Home Photography 5 Nikon 85mm Portrait Lenses: $300 to $2,200 (Review)

5 Nikon 85mm Portrait Lenses: $300 to $2,200 (Review)

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Try them out yourself: lensrentals.com coupon code NORTHRUP15 We review 5 portrait lenses: Nikon 85mm f/1.4 (http://sdp.io/rentn85), Nikon 105mm f/1.4 …


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  1. I am a hobbyist. There is no way I am going to pay into the thousands. I always look into the older generation lenses and the nikon 85mm 1.4d is mind blowing on its on. I also tried the budget rokinon and samyang and are outstanding. They give a warm tone to the pictures. The only downfall is they are manual lenses. Too much time wasted trying to focus.

  2. Strange test. Nikkor 85/1.4G definitely have way better bokeh then Sigma. Even from your samples. In a real life Sigma focusing as good as 85/1.4G and Zeiss is manual focus , how you can compare ? Tried many times to get ghosting from front light on 85/1.4G and I cannot replicate your results…. Chromatic …. you showing how to remove vignetting in Lr , but chromatic can be removed the same way , why then worry about ? And again , in real life I only suffered from this on my 85/1.4 D&G lenses few times.
    At the end of the day , Nikkor 85/1.4 is a winner as 105 is nearly double of price and I am not even talking about second hand market where you can buy 85/1.4G for 800-900 buks.

  3. You blew it by not including the Nikon 85 1.8. Some people prefer it to the 1.4 and it's much smaller, lighter and cheaper. You could have left out the 105 or Rokinon.

  4. If the Nikkor 105 1.4 were not in the contest, which one of the 85 mm you would take, Chelsea? And you, Tony? What about the Nikkor AF-S 85 1.8 G? And what about the Tamron SP AF 85 1.8 Di VC?

  5. Value for money remains a very important factor for most people. Sigma would be my choice, next to the excellently reviewed Nikon 84 1.8, how many times do you see reviews where fast 1.4 lenses have to be adjust4ed to f/4 etc for optimal performance.

  6. I'm wondering how these lenses would do on a crop sensor? I'm wondering if i need to upgrade to a camera with a larger sensor to get the full potential of a 85mm 1.4 ??

  7. I do not understand why you say the 85mm is a good lens for portraits.
    When we shot film the 85mm was the standard portrait lens but with todays cameras with their crop sensors and the 1.5 X multiplier then a 50mm lens becomes the 85mm portrait lens.
    The Nikon 85mm you tested is an AF-S DX lens that you are using on an FX body.
    We have AF-S lenses and use them on DX so it will not give you the same results

  8. I tried using a 50mm 1.4 Nikon lens to do portraits. The problem with it is that at 1.4 when the nose was in focus, then the ears were out of focus. Focus on the eyese and the earlobes were blurry.
    I found that I had to stop the lens down to 1.8 to get any usefulness out of it at all.
    I ended up selling my 50mm 1.4 and buying a 50mm 1.8 and everything went swimmingly after that.
    Just because your 1.4 is better and a stop faster than my 1.8 does not mean a damn thing when you have to stop it down to make it work.
    With todays iso settings a stop here or there is totally irrelevant. I got really great bokeh with the 1.8 lens and my subject was in focus from the tip of the nose to the earlobes.

  9. I wonder if they used all those lenses out of the box or did focus tuning. (Dock station with sigma, and in body tuning for the rest) I do have the sigma art 85mm and it started producing very good results only after the dock tuning was done.

  10. Most of these lenses would cost more than all of my gear put together, lol. The Rokinon 1.4 works really well for a fraction of the price. If I'm going to even think about spending $1000+ for a lens it's going to be a more versatile lens than an 85mm.

  11. When I first purchased the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art a couple years ago, I was disappointed how often it would miss focus with my D850. But since two firmware updates, one for the lens and one for the camera, and after calibrating the lens with the dock, I nail focus every time. No one talks about this. All anyone knows about the AF on this lens is from old reviews. Someone should do an updated review.

  12. There is no logical or rational reason to care about this kind of detail or pay more for it, no one cares these days. 99% of your audience will never see your photos in high resolution. The sad reality is these tiny differences in lenses are becoming less and less important in the modern world. People do notice nice bokeh, good lighting, sharp images, great composition. This kind of detail? WAY less than 1%! Add to that all the crap most pros add in post (because the modelis like it and it sells!), and you have what you see in the the top magazines. None of this matters anymore, no one cares.

  13. Rokinon didn't get enough credit here. It may perform a little weaker than the others here but it's miles apart from them in price and with that in mind I find it impressive how well it keeps up with the others. Also, their 135mm f2 is jawdroppingly good

  14. I have read and heard a lot of older comments on the AF of the Sigma 85mm 1,4 Art, and I suspect that Sigma has since dealt with those problems without telling anyone 🙂 , because my copy does nail the AF every time without any problem.

  15. The poor photographers portrait lens is the Tamron SP 90mm F2.5 model 52B macro lens with Nikon mount. It is manual focus with no electronics. Goes for about $120 used.

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