Nikon AF 85mm f1.4 vs AF DC 105mm f2


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Tetrode

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Dennis said:
Between the 2 lens which would you go for and why ?.
Tough call but...

I'd go for the 85 f1.4 coz it's wider and closer to the ideal portraiture lens length of 90mm(135 film) and it'll allow you to take head and shoulder shots w/o having to step back further (good in small rooms).

You won't have control over the bokeh like you would with the 105 DC but the 85's bokeh ain't bad with respect to the 105. The use of a hood is mandatory for the 85 f1.4, it is prone to flare due to it's large front element.

if I wanted to save money (more than half the price of an 85 f1.4) and still have the creamy bokeh of the f1.4. I'd buy the Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro and get Macro too. You can get used Tamron 90s for abt $450.
 

clive

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strangely i will prefer the 105 f2 solely based on focal length..on film slr u get 100m view which is not bad, and on dslr u get 150mm view which is quite nice =)
 

gadrian

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#4
Dennis said:
Between the 2 lens which would you go for and why ?.
I would choose neither.. honestly I prefer the 85 1.8 or the 135 f/2. Both lenses produce much more pleasing portraits.. also I find the 135 f/2 bokeh heavenly..
 

Tetrode

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gadrian said:
I would choose neither.. honestly I prefer the 85 1.8 or the 135 f/2. Both lenses produce much more pleasing portraits.. also I find the 135 f/2 bokeh heavenly..
You'd have no argument with me on the 135 DC.

But the 85 f1.8? I own this lens and find the out of focus highlights very distracting.

I'm curious, Gadrian, why would you say that the 85 1.8 produces "more pleasing portraits"?
 

Zerstorer

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Choosing between the 105f2 DC and 85f1.4 depends on your uses and needs. 105f2 on digital maybe a little too tight for 1/2 body shots which the 85f1.4 is still capable of. The 85f1.4 also doubles up as a superlative low-light indoor sports lens. It is usable at f1.4 at longer distances and simply excellent when stepped down to f2. It also has faster focusing than the 105f2DC.
 

Dennis

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#7
Is the 105 and 135 DC bokeh so much different ?.


gadrian said:
I would choose neither.. honestly I prefer the 85 1.8 or the 135 f/2. Both lenses produce much more pleasing portraits.. also I find the 135 f/2 bokeh heavenly..
 

ical

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I used to own both lenses. Both are high quality so it really depend on your usage if you want to choose between them. I prefer the 85f1.4 due to it's compact size, large aperture and better in picture quality even when shooting wide open. My DC105f2 is usually kept in my dry cabinet. In general, the DC105f2 is a bit too long for my liking while the length of 85mm is more ideal.

If you've more budget to stretch, do look at the new PC Micro 85mmf/2.8 (manual). I just got it recently and the images it produce is amazing. It work like a view camera as well as a micro lense which effect you'll never be able to achieve with any other lenses, making it worth every cent. I'm using it with Nikon D2H and D1X, so on digital is not a problem. If you're interested, I can post a pic using it for your reference.
 

khinmarn

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Depending on your intentions, for portraitures I find the 85/1.4 a little soft and has this pleasant glow for the transition between the infocus and out-of focus areas especially when shooting wide, this is akin to using Zeiss Softar filters.

Also do consider with the crop factor for digcams, you need not move back as much as compared to the 105 for half body shots.

Focussing is already so critical below f2, you won't be bothered using the DC function at all.
 

Dennis

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#10
Yes I love to have that lens and is on my list of next lens to buy. The only problem I have with that lens is that it is a macro lens (of which I already have the 105mm) and is not wide enough for architectural photos which I prefers. In any case I would love to see some photos. Would you PM me on how much and where you got the lens ?. Thanks


ical said:
I used to own both lenses. Both are high quality so it really depend on your usage if you want to choose between them. I prefer the 85f1.4 due to it's compact size, large aperture and better in picture quality even when shooting wide open. My DC105f2 is usually kept in my dry cabinet. In general, the DC105f2 is a bit too long for my liking while the length of 85mm is more ideal.

If you've more budget to stretch, do look at the new PC Micro 85mmf/2.8 (manual). I just got it recently and the images it produce is amazing. It work like a view camera as well as a micro lense which effect you'll never be able to achieve with any other lenses, making it worth every cent. I'm using it with Nikon D2H and D1X, so on digital is not a problem. If you're interested, I can post a pic using it for your reference.
 

Tetrode

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Dennis said:
Yes I love to have that lens and is on my list of next lens to buy. The only problem I have with that lens is that it is a macro lens (of which I already have the 105mm) and is not wide enough for architectural photos which I prefers. In any case I would love to see some photos. Would you PM me on how much and where you got the lens ?. Thanks
If you already own the 105 Micro, why would you want to replicate that focal length in the 105 DC?

I would take the 85 f1.4 if I already had the 105 Micro, although the 105 Micro hasn't got the nicest bokeh for portraiture.
 

Dennis

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#12
I was just considering the usage of both in terms of portraitures photo where 1 allows you to "dial" in background softness and one makes use of wide apertures. They are so different and so similar at the same time.

One other thing is can anybody tell me if the 105 DC is as sharp as the 105 macro ?.

Tetrode said:
If you already own the 105 Micro, why would you want to replicate that focal length in the 105 DC?

I would take the 85 f1.4 if I already had the 105 Micro, although the 105 Micro hasn't got the nicest bokeh for portraiture.
 

Jed

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I'll ignore the original question for the moment.

Tetrode:

Personally, I don't consider 90mm on 135 to be ideal portrait length, it's a bit too short to take head and shoulder shots and using one makes the subject slightly uncomfortable.

Agree that you wouldn't have control over the bokeh with the 85mm like you would with the 105, but the DC is a seriously overhyped tool with regards to bokeh control. They make great soft focus lenses, but I'd take an 85/1.4 at f1.4 over a 105/2 at f2 with DC engaged.

The bokeh on the 90/2.5 Tamron is not going to be the same as that on the 85/1.4.

Gadrian:

I've used although never owned the 85/1.8. And I've owned both the 85/1.4 and the 135/2. Frankly I cannot honestly say that I prefer the bokeh of the 135. I do in limited contact also notice that out of focus small sources of light are rendered rather poorly by the 85/1.8.

Khinmarn:

Do not confuse sharpness with depth of field, neither of which are the effect a Softar produces. Also, I fail to see the relevence of focusing at f2 and not using the DC function. Care to elaborate a bit further?

Dennis:

The 85PC is not a lens meant for architecture but for table top commercial work, and to a lesser extent portraiture. Frankly I'd take one over a 105 DC if your sole reason for purchase is portraiture, and assuming you can achieve soft focus with PS after the fact. While you can to a certain extent mimic the effects of tilts with PS, the flexibility of a tilt lens is great when shooting portraits.

Dennis:

The DC lenses allow you to dial in background softness, but only to a very limited extent. If you haven't tried one, go try one first. As above, from my experience they are good primarily as a variable soft focus lens, and also for limited control over background elements without affecting the main image.

The 105DC should be at least as sharp as the 105 Micro at infinity, but not anywhere as sharp as the 105 Micro at macro distances.

Dennis:

To answer your original question, you need to decide what you want out of the lens. Frankly, I'd question the purchase of the DC, on account that you duplicate focal length, and it really only works well as a soft focus lens, which you can mimic and control within PS to a great extent. The 85/1.4 opens up dynamic possibilities in terms of extremely shallow DOF. The 85/2.8 PC affords similar play by controlling your plane of focus, and in some senses is more versatile than the 85/1.4.

I personally shoot portraits with most lenses in my arsenal. The 70-200 is a mainstay, but I also have a 50/1.4, 85/1.4, 85PC, and my current favourite portrait lens is a 400. Ultimately you need to develop your own style and vision, and use a lens which allows you to best achieve that vision.
 

gadrian

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#14
Jed said:
Gadrian:

I've used although never owned the 85/1.8. And I've owned both the 85/1.4 and the 135/2. Frankly I cannot honestly say that I prefer the bokeh of the 135. I do in limited contact also notice that out of focus small sources of light are rendered rather poorly by the 85/1.8.
Hey Jed.. hmm well perhaps you are right about the 85 f/1.8 though I have not really ran into that many situations before.. but I have seen what you refer to taken by other photographers..

As for the 135.. that is rather bitter/sweet lens.. many people I know dont like it.. but just as many people.. including myself swear by it.. let me see if I have any images.. hmm.. tonight.. now stuck behind my desk..
 

Jed

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Perhaps I should add at this point just in the interests of full disclosure. I parted company with my 135 DC purely because [1] I didn't think the DC was as effective as might be, and [2] the focal length was too long on a digital body. Aside from those drawbacks, I think it's a whopping lens, although not necessarily value for money, depending on what you're after. Mind you most of the other lenses in discussion are not exactly cheap either.
 

Dennis

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#16
Perhaps you are right. I will have to evaluate my priorities and thanks for the insight into some of the lens. Indeed I have not use a DC lens before and therefore do not know how much bokeh I can control with it but if the control is limited and not as effective I will give up the thoughts. My original evaluation was a PC 85mm, 85mm f1.4 and the DC105mm. I did not include the PS for comparision because I thought it was not appropriate until somebody brought it out.


Jed said:
I'll ignore the original question for the moment.

Tetrode:

Personally, I don't consider 90mm on 135 to be ideal portrait length, it's a bit too short to take head and shoulder shots and using one makes the subject slightly uncomfortable.

Agree that you wouldn't have control over the bokeh with the 85mm like you would with the 105, but the DC is a seriously overhyped tool with regards to bokeh control. They make great soft focus lenses, but I'd take an 85/1.4 at f1.4 over a 105/2 at f2 with DC engaged.

The bokeh on the 90/2.5 Tamron is not going to be the same as that on the 85/1.4.

Gadrian:

I've used although never owned the 85/1.8. And I've owned both the 85/1.4 and the 135/2. Frankly I cannot honestly say that I prefer the bokeh of the 135. I do in limited contact also notice that out of focus small sources of light are rendered rather poorly by the 85/1.8.

Khinmarn:

Do not confuse sharpness with depth of field, neither of which are the effect a Softar produces. Also, I fail to see the relevence of focusing at f2 and not using the DC function. Care to elaborate a bit further?

Dennis:

The 85PC is not a lens meant for architecture but for table top commercial work, and to a lesser extent portraiture. Frankly I'd take one over a 105 DC if your sole reason for purchase is portraiture, and assuming you can achieve soft focus with PS after the fact. While you can to a certain extent mimic the effects of tilts with PS, the flexibility of a tilt lens is great when shooting portraits.

Dennis:

The DC lenses allow you to dial in background softness, but only to a very limited extent. If you haven't tried one, go try one first. As above, from my experience they are good primarily as a variable soft focus lens, and also for limited control over background elements without affecting the main image.

The 105DC should be at least as sharp as the 105 Micro at infinity, but not anywhere as sharp as the 105 Micro at macro distances.

Dennis:

To answer your original question, you need to decide what you want out of the lens. Frankly, I'd question the purchase of the DC, on account that you duplicate focal length, and it really only works well as a soft focus lens, which you can mimic and control within PS to a great extent. The 85/1.4 opens up dynamic possibilities in terms of extremely shallow DOF. The 85/2.8 PC affords similar play by controlling your plane of focus, and in some senses is more versatile than the 85/1.4.

I personally shoot portraits with most lenses in my arsenal. The 70-200 is a mainstay, but I also have a 50/1.4, 85/1.4, 85PC, and my current favourite portrait lens is a 400. Ultimately you need to develop your own style and vision, and use a lens which allows you to best achieve that vision.
 

Dennis

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#17
Thanks for the advise, Actually I inclined towards the 85mm f1.4. I don't think I have much use for the PC 85mm as it is a macro and not a wide. For a PC I would have preferred a wide.


ical said:
Well said, Jed!

Dennis, if I'm you, I'll choose between the 85f1.4 or the PC85f2. My previous purchase of the DC105f2 is honestly a mistake. So I'll advice you not to repeat the same mistake I've made.

I got my PC85f2 free from Nikon Singapore, including both my digital bodys, some of the lenses and lots of other accessories. It a 2 years contract on the condition that almost all my work must be stated using Nikon if I'm shooting on digital SLR. Of course, I still can use my trustworthly PhaseOne back based on the requirement of my client.

I'll post the pic on the gallery. Will let you know once it up.
 

Tetrode

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#18
Dennis said:
Thanks for the advise, Actually I inclined towards the 85mm f1.4. I don't think I have much use for the PC 85mm as it is a macro and not a wide. For a PC I would have preferred a wide.
Don't discount the Tamron 90mm too.
Try and get one to test before committing big $$ on the 85 f1.4.
Unless you really need that extra speed or rolling in $$, I'd try and save myself some $$.
You might even find that you can dispense with your 105 Micro, freeing up more $$ for other goodies.
 

Dennis

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#19
Don't find much diff between the Tamron 90 and the Nikkor 105 macro other than the build. I have used a Tamron 90 looong time ago. Unless you are referring to the newer Di version.

Tetrode said:
Don't discount the Tamron 90mm too.
Try and get one to test before committing big $$ on the 85 f1.4.
Unless you really need that extra speed or rolling in $$, I'd try and save myself some $$.
You might even find that you can dispense with your 105 Micro, freeing up more $$ for other goodies.
 

ical

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#20
ical said:
I got my PC85f2 free from Nikon Singapore, including both my digital bodys, some of the lenses and lots of other accessories. It a 2 years contract on the condition that almost all my work must be stated using Nikon if I'm shooting on digital SLR. Of course, I still can use my trustworthly PhaseOne back based on the requirement of my client.
Forgotten to mention that my sponsorship is under a company which has gain the confident and trust of Nikon through years. Just got a message from Nikon saying that they received a lot of flak from these "pros" for sponsorship after reading my post. :rolleyes: Please!! Just to let you guys know that Nikon S'pore will not entertain any individual photographer unless he's a invaluable asset.

Dennis, I've problem posting the pic in this forum. Do PM me ur email address and I'll email it to you.
 

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