Nikon 85mm f1.4 or 17-55mm f2.8

85mm f1.4 or 17-55mm f2.8


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xintothezonex

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Oct 20, 2008
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Hi to all..

I'm hoping to get some advise on these 2 lenses.
What is your opinion and experience when you have a chance of using either these 2 lenses and which one would you choose.

I love the bokeh or out of focus of the 85mm 1.4 but the 17-55mm have the zoom range which makes it versatile.
Most of the time I'm shooting portraits and landscape so as you can see I am actually stuck in between these 2 lenses. My current lens that I have is 50mm f1.8, 70-200mm f2.8 and 18-200mm f3.5-5.6.

To get both lenses is really impossible so which one would you choose?
Let me hear from your advise..
Thanks.

Cheers!
 

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batavia

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Jan 30, 2009
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Looking at what you already have.....I say go for 85mm 1.4...... cos u don have a 1.4
 

thotshouse

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May 25, 2009
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I will go for 17-55mm. Currently, I have 17-55 and my next purchase will b 70-200mm. in this case, I will cover a good range @ f/2.8
 

Jed

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I'm not sure you can really compare these two lenses, really. They help you accomplish different things in the main.
 

insanekvn

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get 17-55 for portrait still can use 70-200 f2.8
 

YEETMIN

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Most of the time you shooting portraits and landscape ,better choose 17-55mm f2.8 cause you can shooting without change lens.u still can get the effect like 85mm f1.4 when u using 70-200mm f2.8.;)
 

Jed

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If you already have a 70-200/2.8 then yes I would get the 17-55. The 70-200 offers a lot of overlap with the 85/1.4. I still carry both to weddings but I tend not to use the 85/1.4 at all, except in very special circumstances. There are things the 85/1.4 can do that the 70-200 can't, excluding the obvious 2 stops more of light.
 

narofx

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i would choose the 17-55 f2.8 too so that a wide range is covered at f2.8.

For portraits, the 50 f1.8 can do too, and the 70-200 f2.8 is a very good for portrait too!!
 

xintothezonex

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Oct 20, 2008
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Hey guys.. Thanks for the prompt reply..
Yes.. Most of the time i took outdoor portraits with my 70-200.
I love to get a lens which i can bring out for walk-about and 70-200
is really not pleasant nor comfortable as it is too heavy.
Been looking some profiles where they shoot with f1.4 and the sharpness
is really amazing with smooth bokeh however there was also this thread
where shooting wide open 1.4 can be quite tough.
Is this true?
 

Jed

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Yes the image quality wide open is not the best but appealing in its own way. The depth of field is extremely shallow at the closer focusing distances which contributes to lots of misfocused images.

I agree about the 70-200 not being good for walkabout. But unless your walkabout is to take pictures of people, then I've found the 85 isn't that good a replacement. I've done that before, but not to photograph people, and just found 85 isn't that much longer than 70 (I have a 24-70) to warrant it being useful. It's probably not all that much longer than 55 either...
 

Numnumball

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Mar 6, 2009
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Seeng ur gears and lens selection, u shld be on a cropped sensor, 85 is a bit too long for portrait work on DX.. I will get the 17-55 and off load the 18-200 (overlapping with 70-200) if i will u.. replacing it as the general, walk abt and landscape lens. In my view, u need a fast lens in tight areas with inadequate lighting.

17-55 is so much easier to get from BnS nwadays, with so many of our nikonians bros ditching it for FF..u can get one at a steal (i dun think is worth to get 1st hand, price nt well justified for a dx lens, given that it is only 400+less than 24-70mmf2.8)

Bokeh? personally i felt e bokeh is better and smoother on the longer end of the tele (70-200mm), and replace ur 50 f1.8 with 1.4 for much better low light coverage.

To recap, go 17-55 f2.8, 50 f1.4D and keep ur 70-200f2.8

just my 2 cents worth, hope it helps :)
 

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IWCIWC

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Jun 14, 2008
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Can't go wrong with 17-55 on a DX sensor, one satisfied user here.:thumbsup:
It's a lens that gives the photographer more and more assurance .. that's
what it makes me feel the more I use it.
 

Mar 13, 2008
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My current lens that I have is 50mm f1.8, 70-200mm f2.8 and 18-200mm f3.5-5.6
If you're strictly looking for Nikon lens only, I kinda agree with Numnumball on getting the 17-55mm f2.8, even though the 85mm f1.4D is really a bokeh-making king...

However, assuming your budget is $1500 - $1650 (85mm f1.4 & 17-55mm f2.8 around that price for secondhand market), why not consider getting the 85mm f1.4D + the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8? You could sell off your 18-200mm to help cover costs..
 

iSuse123

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Jun 3, 2008
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To recap, go 17-55 f2.8, 50 f1.4D and keep ur 70-200f2.8
What he said was right, 85mm too tight for dx sensor as you got 70-200mm can do nice portraits as well. guess you'll be saving your 18-200 for travel use so 17-55mm will be your next walkabout lens. BnS can get good deals, some might think it's not worth to get 1st hand @2399.

i nv regret taking my 1755 too. was slightly heavy but the price is definitely worth for the build and performance. can't say 85mm 1.4 is bad but from your setup, depends on your needs, i find 17-55mm goes well in your dx setup.

if you're using d300, 17-55mm is way to go~ like what everyone said. focal length coverage most at f/2.8. both lens not cheap either.
 

Agastya

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Oct 8, 2009
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Why not take both? You can take the nikon 17-55 2.8 and the Vivitar/Samyang 85 1.4. It's manual but a lot cheaper. And if you're not going to use it that much it's really good for the price.;)
 

xintothezonex

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Seeng ur gears and lens selection, u shld be on a cropped sensor, 85 is a bit too long for portrait work on DX.. I will get the 17-55 and off load the 18-200 (overlapping with 70-200) if i will u.. replacing it as the general, walk abt and landscape lens. In my view, u need a fast lens in tight areas with inadequate lighting.

17-55 is so much easier to get from BnS nwadays, with so many of our nikonians bros ditching it for FF..u can get one at a steal (i dun think is worth to get 1st hand, price nt well justified for a dx lens, given that it is only 400+less than 24-70mmf2.8)

Bokeh? personally i felt e bokeh is better and smoother on the longer end of the tele (70-200mm), and replace ur 50 f1.8 with 1.4 for much better low light coverage.

To recap, go 17-55 f2.8, 50 f1.4D and keep ur 70-200f2.8

just my 2 cents worth, hope it helps :)
yes.. my cam is d300. im not intend to change to full frame just yet or anytime later..
and yes.. im also intending to sell off my 18-200 lens even though it is a good lens because of its zoom range but if its f2.8 through out thn i would love it even better!

u mentioned 50mm 1.4, which one would be better?
the new 50mm f/1.4G or the 50mm f/1.4D ?
 

valkyrie

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Aug 23, 2004
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yes.. my cam is d300. im not intend to change to full frame just yet or anytime later..
and yes.. im also intending to sell off my 18-200 lens even though it is a good lens because of its zoom range but if its f2.8 through out thn i would love it even better!

u mentioned 50mm 1.4, which one would be better?
the new 50mm f/1.4G or the 50mm f/1.4D ?
Sigma 50mm f1.4:thumbsup:
 

thotshouse

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May 25, 2009
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im also intending to sell off my 18-200 lens even though it is a good lens because of its zoom range but if its f2.8 through out thn i would love it even better!
I am keeping my 18-200mm for video purpose, which I feel range is more impt than optics. Just for yr consideration. ;)
 

aspenx

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Aug 10, 2008
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Voted for 85mm f/1.4 out of personal preference. I prefer primes to zooms and am also on a FX body.

But even for the D300, I don't feel that the 85mm is too long. I have shot portraits on D200 with a 85mm f/1.8 and found it okay (although I sold it and kept my 105mm instead).

It's a matter of how you shoot, not just what you shoot.
 

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