Portrait lens: Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro vs Nikon 85mm f1.8G on Nikon D600

Started May 28, 2013 | Questions
Tepacca
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Portrait lens: Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro vs Nikon 85mm f1.8G on Nikon D600
May 28, 2013

I just received my Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro yesterday and had some time to play with it. As any macro lens it's very sharp. A little noisy due to the screw-type focusing relying on in-camera focus motor. Using the limiter the focus speed for portraits is not bad. (will use manual for macro anyways).
Talking about portraits only and putting low light performance aside (Nikon is faster of course) I wander will Nikon 85mm 1.8G produce much better portraits (IQ and bokeh) than Tokina macro 100mm f2.8?

I believe considering the FL difference, wide open both lenses should produce similar bokeh, keeping in mind Tokina will have enough distance to shoot at f2.8.
If anyone in the community happen to have both these lenses I'd appreciate your comments.

Another thing I have noticed yesterday while trying to take portrait of my wife. Made a few shots but she were not natural so I told her that I will not keep shooting unless she smiles naturally. Then I told her that she is done posing and I lost hope that she can perform today adding a joke on top.

She smiled and started to walk toward me thinking I'm done. And then I started to take pictures in burst mode. Only then I was able to make that one shot worth keeping.

But That required fast continues focusing and my new Tokina did not perform fast enough. I wander if anyone felt the same need for fast AF shooting portraits.

 Tepacca's gear list:Tepacca's gear list
Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED +2 more
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Nikon D600
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lac111
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Re: Portrait lens: Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro vs Nikon 85mm f1.8G on Nikon D600
In reply to Tepacca, May 28, 2013

I own the Tokina 100mm macro, have for a few years, very pleased with it. I also own the Nikon 85mm 1.8 D, the older version of that lens. I was thinking of selling the older 85mm for the newer version, but when I found out  AF is noticeably slower I decided not to.  From everything I've seen I would not expect bokeh to be as smooth with the Nikon 85mm f1.8, as with the Tokina 100mm.

Obviously without having both lenses for direct comparison I can't say how AF performance compares, I would guess the 85mm being a non macro would perform a bit better, but it's no speed demon in that department from everything I've read and heard about it. Not sure any of this helps, but keep it in mind with other responses.

Always cracks me up complaints about screw drive noise. Yes, it makes a little noise, but there are few environments where that really matters.

Lora

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RBFresno
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My two favorite portrait lenses. One is MF, the other AF-S
In reply to Tepacca, May 28, 2013

Tepacca wrote:

But That required fast continues focusing and my new Tokina did not perform fast enough. I wander if anyone felt the same need for fast AF shooting portraits.

Hi!

Under most (not all) situations fast focusing is not high on my list of attributes I need in a portrait lens.

My two favorite portrait lenses are the 200VR and Zeiss 100/2. The former is one of the fastest focusing lenses that I have, even in relatively low light, and the other is manual focus.

Nikon D3 ,Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZF
1/160s f/2.0 at 100.0mm iso1600

Nikon D3 ,Nikkor 200mm f/2G IF-ED AF-S VR
1/160s f/2.0 at 200.0mm iso1250

RB

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Ian
Ian
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Re: Portrait lens: Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro vs Nikon 85mm f1.8G on Nikon D600
In reply to Tepacca, May 29, 2013

Your 100mm lens in digital terms is a 150mm lens and 85mm is a 122mm lens in round figures. Both are really a bit long for portraits, the image tends to be a bit flat. In days gone by the rule really was either an 85mm lens or a 105mm lens, the 85mm lens gives a much rounder image.

Try if you can find one a 50mm lens, that would be a lot better and fairly cheep

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Tepacca
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Re: Portrait lens: Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro vs Nikon 85mm f1.8G on Nikon D600
In reply to Ian, May 29, 2013

Your 100mm lens in digital terms is a 150mm lens and 85mm is a 122mm lens in round figures. Both are really a bit long for portraits, the image tends to be a bit flat. In days gone by the rule really was either an 85mm lens or a 105mm lens, the 85mm lens gives a much rounder image.

Try if you can find one a 50mm lens, that would be a lot better and fairly cheep

If your message was addressed to me, on my D600 which is an FX body 100mm is 100mm and 85 is 85.
So both are grate for portraits in terms of FL.

 Tepacca's gear list:Tepacca's gear list
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Tepacca
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Re: Portrait lens: Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro vs Nikon 85mm f1.8G on Nikon D600
In reply to lac111, May 29, 2013

Thanks Lora. Do you happen to have comparition pics from both your Tokina 100mm and Nikon 1.8D?

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dacrema
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Re: Portrait lens: Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro vs Nikon 85mm f1.8G on Nikon D600
In reply to Tepacca, May 29, 2013

Tepacca wrote:

Thanks Lora. Do you happen to have comparition pics from both your Tokina 100mm and Nikon 1.8D?

Not Lora and Not the 100mm but here is one with the 85d.  I rented a D600 before buying one.  I am not the best photographer but I was very happy with the combo (85d and D600).  At the time I took the picture I was using Capture NX and could not process RAW files, so this is from a jpg pretty much straight out of the camera.

Exposure Time:(1/800); Aperture:f/1.6; ISO:100; Photo Dimensions:6016 x 4016; Flash:flash did not fire, Metering: pattern Exposure Program: aperture priority; Light Source: fine weatherWhite Balance:manual;

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87350iroc
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Re: Portrait lens: Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro vs Nikon 85mm f1.8G on Nikon D600
In reply to Tepacca, May 30, 2013

I have both lenses and shot a few test shots for you.  not a portrait but you should be able to pull some useful info.

D600

raw converted to jpg in Capture NX2 - no other edits

ISO 200

weather: Seattle rain and gloom

I am happy with both lenses.  Obviously the 85mm is sharper.  But it is my sharpest lens.

85 f1.8

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7288/8885589215_fe8b908c81_o.jpg

85 f2.8

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5347/8886201618_e311a82788_o.jpg

85 f4.0

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2839/8885566701_aa5a08da39_o.jpg

100 f2.8

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3724/8886181214_621294dfe8_o.jpg

100 f4.0

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8546/8886164612_800b4d8f60_o.jpg

John

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Nikon D600 Tokina AT-X Pro 100mm f/2.8 Macro Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED +5 more
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moony16
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Re: Portrait lens: Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro vs Nikon 85mm f1.8G on Nikon D600
In reply to Tepacca, May 30, 2013

I can say I love my Nikkor 85mm 1.8d for portraits--bokeh is excellent and the glass is sharp, even wide open.  However, I'm sure the Tokina holds its own too.  It is your call--here's a sample with the 85mm 1.8d

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Tepacca
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Re: Portrait lens: Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro vs Nikon 85mm f1.8G on Nikon D600
In reply to 87350iroc, May 30, 2013

Thanks John, appreciate your input.

85mm produces better bokeh even at equal 2.8 to Tokina while f1.8 completely blows it away.

 Tepacca's gear list:Tepacca's gear list
Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED +2 more
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