f/1.4. Any zoom lens?

Started Nov 4, 2012 | Questions thread
PRW_Photo Contributing Member • Posts: 668
You don't need f1.4 for "good bokeh"...

kjh12 wrote:

I am an amateur photographer -- just a hobby for photographing family. I have a Nikon D90 with AF-S Nikkor 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 GII ED lens. Superb lens but I want to get a second better lens with f/1.4 to get the better bokeh. I looked around on bhphotovideo and adorama and can seem to find only lenses with fixed lengths (e.g. 50 mm f/1.4 or 85 mm f/1.4). Are there any lens* with f/1.4 that can be zoomed in and out?

I am okay with the Nikon 50 mm f/1.4 but really love how I have the flexibility to zoom in/out on my current lens, esp. since I have young kids and I need to be flexible. I have never used a lens with a fixed length so I worry there will be missed opportunities in capturing a great shot due to the limitation -- is this a valid concern or am I worrying over nothing?

I realize this lens is great for photographing still-life (e.g. plants) but basically, I want a lens with better bokeh (really really want f/1.4) with the ability to zoom in and out, not just tied down to 50 mm because I am worried about missing shots.

Thanks guys!

*Nikon lens preferred since I've used only Nikon lens and been very satisfied but I wouldn't be opposed off brand lenses like Sigma, Tamron (though I've never tried them to say there is or isn't a significant difference).

You do not need a f1.4 lens to get good bokeh, and having a f1.4 is no guarantee that you will get good bokeh.  All an f1.4 lens guarantees is that you will have a very narrow depth of field.

If you want a zoom with good bokeh, look at an 70-200/2.8 or 80-200/2.8 lens.  Many people think these have good bokeh, and some pros prefer one of these for portrait work.  You can find numerous threads in this forum showing what these lenses can do.  If you're willing to consider used lenses, there are Nikon options for every budget, from a used 80-200/2.8 push-pull for $400 to a new 70-200/2.8G VRII for $2400.

Paul Wossidlo


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