Pick "the" 2.8 portrait lens

Started Jun 17, 2013 | Discussions
JVPhotography
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Pick "the" 2.8 portrait lens
Jun 17, 2013

There are two snapshots in this post from two different lenses both at 2.8. I have uploaded 2 full sized images on DPR for your review. These images are right out of the d700 iso 3600, NO post processing.

Which lens do you think did a better job for portraits? 1st or 2nd one here?

At the end of the day today, I'll reveal which lens did what. Neither of these lenses are very common and one of them is very expensive and the other really cheap. If anybody cares to guess what lenses took these images, that could add to the fun.

So, come on all you pixel peepers out there, pick the best lens out of the two.

Nikon D700
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paulski66
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Re: Pick "the" 2.8 portrait lens
In reply to JVPhotography, Jun 17, 2013

Personally, I like the second image better. The pose is more pleasing, and they way the subject is holding his head causes the lighting to be more dynamic across his face.

I also find the out-of-focus areas to be slightly smoother; for example, the fixtures on the ceiling have harsher borders in the first shoot, whereas they're creamy in the second.

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rcower
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Re: Pick "the" 2.8 portrait lens
In reply to paulski66, Jun 17, 2013

Ilike 2 best

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Michael Benveniste
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Re: Pick "the" 2.8 portrait lens
In reply to JVPhotography, Jun 17, 2013

I think that these two shots illustrate one thing very well.  For portraiture the choice of lenses of similar focal lengths is one of the least important aspects of the shot.

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Cytokine
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Re: Pick "the" 2.8 portrait lens
In reply to JVPhotography, Jun 17, 2013

JVPhotography wrote:

There are two snapshots in this post from two different lenses both at 2.8. I have uploaded 2 full sized images on DPR for your review. These images are right out of the d700 iso 3600, NO post processing.

Which lens do you think did a better job for portraits? 1st or 2nd one here?

1st =Tamron 90mm macro, 2nd 105 DC.

The first is sharpness fighting blur, and the second bland blur but seems like spherical blur.

I don't like either very much, but at ISO 3600, They are both washed out and could have been taken with a point and shoot. John,

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PHXAZCRAIG
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Re: Pick "the" 2.8 portrait lens
In reply to JVPhotography, Jun 17, 2013

I like the second one marginally better.

But it's not much of a test either.

Put some lights in the background, like Christmas tree lights or some such, and make sure you have some in the center and some in the corners.   It's difficult for a lot of lenses to keep those blurred lights circular once you get toward the edges.   It can be very visible to non-photographers then.

Here's an example from a 300f4:

Lights at the bottom don't look so good.

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Cytokine
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Re: Pick "the" 2.8 portrait lens
In reply to PHXAZCRAIG, Jun 17, 2013

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

I like the second one marginally better.

But it's not much of a test either.

Put some lights in the background, like Christmas tree lights or some such, and make sure you have some in the center and some in the corners. It's difficult for a lot of lenses to keep those blurred lights circular once you get toward the edges. It can be very visible to non-photographers then.

Here's an example from a 300f4:

Lights at the bottom don't look so good.

I think that is the advantage of DX we dont see the edges, I like the photo, the blur circles, can reveal alot about lens type and optical construction. John

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Nexu1
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Re: Pick "the" 2.8 portrait lens
In reply to JVPhotography, Jun 17, 2013

I didn't pixel peep, just looked at them on my screen here as they appear.  But I'd give my vote to the 2nd one.  Just seems softer and easier on the eyes.  Perhaps the first one is more contrasty (the man's face seems a little more red & contrasty and the out of focus areas have held more contrast & edges).

They're pictures are obviously much more similar then they are different.

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crsantin
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Re: Pick "the" 2.8 portrait lens
In reply to JVPhotography, Jun 17, 2013

I think I like the first one a bit more.  It is more contrasty, sharper, and a bit warmer, though the second image could easily be made to look exactly like the first and vice versa.  Not much difference between the two really.  For the first one I'll say the Tamron 90mm 2.8, which also serves as a macro lens.  The second I'll say the Nikon 105mm 2.8 VC?  I'm usually wrong with these types of things though.

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JVPhotography
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The end of day
In reply to crsantin, Jun 17, 2013

Some of you guys cheated I think by guessing by focal length but whatever, none of you got it exactly right.

The first is the Tamron 52en and the second one the 105 DC.

What is true is how remarkably similar both images are. I would have expected the 105 DC to rock the house and it does, but what surprised me at least is how well the 52en performs.

The 52en is the first of the AF Tamrons Macros that had autofocus. It has the same design as the original that made Tamron it's name famous in macro lenses. If you go around reading what reviews you can find on the 52en, you'll read where people gave up the later 2.8 Tamron's and kept the 52en instead, this is f2.5 version in an AF and based on the original double Gauss design.

The 52en really controls CA well even at 2.5 and at f11 it's brutally sharp. It does portraits pretty well too hanging right with the 105 DC and it does macro work as well.

For under $300, if you can find one, it's quite the little cult lens. I just got mine yesterday, and no it's not for sale.

Again, no Post processing.

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NikonHaoleboy
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Re:Out of focus lights
In reply to PHXAZCRAIG, Jun 18, 2013

The "catseye" effect in the out of focus lights is due to mechanical vignetting, the edge of the lens is beginning to cut off the the aperture highlight. If you look closely, there is some cut off in the upper portion of the image as well. This will be more or less apparent with any lens.

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