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Archive 2012 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600
  
 
afm901
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p.2 #1 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


Does this topic have to pop up for every FX Nikon that comes out. Surely this has been hashed over numerous times in the past. Did you do a search

Scott



Oct 08, 2012 at 06:41 AM
zesto
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p.2 #2 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


That's just the nature of Internet forums Scott. Live and let live.






Oct 08, 2012 at 08:16 AM
blutch
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p.2 #3 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


Sorry Scott... I realized there was a long thread on this very subject at the Nikon Cafe after I posted it. My bad.


Oct 08, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Red G8R
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p.2 #4 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


I'm surprised no one mentioned the Nikon 85mm f1.8. I don't have one (although on order) but Ming Thein rated it very high.


Oct 08, 2012 at 02:26 PM
zippy_monster
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p.2 #5 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


zesto wrote:
+1

I think the 200 f/2 is the best for head portraits but that's out of the question for the OP and perhaps the Zeiss 100 f/2 MP is too. So definitely the Sigma f/1.4 as it has a special dreamy look to it and represents excellent value for the money.



What about the 180/2.8?



Oct 09, 2012 at 03:44 AM
brianjb
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p.2 #6 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


My vote goes to either the Nikon 85/1.4D or the Nikon 105/2.8 VR. The 85/1.4D is as sharp as any of the other candidates in the center. It is softer than the Nikon 1.4 and 1.8 G models at the border, but this usually isn't an issue for portraits. At least it never has been for me. It focuses faster than both of the G lenses, and it's bokeh is only surpassed by the Nikon 105/2.8 VR. For the price, I think it is a great value.

The 105/2.8 VR is sharp across the frame wide open, and as I mentioned it has the best bokeh of anything being considered here. A used copy can be found for about the same price as the 85/1.4D. You gain silent focus, but it doesn't focus as fast. You also obviously lose the larger aperture of the 1.4.

IMO, those are the two best portrait lenses under $1000. The Sigma 85/1.4 isn't too far behind.



Oct 09, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Webs805
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p.2 #7 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


I'm surprised so many have recommended zoom lenses. With portrait work your subject is stationary so you don't need a zoom. When you have the opportunity to go with a prime lens take it! The $500 Nikon 85mm f1.8 will outperform all of the zoom lenses mentioned here, and the f1.4 is even better. Save the zooms for when either you or your subject are on the move and you need variable focal lengths. All other times, shoot primes!


Oct 05, 2013 at 04:37 PM
dj dunzie
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p.2 #8 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


For what you're describing I'm reaching for the Zeiss 100/f2.0 Makro-Planar every time, but it isn't cheap, and it's manual focus. But amazing as a portrait lens in every single way. One of the most incredible optics ever. Apparently the new 135/f2 is even more impressive, but it's also hard to find even new, and likely more costly.

On a budget, give the 105/f2.5 AIS Nikkor a go. Isn't up to the Zeiss build standard, but optically it's a gem and a relative bargain cost-wise.

For autofocus lenses, the 85 Nikkors - particularly the f1.4's - are good, and if you don't mind using a macro, the 150 Sigma EX and the 105VR Nikkor are both great optically, if not quite where the Zeiss is for bokkeh.

Edited on Oct 06, 2013 at 07:59 PM · View previous versions



Oct 05, 2013 at 05:52 PM
 

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Mishu01
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p.2 #9 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


My preffered portrait lenses are:

Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro Plannar
Nikon 135mm f/2 DC AF-D
Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro
Nikon 105mm f/2.5 all versions - this is a legend among Nikon shooters and has a nice character when used for portraiture. I can not describe it but definitely this lens has a unique signature.

If I have to choose I really think that only Nikon 200/2 is on par with Zeiss 100/2 in regards of portraits. This lens is magic. So my first option would be Zeiss, considering 200/2 a bit long for indoor.

Later Edit: DJ, just a minute in advance and you took the cherry from my cake...



Oct 05, 2013 at 05:53 PM
andychen
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p.2 #10 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


+1 on Zeiss 10 MP and Nikon 135 F2D


Oct 05, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Ian Boys
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p.2 #11 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


105mm f2.8 micro. Awesome and has VR.


Oct 05, 2013 at 10:11 PM
dj dunzie
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p.2 #12 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


Mishu01 wrote:
Later Edit: DJ, just a minute in advance and you took the cherry from my cake...




You know what they say about "great minds".......



Oct 06, 2013 at 08:01 PM
molson
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p.2 #13 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


My choices would rank as follows:

Zeiss 135mm f2 Apo-Sonnar
Zeiss 100mm f2 Makro-Panar
Nikon 85mm f1.8G (superb and cheap - a winning combination!)
Nikon 105mm f2.8G VR



Oct 06, 2013 at 09:25 PM
irish-george
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p.2 #14 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


Another vote for the 105mm f/2 DC AF-D. I have the 70-200 VRII, the 85 f/1.8 AF-D, and a few other zooms that cover portrait lengths and it is the 105 DC hands down. If I went with an 85, it'd be the f/1.4 AF-D, not the G ( I don't like the football shaped highlights in the bokeh).


Oct 06, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Mark_L
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p.2 #15 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


Until Nikon make a good 135mm it is probably the 70-200 VRII, the sigma 180mm macro might be very nice though. For headshots anything under 135mm is too short imo.

Webs805 wrote:
I'm surprised so many have recommended zoom lenses. With portrait work your subject is stationary so you don't need a zoom. When you have the opportunity to go with a prime lens take it! The $500 Nikon 85mm f1.8 will outperform all of the zoom lenses mentioned here, and the f1.4 is even better. Save the zooms for when either you or your subject are on the move and you need variable focal lengths. All other times, shoot primes!


This is probably because Nikon's 105mm and 135mm f/2 lenses are very dated and the 200mm f/2 is crazy expensive.



Oct 06, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Stdon
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p.2 #16 · Best portrait/head shot lens for the D600


I do quite a few actor/model headshots and portfolios. My #1 lens for HS's is the 70/200VR1 usually in the 180mm range. I use this for either strobes or CLS. Samyang 85 f1.4 for head/shoulders and 28/70 for full length. For a good clean tight headshot you just have to get too close with an 85 and distortion sets in. Or one can back up and crop but that's kind of dumb.
Nobody has shown me where a prime is better than my 70/200 for this. It has great contrast and compression and the actors/models I shoot get work. That's all I care about.



Oct 07, 2013 at 06:07 AM
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