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Old Aug 16, 2008, 2:48 PM   #1
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If you had to pick between the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 and the 50mm f/1.4 which way would you go? Why?

Thanks.
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 3:18 PM   #2
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Depends on what your using them for. For outdoor portraits, I'd probably get the 85. If I was shooting more indoors, probably the 50mm, as the 85 would be too long. Truthfully, I'd lean towards getting the f1.8 versions of both (it would be cheaper than the 85mm f1.4 and only slightly more than the 50 f 1.4) so I'd have the best of both worlds. Dof is so shallow wide open, and the lenses aren't terribly sharp at f 1.4....I'd almost never shoot at f1.4.
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 3:56 PM   #3
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rjseeney wrote:
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Depends on what your using them for.* For outdoor portraits, I'd probably get the 85.* If I was shooting more indoors, probably the 50mm, as the 85 would be too long.* Truthfully, I'd lean towards getting the f1.8 versions of both (it would be cheaper than the 85mm f1.4 and only slightly more than the 50 f 1.4) so I'd have the best of both worlds.* Dof is so shallow wide open, and the lenses aren't terribly sharp at f 1.4....I'd almost never shoot at f1.4.*
Thanks for your input!

I would be shooting portraits indoors and out so should I buy both in f/1.8? Hmmm.....
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 6:15 PM   #4
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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I would be shooting portraits indoors and out so should I buy both in f/1.8? Hmmm.....
The two lenses at f/1.8 are cheaper (twice over!) than the 85mm f/1.4, so yeah!
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 6:40 PM   #5
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TCav wrote:
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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I would be shooting portraits indoors and out so should I buy both in f/1.8? Hmmm.....
The two lenses at f/1.8 are cheaper (twice over!) than the 85mm f/1.4, so yeah!
The 50mm @ 1.8 is $109.95 at Samy's Camera. The 85mm @ 1.8 is $414.95 also at Samy's. For a total of $525.90. So "yeah" you're right. Do you own both TCav? What do you shoot with again?

I think I WILL order both.
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 7:30 PM   #6
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I use a KM5D.

My 85/1.4would be $1,300, and I don't have an 85/1.8, so I'm out of luck there.

My 50/1.4 would be $350, and I don't have an 50/1.8. Fortunately, there are used Minolta 50/1.7 lenses available, and I got mine for ~$80.

Consider yourself lucky you have a Nikon.
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 7:55 PM   #7
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I have the 50mm f1.8, but not the 85mm. Truthfully, I almost never use the 50mm. Outdoors, f1.8 is overkill, and I typically have to use nd filters to dial in a larger aperture. I mostly use it indoors at my kid's volleyball and basketball games since I can get right down on the sidelines. I also occasionally get it out for indoor ceremony type functions where flash isn't allowed.

I'd like to have the 85mm just to say I have it, and to use if the situation arises, but in reality, I just find primes too limiting. I prefer the flexibility of zooms. Indoor group shots I usually use multiple flashes which render the large aperture unnecessary. I imagine one day, the 85 f1.8 will find its way into my bag.

I'm probably in the minority among semi-pro/serious amateurs in my feelings toward primes.
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 8:28 PM   #8
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Well, I just ordered both. Will I end up not using one of them or both? Or use them sparingly? Only time will tell. But they ARE "bargain bin" cheap. And good to have in one's bag. So compact. Tack sharp. Can't go wrong.

The lens I keep on my D300 right now is the 17-55. Practical range for my shooting most of the time. I do want the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 too but it's backordered everywhere. Almost impossible to get at the moment.

After that...might try macro photography and pickup maybe a Nikkor 105 or Sigma 150. Never ends does it?
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 8:46 PM   #9
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No it doesn't end. I'm due for a new lens too...probably an f2.8 17-55 type lens, either Tamron's or sigma's. I got the Sigma 10-20 earlier in the year, and love it. I keep it on my D80 most of the time.

I have the older Nikkor 105d. It's a great value now, and aside from VR, arguably better than the new version.
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Old Aug 17, 2008, 6:29 AM   #10
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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Never ends does it?
It does if you're lucky.:-)

I now only own 3 SLR lenses (down from about 7) and use just 1 for over 90% of my shots.

I realised that simplifying the equipment and fixing on a single focal length made my photography better.

So for now it's the 5D + 50mm f1.2 for just about everything. When I want to shoot a birthday or go to a bird park I'll get out the flash and one of the zooms.
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