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Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?

  
 
gear-nut
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


I know this is a long shot, but does anybody own all three and can do a simple set comparing all 3 at approximately the same subject magnifications wide open with some foreground and background for bokeh reference?

I've seen a few videos showing bits of these, but most were more concerned with how they look/perform on video as opposed to stills and nothing to date showing same subject magnification on the same basic shot for all 3.



Dec 10, 2023 at 10:48 AM
Ai_Print
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


I was thinking of consolidating my 50 1.2 S and my 105E into just the 85 1.2S but I feel like I would miss the reach of the 105 too much. I should try out the Plena thoughÖ


Dec 10, 2023 at 11:08 AM
newyork
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


Iím watching this thread. Looking at getting one of the 3 myself.


Dec 10, 2023 at 11:20 AM
huddy
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


Watching the thread out of curiosity.

OP, have you shot with any 70-200's or mix of primes at these focal lengths and have a preferred FL, or do you have the flexibility to shoot with any of the 3 and are more concerned with a stylistic choice for rendering or having consistent rendering with another lens you have for certain projects?



Dec 10, 2023 at 12:17 PM
gear-nut
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


huddy wrote:
Watching the thread out of curiosity.

OP, have you shot with any 70-200's or mix of primes at these focal lengths and have a preferred FL, or do you have the flexibility to shoot with any of the 3 and are more concerned with a stylistic choice for rendering or having consistent rendering with another lens you have for certain projects?


Yes, yes and yes. Back in the day when I needed them, my preferred focals for people were the 300/2.8 and 180/2.8 and then I vacillated between the 85/1.4 and 105/2 at the short end. I ultimately did go with the 70-200/2.8 as the 180's fell out of favor and the zooms got better; but I mainly only ever used it at the long end. Fast forward to today, all my imaging is primarily for myself and my thing for that is looks/rendering. I do own the 105/1.4 and 58/1.4 and enjoy both. The 200/2 is a no-go for me because of its size and weight -- and I'd rather use a 300/2.8 if I'm going that big -- and I don't do enough work that requires a look at 200 or longer.

More. When I had them, I never really cottoned to the 135 focal; and in fact, my 70-200 rarely went any shorter than 150 and often had the 1.4x on it -- so often, I sold off my Z70-200 and now rely on the 100-400 instead, but admit it's just a tad slow optically when under 300 to render a unique look -- but it works very well for the uses I put it to. (In fact, I could make do with the 180-600 instead, but again its size limits its mobility too much, and why I keep the 100-400 around.) Additionally, I never carried both the 85 and 105 together, usually choosing either depending on my whim for that day, but I like both focals a lot.

Which brings me to the Plena. If it accepted the 1.4x, it would already be in my bag -- I'd have a 195/2.5 and that would be glorious. So my current thinking on the Plena is, 1) I might get used to the focal and enjoy it, or 2) I might shoot it loose and crop to 180-ish after the fact, or 3) even shoot it in Dx mode since my main cam is 45MP and 22MP is plenty for the type of work I'd do with it now.

Hopefully all of this makes some sense. End of day, if nobody can provide clearcut examples per above, I may just buy the Plena and 85 for myself to test, and sell off the leftover or leftovers. But that's an expensive experiment and why I posed this thread first in the hopes I can avoid the (expensive) self test




Dec 10, 2023 at 01:25 PM
Ai_Print
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


gear-nut wrote:
Hopefully all of this makes some sense. End of day, if nobody can provide clearcut examples per above, I may just buy the Plena and 85 for myself to test, and sell off the leftover or leftovers. But that's an expensive experiment and why I posed this thread first in the hopes I can avoid the (expensive) self test



This is my thinking as well but for me, the low light aspect of medium telephotos for some of the work I do is the primary consideration. There is not a huge difference between 1.4 and 1.8 but there is between 1.2 and 1.8 in real use.

My ideal kit would be punt the 50 and 105 and get the 85 1.2 S and the yet-to-be-announced dream lens known as the 100-200 1.8S...;-)



Dec 10, 2023 at 03:39 PM
newyork
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


I think Iíd prefer the 85 as well but your 50 would be tempting.

Ai_Print wrote:
This is my thinking as well but for me, the low light aspect of medium telephotos for some of the work I do is the primary consideration. There is not a huge difference between 1.4 and 1.8 but there is between 1.2 and 1.8 in real use.

My ideal kit would be punt the 50 and 105 and get the 85 1.2 S and the yet-to-be-announced dream lens known as the 100-200 1.8S...;-)




Dec 10, 2023 at 04:04 PM
gear-nut
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


Ai_Print wrote:
This is my thinking as well but for me, the low light aspect of medium telephotos for some of the work I do is the primary consideration. There is not a huge difference between 1.4 and 1.8 but there is between 1.2 and 1.8 in real use.

My ideal kit would be punt the 50 and 105 and get the 85 1.2 S and the yet-to-be-announced dream lens known as the 100-200 1.8S...;-)


I donít disagree on light, but frankly find iso so good now I frequently get by with f4 with its added DoF. But bokeh is definitely different and why the fast glass intrigues me. If I got the 85 and 135, Iíd probably punt the 105 too. The 85 might also obviate my 58, but I canít let that one go. Plus itís fairly compact. In fact those reasons are why I havenít gotten the 50/1.2.

If Nikon does make a zoom Plena, Iíd vote for a 75-150 f2 ó that would do it for me and I wouldnít need the 85 or 135! 👍



Dec 10, 2023 at 04:34 PM
Ai_Print
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


Ok, to continue on with the fun, which focuses faster, the 85 1.2 S or the 135 1.8 Plena?


Dec 10, 2023 at 05:52 PM
suteetat
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


I have all 3 lenses but I am leaving on a trip tomorrow. When I am back next week, may be I could try to get some test shots of all 3 lenses done.


Dec 10, 2023 at 06:03 PM
 


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gear-nut
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


Awesome @suteetat!


Dec 10, 2023 at 06:15 PM
Ai_Print
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


I watched some reviews and then took a good look through the thread specific to photos from the 135 and while there was not much in the way of actual subject driven photography to go by, one guy did happen to post some nicely seen and shot portraits using the lens.

So I figure what the heck, it's a FL I have not used yet and went ahead and ordered the 135 Plena.

Edited on Dec 11, 2023 at 12:40 AM · View previous versions



Dec 10, 2023 at 09:50 PM
dalegaspi
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


i have the 105 and the 85. the 105/1.4E is a very good lens but its CA is not as well-corrected as the 85/1.2S; depending on your preference, that may or may not be a disadvantage for the 105. the 85 is also more neutral in color OOB than the 105. Here is a rudimentary comparison, with an off-camera flash with octabox (and reflector on right). both corrected with WB at around 4000K. The 105 was positioned further so the magnification closely matches the 85.






Dec 10, 2023 at 11:29 PM
huddy
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


gear-nut wrote:
Yes, yes and yes. Back in the day when I needed them, my preferred focals for people were the 300/2.8 and 180/2.8 and then I vacillated between the 85/1.4 and 105/2 at the short end. I ultimately did go with the 70-200/2.8 as the 180's fell out of favor and the zooms got better; but I mainly only ever used it at the long end. Fast forward to today, all my imaging is primarily for myself and my thing for that is looks/rendering. I do own the 105/1.4 and 58/1.4 and enjoy both. The 200/2 is a no-go for me
...Show more


I totally understand where you are coming from. I had a manual 300/2.8 and really liked the images out of it; it was just impractical. I also like the manual and AF 180/2.8's. The 70-180/2.8 is that lens now. Sometimes I would use a lens like that at 135 if the surroundings dictated it, but I prefer 180. I even have the 58/1.4 because I enjoy the rendering (and the 105/1.4 is on my short list of desert island lenses that I don't need but would enjoy, especially on a Z body)

I have had the same thought as you about using the 100-400 and forgoing something fast in the middle but wanting a slightly faster lens.

I even feel the same way about 85 and 105's, I usually just can't/won't budget for both.

I'm looking forward to the test shots from @suteetat. Everything I see from the Plena is lovely. I'm also curious what else Nikon will come out with in the tele space over the next 2 years:

200 F/2 TC?
100-200 F/1.8 S?
105/1.2 or 1.8 Plena?
A reduced size 100/120-300 2.8S?

Whow knows what they'll do. Any of those will be very spendy, and not up my alley, but will be enjoyable to see no less.



Dec 11, 2023 at 12:10 AM
aerospace99
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


Of course it all depends on what you want to do with your equipment but my take on the 105 is it eliminates the need for the 85 and the 135 at the same time. I do add back in the 85 1.8S for light, portable solution but if I need obliterating bokeh, the 105 is it. I question the additional bulk and cost to do a hair splitting exercise myself. I do not believe any of these newer lenses will make one a better photographer and it seems the primary benefit is to impress other photographers with the latest. Having said that, the newer lenses are close to optical perfection if there is such a thing. I just think the obsession with extreme bokeh is somewhat misguided. But the OP wants 200mm and the 135 with a 1.4 is an interesting way to get there. Be curious to see how that worked out.


Dec 11, 2023 at 03:25 AM
gear-nut
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


dalegaspi wrote:
i have the 105 and the 85. the 105/1.4E is a very good lens but its CA is not as well-corrected as the 85/1.2S; depending on your preference, that may or may not be a disadvantage for the 105. the 85 is also more neutral in color OOB than the 105. Here is a rudimentary comparison, with an off-camera flash with octabox (and reflector on right). both corrected with WB at around 4000K. The 105 was positioned further so the magnification closely matches the 85.


https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53390019859_897faf147c_c.jpg


Thank you for this! It does underscore how remarkably similar they render at same subject size; and given how near perfect the 85 is, it shows the older design 105 is no slouch and holds its own pretty darn well!



Dec 11, 2023 at 08:45 AM
gear-nut
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


aerospace99 wrote:
Of course it all depends on what you want to do with your equipment but my take on the 105 is it eliminates the need for the 85 and the 135 at the same time. I do add back in the 85 1.8S for light, portable solution but if I need obliterating bokeh, the 105 is it. I question the additional bulk and cost to do a hair splitting exercise myself. I do not believe any of these newer lenses will make one a better photographer and it seems the primary benefit is to impress other photographers with the latest.
...Show more

You make good points. The 105 eliminating my need of both the 85 and 135 is interesting ó and youíre probably correct about the bokeh use because thatís mainly how I use the 105; and do I use it enough to justify laying out roughly $5K for two lenses that do similar? Probably not. As such the 85/1.8 may make better sense for that focal and also being much smaller in the bagóand much lighter on the wallet and weight.

The 135 Plena as a TC Plena would have been very sweet. I donít think the Z1.4x can be mounted on the Plena, so until thereís a good 3rd party TC that would mount and is good optically, this is a pipe dream.



Dec 11, 2023 at 08:55 AM
JadedWriter
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


There is absolutely 0 space on the rear element of the Plena to fit a TC. Also depending on what you do the 105 doesn't eliminate the need for a 135 since one of my last events I used the 105 to cover a podium speaker and honestly found that the 105 didn't have enough reach. For headshot work, both work more than fine enough. For street candids I'm honestly sure the Plena AF's faster than the 105 since I do think that's the main weak point of the 105.
gear-nut wrote:
You make good points. The 105 eliminating my need of both the 85 and 135 is interesting ó and youíre probably correct about the bokeh use because thatís mainly how I use the 105; and do I use it enough to justify laying out roughly $5K for two lenses that do similar? Probably not. As such the 85/1.8 may make better sense for that focal and also being much smaller in the bagóand much lighter on the wallet and weight.

The 135 Plena as a TC Plena would have been very sweet. I donít think the Z1.4x can be mounted
...Show more




Dec 11, 2023 at 10:59 AM
Ai_Print
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


aerospace99 wrote:
Of course it all depends on what you want to do with your equipment but my take on the 105 is it eliminates the need for the 85 and the 135 at the same time. I do add back in the 85 1.8S for light, portable solution but if I need obliterating bokeh, the 105 is it. I question the additional bulk and cost to do a hair splitting exercise myself. I do not believe any of these newer lenses will make one a better photographer and it seems the primary benefit is to impress other photographers with the latest.
...Show more

I think the 105mm 1.4E is about one of the best lenses I have used in my entire career, a perfect blend of speed and reach that makes it a go to for a lot of jobs like portraits and super low light journalistic images.

But I think saying people are buying new lenses like the 85 1.2 and 135 1.8 to impress is a tad ridiculous, especially since one could say the same thing about the 105/1.4 when it was first announced. Personally I don't get into the minutia of bokeh, the term did not even exist a couple decades ago and to me, what is in focus is what matters and how that is presented makes the background a better background singer so to speak.

For me, these fast lenses fill two needs. One is to make the sharpest image possible in very low light at maximum aperture. Two is to get more separation between the subject and the background without going 200mm+.

I considered the 85 1.2 for a short bit but as I already have the 50/1.2 and the 85 is not really long enough, I quickly dismissed it as an option. From what I am gathering, the new 135 is sharper wide open than the 105 which is pretty impressive because I never found the 105 lacking in that area. It also will not vignette nearly as much as the 105 wide open so there is that.
I have no issues at all in keeping on using the 105, it does so much of what I need it to do but I like the idea of the 135 replacing it to get rid of the potential failure point of the FTZ adapter.

My concerns about the 135 is that there might be a fair number more cases when it is simply too long and being 2/3 of a stop slower than the 105, I will wish for that 1.4 in the lowest of light.

I'll get the 135 tomorrow and see how it works for me.





Dec 11, 2023 at 11:03 AM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Plena vs 105/1.4 vs Z85/1.2S anybody?


Someone needs to be a buzzkill and put the 85mm f/1.8S in the mix, so we can really see where the extra thousands of dollars gets us.


Dec 11, 2023 at 11:05 AM
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