What does the 85mm f1.8 offer apart from portraits?

Started Jun 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
Re: What does the 85mm f1.8 offer apart from portraits?

I'm not sure what you're asking. An 85 f/1.8 or f/1.4 is a wonderful short telephoto. When you nail the focus under a basketball net, you really nail a shot. I use my Nikon 85 f/1.4 for anything I need a short fast tele for. Mostly my use is in my studio or on location for work, but even for pleasure use, it's great. What can you say about one of Nikon's very best two lenses?

One problem I have with these kinds of questions is that it seems backwards in how to go about things.  In other words, you choose the application then find the lens to fit it. What you're doing is considering the lens, then asking how to use it. That also strikes me like chasing your tail.

Also, you're using the 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR as a portrait lens which seems to me to be a poor choice unless maybe you are inside with a studio backdrop. Then, I might shoot at 100mm and f/5.6 or f/8 regardless of what the lens might capable of. Out of a studio, I may want to isolate the subject which becomes a bit hard with a slow lens. Also, the OOF rendering of that lens is not the best. It's really not designed to make a good portrait lens. If you want a short telephoto zoom that can double as a portrait lens, I'd look at one of the 80-200 f/2.8 or 70-200 f/2.8 lenses on the market.

If you decide to get the 85 f/1.8G, then of course that should instantly be your portrait lens. It can also serve as a general purpose fast short tele, as I mentioned. It's nice for sidelines indoor sporting events as well. I use it for most anything at all, when I wish. It's one of those lenses I'd probably never sell.

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Cheers, Craig
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