind made up on the latest Sigma 85mm 1.4 but I just started hearing of these older DC lens and I can't help but be intrigued. Manual focus isn't a problem either. However I do have the Nikon 105 2.8 VR which I bought for macro work and unfortunately haven't had a chance to use it for headshots. Would the 105 or 135 DCs be an improvement for portraits? If so, please say why.
For 50mm, I will say the new Sigma 1.4 is amazing. I use it a lot on my F100 for street.