Very pleasing portrait perspectives can be accomplished starting at 70mm focal length. Using APS-C DX format, this focal length is equivalent to 105mm, so the perspective further improves.
Two zoom lenses providing this focal length, qualify as "pro" Nikkors as they are both "fast" - constant f/2.8 aperture - quite free of aberrations and very well built. They are the 28-70mm f/2.8D ED IF AF-S (predecessor of the newer 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S) and the more modest 35-70mm f/2.8D AF. Considering using just one of them eventually, I proceeded to compare them in a quick shoot-out at 70mm.
I chose as target the front door of my home, at 16 feet (4.9 m), deep in the shade so as to not introduce artificial contrast. It has a paint finish that seemed suitable for the purpose and it is not a flat surface. For film, the very good grain and low contrast Fujicolor Superia Reala 100. The camera: Nikon F100, on a Manfrotto/Bogen carbon fiber tripod and a large Manfrotto ballhead.
What follows are the raw scans of a small center section from the negatives, made with a Coolscan IV ED at 8 bit depth. No unsharp mask was applied nor any other imaging enhancement made. The lens ID on the images below comes from a laserjet printed sign at the upper edge of the negative and was digitally pasted at the chin of the sun face. The sun face was at the center of the negatives. The focal length and aperture sign in white lettering was added digitally. To see them full size, click on the mages below.
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