105mm Micro or 85mm f/1.4

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by shydroxide, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. I'll keep this short and to the point:

    I'm replacing my 18-200 with a prime for most walk-around stuff. I'm just not sure whether to go with the 105VR
    Micro or the 85 1.4.

    Thoughts? I think the Micro would give me more versatility as I constantly find myself trying to get closer to little
    fiddly things as I walk around, but I don't know how its IQ compares to the 85 1.4.
  2. I think you've got it right. I'd choose the 105mm also. I have the last version (not VR), and it is a very good lens. The 85mm has its use as well. I'd actually change the choice to the 105mm and the 85mm f/1.8. I often put on the 85mm on my D200 and just leave it. I also think the 60mm would be a good choice too, and probably does more to enhance the versatility of your choice. Of course, on a DX sensor, the 85mm and 105mm are pretty long anyway. The 60mm is a pretty good all around lens for portraiture, micro work, and just a normal lens.
  3. The only reason I don't consider the 60mm is that, looking back at everything I took with the 18-200, 95% of it was at 18mm or 100-200mm. I did very, very little in between that. I'm picking up the Tokina 11-16 (whenever my local store gets some stock) to cover the wide end, and want something to cover the long. The 85 would do (and I have eventual plans to pick up a dedicated telephoto), but I think the 60 would be too short for most of what I end up doing.
  4. funny,

    I had the 85mm 1.4D and changed for the 105mm 2.8VR, IMO is a more versatile lens...
    Faster AF, can go from sport to micro photography in a second.

    the one thing I like about the 85mm 1.4D is that is the best looking lens from Nikon.. hands down. ;)
  5. <img src="http://www.robertbody.com/things08/images/2008-07-05-nikon-lenses-17501.jpg">
    85mm f/1.4 is a sweet lens........ but......... you need to have a right purpose for it, it's great at portraits.
    105mm f/2.8 macro is a lot more versatile, good for portraits, not great. The bokeh i personally am not impressed with, especially for sources of light which are out of focus, or just bright spots.
    For versatility, 105 f/2.8 macro, but if you are going to be taking pictures of portraits only, and you are aiming at perfection, definately the 85mm f/1.4. $770 vs $1025......... different use for each
    <img src="http://www.robertbody.com/ontario/images/2007-09-30-oak-bee-4820.jpg">
    photo with 105mm f/2.8 macro - use tripod if you can
  6. There are times when 105mm f/2.8 macro is great at portraits, like here - note there are no sources of light or
    out of focus bright spots:
    <img src="http://www.robertbody.com/people08/images/2008-06-01-alex-0290c.jpg">
    1/1000s f/2.8 IS0-200, 105mm, 43% crop
    <img src="http://www.robertbody.com/people08/images/2008-06-08-alexandra-1398.jpg">
    1/350s f/2.4 ISO-200, 85mm, 74% crop
    The quality of light and framing makes so much difference... this is all natural evening light, the last half
    hour of June light, maybe some filtering through the leaves of a tree. It's all about the light.
  7. One more with 85mm f/1.4 - this one has some good light
    <img src="http://www.robertbody.com/people08/images/2008-06-05-tom-1228.jpg">
    Unless you know WHY you want a 85mm f/1.4, you don't want to spend the $1000 on it. You could rent it (like from www.BorrowLenses.com), and rent a 105mm f/2.0 DC lens and compare them in same situation if you want..... but chances are the 105mm f/2.8 macro can do for you what you want, plus it can do macros (even though it has some issues of its own, like if you point it down, it goes out of focus quite quickly).
  8. Quite different lenses -- the 85/1.4 is significantly smaller and lighter and is two stops faster. The 105/2.8 has AF-S, VR and goes close with good quality. The question is, what matters to you?
  9. "105mm Micro or 85mm f/1.4 "

    I'll pick 85 f/1.4.
    It's two stops faster, as mentioned, and it will compensate for the lack of VR.

    You need more reach? Put a Tele converter on. Some may say you'll loose some quality... yeah but shooting NEF
    gives you someway to get that back.

    You need closer focus? Put on some extension tube.
  10. What camera(s) are you using? If you use one that will meter with manual focus Nikkor AI and AI-S lenses, you could get a Nikkor 105 f/2.8 Ai-S lens for about $200-$250, depending on condition. It's a lot cheaper than an autofocus version, so you might be able to get the 85 f/1.4 AF lens too.
  11. It's going on a D300, incidentally, but I don't think my eyesight is good enough for me to do a lot of manual focusing.
  12. as I constantly find myself trying to get closer to little fiddly things as I walk around
    This is precisely what the 105 VR does better than any other lens.
    For me the 85/1.4 is more important, but that's because people photography is more important to me than anything else. Also the 105 VR is quite large. But excellent for what you described you want to do.
  13. I have the 105 VR Mirco and it is a fantastic lens for portraits, particularly for getting subtle shots of people. The
    lens is long enough that you are not in their face, and I have taken some charming shots when people are relaxed
    and unaware that they are being photographed.

    Having said this, I have found that it can be uncomfortably long sometimes (I also have a D300). You need to be a
    fair distance away from your subject to get a head and shoulders shot, never mind the distance you need to be to
    get 2 or 3 people into a shot.

    I can't speak to the 85, but to me, a micro is a must have in the bag. Details often define the story.

    My eyesight is terrible too, which has forced me to give up on my manual focus 50 f1.4. Too many out of focus
    shots, even if I relied on the little green dot in the lower left corner to tell me that the shot should be ok.

    If you are looking to replace the 18-200 and only carry two lenses (an ultrawide zoom and the 105 or 85), consider
    this: I also carry an ultrawide zoom (Nikon 12-24 f4) and the 105. While I love the ultrawide, and I love the 105,
    there is a massive gulf between those 2 lenses. I am waiting on delivery of a Tamron 17-55 f2.8 because there are
    situations that demand something in the normal range. My thought is that the 17-55 will wind up being on the
    camera most of the time (the 12-24 has that distinction now) with the others coming out when the situation calls.

  14. Sorry...I'm waiting on the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8...I said my eyes are getting bad...
  15. For those who have suggested that I'm leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the zoom range, that's why I'm banking on Nikon releasing an AF-S 50mm at Photokina. Maybe even an f/1.2. :D Seriously, though, I want something super fast for low-light, and about a 50mm will fill the niche nicely.
  16. a 50mm 1.2 is my dream lens for Nikon
  17. They already have one, technically, so long as you don't mind AI-s vs. AF. :p
  18. AF-S 50mm f/1.2. I like the way you think.
  19. It's funny, the photo.net forums don't seem as rife with the rumors of lenses like that the way the dpreview.com forums are.
  20. Something no-one has mentioned, is that the 105VR has better bokeh than the "rough" 85mm 1.8.

    Here is a good review of the 105vr



Share This Page