Which prime portrait lens? Nikon 85mm f1.4 or 105mm f1.4?

Which lens would you recommend?

  • Nikon 85mm f1.4?

    Votes: 6 54.5%
  • Nikon 105mm f1.4?

    Votes: 5 45.5%

  • Total voters
    11
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1,012
Name
Sammy
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#1
Morning everyone.

I have been saving hard and am now in a position to purchase a new lens that I will use for portrait work and corporate headshots.

I have narrowed it down to the Nikon 85mm f1.4 and the 105mm f1.4 but can't decide which one to get!



I just wondered if anyone had any experience of these lenses and could offer any advice?

I'm guessing there is not too much between them other than the 85mm may be more useable in tight spaces due to the shorter focal length.

thanks

Sammy
 
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1,866
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Glenn
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#2
I use an EF 85mm f/1.8 on my 7D2 and have also used a 100mm f/2.8 macro for portraits. But with the 7D2 being an APS-C crop body, sometimes I find the 100mm and even the 85mm a bit too long and would benefit from a 50mm f/1.4.

So, if your body is a DX then I'd say 85mm or even a 50mm. If you have an FX body, either 85mm or 100mm would be useful. Probably nothing in it on image quality. FWIW I think I'd go with the 85mm.
 
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GTG

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#3
They are both very popular and tit for tat I believe. It is just personal preference and nobody can tell you what YOUR personal preference is.
 
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14,178
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#4
Purely personal preference on focal length really and how much 'compression' you prefer.
 
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681
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MG
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#5
Personally i'd say the 85mm for what i use it for, always more flexiblity when you can go closer than having to go further away.

How about an alternative suggestion.

Nikon 105mm 1.4 is about £1500 used these days isnt it?

How about instead getting....
1) Nikon 105mm 2.8 macro (£500 used) AND 85mm 1.8 (£300 used)


or

2) Get the 85mm 1.4 (£950 used) and the Nikon 105mm 2.8 macro (£500 used)
 
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Sammy
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#7
How about an alternative suggestion.

Nikon 105mm 1.4 is about £1500 used these days isnt it?

How about instead getting....
1) Nikon 105mm 2.8 macro (£500 used) AND 85mm 1.8 (£300 used)

Funny you should suggest that. The 105mm macro has been on my list to buy for a while now!

I keep getting drawn to an f1.4 lens though. I am a bit of a bokeh junkie haha
 
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MG
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#8
Funny you should suggest that. The 105mm macro has been on my list to buy for a while now!

I keep getting drawn to an f1.4 lens though. I am a bit of a bokeh junkie haha
Would you be shooting the headshots at 1.4 on a 105mm lens? I bet you'd only have 2-3cm DOF at that focal length and head/shoulders only, you'd prob find yourself stopping down a bit anyway.

Fast lenses are a nice to have, but are expensive!
 
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#9
Have you considered the Sigma 85mm f1.4 art? It's a big old beast but delivers very nice images.
 
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Dave
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#10
Would you be shooting the headshots at 1.4 on a 105mm lens? I bet you'd only have 2-3cm DOF at that focal length and head/shoulders only, you'd prob find yourself stopping down a bit anyway.

Fast lenses are a nice to have, but are expensive!
Its more like 3mm DoF at H&S distance wide open! I know of a chap who uses the 105 for portraits regularly at f1.4 but only the iris is sharp, by the time you get to the eyelashes they are starting to go OoF

Great for 'fashion' portraits but not much use for corporate headshots I'd guess, people probably want their nose in focus too :D

I had the choice of the 85 f1.4 or f1.8 when I was buying for portraits and chose the much cheaper f1.8 and I mostly use it around f2.2/2.5; by which time only us pixel-peeping geeks would notice if the f1.4 was sharper or not

Of the choices here though, and if space isn't often an issue, I'd go with the 105mm as its more awesome than a very awesome thing :)

Dave
 
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Iain
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#12
When we were on Nikon’s we had the 85 1.4 but it wasn’t reliable for focus, using it at 1.4 was pointless.

Now with Sony and opted for the Sigma Art 85 1.4. It’s the size of a gun turret but absolutely phenomenal. Nails focus at 1.4 (also due to the a7iii) and the shots are beautiful
 
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2,676
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Mark
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#13
The 85’s seem to be Nikon’s weak spot. Both the Sigma Art 85 and the Tamron 85 vc are a step up.

I have seen a comparison between the Nikon 105 and the Nikon 85 and the 105 was clearly better but I guess if you need 85 that’s irrelevant.

If your choosing a 3rd party 85 and can handle the weight of the Sigma it’s clearly up there in zeiss Milvus territory.
 
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#14
Would you be shooting the headshots at 1.4 on a 105mm lens? I bet you'd only have 2-3cm DOF at that focal length and head/shoulders only, you'd prob find yourself stopping down a bit anyway.

Fast lenses are a nice to have, but are expensive!
Really I would say 105mm and F/1.4 is going to be more useful for full body shots.
 
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#16
The 85’s seem to be Nikon’s weak spot. Both the Sigma Art 85 and the Tamron 85 vc are a step up.

I have seen a comparison between the Nikon 105 and the Nikon 85 and the 105 was clearly better but I guess if you need 85 that’s irrelevant.

If your choosing a 3rd party 85 and can handle the weight of the Sigma it’s clearly up there in zeiss Milvus territory.
In what regard? Both the f1.8 and f1.4 render beautifully imo. The older 85mm f1.4 D lens also renders beautiful images imo (y)
 
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Phil aka Phiggys
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#18
Ive had a number of 85mm lenses for my Nikon's over the years AFD 85mm f1.8 AFD 85mm f1.4, also both AFS 1.4 & AFS 1.8 85mm lenses I just sold a Canon ef 85mm fi.8 a really pin sharp lens.
The one i have kept is the AFD 85mm f1.4 it doesn't suffer as badly as AFS f1.4 with blue colour fringing and aberrations af isn't any quicker either !
If I was going for something lighter it would be the 85mm f1.8g or even a D1.8.
I've had 4x 85mm f1.8 D both D and non D and each one was pin sharp wide open.
 
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315
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paul
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#23
I couldn’t justify the cost of the 85 f1.4, so I bought the 85 f1.8g instead, and I’ve been more than happy with the results.
 
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paul
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#25
but you get a different "look" when you use a 1,2 or 1,4 lens - I'm not saying it's better or worse, but it is different and many prefer it - look at a few "Leica" images using a 0.95 lens
I don’t disagree with you, it’s just that the extra premium that you pay wasn’t worth it for me personally. And the. 1.8g is a great performer. Mind you, if I win the lottery.....
 
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#27
I don’t disagree with you, it’s just that the extra premium that you pay wasn’t worth it for me personally. And the. 1.8g is a great performer. Mind you, if I win the lottery.....
OK - I agree with the cost differences, but that's only relative!! - but if you want to take images, (portraits), with the softer, shallower DOF "look" then, as far as I know, you have to explore lenses with wider f values, - I suppose that you could always try to replicate, in PS, the type of background that you get with such a lens, but it's not really the same
 
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Tommy
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#28
OK - I agree with the cost differences, but that's only relative!! - but if you want to take images, (portraits), with the softer, shallower DOF "look" then, as far as I know, you have to explore lenses with wider f values, - I suppose that you could always try to replicate, in PS, the type of background that you get with such a lens, but it's not really the same
You don’t actually you just need a longer lens.

For example the Nikon 200mm f/2 is much better than the 85mm f/1.4 for this purpose.
 
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315
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paul
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#32
You don’t actually you just need a longer lens.

For example the Nikon 200mm f/2 is much better than the 85mm f/1.4 for this purpose.
The 200mm f2 is wayyyyy over priced, I can get virtually the same results with the 180mm f2.8 for a tenth of the price.
 
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315
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paul
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#34
Really? Have you tried the 200 f2? I have one and it is a beauty of a lens

Mike
I did try one out at the photo show at the NEC in March, on a d850 body, it’s a beast of a lens, but unfortunately it’s way out of my price range. I will stick to the 180 mm f2.8, it’s the poor guys option.
 
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