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50mm 1.4G or 85mm 1.8?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am trying to decide between a 50mm 1.4G and an 85mm 1.8, both made by Nikon as my main portrait lens.

The 85mm is attractive to me because of the way focal length affects bokeh with wide apertures, and it would keep me further away from the subject. Also, less distortion when using that focal length.

However, the 50mm would be slightly more wide open, which seems kind of attractive, and with the SWM, I believe it would be a little less noisy, especially if I am making a video.

But, like I said, this is going to be mainly for shooting portraits. What do you guys think would be best?
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post #2 of 9
what body you have? if you have a full frame body, its def the 85mm (too bad u cant get the 1.4, even the AF version). if you were to consider the 50mm f/1.4G by nikon, may i suggest the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM DG. sharper, slightly bulkier, creamier bokeh. about same price range. im considering the 50mm as a portrait lens soon..
 
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iandroo888 View Post
what body you have? if you have a full frame body, its def the 85mm (too bad u cant get the 1.4, even the AF version). if you were to consider the 50mm f/1.4G by nikon, may i suggest the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM DG. sharper, slightly bulkier, creamier bokeh. about same price range. im considering the 50mm as a portrait lens soon..
I am using the Nikon D7000 now, so not full-frame.

Yeah, unfortunately the 85mm 1.4 is a tad out of my price range. Do you think the 50mm is good for portraits? I wouldn't be too close to people's faces? I just want to make sure I am out of the way, you know? I don't want people to feel intimidated.
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post #4 of 9
i really like 50mm for portraits your still close to your subject but your not super far away. just my 2cents. although i also and looking at a 85 1.8 because of how it produces different bokeh and look it its images. and the 50 is a fun lens because its not quite wide and its not too long on a crop camera so it makes an ok walk around for me at least. all personal preference at the end of the day
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post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsBobtista View Post
I am using the Nikon D7000 now, so not full-frame.

Yeah, unfortunately the 85mm 1.4 is a tad out of my price range. Do you think the 50mm is good for portraits? I wouldn't be too close to people's faces? I just want to make sure I am out of the way, you know? I don't want people to feel intimidated.
This will point you towards the 85. I owned the 50 G for awhile and wasn't impressed. I've heard alot of good things about the Sigma 50mm f/1.4. Just be prepared for some sample variation.

I'm gonna be selling my LNIB 85 d pretty soon, what's your time frame and budget??
    
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post #6 of 9
"Appropriate" focal lengths for portraits:

FF: 85-200mm

APS: 50-135mm

What you want to put in your portraits and where you'll be shooting them is the differentiating factor. Headshots? Head and shoulders? Outside? Small studio? Remember that potraits benefit from the "flattening" effect that longer focal lengths produce.
post #7 of 9
As mentioned, a lot of this depends on where you will be using the lens. Make sure if its studio work that you have the distance to get the shot with a 85mm. Personally, I use old MF lenses on my Nikon bodies. Do you need auto-focus for portrait work? Maybe, depending on how you work and what you subject is. My opinion is get a older converted 50mm f/1.4 and a older 85mm f1.4 or 1.8. Should be able to get both for the same price as a a newer 85mm now. If your subjects are not fast moving there is no real reason you need AF since price is a concern. On APS sized sensors, I personally find the 50mm is generally either to long or to short. I generally use 24, 35, 85mm, though I have a 50mm for those times when necessary and because its an old Nikkor S 50mm 1.4 I got for like $30 with prestine glass.

My two cents....
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I went out and got the Nikon 85mm 1.8 and did a few test shots... I really liked the distance it put between the model and me. It wasn't uncomfortably close, and it didn't feel like I was a mile away. Plus, the bokeh in on-screen review looked really good. Can't wait to get these babies loaded onto my computer to take a look.

Thanks for the input you all gave me.
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post #9 of 9
Glad your happy with your purchase. I love my 85 f/1.8, even though its an older mf model. Optics are still great. I would seriously recommend picking up an older manual focus 50mm f/1.4. The speed is nice and the lenses are generally had very cheap. Manual focus is easy and at 50mm, many of your shots will be at max focus distance, but honestly focusing manually on the fly is very simple once your used to it. With your camera will will need to have a lens that is "AI converted" or splurge for a slightly newer AI lens. If your handy with a file, you can "convert" it yourself.
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