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Old Feb 18, 2013, 9:18 AM   #1
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Default Portrait lens ?

Would the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G be a "GREAT" all around indoor and outdoor portrait lens ? If not, what do you suggest in a Nikon brand lens. Thanks.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 9:52 AM   #2
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Would the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G be a "GREAT" all around indoor and outdoor portrait lens ? If not, what do you suggest in a Nikon brand lens. Thanks.
A great portrait lens has to have, IMHO, 2 qualities: very sharp and have a great out of focus background (Bokeh).

The 85mm f1.4 is probably one of the finest. The other, is the 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens.

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Old Feb 18, 2013, 11:05 AM   #3
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The lenses Zig recommend are a great option for portraits but everything depends the camera you are using, for a full frame camera the Nikon?Sigma 35mm, 50mm or 85mm are some options but if you use a cropped sensor camera like the D300, D3100, D5100 the 85mm is too long for portraits a 50mm or 35mm could be a better option.

The Sigmas 50mm 1.4 and 35mm 1.4 has great reviews and nice prices.

I bought a Sigma 35mm 1.4 and it is very sharp on my D700/D600.

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Old Feb 18, 2013, 4:51 PM   #4
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In the days of 35mm film, portrait lenses were generally between 85mm and 135mm (plus a large aperture for a shallow DoF.) Lenses in that range provided a good angle of view without creating any perspective distortion (large nose and small ears) yet still have a comfortable subject distance. The midpoint, 105mm, was generally considered best, and became a very popular focal length for portrait lenses.

For a 'Full Frame' body, that still holds true. But for an APS-C body, you want a lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length in that range, possibly a little bit longer, since the subject distance is less for the same composition. That would be 57mm to 90mm (for Nikon, Sony and Pentax, 53mm to 84mm for Canon, and 42mm to 67mm for 4/3.)

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8D is nice, but it won't AF on bodies that don't have their own AF motor.

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S is sharper, has it's own AF motor, and it's cheaper (after the current instance rebate.)
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 5:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies to my question. So, would the Nikon 85mm F/1.8 G AF-S lens be about the 35mm equivalent of a 105mm on a APC-C body ?
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 5:32 PM   #6
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So, would the Nikon 85mm F/1.8 G AF-S lens be about the 35mm equivalent of a 105mm on a APC-C body ?
It would be closer to 130mm, but that's ok.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 4:29 AM   #7
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Here is a link to a pretty complete explanation regarding the various lens options for portrait photography:

http://www.cameralabs.com/lenses/len...ght_lens.shtml
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 8:14 AM   #8
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Basically, a "Portrait" lens is any lens you use to take portraits. Pulitzer Prize winning Portrait Photographer Brian Smith has said repeatedly that his favorite "portrait" lens is a 24-70/2.8 on a 'Full Frame' body.

Try the lenses you've got, see how they work for you, and go from there.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 12:44 PM   #9
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I have the nikon 24 70 2.8 on my d90 90% of the time I bought it for when I eventually go FF it is a nice lens no vr but you get used to it



and a shot of my son in the garden with a little bokeh

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Old Mar 7, 2013, 5:54 AM   #10
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The Nikon 135mm with Defocus Control is BY FAR my favorite portrait lens. The bokeh on it is AMAZING!
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