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Thread: Short tele for Nikon DX

  1. #1
    Felipe's Avatar
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    Short tele for Nikon DX

    Hi. This is a question for Nikonians.
    I hope some of you has some experience on this subject and help me with an advice.

    I own a D90. I want a short tele, fast, pro quality. My purposes are to make indoor nocturnal shots without having to move up to ISO > 400 nor using flash, and portraits of my kids (or anyone else) with a completely blurred backgroung.

    I am now between a Nikon 85mm f/1.4, and a Nikon 105mm f/2 DC. Both are equally expensive, I know.

    Any advice will be deeply appreciated.

  2. #2
    Raycer's Avatar
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    Re: Short tele for Nikon DX

    I dream of both lens listed. I do have the 85 f/1.8 and I find it bit long for indoor work... of course, you must have a big house.
    Also, because of lack of AFS, the focus speed (on D300) is bit slow for chasing after my two girls.
    I find my 50mm excellent for indoor and wonder if the new 50mm f/1.4 AFS would work better for you.

  3. #3
    Felipe's Avatar
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    Re: Short tele for Nikon DX

    Motivated from you, Raycer, I just made a personal "discovering". Capitals on "personal", cause anyone moderately knowledgable about photography already knew.

    I used my wife as a model, bored her for about half an hour, and made a zillion portraits of her with my 18-200 set at 105mm, 82mm (I couldn't set it at 85mm) and 50mm. And I compared the faces. By far, the distance that gave me better results was 82mm, then 105, and in a distant 3rd place, 50mm. This latter made the worst proportions. So, for what I want, I just discovered 85 or 105mm are better.

    Another thing I often shoot is wine labels (I'm mainly a wine geek, not a photo geek), on interiors at night, and looking at the EXIF data of many of those I've made, I saw that most of them are between 80 and 110mm, the bottle being distant arm length.

    So I need a 85 or a 105mm. I'm also still waiting for the super cheap 35mm/1.8, which is apparently on perpetual allocation from Adorama.
    Last edited by Felipe; 10th May 2009 at 10:48 PM. Reason: Typos

  4. #4

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    Re: Short tele for Nikon DX

    Quote Originally Posted by Felipe View Post
    I used my wife as a model, bored her for about half an hour, and made a zillion portraits of her with my 18-200 set at 105mm, 82mm (I couldn't set it at 85mm) and 50mm. And I compared the faces. By far, the distance that gave me better results was 82mm, then 105, and in a distant 3rd place, 50mm. This latter made the worst proportions. So, for what I want, I just discovered 85 or 105mm are better.
    For portraiture, something in the region of 85mm is generally considered optimal, although other things (like crop-factor) also come into it. If you go for a shorter focal length then you often need to get closer for an acceptable field of view - and that in turn produces perspective distortion (ie nose disproportionately big), whereas if you go for long focal lengths then you're likely to suffer from compression (ie nose appearing to be on same plane as ears).

  5. #5
    Raycer's Avatar
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    Re: Short tele for Nikon DX

    glad you find the focal length that you like. Although I am surprised that you find much difference between 85 and 105.

    Sounds like you have plenty of working space. Now just have to go out and try them both in store. I believe Thom just reviewed the 85mm f/1.4 lens. So make sure you visit his site.

    Also check out this site for perspective of different focal lengths.
    http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/d80/index.htm
    cheers
    ray
    Last edited by Raycer; 11th May 2009 at 07:23 PM. Reason: add web address

  6. #6
    eNo's Avatar
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    Re: Short tele for Nikon DX

    If you're not against MF and learning to set exposure based on your wits rather than the in-camera metering, AI-S options might be the way to go. I love my AI-S 85mm f/2.0 and 105mm f/2.5, both pretty well respected, and I got them used for a fraction of the AF(S) variety. YMMV.

    Here's a shot I like that I took with the 105 on my D80 (I also own the D90):

    Short tele for Nikon DX

  7. #7
    Felipe's Avatar
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    Re: Short tele for Nikon DX

    Quote Originally Posted by Raycer View Post
    glad you find the focal length that you like. Although I am surprised that you find much difference between 85 and 105.

    Sounds like you have plenty of working space. Now just have to go out and try them both in store. I believe Thom just reviewed the 85mm f/1.4 lens. So make sure you visit his site.

    Also check out this site for perspective of different focal lengths.
    http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/d80/index.htm
    cheers
    ray
    Raycer, thanks for the links. Pretty helpful. I did not find "much" difference between 85 and 105mm; it was slight indeed. But the inferiority of 50mm was evident even for my wife's eye (not very interested on this matters). And no, it's not much working space. In fact, I was about 1.5-1.8m away from my subject, making head-and-shoulders portraits.

    Thank again for your feedback

  8. #8
    Felipe's Avatar
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    Re: Short tele for Nikon DX

    Quote Originally Posted by eNo View Post
    If you're not against MF and learning to set exposure based on your wits rather than the in-camera metering, AI-S options might be the way to go. I love my AI-S 85mm f/2.0 and 105mm f/2.5, both pretty well respected, and I got them used for a fraction of the AF(S) variety. YMMV.
    Mmmmm... I wouldn't say I'm against manual focus and exposure, but I rather use the advantages technology offers. My FM10 times are over.

    And I really think it's very difficult to focus manually sharp with an AF camera, by the absence of the "thing" (I don't remember the name) we oldtimers had in the center of the viewfinder to align lines perfectly. I don't trust much in the green lower left focusing dot. So ˇviva el autofoco!
    Last edited by Felipe; 12th May 2009 at 02:30 AM.

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