What is the best Portrait lens for full Frame Body

Started Apr 30, 2011 | Discussions thread
Mike Gunter Regular Member • Posts: 259
Re: What is the best Portrait lens for full Frame Body


It you make some decent points.

However, the micro would work quite well as a micro and as a portrait lens, where the 85mm is a just a great portrait lens. It might be all he asked for, but a 2 for 1 is always a bargain, and a flat field lens will always be something to use in detail work.

I have both, and if budget isn't a concern, that would be where I'd go.

Like I said, you have some solid points. You also have some silliness. VR can make a difference. Maybe not for you, but you aren't the only shooter in the world (although you certainly feel that way).

Not everyone does. Some folks even stop down to increase DOF (depth of field) to keep the depth of a head shot sharp.

You made some good points, but be aware that others have good points, too, and be smart enough to learn from them.

My best to you,


apaflo wrote:

Mike Gunter wrote:

Cenk wrote:

Kpatel wrote:

What is the best portrait lens for Full Frame Body?

"Nikon 105 micro VR": Budget, multifunctional, has VR, f2.8, very sharp...


No one who is working is careless with their money - budget matters.

Except the difference between the Nikkor 105mm Micro and an 85mm f/1.4D is $20. And the 105mm f/2 DC is all of $80 more than the 85mm. Budget does matter... and getting more value for the same money is imporant.

Going closer (Micro with a flat plane) matters.

It does not matter at all for portraits.

VR gives you 4 stops to hand hold.

Which is almost totally useless for portraiture.

F2.8 is fast enough, you'd need to stop down ( in general ) a couple of stops anyway to add the depth of field necessary to make sure a 'head-depth' is in focus.

Actually a little wider than f/2.8 is often necessary, but regardless the 85mm f/1.4D lens has more versatility than an f/2.8 lens, and does not need to be shot wide open to get it.

It isn't rocket science.

Cenk made a very good observation that was considered, pointed, and valuable. Pooh-poohing a good suggestion isn't kind nor professional.

Indeed it is not rocket science, and should also not be fanboyism either. There simply is no advantage to using a Nikkon 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro for portraits, compared to a choice of either the 85mm f/1.4D or the 105mm f/2 DC lenses. The 135mm f/2 DC lens does cost an extra $300, so that might be enough to rule it out, but otherwise it too is technically superior in every way to the Micro lens for portrait work.

Worse yet, the 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro isn't really that good for photomacrography either! Unless 1:2 hand held flower shots are the only intended use, it isn't the right lens for macro work either!

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My best,


 Mike Gunter's gear list:Mike Gunter's gear list
Nikon D750 Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D +5 more
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