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gabbyone Feb 21, 2011 11:11 PM

New here...:)
I have a nikon d90. I have the 50mm 1.8 lens, which I love. The type of photography I do 1. Animal portraits for local rescues and fundraisers. I've done well with my 50mm. with the animal photography.

2. Child photography, the grands and grands of friends. I love taking candid shots. I would like a lens that will do nice close up shots, aka facial . I thought about the nikon 60mm macro, but I understand it's such a sharp lens the background isn't that pretty.

I was thinking the nikon 85mm 1.8. Isn't this the same lens I have, except a longer focal length? I understand it produces pretty head/shoulder shots. Will it do close up? Or should I consider the 85mm macro? I like the tamron 90's photo samples, except I heard it does not do well on the nikon d0.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm so confused.


las7828 Feb 22, 2011 5:34 PM

I also have the D90 with the 50 mm, and also the 18-105 zoom that comes with the camera. Have you thought about getting a zoom lens that also does macro? I am actually looking into getting one (though I am on a very limited budget) but I like the idea of having the versatility, Especially if any of your grandchildren do or will do any sports where a zoom would be advantageous. Just something to consider, I am not an expert on lens options so I can't make any recommendations.

gabbyone Feb 22, 2011 8:59 PM

The zoom would be wonderful. I'm on a limited budget as well.
I ended up with just the camera body then purchased the 50mm. I had the d40 and a couple lenses but had to sell to pay a bill. That was a nice little camera, too. Wish I had my old lenses. :(

las7828 Feb 23, 2011 12:40 AM

This is the next lens that I am looking into getting,

It is on the long end of the range starting at 70mm, but it can do macro shooting as well. Another thing you might consider is something that will give you some range below the 50mm level. I know with my 50mm I occasionally find that I can't back up enough to get everything I want in the frame and have to switch to my 18-105mm lens. So you might think about what your priorities would be and how often you feel like you need to either zoom in or out on your 50mm, I really like the range on my 18-105mm, it does great inside for pictures in tight areas and also good at the zoo where I am zooming in a lot. I thought I would want a long zoom, but really when it gets down to it, I feel 105mm is fine for me for most of my needs. I'm looking at the 70-300 more for the macro and sports shooting ability, but I don't know if that would be my priority if I didn't already have my 18-105 lens, so you might look for something that will give you more versatility that way.

I find if you ask a detailed question about specific lenses you can get a lot of great information here, especially when trying to compare your options.

tizeye Feb 23, 2011 7:29 AM

Now that I know the 50 is your sole lens, assuming your budget is $425 which is what the 85 1.8 that you are considering costs. I hadn't heard problems with the Tamron 90 2.8 on the Nikon, and it stands out in the macro field and would be my choice (behind the standard setting but costly Nikon 105) and before Nikons 85 3.5 Macro (not to be confused with Nikons 85 1.8).

Nothing wrong with primes. 'Back in the day' when primes were preferred over the early telephoto, the classic consumer combo was 28 - 50 - 135, with a 75 for portraits. Converting to the 1.5 crop, the 50 that you have has the equivalent FOV as the 75 which is why you have good experience with portraits, plus the 1.8 (or 1.4) gives better DOF for portraits than any 3.5 kit lens would. The "new" focal length that approximates the FOV for the full frame 50 is Nikons 35 1.8 DX. Now back to the 80's FOV is approx 128 which provides the short telephoto capability.

Zooms have improved significantly and the excel in convenience while primes are affordable fast glass. Nikon's 16-85 would probably be a budget buster, but a particually affordable lens - with lower build quality to the 16-85 - would be the kit lens that typically comes with the D90, the 18-105. While it lists for $399, this white box at $279 is probably the best deal. That is at or below gray market pricing. "White Box" has full Nikon USA warranty, and is literally a white box instead of the glossy retail box.

An alternative would be replacing the D40 lens that you sold with the 18-55 and 55-200 (or newer 55-300) for about the same price as the 80 1.8. It all depends on what you want to do. Going the fooom route, the are variable aperature 3.5-5.6 which supports general everyday stuff and you still have the superb 50 prime. Getting the 85 (or Tamron 90 if macro is also important) instead of the zooms would give you 2 superb primes and the start for a great collection. Backfilling with the 35 1.8 (and possibly the 20 2.8 for wide angle), and the one I drool over, the (costly) 300 f4 prime. Less costly on the telephoto end, if not the 55-300, then either the Tamron or Nikon 70-300 but not the particular Tamron linked above. See the related thread for an extened discussion of the Tamron/Nikon 70-300 VR models. The link posted earlier is not a VR model which is particurally beneficial with telephoto.

tclune Feb 23, 2011 9:40 AM

I would give serious consideration to the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens for this application. It really looks lie a very attracive lens. I should add that I don't have this lens, but I have been lusting after it recently.

las7828 Feb 23, 2011 4:38 PM

One thing to note, the lens I posted will shoot macro, while the 70-300 VR isn't listed as shooting macro, so if the ability to shoot macro is what you are looking for, then that might not be the right way to go for you.

I do really like my 18-105mm lens, that was mentioned above, and I think that would be a decent option as far as giving you the most versatility while you expand your collection. I personally plan on getting several more prime lenses down the road. I really like shooting in them. I think right now my goal is a macro lens that fits in my budget, which is why I am considering the 70-300 lens I listed. I am not as interested in the extreme telephoto range.

gabbyone Feb 23, 2011 9:27 PM

WOW, you guys/gals are awesome. I appreciate everyone's input. I still get a bit lost with what one lens does over the other, but I find the more I research to purchase a lens I learn so much more.

I'm not sure why someone, I only heard this in the flicker group for the tamron 90, said the 90mm macro did not work well on the D90. I've heard nothing but good things and the photos seem a bit nicer then the nikon 85 macro samples I've seen.

I do not shoot much inside my home as it's very small. Nine hundred sq ft does not give a lot of shoot room. LOL. So unless I'm playing with dogger pics inside or doing some still life , I mostly shoot outside.

I"m not sure why I didn't get the kit lens, the 18-105. I opted for the 50mm. I've heard great things about the kit lens. I have just always wanted the 50 prime.

You have all given me so much to think about and research. Thank you.

(sending chocolate out as a thank you :) )

gabbyone Feb 23, 2011 9:33 PM

I like the tamron 90 sample photos over the nikon 85 macro photos. I believe you are saying you do as well? They just seem "prettier"

gabbyone Feb 23, 2011 9:45 PM

I had the 35mm 1.8 for my D40. Would this be a better lens for outside, or inside, as far as room goes? Not having to back up as much? It was a nice lens. I could shoot myself but I needed the cash....sort of fast. Sick dog.

tizeye Feb 24, 2011 6:54 AM


Originally Posted by gabbyone (Post 1203252)
I like the tamron 90 sample photos over the nikon 85 macro photos. I believe you are saying you do as well? They just seem "prettier"

IQ wasn't the reason I was referring to. Both are capable true 1:1 macro (while the zooms are watered down "close focus" 1:2 macro) what kills the Nikon is being strattled with f3.5, limiting the DOF which is critical on a macro. That is what may be making it "prettier" as the shallower DOF on the Tamron brings that portion in focus forward making it stand out. When they are both about the same price, the Nikon name just doesn't carry it - particurally with the good performance reviews of the Tamron. The sad part is the Nikon 85 f3.5 is one of the newest released in the macro field, so Nikon knew the competition but chose to ignore it in the design. Now if they had done a 85 f2.8 at that pricepoint, things would get really interesting.

tclune Feb 24, 2011 9:22 AM

This makes no sense at all AFAICS. Macros are virtually always shot at small apertures. The reason there is no depth of field is because macros don't have any depth at any aperture. Shooting at f/22 will be too narrow a depth of field for most subjects -- and have diffraction blurring, too. That's why people shoot stacked macros -- so they can get reasonable depth of field and avoid diffraction blurring by using an aperture more along the lines of f/11 or so.

LGWGM Feb 24, 2011 12:20 PM

Thanks for the tip tclune, you've just added another thing on my lists to learn :)

Trying to get the perfect/optimum result from your digital SLR and lenses is not as easy as I was thinking...:doh: (still a hundred miles away :rolleyes:)

gabbyone Feb 24, 2011 5:33 PM

What do you all think of the nikon 60mm macro? I used it last summer at my kid's wedding. The photos were sharp! Better then any of the lenses I actually owned. I didn't rent it for the wedding, I rented it to do some summer flower photos and such. But took it to the wedding and wow....

tclune Feb 24, 2011 6:29 PM


Originally Posted by LGWGM (Post 1203425)
Thanks for the tip tclune, you've just added another thing on my lists to learn :)

I reread what I wrote, and I realize that it is stunningly poorly expressed. When I say that macros have very shallow depth of field, I mean macro photographs. Macro lenses, when used for normal photographs, act just like any other lens in terms of depth of field. Sorry for the poor wording.

LGWGM Feb 25, 2011 8:18 AM


No worries bro, I was referring to the diffraction thinggy (wasn't aware of that before your post). I read some articles regarding that matter and was really happy to know the exact effects.


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