Portraits - Tamron 90mm vs Canon 85mm


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Sep 4, 2007
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#1
Need some advice. Is the Tamron 90mm2.8 Macro suitable for portraits? or is Canon 85mm1.8 more recommended for portrait as the 1.8 aperture might have better bokeh? anyone played/own these 2 lens before? and also advice as size and weight makes a diff too.

Summary of Discussion:
1) Sharpness - Big diff or unnoticeable by naked eye
2) Bokeh
3) Size and weight and build

Thanks in advance!
 

Frijj

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May 1, 2006
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#2
Need some advice. Is the Tamron 90mm2.8 Macro suitable for portraits? or is Canon 85mm1.8 more recommended for portrait as the 1.8 aperture might have better bokeh? anyone played/own these 2 lens before? and also advice as size and weight makes a diff too.

Summary of Discussion:
1) Sharpness - Big diff or unnoticeable by naked eye
2) Bokeh
3) Size and weight and build

Thanks in advance!
Yes, the macro lens is suitable for portriats.

In response to your questions:
1) Sharpness - Big diff or unnoticeable by naked eye
I'd say unnoticable unless you pixel peep. Of course in absolute terms, the macro lens is sharper. The other thing to note is that the 85mm is prone to quite obvious CA at f/1.8.

2) Bokeh
The 85mm f/1.8 will give you shallower DOF (at the same distance). So you've got more to play around with.

3) Size and weight and build
85mm f/1.8 is very small and compact and does not extend while focusing. The Tamron macro lens extends to quite a length.
Build is more or less even, but I'd give the edge to the 85mm f/1.8, it feels more compact (the non-extension plays a part).

What you need to take note of is that the autofocus of the Tamron macro lens is S-L-O-W, especially when you use it beside the 85mm f/1.8. The 85mm has blazing fast focus and you can manually focus even on autofocus mode. The focus is really slient too. (thanks to the Ring USM).
 

boredphuck

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#3
i never tried the tamron but my vote still goes to my 85mm. i even abandon my other lens just to use this most of the time nowadays.
 

waileong

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#4
With a macro you have the option of taking real close-ups, something you don't have with a regular lens.
 

Frijj

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#5
i never tried the tamron but my vote still goes to my 85mm. i even abandon my other lens just to use this most of the time nowadays.
I went the other way and sold off my 85mm for a 100mm macro.

I do miss the fast focus sometimes (and especially when I feel like taking pics of the chumps I work with play sport - read low light/indoor).

Besides that, the macro lens, I feel, is more versatile. Having loads of fun with it (of course it comes with another set of problems - i.e. you realise how important a good tripod is and you also how pronounced dust bunnies can get on your sensor).
 

boredphuck

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#6
I went the other way and sold off my 85mm for a 100mm macro.

I do miss the fast focus sometimes (and especially when I feel like taking pics of the chumps I work with play sport - read low light/indoor).

Besides that, the macro lens, I feel, is more versatile. Having loads of fun with it (of course it comes with another set of problems - i.e. you realise how important a good tripod is and you also how pronounced dust bunnies can get on your sensor).
i felt that 85mm for me would be the ideal lens to start off for portraits. i am not sure whether 100 would be too far a distance to have btw me n the subject?
 

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