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Archive 2012 · So, I hate to even ask this but...
  
 
pawlowski6132
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p.1 #1 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


I usually roll my eyes when I see the, "Which is better..." or, "Which should I get..." threads but...

I'm trying to decide between two lenses: 85 1.4 D and the 70-200 VR (not sure which version even).


The lens will be used on an F100 for now, primarily. I already have a 50 1.8. Pictures will be mostly portraits (50%) and "Fine Art" (50%).

I like the idea of the 85 1.4 because of all the obvious reasons; DOF, Low Light capabilities, etc. But, I think I will need to shoot from a tripod because I will be using low ISO film.

I like the idea of the 70-200 because of the VR. I feel like I will be able to shoot more freely w/o the tripod but, will lose the speed and it's much more expensive. Also, do I need to spend the money on the VR II. Is the VR really much better?

Hmmm.

And yes, I've done my research, read reviews, etc. I would like to hear some contemporary views of recent experiences or even thoughts and insights.

Thanx for reading all this.



Aug 31, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Todd Warnke
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p.1 #2 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


Watch any video by Joe McNally and you'll see him using his 70-200 for portraits all the time. And by all the time I mean ALL the time. Not that I'm Joe Mac, but I use mine the same way. With it you get a bit more compression, and 12 feet, 2.8 and 135mm the DOF is literally within a quarter inch of the total DOF of the 85 at 1.4 at 9 feet. Plus the 70-200 is so much more versatile, which makes for a better "fine art" lens.

Peace,

Todd



Aug 31, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Nathan Padgett
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p.1 #3 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


I'd say get the 70-200 (and then add a cheap Samyang 85 1.4 f). It's just so good at so many things. The only downside is size and weight.

The VRII does have a lot better VR and it won't vignette as much but it's up to you how much $$ that's worth.



Aug 31, 2012 at 05:11 AM
pawlowski6132
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p.1 #4 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


Ugggh. There goes the savings.

I was hoping someone would talk me out of this.




Aug 31, 2012 at 05:13 AM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #5 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


I will try to...Every time I have owned a 70-200 of any kind I have ended up selling it.

I am currently a Canon shooter but shot with a D700 in the past and may soon be heading back to Nikon because I cant stop salivating over the D800. The only zoom I regret selling is the Canon 70-200 F4 L IS. The reason? it is small and compact (there is no Nikon equivalent)...

Any time I have purchased a prime lens and sold it I have re-purchased it. Zooms are very versatile, but also big cumbersome and a PITA to carry around. Primes small, compact, stealth-like and have GREAT IQ.....and shallower DOF to boot.

I love prime lenses and so should you...Did I convince you?



Aug 31, 2012 at 05:37 AM
JoeMelzer
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p.1 #6 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


I sort of had to decide sth similar: Buy a Sigma 85 1.4, or wait a while and get the 70-200 which is quite a bit more expensive. I decided on the Sigma: When doing portraits I can move because I have the time. But when in a dimly lit church 2 f-stops is HUGE. Of course, no zoom and perhaps the inability to move as you like is a con. But again, 2 f-stops. The difference between ISO 3200 und ISO 12800. Need I say more?


Aug 31, 2012 at 08:44 AM
Mishu01
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p.1 #7 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


I had both... I ended by selling the zoom. It's a very good lens but is too big and heavy for my taste. If I'd be in your shoes I'd go for 85/1.8 AF-S which is a terrible good lens for the money and I'd add 135/2 AF-D DC which is another great portrait lens.


Aug 31, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Chris Court
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p.1 #8 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


I own both an 85 1.4 and 70-200 VRII, and with the exception of shooting sports and the occasional wedding, I grab the 85 every time. It's mainly down to the weight, bulk, and limited space in my camera bag rather than any IQ issues, as both lenses are stellar performers here.

C



Aug 31, 2012 at 11:43 AM
pawlowski6132
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p.1 #9 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


For those who recommend th 85: One can only handhold at 1/60 right?
Do u use tripod?



Aug 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM
JoeMelzer
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p.1 #10 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


With the D800 I'd say even 1/85 is hardly possible due to the 36MP. I'd not go slower than 1/125, if possible. Pre-D800 I often broke the 1/focallength rule and went slower, not that most of the times result in not 100% sharp images. And no tripod at all.


Aug 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM
 

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Paul_K
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p.1 #11 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


I also own both an 85 1.4(D) and a 70-200 VRII, and IMO they are not only apart from the physical differences two completely type of lenses capable of giving pictures with a whole different character when pushed to it

The 70-200 VRII is of course very versatile and yet, very sharp, while still offering an attractive maximum aperture, and justly so the bread and butter lens for many professional photographers ( I used a 2.8/80-200 AF D push pull lens for nearly twenty years before recently moving up to the 70-200 after buying a D800)

The enclosed picture

http://www.pbase.com/paul_k/image/145653591

is a approx 40% crop of a D800 picture shot in crop mode with the lens at 200mm and despite that it remains remarkebly sharp and detailed

The 85mm on the other hand is not simply 2 stops faster, but offers IMO a completely different of image, especially when shot at 1.4 (or 1.6 as in the enclosed picture)

http://www.pbase.com/paul_k/image/145046623

due to the minimal DoF while still maintaining superb sharpness at the area focussed upon.

This makes it my preferred lens for portraiture, probably 'fine art' (although I have no clear idea what that is) where IMO the very defined sharp/unsharpness reminds me of pictures shot with a large format camera like in the 19th/ early 20th century pictures of Lewis Carroll (yes, the writer of Alice in Wonderland) and Edward Curtiss



Aug 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.1 #12 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


What kind of things do you shoot most often? What's the intended use?

Portraits and indoor -- 85mm
Kids and outdoor -- 70-200

And since you mentioned and F100 (35mm format) it should be the 70-200 VR-II



Aug 31, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Frank_Maiello
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p.1 #13 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


I have both lenses (85 AF-D and 70-200 VRI) and I find the 85mm can be tricky to use. The focus shift when stopping down can ruin what you think is an in-focus shot, which is an important consideration if you shoot film and don't have the luxury of image review. On the other hand, I get more consistent results from the 70-200, but it's less fun to use.


Aug 31, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Chris Court
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p.1 #14 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


For those who recommend th 85: One can only handhold at 1/60 right?
Do u use tripod?



With the 85/D700 I can get useable shots as slow as 1/40, but obviously the hit rate goes up as the shutter speed increases - in general I try to stay above 1/100. I imagine the D800 will likely be more punishing - particularly for you pixel peepers.

I only ever use a tripod for macro and landscape work - don't think I've ever used one with this lens.

C



Aug 31, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Rodolfo Paiz
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p.1 #15 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


Each person can handhold at different speeds, and honestly I can handhold at different speeds on different days. If I'm well-rested, haven't had too much coffee, and I have time to breathe right, then I can handhold at slower speeds. Also, "handhold" can include leaning into a column or bracing against a bench, and all these tricks can help. Finally, high-MP sensors like the D800 will need a higher shutter speed to get the greatest possible benefit from that sensor, but you'll always be better off than with a lower-MP sensor (ISO capability aside).

I would get the 70-200 as my primary lens. The portrait below (my daughter) was shot with the 70-200 VR1 on a D300 camera, but still has beautiful subject separation -- that's a concrete-block wall about six feet behind her. An FX or film camera will give you even shallower DOF. Plus, shooting portraits at 200mm is often a great way to get more compression and a different look, so I value the versatility. In fact, the 70-200 has always been my primary portrait lens.



I would add the 85/1.4 sometime for its low-light capability. But to me, life without the 70-200 is simply incomplete.



Aug 31, 2012 at 02:25 PM
84FJ60
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p.1 #16 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


I have both and love them equally for different reasons. The 85 1.4 D is my go to lens for portraits and indoor sports. The 70-200 VR1 is used for outdoor sports, wildlife, and an occasional outdoor portrait if I'm too lazy to swap lenses. Since you're going to be shooting on a F100, I'd recommend that you get the last version of the 80-200 f2.8 AF-D (with tripod mount). It'll do better on full frame than the 70-200 VR1 and it gives you more versatility than the 85 f1.4 lens.

Good luck with the decision.

Sincerely,
David - a Colorado Nikonian



Aug 31, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Chestnut
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p.1 #17 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


I have the 85/1.4D, 70-200VR-I, and the Sigma 85/1.4

As Rodolfo Paiz said, life w/o 70-200 just seems incomplete. I used to use my 70-200 on my F100 for portraits all the time. Even after I got the 85, I find myself using the 70-200 more.

If you're in a studio, it's probably better to have the 85... but if you shoot outdoors, and sometimes, shooting location is a little less in your control, the 70-200 is truly versatile. If I'm feeling demanding, and am in the 70-90mm range, sure, I'll switch out for the 85. Otherwise, the 70-200 just stays on the camera. It's an excellent workhorse that I will feel a little naked without.

But that's not to say the 85mm is bad! Of course, if I were you, and am deciding on the 85, I'd go for the newer Sigma. Still have the 85/1.4D, but prefer the Sigma MUCH better.

I'd get the 70-200 VR-II first, then save up for the Sigma next if you shoot a lot of portraits.



Aug 31, 2012 at 04:01 PM
cjrpostma
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p.1 #18 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


I shoot with a D700 with the 70-200 VR II and 85 1.8G and a 5DmkII with the 85 1.2L II.

The 70-200 VR II is my favorite lens for the versatility. It is rather unwieldy with its size and weight although I regularly use it as my walk around the city lens for 4 hours at a time. And yes, my wrists and back do ache after carrying it for that long.

I am a little tired of using so much blur in every photograph but I suppose it is nice for portraits sometimes. The 70-200 can blur a background at 200mm like the 85 1.8G can wide open. I love the perspective at 200mm, the compression is great.

Not that it matters as you are shooting Nikon but the Canon 85 1.2 L does give a unique look. In the end, I would recommend the 70-200 for its versatility.



Aug 31, 2012 at 04:03 PM
pawlowski6132
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p.1 #19 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


As I think about this, I think it's going to boil down to VR.

For example, I just metered my son standing in strong indoor natural light. At ISO 50, and supposing I had the 85 1.4, and considering the subject (a 7 yo) I would probably not want to hand hold this at a shutter speed slower than1/60 which would require an aperture of 1.4.

If I wanted to shoot with more DOF I would have to drop the shutter speed to 1/30 or 1/15. Not possible for me without a tripod.

If I had the 70-200 I could hand hold down to 1/15. Right?

Am I analyzing this correctly?



Edited on Aug 31, 2012 at 04:12 PM · View previous versions



Aug 31, 2012 at 04:12 PM
jamach
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p.1 #20 · So, I hate to even ask this but...


both stellar, the 85 a legend at 1.4 and the 70-200vr flexible with world class leading imaging

you need both

what is the primary intended use and in what camera?

If fx the fov will be slightly wide with the 85, if dx it will be somewhat tight

if doing portraiture the flexibility of the 1.4 will outweigh counter arguments - it does 1.4 and can have other uses.

with the 70-200 you can carry the large long lens and zoom in and out between 70-100mm and do portraits and such, but has vr

get the 85 and own one of Nikon's legends, it is a statement by itself, and its work is visible in the great pictures of the world

Joe



Aug 31, 2012 at 04:12 PM
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