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Thread: What is a good portrait lens?

  1. #21

    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Dear all,

    Tks 4 ur valueable suggestions & comments. I finally settled with a Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens. Duh it's beyond my budget, I think it wud last me for life. :d

    Btw, I'd like to find out another issue. In the midst of making this decision, my friend told me that it wud b wiser to invest in Original (Nikon or Canon) lens iso Compatible like Tamron or Sigma. She owed a Tamron lens, but after playing with it 4 a while it lost the sharpness. Is that true?

    What should I do to improve my photography skill?

  2. #22

    Smile Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by jackzhangxiao View Post

    IF you are rich,
    1. 85mm 1.8/1.4
    2. 80-200 F2.8
    You said the above, how much does 1. 85mm 1.4 cost?

  3. #23

    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by NisyCats View Post
    You said the above, how much does 1. 85mm 1.4 cost?
    As stated before, look in the priceguides section. So many members put in an effort to keep it updated.
    Alpha

  4. #24

    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by NisyCats View Post
    Btw, I'd like to find out another issue. In the midst of making this decision, my friend told me that it wud b wiser to invest in Original (Nikon or Canon) lens iso Compatible like Tamron or Sigma. She owed a Tamron lens, but after playing with it 4 a while it lost the sharpness. Is that true?

    What should I do to improve my photography skill?
    1. Third-party lens manufacturers aren't that bad, really. Some, like Sigma, make excellent 12-24 wideangles or 50mm primes that are fantastic.

    Any lens, from any manufacturer, may develop focus issues after a while.

    as for your skill, read more and practice like mad. Don't be afraid of harsh criticisms and learn from them.
    Alpha

  5. #25
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    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    I personally only own 3rd party lenses. Nikon does make lovely lenses but at horrible prices. I sold off my 50 1.8 and got a Voigtlander 58 1.4. Loose AF but gain in image quality. There are many "gems" out there which gets the job done just as good or better.

    Here's a shot from it
    S5pro,Toki28-70,12-24,Tam17-35spoilt,70-200,SB600,800,Voigt 58F1.4,http://hensongerard.multiply.com

  6. #26
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    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by smile_gerard View Post
    I personally only own 3rd party lenses. Nikon does make lovely lenses but at horrible prices. I sold off my 50 1.8 and got a Voigtlander 58 1.4. Loose AF but gain in image quality. There are many "gems" out there which gets the job done just as good or better.
    Nice... I have been eyeing this lens as well... *drool*

    but got a Nikon 50/1.4 instead because I shoot kids quite a bit and they are hard to do MF with.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Nice... I have been eyeing this lens as well... *drool*

    but got a Nikon 50/1.4 instead because I shoot kids quite a bit and they are hard to do MF with.
    Yea at times i really do miss the AF. So for kids i use the Tamron 70 - 200. Works great with them but still no where near as fast as a 50mm..
    S5pro,Toki28-70,12-24,Tam17-35spoilt,70-200,SB600,800,Voigt 58F1.4,http://hensongerard.multiply.com

  8. #28
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    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Hi TS,

    50mm 1.8 cost $182 from SLR Revolution
    50mm 1.4 cost 6xx from shops
    85 1.8 cost 6XX in B&S section
    85 1.4 Brand new B&S section cost 17xx

    the ball is in your hand, depend on which lens u giving it too.. i am content with my prime 50mm 1.8 as a not rich hobbyist, i dont mind paying 2xxx for 14-24 / 24-70 but not a prime lens, maybe its just me but if u use it for TAN JIAK (Freelancing) get the 85 1.4.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by smile_gerard View Post
    Yea at times i really do miss the AF. So for kids i use the Tamron 70 - 200. Works great with them but still no where near as fast as a 50mm..
    just to check maybe a 70-300 kit lens of dont know which model that cost about 4xx preowned would be better? more focal length but lose in IQ?

  10. #30
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by VainKid View Post
    Hi TS,

    50mm 1.8 cost $182 from SLR Revolution
    50mm 1.4 cost 6xx from shops
    85 1.8 cost 6XX in B&S section
    85 1.4 Brand new B&S section cost 17xx

    the ball is in your hand, depend on which lens u giving it too.. i am content with my prime 50mm 1.8 as a not rich hobbyist, i dont mind paying 2xxx for 14-24 / 24-70 but not a prime lens, maybe its just me but if u use it for TAN JIAK (Freelancing) get the 85 1.4.
    Actually, your pricing is a little off.

    AF 50/1.4D pricing is in mid 500s new. AF-S 50/1.4G is over 700.
    85/1.8D runs around mid 400s to mid 500s in BnS, depending on condition and warranty.

    See this to get a better idea: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=458315

    If you can get from HongKong even better, lens are a lot cheaper there.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 11th March 2010 at 04:01 AM.

  11. #31
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by VainKid View Post
    just to check maybe a 70-300 kit lens of dont know which model that cost about 4xx preowned would be better? more focal length but lose in IQ?
    Eh, smile_gerard's Tamron 70-200 is a F2.8 lens and is way way better than the 70-300.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by VainKid View Post
    just to check maybe a 70-300 kit lens of dont know which model that cost about 4xx preowned would be better? more focal length but lose in IQ?
    I never really liked kit lens. Always preferred constant aperture lenses. I have a few lenses that i can use for portraits. Family portraits i would usually go with a 17 - 50 or even a 28 - 70. However for single portraits i like bringing out the 70 - 200 or the 58 1.4. Both have its advantages, the 58 is very small and light compared to the 70 - 200. But the 70 - 200 has a more solid feel as it is a very very big lens, and it has AF. Not the best AF but as long as its not moving much the lens works great. I'll show how different the photos can be.

    Voigtlander 58mm


    Tamron 70 - 200
    Last edited by smile_gerard; 11th March 2010 at 06:54 AM.
    S5pro,Toki28-70,12-24,Tam17-35spoilt,70-200,SB600,800,Voigt 58F1.4,http://hensongerard.multiply.com

  13. #33

    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Honestly speaking, I feel there is no such thing as a good portrait lens... i mean there are the common ones like 50mm 1.8/1.4 or the 85mm 1.8/1.4 but from time to time u get ppl using like the 70-200mm, 105mm and many other various types of lens to shoot portraits. In fact, on the Nikon website, these lens are classified under normal and telephoto respectively. None under the catergory of portrait.

    To me i feel it's the user that makes the shot. Doesn't really matter what lens one is using. Coz even if one gets like the most expensive lens to do portraits but that person can't take a pic for nuts then also no point.

    Personally i have the 50mm 1.8 and it was my portrait lens for awhile until the 35mm 1.8 came out and now i use that as my main lens for almost anything. The beauty about the 35 is that i can just step in close to get a tight head shot or take a step back and get decent full body shot which is unlike the 50mm in which i have to move quite abit back before i can get a full body shot.

    So honestly it's back to your preference. Which feels right for u and which works best for u. now THAT would be YOUR good portrait lens.
    Last edited by JT-Fotographia; 11th March 2010 at 08:24 AM.
    Life is like Fotography, you can't develop without the NEGATIVE!

  14. #34
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    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by JT-Fotographia View Post
    Honestly speaking, I feel there is no such thing as a good portrait lens... i mean there are the common ones like 50mm 1.8/1.4 or the 85mm 1.8/1.4 but from time to time u get ppl using like the 70-200mm, 105mm and many other various types of lens to shoot portraits. In fact, on the Nikon website, these lens are classified under normal and telephoto respectively. None under the catergory of portrait.

    To me i feel it's the user that makes the shot. Doesn't really matter what lens one is using. Coz even if one gets like the most expensive lens to do portraits but that person can't take a pic for nuts then also no point.

    Personally i have the 50mm 1.8 and it was my portrait lens for awhile until the 35mm 1.8 came out and now i use that as my main lens for almost anything. The beauty about the 35 is that i can just step in close to get a tight head shot or take a step back and get decent full body shot which is unlike the 50mm in which i have to move quite abit back before i can get a full body shot.

    So honestly it's back to your preference. Which feels right for u and which works best for u. now THAT would be YOUR good portrait lens.
    I agree the 50mm gets pretty tight when shooting people. The Sigma 30mm 1.4 would have been my choice of lens. Almost got it but decided to go with the 58mm for future upgrade to full frame. A 50mm would be lovely on a full frame body. However i do feel the lens one uses is as important as the photographer taking the shot. For example, you can't get the results of a 50mm Prime from a 18 - 55 kit lens.
    S5pro,Toki28-70,12-24,Tam17-35spoilt,70-200,SB600,800,Voigt 58F1.4,http://hensongerard.multiply.com

  15. #35
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    Default Re: What is a good portrait lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by smile_gerard View Post
    I personally only own 3rd party lenses. Nikon does make lovely lenses but at horrible prices. I sold off my 50 1.8 and got a Voigtlander 58 1.4. Loose AF but gain in image quality. There are many "gems" out there which gets the job done just as good or better.
    Agree. The Voigtlander is several times better than than the 50 f/1.8 wide open.

    But alas, I'm letting it go...

    Quote Originally Posted by VainKid View Post
    Hi TS,

    50mm 1.8 cost $182 from SLR Revolution
    50mm 1.4 cost 6xx from shops
    85 1.8 cost 6XX in B&S section
    85 1.4 Brand new B&S section cost 17xx
    Please don't anyhow quote your prices... Most of them are VERY off (percentage-wise at least).

    50mm f/1.4G brand new is more than 700.
    The 50mm f/1.4D new is 480 (as of Monday from a quote from one of the recommend stores).
    85mm f/1.8D used is around 460.

    Anyways, TS did not indicate whether it has to be prime or not. $400 is for a brand new lens? How about third party lenses? Okay with manual focus?

    Anyways, my favourites for portraits have been the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm ($460 in BNS), Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AiS (around $290 in BNS) and the 135mm f/2D DC ($???? haha).

    I used to own the 85mm f/1.8D and never liked the reach. Maybe I'll have a different opinion now that I'm on FX, but for DX I consider it neither here nor there.

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