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85mm 1.4 D as a portrait lens on a D90

Sun P , Sep 28, 2011; 02:38 a.m.

Hi Gurus,

Posting on this forum after a while although I do come here almost daily. I had a question regarding lenses. Currently, I have the D90, sigma, 30 1.4, 50 1.4 ,tamron 17-50 2.8 VC and the nikon 105 2.8VR. I love all the lenses and have no complains. I have a couple of dlite's and mostly love shooting Portraits, lifestyle. Personally, I also shoot food, interiors and still life but my focus is mostly on portraits and lifestyle.

Now, based on my use, I do use the 50 mm the most for half body shots and probably the 30 mm for full body shots outdooors while shooting portraits. I generally dont carry the 105 with me outdoors, so the 50 becomes a bit too close to the subject to get those close up head shots, although I have managed to get some good photographs mostly of kids. Its a bit uncomfortable when it comes to adults, because you need to get too close for comfort.

I also, generally, love shooting between 1.4 to 4. One of the reasons being that in the locations/place where I live (India), the overall, layout and design of the place is not very good. So the faster lens helps with blurring out the background. However, the 50mm does not do that completely.

I was thinking about the 85mm 1.4 D version of Nikon. This would not be very long at the same time, is known to be a great portrait lens? It would also help a bit with the working distance with adults and help with blurring the background giving nice bokeh? Yes, I am a sucker for Bokeh! Also, that lens does work on a FX body since I do plan on investing in a FX body later sometime.

My question is - What is your opinion of the 85 1.4 D? G is not affordable for me. from 1.4 to 4 what are your thoughts in terms of performance outdoors esp? Anybody using this with a D90 ?

Thanks,
Sun

Responses

Apurva Madia , Sep 28, 2011; 03:08 a.m.

I have been using 85/1.4 D on a D90. Its a good lens and works well on D 90.
Your point about blurring the background in India is a little dicey. Blurred background in a portrait helps the quality of your work in ANY country!

C.P.M. van het Kaar , Sep 28, 2011; 03:12 a.m.

Although not on a D90, but on a D300 / D300S (Same sensor..) I absolutely love this lens for the way it renders skin, and for buttery bokeh, so I'd say : Yes, i find this a fantastic portrait lens ... , and when using it on film ( so also FX Format) , it's to my opinion , even better ....

Peter Hamm , Sep 28, 2011; 07:14 a.m.

That's a real long working distance for indoor portraits, though. Might be good to supplement it with something like a little 50.

Cyrus Procter , Sep 28, 2011; 10:16 a.m.

I've never used the 85mm F/1.4D, however I've used its predecessor the 85mm F/1.4 AIs manual focus lens and I currently use its successor the 85mm F/1.4G, I've also used the 85mm F/1.8D. I highly recommend all the 85s. They are all lovely lenses and will render lovely out of of focus backgrounds.

David Haas , Sep 28, 2011; 11:30 a.m.

I haven't used the 1.4 version, but I do use the 1.8 - much more affordable and great bokeh.

I use it on a D7000 and am very comfortable with the distance between myself and the subjects.

Dave

David Pinkerton , Sep 28, 2011; 11:57 a.m.

The 85D is certainly awesome on any camera and works fine on a D90. I used it almost exclusively for portrait work last year. I mostly use the 85G now (on a D700) but still have the D and swap it in and out. This set contains primarily portraits taken with the 85D on a D90:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidpinkerton/sets/72157623076809170/

Eric Arnold , Sep 28, 2011; 12:01 p.m.

if you like bokeh, an 85/1.4 is gonna be sweet, DX crop or no. it's a logical move if you shoot primes and already have a 50 and a 105. however, i would also look at something like the 35-70, 28-70, or tamron 28-75. not as good bokeh-wise, but perhaps more practical for the DX portrait shooter.

Leslie Cheung , Sep 28, 2011; 01:01 p.m.

I don't like my 85mm on DX. I would get the 60mm f2 tamron or a zoom suggested above by Eric (either much cheaper than the 85 1.4). If you are absolutely decided on the 85 1.4...the D is great but I hear great things of the sigma also, especially the AF speed, which is faster than the D.

Russ Albion , Sep 30, 2011; 02:10 a.m.

I've tried the 100, 85 and 50 mil lenses for portraits and ended up buying a 60/2.8 AF-S micro because the focal length was 'just right'

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