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Would anyone say a particular lens is best for portraits?


SEMANON 2 95 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2012 9:06AM
What difference would the larger diameter of lens front on the Nikon f1.8 85mm make in comparison to the smaller opening on The Tamron SP90 - Just in general what difference do the larger openings on lenses make, or conversely the smaller ones on macro lenses.

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SEMANON 2 95 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2012 9:11AM
The reason I ask is I'm assuming that larger diameter lens(not app. actual whole lens) are better suited for objects further away, because they are letting more light in & would be better for my needs.
mikehit e2
5 6.8k 11 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2012 9:14AM
No difference at all. The wider diameter is so that the lens can have a maximum aperture of 1.8 instead of 2.8.

What do you mean by 'better suited'?
SEMANON 2 95 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2012 9:19AM
Just to get a fuller frame shot with a bit more distance than a 50mm.
mikehit e2
5 6.8k 11 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2012 9:29AM
That is from focal length, and nothing to do with aperture or lens diameter. In that respect then yes, both lenses are better than 50mm.
If we ignore the magnification differences (it will be about 10% difference between the lenses so 'frame filling' vs 'not frame filling' is not really a consideration) the f1.8 aperture on the Nikon means you can get a shallower depth of field than f2.8 on the Tamron. But f2.8 has the same depth of field on both lenses.
This means that if the model is quite close to a bush or other distracting background, you are more likely to be able to throw it out of focus with the Nikon than with the Tamron.
JackAllTog e2
5 3.7k 58 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2012 9:45AM
Consider not using a fixed focal length.
Many of the very good portrait photographers i follow use a F2.8 24-70mm lens on a FF camera and some 15-85mm on a APS-c body.
They all produce excellent results - the modern Zoom lens is totally excellent for most portraits and being a zoom very adaptable to situations. The only question is can you afford the F2.8 versions to let lots of light in for indoor unlit portraits with subjects that move around a bit (your kids).
If i could have just two lenses they would be the F2.8 24-70mm and F2.8 70-200mm, but not in my price range. the 3rd would be a 50mm F1.4 or 1.8.
SEMANON 2 95 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2012 10:00AM
Also if in the future I wanted to use a 2x tele-converter, would this effect image quality much?
SEMANON 2 95 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2012 10:06AM
unfortunately both these are a bit out of my price range. Has anyone used a sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 - although thats straying a bit from a Nikon prime quality level I imagine.
annettep38 e2
3 188 32 France
13 Jul 2012 12:22PM
I have used a Nikkor 85 1.4 for ages. Bought is sh in 1991. They are not that cheap but I have seen them for as little as 250 quid. Go for MF.
also the very old non ai 85 1.8 is dead cheap and very good. 15 minutes of filing will adapt it to any modern Nikon. That is how I could afford a 50 1.2 Smile
annettep38 e2
3 188 32 France
13 Jul 2012 12:23PM

Quote:Unfortunately both these are a bit out of my price range. Has anyone used a sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 - although thats straying a bit from a Nikon prime quality level I imagine.
Useless f4!! and sigma Sad
OldTom1 3 69
13 Jul 2012 9:29PM
I can only say for the Canon but I swear by my 50mm 1.4 lens for portraits. Would have had the 1.2 but couldn't afford it.
Carabosse e2
11 39.5k 269 England
13 Jul 2012 10:08PM

Quote:I can only say for the Canon but I swear by my 50mm 1.4 lens for portraits


My Canon 50/f1.4 is my portrait lens........... even though I have an Olympus! Wink
photofrenzy 7 424 2 United Kingdom
14 Jul 2012 1:42PM
If its Nikon FX format camera then start off with the 50 mm or 85 mm for better perspective, My choice would be

85mm f1.4 or f1.8
105mm f2.8
135mm f2.8

or try using the Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VR
SEMANON 2 95 United Kingdom
17 Jul 2012 11:15AM
Ive been looking at the 85mm 1.8 for more reach and because also looking at sigma 10-20mm and it will fit in nicely to have a 10-20mm,40mm & 85mm. Then possibly get a tele-converter depending on how image quality is affected.
SEMANON 2 95 United Kingdom
17 Jul 2012 4:57PM
Also considering Nikon 16-85mm

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