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Best portrait lens for Nikon D850


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7 replies to this topic

#1
Susipet

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New D850 camera and keen to get a prime lens for portraits. Read some places saying 85mm best and others 50mm. What is your experience and exactly which makes / models would you recommend?

#2
MJL

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In general, 85 mm for single head and shoulder, 50 mm for single waist up or group of 3-4.  Both Nikon and Zesis make excellent portrait lens.  f/1.4 versions are excellent for candid shot or manual focus, but f/2 versions are also great and easier on budget.



#3
Merco_61

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The best set of portrait lenses from Nikon today are the 35/1.4 for groups and environmental portraits, 58/1.4 for half to full body and the 105/1.4 for head and shoulder. This kit *will* give you sticker shock when you price it out.

 

One step down, we have the 35/1.8, 50/1.4 and 85/1.4. The 50 and 85 don't handle the resolution of the D850 too well as they are are getting old and weren't made for 45 MP.

 

At that price point, the Sigma Art primes are a better alternative if you like the look they give.

 

In the bang for the buck category, the Nikon 35/1.8, 50/1.8 and 85/1.8 work really well, in fact better than the 50/1.4 and 85/1.4.

 

The Zeiss Milvus range give portraits a wonderful look, but they are manual focus only.



#4
Ron

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One thing to remember about lenses and the D850 is that, because of the camera's high pixel count, lens flaws that would go unnoticed on pictures made with lower pixel count cameras become glaringly obvious on pictures made with the D850.

 

That being the case, you should budget for the best lenses you can afford. The lenses Peter mentioned above fit the bill... especially the first group. I would have expected the 85mm f/1.4 in the second group to have fared better but I'll take Peter's word.  

 

None of these lenses are dogs... even those in the third group, but you have to be cognizant of their limitations when used with a high pixel count camera such as the D850.

 

--Ron



#5
Merco_61

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The 85/1.4 was released in August 2010 because it's predecessor wasn't up to the demands of the D3X. It is still a dreamy, wonderful portrait lens on the 24 MP it was made for. It works acceptably well on the D800, but the D800E is too much for the optical resolution of the lens. The D810 and the D850 are even more demanding.

 

It was just around that time emphasis shifted from the earlier focus on sharpness to the engineers working much more on the transition between sharp and unsharp areas. The 85 didn't get things as absolutely right as the 24/1.4 and the 35/1.4 that were released the same year, but it is still a very good lens. It wasn't until 2013 and the 58/1.4 they got the new look to work fully.



#6
fallout666

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i would go out and look at sigma art lenses. you find way better for price range and just as good or even better. i have both 35mm and 50mm 1.8 lens and love them but do not give what i want sometimes. do not have right prime lens for what some people want from me. so i will be looking at getting 85mm and 105mm down the line. also matt granger said fist gen 85mm is great budget lens for anyone looking to get into portraits shooting since will not break the bank. but said sigma art lens 85mm is better for buck then second gen nikon lens. if you have camera store near could try them out or rent from place or use rent lens from lens rental company too. 



#7
dcbear78

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Don't forget the Tamron 85mm. I kinda gets forgotten about but is an exceptional lens. Probably somewhere in between the Nikon and Sigma in quality.



#8
Susipet

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Thank you all