Searching for a 85mm f1.8 lens for portraiture - Z or F mount

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
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Alex_UK_Asia Forum Member • Posts: 61
Searching for a 85mm f1.8 lens for portraiture - Z or F mount

This is my current 'heavyweight' prime set up for my Nikon Z6ii. I also have a dinky little Nikon 40mm f2 and now the Nikon Z 28-75 f2.8 (a little boring for me but a great insurance for shooting at unpredictable events).

Viltrox 24mm f1.8 for Z mount; Sigma 35mm f1.4 F mount; Nikon 50mm f1.4 F mount

Anyway, as you can see, I am sorely missing a telephoto prime lens for portraits. I'd like a SHARP lens. And I'd like nice soft dreamy soft focus areas of the image. Edge sharpness and vignetting are not a concern. Chromatic aberration is best avoided - especially where head and hair are against a bright sky. I would also like to use it for video. I know that sounds like a Z lens would be best, but I've so far done well using the F lenses for video. I know the focus jumps a bit as the subject-camera difference changes, but there is usually no negative effect on the actual video created.

I should add I'm still very much learning to use longer focal lengths. I'm most comfortable with 35mm and 50mm. This lens is to be used for perhaps 20% of shots only. Hence I'm avoiding the most expensive or heavy options.

I have narrowed it down to two lenses. They are both the same price.

1. Tamron 85mm f1.8 VC for F mount (buy a used mint copy).
+ seems to have exceptional image quality. But.. how exceptional?
+ seems to be sharp. But... is there a noticeable difference?
+ perhaps it may hold its value now that it's already 50% of the original new price second hand.
- a little heavy.
- focusing in video may be a little 'jumpy' - any first hand experiences with this?

2. Viltrox 85mm f1.8 for Z mount (buy new).
+ focus may be better for stills. Or just the same?
+ focus will definitely be better for video. Will be able to automatically change focus gradually, when moving from one subject to another (which I do very rarely).
- Will this lens just seem just not special, in terms of crazy levels of sharpness and dreamy bokeh, compared with the Tamron?

Discounted options:

- Nikon 85mm f1.8 G. I'm sure it's wonderful and a popular choice here, but currently it seems a little expensive to buy used, when the Tamron is the same price.

- Nikon Z 85mm f1.8. If you have this lens, then I'm sure it is awesome. I know it solves all my problems (lens related). I know there's a used mint copy sitting on the shelf at my camera store with a tasty discount. But I think it's still just too expensive for me. I'm willing to compromise.
- Sigma 85mm f1.4 ART. I feel like it's just too heavy. It would get annoying having this lead weight pulling my backpack down when I'm not using it. Maybe it will get left at home for this reason.

I can obviously test a used Tamron before I buy, but standing in a shop for a few minutes with fluorescent lights is a poor match for long term experience (which I'm hoping some dpreview readers may have).

 Alex_UK_Asia's gear list:Alex_UK_Asia's gear list
Olympus E-PL8 Panasonic G85 Nikon Z6 II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +6 more
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