How to make a 105mm micro look great for portraits?


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Jun 7, 2007
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#1
What makes a len great for portraits ? Maybe the following jump has the answer.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1030&message=24196007

So, i dont own a 85mm 1.4 or 105mm DC. What i have is D50 and 105mm 2.8 AFD.

Is there a way to overcome my problem instead of throwing more cash to own a D700 or exotic lens ?

I heard mode 2dx is great for portraits. i cannot upload it to my d50, but it is available in viewnx. any use applying mode 2dx in viewnx if this mode is not loaded into the camera?

I am currently using fotogenetic_provia_40.ntc found at http://fotogenetic.dearingfilm.com/downloads.html. not so great. i use this curve to cut red channel.

what else can i do ?
 

jaRv1s

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Jun 5, 2009
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#3
frankly... i don't understand TS question...

105mm micro is already a good portrait lens... long focal length, smooth bokeh... i think all you need to do is to stand far away from the subject... use f/2.8 since macro lenses are all sharp from wide open...

i don't understand how can you make the lens a better portrait lens... :sweat:
 

ortega

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#4
some people say the nikkor 105 f2.8 micro is too sharp for portraits
and according to the post in dpreview the VR version is worse
 

#6
I find the 105mm too long on a Crop body for portrait. Use the 60mm Micro instread. Anyways.... Too Sharp?? Use MF and miss Focus just a bit... so your pic will turn out soft? Soft filter of Photoshop? Reduce the sharpness in your Camera setting???

I am not good with soft pictures... (Less using my f1.4s).. mostly shoot sharp pictures. :-}

Cheers.
 

Jun 7, 2007
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#8
a photo to illustrate my point



it is no where as clear and as pleasant as http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=525177

what is the reason for the difference in IQ ?

dpreview post is about "Nikkor 105/2 AF-D DC from the early 90's (I think) takes the same qualities of the AIS lens and moves it into an even better zone - it is very sharp, but never annoying, has better bokeh, and even better tonal rendering, all while never being harsh or over-pumped up like some of the newer lenses can be... "

Basically, whether i use 50mm 1.4 or 105mm 2.8, my photos tonal rendering is the same. the skin colour is never perfect.

should i upgrade lens, camera, test all the available custom curve or photoshop (too tiring to do for every photo) ?
 

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hacknet

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Mar 20, 2007
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#9
there is photoshop you know.
 

Dream Merchant

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#10
a photo to illustrate my point



it is no where as clear and as pleasant as http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=525177

what is the reason for the difference in IQ ?
Without getting into what makes some of the most revered portrait lenses, revered (too may people are hung up on 'sharpness'), you can't do a lens comparison using two different subjects, shot at different times, under different conditions and lighting techniques, probably processed differently, with what could be different camera settings and come to an educated decision.

Also, and I may be wrong, but your the focus appears to be behind the girl's eyes.
 

ortega

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#11
your lens looks ok, at this time concentrate on composition and posing
while you are mastering that, you can research and save for a portrait lens
 

Apr 15, 2008
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#12

Fotophilic

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Jun 18, 2006
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#13
IMHO

1) If u are comfortable using 105mmx1.5 focal length, i don't see the problem.
2) I would prefer a sharper picture than a softer one. I can soften it later using softwares. But sharpening a soft picture is not so simple.
3) Even the famous cream machine (Nikon 85mm F1.4) will need post processing to make a gd picture great. That's my experience with it.
4) If u prefer not to process them one by one, i believe there is "batch processing" features in softwares nowadays. Maybe it won't tweak it to perfection, as every picture is different.
5) Frankly, if u are really serious in the pictures and u wanna make it "perfect" i will think that the additional effort in photoshop will pay off.
6) I have yet to see a gd solution (so far) in lens, cameras, curves, whatever, which can give us wonderful portraits. I've resigned to reality that photographer's skills (composing, handling, knowledge, light management, etc) and post-processing are the ultimate solution to gd portraits.
 

Jun 7, 2007
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#14


lost highlight on many of my photos, will definitely remember to down exposure for digital format. take for granted in film days. digital is unforgiving but i think it is good training. i prefer to keep the sand reflection on the face rather than correct it (calculate automatic in viewnx) my monitor not calibrated. anyone see if it is ok on your screen. i used the highlight protection to cheat. will not happen again !

i think my problems will be solved, if i could borrow d700, borrow 105mm 2.5 or similar to experiment.

Fotophilic, with regards to focal length, my super trash F60 + 105mm looks a lot brighter and natural respective. 105mm * 1.5 is too much. no money, what to do ? i was dreaming of 200mm f2 not too long ago. maybe 300mm will give me full body bokeh ..........................dream

scaredcloud, i hardly use my $90 x >10 years inflation NIKON SOFT FILTER. do you think this filter + my 4x SB28 + umbrella + lightstand will do the trick ?

As for composition, someone was directing the model from his angle while all other clicks away. no chance to squeeze.

Dream merchant, keen eye, it was out of focus. maybe len freeze because of Ellis. F4 is not enough on 105mm at that distance. :sweatsm: F5.6 next

Ortega, save money and buy lens, i think i have to agree. my lens is super sharp only at close distance. tele lens are sharper at longer distance. is 105mm 2.5 AF or MF ? can loan me ?

i will do the panty "hole" one day.

Actually, AFD lens on DX body reduce my lens sharpness for my camera! wait for me.........D700. maybe worse on FX haha.
 

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Jun 19, 2009
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#15
105mm is still a good range for portraits! But not that good if you have unwanted stuff blocking the subject from you
 

Jun 7, 2007
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#17
Without getting into what makes some of the most revered portrait lenses, revered (too may people are hung up on 'sharpness'), you can't do a lens comparison using two different subjects, shot at different times, under different conditions and lighting techniques, probably processed differently, with what could be different camera settings and come to an educated decision.

Also, and I may be wrong, but your the focus appears to be behind the girl's eyes.
i know my lens not power enough, so i used 4 x SB28. i tried to process it as clear as i could. maybe i watch out for highlight(over exposure) so i could add more contrast in processing, maybe i bring a giant gobo to block the sunlight. maybe my skill not there yet......
 

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#18
People that say this lens doesn't work for portraits or are too sharp are photographing ugly people :D It's a great lens.

You might need to do some minor touch up in PS after the fact, but should be doing that anyways....can take portraits so much further with TASTEFUL PS work.

If on a crop sensor body this lens can be a bit much indoors, but outdoors just back up and shoot away. Enjoy the wonderful bokeh and sharpness. Some 105's have been a bit slow when shooting kids unless you lock the full range mode to limited as they move too quickly for the slower focus...

Paul
 

calebk

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2006
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Clementi
#19
I think you are putting too much focus on the gear, honestly.
 

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