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

Started Jun 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
Re: Better alternatives?

VadymA wrote:

I agree that with proper skills 85mm could be used practically for everything but is it the best choice for landscapes and stills? I think a couple of zooms covering wide and telephoto would provide much greater creativity/flexibility in framing the shot than 85mm. I love using mine for taking pictures of my kids indoor and out, but for everything else I would most definitely choose something else; in my case that would be a couple of fast zooms plus one macro. And since the OP doesn’t have a macro lens yet, maybe something like 105 macro would be a better alternative to 85mm (I might be mistaken the exact focal lens of the macro lens but you see what I mean). Just a thought.

I also agree with you. There's no right answer here as we all know. There are a lot of ways to skin and cook the same cat. I just find my 85 f/1.4G an extremely sharp lens, especially when stopped down to landscape f/stops. I can also fit it in my old man baggy pants pockets when I'm wanting to walk the town with a small fast twin lens kit. Yes, my 35-70 f/2.8 works and I sometimes carry it instead.

I also agree that my primary use of my 85 f/1.4 is portraits, and at work, I take an awfully lot of them. For my one company I take so many portraits it about drives me crazy. Every executive gets an exec portrait of his or her choice from bus casual to studio. VPs get a required studio and a bus casual of his or her choice. Publicity always wants a separate new one for a press release or news story involving an employee and this occurs nationwide and some out of the US offices or partners, so my 85 f/1.4 gets a serious workout.

I like an extremely sharp lens for still lifes and tend to use my Nikon 85 f/1.4g if I don't need to get close but my favorite for this, my Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro, is one of the sharpest lenses ever made by anyone. Product shots in the studio sometimes gets my old 105 f/2.5 AI manual focus lens I bought new in 1978. Actually I have two of them, but one is an AI converted pre 1977 model I also bought new.

So yes, there are lots of choices here, zooms or primes. Lately in the mid ranges, I've been shooting a lot of primes for no particular reason. I cover most focal ranges with either, sometimes multiple times.

Have a great upcoming weekend.

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Cheers, Craig
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