Best lens for D800??

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
wilberforce_1 Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: Best lens for D800??

I am not quite following why many in this thread are recommending 85mm or 135mm lenses for "portrait (full figure)" photos: I interpreted this to mean full-body shots. And I would think that "dancers" implies multiple bodies with arms outstretched? I would think this very challenging to fit in the frame with a 135mm lens, unless the room is very spacious.  Maybe I am missing something here.

85mm and 135mm are classic "portrait" lenses, but usually only in the sense that "portrait" means head shots, or maybe half-body shots. If this is actually what you want to take photos of, then yes, 85mm or 135mm would be much better than 50mm.

Before you buy a certain focal length, I would suggest see what range of focal lengths you have used with your micro four thirds OMD, and double it to get the equivalent focal length for the D800. (MFT has a "crop factor" of 2.0 compared to full-frame.)

I do agree with others that the Nikon 50mm lenses are not as sharp as other substantially more expensive lenses such as Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art.

For 85mm the Nikon 85mm f1.8 is a good lens. So is the Nikon 85mm f1.4 for considerably more cost, but I am not sure you will get the benefit of the 1.4 wider aperture: this gives even less depth of field, in order to make the background an out-of-focus creamy blur, which makes the subject stand out from the background. But for your purpose, shallow depth of field (provided by the wider apertures like f1.4) is probably the last thing you want. I think you want every part of your subject to be sharply in focus (as you are only using the photos to do detailed painting from), for which you will have to use a smaller aperture (larger f-stop number). So I doubt you will be able to use the very wide apertures (f1.4) and "creamy" backgrounds that you are paying substantially more for. However, if you have the money to spend, and maybe want to get into true portrait photography in the future, the f1.4 lenses are the "professional" lenses and are wonderfully engineered.

It is good you are getting a wide range of opinions. Goes to show there is not a simple answer that works for all cases/people.

Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow