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Lens versatility

Author Message
Photogwest
70 posts
75
Message posted at 07/30/2010, 22:59:45 PM by Photogwest
Hey all,



I've been trying to figure out what lens to get for stock photography but that would also be good for other interests as well. I really like prime lenses and they generally allow for good low light performance (plus I can't afford the high-end zooms like the 24-70mm, 12-24mm, 70-200mm). So I've narrowed it down to three:



Nikon 60mm f/2.8 AF-S (macro)

Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF-S VR (macro)

Nikon 85mm f/1.4D AF (non-macro)



The 60mm is the cheapest and therefore has some appeal since it costs less and still has solid performance. The 105mm is most macro photogs fav, but it is a little pricey. It also has a good reputation for portraiture. The 85mm is not macro, but is the ultimate portrait lens with near perfect bokeh, so I'm told (and the image samples seem to prove).



So the question is...do I go cheaper, but still quality macro (60mm), arguably the best macro with good distance (105mm), or the best and perhaps most versatile portrait lens around but without macro ability (85mm)?



Opinions from anyone that has used these lenses is welcome please :)
Nikon D700 w/ Nikkor 24-70 f2.8, 50mm 1.8, 60mm f2.8 macro, ...

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Defun
183 posts
65
Message posted at 07/31/2010, 10:22:45 AM by Defun
I like Nikon 105mm, hoho^^
Nikon

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Message posted at 07/31/2010, 11:17:28 AM by Warrenpricephotography
Might check alternatives, especially if you are thinking 105. I bought a Tokina 100mm; f2.8; AT-X Pro-D:

http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/269-tokina-af-100mm-f28-at-x-pro-d-macro-review--test-report



I use it more than any other lens in my bag. It is pretty fast and great as short tele for sports ... motocross.





Nikon, Canon and Panasonic cameras; Nikon, Canon and Tokina ...

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Martinedegraaf
1130 posts
81
Message posted at 07/31/2010, 14:29:55 PM by Martinedegraaf
From what I've heard the 60 mm is a little short for good macro shots, gving you a bit of a challenge since you have to approach the subject very close.

The 85 mm has no macro at all, although for portraits it's good.



So, with the 105 mm you get a good macro lens, a good portrait lens and (what I read here from Warren) a good short tele for sports. That's a versatile lens imo. To get the same use from cheaper lenses, you would have to buy two or three, costing more $$ in the end... The Tamron might be a interesting alternative.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 17-55 f2.8, Nikkor 70-200 f2.8, Nikkor 50...

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Celwell
11 posts
81
Message posted at 08/01/2010, 16:19:48 PM by Celwell
A lens choice depends upon what you want to shoot, if you want to shoot macro or small products then 60mm is probably a bit short as you don't get much working distance so 100mm would make it easier. If you want to shoot portraits you would not doubt be better served with the 85mm which is made for the job.



I have the 105mm vr macro, but would not recommend it to others. Whilst the sharpness is better than a kit lens it is only just above average and it is easily beaten by other lenses I have. The vr does work at a distance but not really for macro, and it can affect the bookeh. The fact it does not extend whilst focusing is a bonus, but it has shocking focus breathing making working on a tripod a major pita. It also has significant axial CA (locas) which you can't fix using the CA sliders - for example in a picture with a metal fork out of focus on white in the background one side can end up green and the other magenta requiring a lot of clean up in PS. It does have high contrast which can be good or bad depending on subject, I usually find it easier to add contrast than to remove it. I now only use this lens when I have to due to its close focus ability, but will be happy when I ditch it for something better. There are other good 100mm-ish macro's on the market which are cheaper and get good reviews such as the tamron 90mm and sigma 105mm. IMHO I don't think the vr nano coating and internal focusing are worth the premium.



Most important though, don't forget to decide what you want to shoot before spending your hard earned on a lens.



C


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Electrochris
19 posts
75
Message posted at 08/02/2010, 18:11:18 PM by Electrochris
I just recommended it to someone else but i'll do it again! go with the tamron 90mm the "portrait macro" as they call it. I just got one recently and it is amazing. According to the tests I've read it rivals the nikon 105mm and the tokina 100mm but is much cheaper than the nikon and is available for immediate purchase unlike the tokina. The vr is a nice feature but isnt used traditionally for macro photography anyway. The sharpness of the tamron is incredible, bokeh is good for portraiture...it may be a little too sharp for portrait photography, but you can always blur in photoshop/lightroom...you cant make a blurry photo sharp though!


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Photogwest
70 posts
75
Message posted at 08/04/2010, 15:46:41 PM by Photogwest

Originally posted by Electrochris:
Quoted Message: I just recommended it to someone else but i`ll do it again! go with the tamron 90mm the "portrait macro" as they call it. I just got one recently and it is amazing. According to the tests I`ve read it rivals the nikon 105mm and the tokina 100mm but is much cheaper than the nikon and is available for immediate purchase unlike the tokina. The vr is a nice feature but isnt used traditionally for macro photography anyway. The sharpness of the tamron is incredible, bokeh is good for portraiture...it may be a little too sharp for portrait photography, but you can always blur in photoshop/lightroom...you cant make a blurry photo sharp though!




Electrochris, are your macros in your profile the Tamron 90mm?
Nikon D700 w/ Nikkor 24-70 f2.8, 50mm 1.8, 60mm f2.8 macro, ...

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Costa007
427 posts
84
Message posted at 08/05/2010, 02:55:11 AM by Costa007 - member is an admin
I would take the 85mm for sure
Sharp eyes, opened mind, two cameras, paper, pen, books, mus...

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Electrochris
19 posts
75
Message edited at 08/05/2010, 10:42:44 AM by Electrochris

Originally posted by Photogwest:
Quoted Message: Electrochris, are your macros in your profile the Tamron 90mm?




The fly on the leaf is but I havent uploaded any others with that lens yet. If you google that lens a flickr group comes up for it and you can see some really great photos taken with it.


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