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Archive 2013 · Pet photography
  
 
Nickyb21
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p.1 #1 · Pet photography


Hey guys, I've been learning a ton and primarily shoot with a D3100 with a 35 1.8G... Shooting dogs (which I mainly do) and although I love the lens, it isn't the best for the pooches since it will distort some features. Instead of upgrading my camera, I figured add to the lens collection. With the sale going on my debate is between the 85mm 1.8 and the 50mm 1.4. Thoughts?

I'm a casual shooter and do this as a hobby, I've been asked by quite a few people to shoot their animals so i figured any money they gave me (I would charge my expenses + tips) would go back to the lenses

Last shot of my pooch.



Feb 19, 2013 at 03:57 PM
BenV
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p.1 #2 · Pet photography


I've personally never been a fan of the 50 1.4G, it just didn't suite my needs well. However, at half the cost, I do have the 50 1.8G. It's almost too cheap not to own. The new 85 1.8G is also a stellar performer. Since you already own the 35, I'd opt for the 85. The 50 is too close in focal length IMO considering your lens selection.

Anywho, thats my 2 cents.



Feb 19, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Nickyb21
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p.1 #3 · Pet photography


Thanks Ben, I've heard nothing but great reviews of the 85mm 1.8 but mixed reviews of the 50 1.4 so I like the 1.4, but I think the 85mm would be perfect for the dog photos, especially with some shy dogs.


Feb 19, 2013 at 04:49 PM
myam203
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p.1 #4 · Pet photography


Yeah, the 85mm is the right way to go. 50mm is too close to 35mm, so it really isn't worth the money IMO.


Feb 19, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Genes Home
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p.1 #5 · Pet photography


Hi,

Wonderful GSD. I come from a home that seems to be a historic haunt of theirs, having been owned by at least one of each variant over the last 35 years.

Re your lens choice.....If you are only going with one lens and want to use a prime, then the 85mm 1.8 is really an ideal way to go. It is about the perfect focal length for most canine work in the home and studio.

IF.....you can stretch a bit, then look at the 24-120. It will give you a bit more composition flexibility and a bit more "reach." Optically, I don't find any fault with it till I start trying to enlarge above 24x36.

-------------------

Lastly, a few kind notes on the photo above. Nice head angle, great ears, good eyes. Really icky background (you could try for more distance between dog and wall, etc. to soften background if you can't control posing position). In my dog show work when photographing large dogs I normally try to work at f/8 or so in order to let me focus on the muzzle just in front of the eyes in order to keep the eyes in really sharp focus, the nose in acceptable focus, and the ears in acceptable focus. I find that it is really distracting to see a gorgeous portrait of a dog blown up to 16x24 or larger, with wonderfully sharp eyes --- and a blurred nose pointed right at you. Also, on this shot I would have cropped in from the sides to make a vertical composition.

Lastly.........have fun!

Gene



Feb 19, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Keith B.
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p.1 #6 · Pet photography


On DX, the 85mm is your "go to" medium telephoto focal length---the rough equivalent of a 135mm on FX.
It will be an extremely useful lens for many things, dogs included.



Feb 19, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Nickyb21
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p.1 #7 · Pet photography


Gene, thanks for the response, I greatly appreciate it! I wish I had the funds for the 24-120, I just started this hobby a few months ago so I don't have a lot of experience, nor the deep pockets, but I'm eager to learn!

I've been focusing so hard to try to keep the eye's sharp, I never really noticed how much the ears and nose will blur. I'll be working around f/8 to see how it changes my work, I appreciate the tip! I never had any formal schooling so everything I know is from people like you, and for that I thank you!



Feb 19, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Nickyb21
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p.1 #8 · Pet photography


Keith B. wrote:
On DX, the 85mm is your "go to" medium telephoto focal length---the rough equivalent of a 135mm on FX.
It will be an extremely useful lens for many things, dogs included.



thanks Keith, 85mm 1.8G it is!!!



Feb 19, 2013 at 07:50 PM
gugs
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p.1 #9 · Pet photography


another vote for the 85 1.8, and forget the 50 1.4, if you like the focal length, get a 50 1.8 AFS

Guy



Feb 19, 2013 at 08:12 PM
lovemygsp
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p.1 #10 · Pet photography


I shoot at my local shelter once a week. I suppose its a bit of a different situation but I never want to be changing lenses while there due to all the germs, fur, and other unmentionables. So I actually went and bought a tamron 28-75 2.8 just for this. It was great on my D5100. I used to be a prime only shooter but for pets this is now my go to lens (until my nikon 24-70 gets here). Realistically if you want to get the whole head in focus you usually can't use f1.8 anyways. I shoot at about 3.5 while at the shelter to get the nose and eyes in focus while blurring the ugly shelter background.

That said, I'd buy the 85 right now while its on sale and then make your next lens a zoom. If you start doing more pets you will quickly find some that don't like you taking pictures and a zoom makes it much easier to get a good shot. Good luck.

EDIT to add: I noticed you said you were having problems focusing the eyes. This was one of the main reasons I upgraded to a D600. On the lower nikons you can't micro adjust your lens focus. I was so frustrated with my d5100 missing the eyes that it was the final push to upgrade. Remember AF-S with the center focus point is the most accurate(but not most convenient). What focusing mode are you using? Maybe changing might help some.



Feb 20, 2013 at 03:52 AM
 

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honorerdieu
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p.1 #11 · Pet photography


Nickyb21 wrote:
Hey guys, I've been learning a ton and primarily shoot with a D3100 with a 35 1.8G... Shooting dogs (which I mainly do) and although I love the lens, it isn't the best for the pooches since it will distort some features. Instead of upgrading my camera, I figured add to the lens collection. With the sale going on my debate is between the 85mm 1.8 and the 50mm 1.4. Thoughts?

I'm a casual shooter and do this as a hobby, I've been asked by quite a few people to shoot their animals so i figured any money they gave me
...Show more


Since you mentioned in your other post that you'll have to shoot at f/8, I can't see how purchasing the 85 lens will make it easier for you to achieve that goal--unless you back up further away from your subject to increase your depth of field.

Choice of focal length also depends on if you want to get a dog's attention for portrait style or if you want to give some distance between you and the subject for natural candid shots. If you get a 50mm lens, you have the flexibility of zooming back out with your feet. On the other hand, an 85mm lens translates to approximately 135mm which means you'll need a lot of room behind you if you want to put some distance between you and the subject.

It all boils down to what kind of pet photos you're looking to achieve.



Feb 20, 2013 at 06:47 AM
Neddie Seagoon
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p.1 #12 · Pet photography


You guys are thinking way too long. Lens,that is, not nose. Belle at 11mm:






Feb 20, 2013 at 07:38 AM
Steve Beck
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p.1 #13 · Pet photography


85mm on DX is pretty long as mentioned. Make sure you have alot of working room. 50mm on DX is a nice middle ground in my opinion. I shot with the 1.4g and is stellar for me... And used they are going for 300-350..


Feb 20, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Nickyb21
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p.1 #14 · Pet photography


Well now here I am, in a pickle once again lol. The main reason for the new lens is the 35 distorts the nose a bit which I don't like, also my mother is getting married and she asked me to take some photos of her since it's not a big wedding anyway. I guess I don't really know what I want nor need lol I only have the D3100 + kit lens, Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G DX VR, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX so really just looking to expand my lenses since I'll wait a bit to upgrade my body. The sale and my understanding that 85mm was great for pets was the reason why I wanted it, but now I'm thinking its a bit TOO long. I basically want a GO-TO lens that would be great for most pet shots, whether it be an action shot or a portrait shot. Now I'm thinking zoom lens...... I wish I could make up my mind.


Feb 20, 2013 at 03:26 PM
myam203
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p.1 #15 · Pet photography


The 35 doesn't distort noses on its own, it happens when you get too close to your subject with it (perspective distortion). That's why you should use the 35 for full-length and the 85 for chest-up or whatever. Or, you can use your 55-200 and just forget about the 85 unless you need the f/1.8 aperture... or get an f/2.8 zoom.


Feb 20, 2013 at 03:35 PM
lovemygsp
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p.1 #16 · Pet photography


If you have a camera store nearby, go try both the 85 and 50 with your camera. That's the easiest way to solve the problem. For what its worth, I found the 50mm to be a bit of a funny focal length on a DX camera and much preferred the 35mm. I never used an 85 on my d5100.

I would cross the 50 1.4 off your radar though. Its not worth the extra price. Just go look at all the comparisons of the two on the web. Save yourself that money and put it towards the 85.

For your mom's wedding, I'd go rent a decent lens instead of buying something. Are you the only photographer and is it indoors or out? Depending on the situation you could rent a 70-200 2.8 or a 24-70 2.8 for the weekend for under 100 dollars. Tell her its her wedding gift.



Feb 20, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Nickyb21
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p.1 #17 · Pet photography


It's an indoor wedding and I'll be the only one shooting. I just want to be able to produce some decent shots, I'm not expecting anything professional out of myself lol. I do have a few shops near by that I can check out and will most likely rent, I was planning on borrowing my buddies D7000 either way so anything else would be a bonus.


Feb 20, 2013 at 03:56 PM
lovemygsp
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p.1 #18 · Pet photography


I would caution against using a foreign camera at the wedding. You'd be surprised at how quickly you could get confused if you hit the wrong button. The first day shooting at the shelter with my d600 it somehow got put into the DX mode and I didn't notice at first so a few dogs ended up with cut off ears. Then it took me several minutes to figure out how to get it out of that mode.

Lens wise I'd consider the 70-200 2.8. It would be a great portrait and overall lens, combined with your primes, you should get a decent number of shots as long as the wedding isn't in a tiny room. If it is you might consider getting the 24-70 2.8 instead. You could also consider a 24-120f4 since you've got a DX but I don't know much about that one. Others might be able to chime in better. Do you have an external flash? It would also be a must for shooting an indoor wedding.



Feb 20, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Nickyb21
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p.1 #19 · Pet photography


thanks for the reply! I'll look into those lenses, as for a flash, I dont have one yet but the sb600 is in my sight, should have one in a few weeks. I've used his D7000 a few times but then again, I'm already comfortable with mine so it may be best to stick with the D3100.



Feb 20, 2013 at 05:00 PM
wayned
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p.1 #20 · Pet photography


The mutts D600 70-300
Full tilt boogie. Pat in the wind.



Feb 20, 2013 at 05:56 PM
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