85mm/1.8G for close up portraits?

Started Feb 2, 2013 | Discussions
bkkm
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85mm/1.8G for close up portraits?
Feb 2, 2013

Hi guys,

I have recently bought my first FX camera (a Nikon D600) with a 50mm prime. I am looking into buying a 85mm/1.8g Nikon lens for portrait, but would like to know how much of a close-up/tight head or eye-shot I'd be able to get with such a lens. I used to have a zoom lens on my DX going up to 200mm on the telephoto end, but this time I want to make do without such long focal length.

Would I be able to take close ups such as the one below with a 85mm/1.8G on a D600? Or is the minimum working distance going to get on the way?

Can the 85mm/1.8g achieve close ups like this one on a D600? Or does the limit on working distance get on the way? Could I get even closer without having to resort to cropping?

Also, if I added a close-up lens/filter to the 85mm/1.8g, would I be able to make even more extreme close ups such as the one below? If so, which close-up filter would you recommend to go with the 85mm/1.8g? Is the Raynox 150 too much?

Nikon D600
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sroute
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Re: 85mm/1.8G for close up portraits?
In reply to bkkm, Feb 2, 2013

In landscape orientation basically a person's head will fill the vertical axis of the frame when at or near the 85/1.8G's minimum focus distance. You *may* need to do a very slight crop to achieve the same framing as your first photo.

You can't achieve the framing of the second photo with the 85G without cropping, or using close up filters, or tele-converters.

I'd go with a crop - the D600 offers plenty of resolution; depending on your purpose, that may be not just merely sufficient but in fact may suit your needs perfectly. Bonus, shoot now, crop later, means no screwing on of filters or inserting a tele-converter in the light path. You are always ready for the next shot if you need to re-compose with more subject in the frame.

If you've not used a 24MP camera before, get the lens you like first and see if cropping meets your needs for those types of shots. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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bkkm
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Re: 85mm/1.8G for close up portraits?
In reply to sroute, Feb 2, 2013

sroute wrote:

In landscape orientation basically a person's head will fill the vertical axis of the frame when at or near the 85/1.8G's minimum focus distance. You *may* need to do a very slight crop to achieve the same framing as your first photo.

You can't achieve the framing of the second photo with the 85G without cropping, or using close up filters, or tele-converters.

I'd go with a crop - the D600 offers plenty of resolution; depending on your purpose, that may be not just merely sufficient but in fact may suit your needs perfectly. Bonus, shoot now, crop later, means no screwing on of filters or inserting a tele-converter in the light path. You are always ready for the next shot if you need to re-compose with more subject in the frame.

If you've not used a 24MP camera before, get the lens you like first and see if cropping meets your needs for those types of shots. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Thanks for the reply, sroute! Would a macro/portrait lens such as the Tamron 90mm/2.8 be a better choice for this kind of shot, then? Would it, in fact, offer any DISadvantage in comparison to the 85mm/1.8G, aside from the slightly slower aperture?

I also wonder if a close-up lens such as the Canon 500D would be a good complement for the 85mm/1.8g for this specific purpose?

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Guidenet
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Re: 85mm/1.8G for close up portraits?
In reply to bkkm, Feb 2, 2013

bkkm wrote:

sroute wrote:

In landscape orientation basically a person's head will fill the vertical axis of the frame when at or near the 85/1.8G's minimum focus distance. You *may* need to do a very slight crop to achieve the same framing as your first photo.

You can't achieve the framing of the second photo with the 85G without cropping, or using close up filters, or tele-converters.

I'd go with a crop - the D600 offers plenty of resolution; depending on your purpose, that may be not just merely sufficient but in fact may suit your needs perfectly. Bonus, shoot now, crop later, means no screwing on of filters or inserting a tele-converter in the light path. You are always ready for the next shot if you need to re-compose with more subject in the frame.

If you've not used a 24MP camera before, get the lens you like first and see if cropping meets your needs for those types of shots. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Thanks for the reply, sroute! Would a macro/portrait lens such as the Tamron 90mm/2.8 be a better choice for this kind of shot, then? Would it, in fact, offer any DISadvantage in comparison to the 85mm/1.8G, aside from the slightly slower aperture?

I also wonder if a close-up lens such as the Canon 500D would be a good complement for the 85mm/1.8g for this specific purpose?

Go and buy a new Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro lens and have fun. I'd get a solid tripod as well.

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GS2000
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Re: 85mm/1.8G for close up portraits?
In reply to bkkm, Feb 2, 2013

85/1.8G is great for portraits - but no way 85mm FL will give you such close ups and at the same time leave you enough distance from your model. too tight if you ask me.

135/2D will be much better (well, if you'll find a copy that would be sharp enough on your D600...)

Sigma 150 - as was offered here - should be great we well....

G.

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bkkm
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Re: 85mm/1.8G for close up portraits?
In reply to GS2000, Feb 2, 2013

GS2000 wrote:

85/1.8G is great for portraits - but no way 85mm FL will give you such close ups and at the same time leave you enough distance from your model. too tight if you ask me.

135/2D will be much better (well, if you'll find a copy that would be sharp enough on your D600...)

Sigma 150 - as was offered here - should be great we well....

G.

Would you say the Tokina 100mm/2.8 macro, or maybe the Nikon 105mm/2.8 macro, would be better alternatives to the 85mm/1.8G as *portrait* lens if I wanted to get this kind of close up? Or even the Tamron 90mm/2.8? Or is there much to be lost in exchanging the 85mm for any of those, besides the extra f-stop?

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Guidenet
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Re: 85mm/1.8G for close up portraits?
In reply to bkkm, Feb 2, 2013

bkkm wrote:

GS2000 wrote:

85/1.8G is great for portraits - but no way 85mm FL will give you such close ups and at the same time leave you enough distance from your model. too tight if you ask me.

135/2D will be much better (well, if you'll find a copy that would be sharp enough on your D600...)

Sigma 150 - as was offered here - should be great we well....

G.

Would you say the Tokina 100mm/2.8 macro, or maybe the Nikon 105mm/2.8 macro, would be better alternatives to the 85mm/1.8G as *portrait* lens if I wanted to get this kind of close up? Or even the Tamron 90mm/2.8? Or is there much to be lost in exchanging the 85mm for any of those, besides the extra f-stop?

Is it a money reason, you'd not consider the Sigma 150 f/2.8 we both suggested? It is expensive but it's a crazy good lens. It can be one of my favorite studio and outdoor portrait lenses in my kit.

The Tokina is a whole lot cheaper as is the Tamron 90, but you were looking for a little more length, I'm thinking. The price is well worth it, especially if you can find a minty used one. Personally, I don't think there's a better macro lens made under 5 grand. As a portrait lens, it can be tight but sometimes, in fact often, I'm wanting tight. Remember, it's about like 100mm lens on a crop camera.

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bkkm
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Re: 85mm/1.8G for close up portraits?
In reply to Guidenet, Feb 2, 2013

Guidenet wrote:

bkkm wrote:

GS2000 wrote:

85/1.8G is great for portraits - but no way 85mm FL will give you such close ups and at the same time leave you enough distance from your model. too tight if you ask me.

135/2D will be much better (well, if you'll find a copy that would be sharp enough on your D600...)

Sigma 150 - as was offered here - should be great we well....

G.

Would you say the Tokina 100mm/2.8 macro, or maybe the Nikon 105mm/2.8 macro, would be better alternatives to the 85mm/1.8G as *portrait* lens if I wanted to get this kind of close up? Or even the Tamron 90mm/2.8? Or is there much to be lost in exchanging the 85mm for any of those, besides the extra f-stop?

Is it a money reason, you'd not consider the Sigma 150 f/2.8 we both suggested? It is expensive but it's a crazy good lens. It can be one of my favorite studio and outdoor portrait lenses in my kit.

The Tokina is a whole lot cheaper as is the Tamron 90, but you were looking for a little more length, I'm thinking. The price is well worth it, especially if you can find a minty used one. Personally, I don't think there's a better macro lens made under 5 grand. As a portrait lens, it can be tight but sometimes, in fact often, I'm wanting tight. Remember, it's about like 100mm lens on a crop camera.

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Yes, the Sigma 150 f/2.8 looks like a superb lens, but unfortunately it is beyond my budget.  I will try to look for a used Sigma for a more accessible price. Or maybe try to find one at my local store and see if convinces me to go beyond my budget this one time. From your last comment, I gather that the length difference between the Tokina (100mm) or the Tamron (90mm) is not that considerable when compared with the 85mm?

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Guidenet
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Re: 85mm/1.8G for close up portraits?
In reply to bkkm, Feb 3, 2013

bkkm wrote:

From your last comment, I gather that the length difference between the Tokina (100mm) or the Tamron (90mm) is not that considerable when compared with the 85mm?

That's right. I'd be classifying all those in the same basic range. You'd have to move to 135mm to make a difference to me.

In the studio, I often use 85 and 105 almost interchangably. There's a difference of course, just not much. When I move to 150mm, I know I'm in a different range.

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anotherMike
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Re: 85mm/1.8G for close up portraits?
In reply to bkkm, Feb 3, 2013

You'd want something a bit longer if you're trying to isolate just part of a face. The 85/1.8G is a very, very, very, very sharp lens and certainly could be used for headshots, but for really tight partial face, a 135, 150 or 200 would be my choice. And honestly, for portraits, having the absolutely sharpest lens isn't really going to do you any favors either, so even something "very good but not great" in terms of sharpness like the 135 DC would be absolutely fine here.

-m

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