50mm 1.4 vs 60mm 2.8

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by cguaimare, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Hi friends. I love to take portraits and also Macrophotography. I am not sure if I can get both things by just buying the 60mm 2.8 Macro. Would I get the same results in portrait? Thanks a lot
  2. Hi Carlos, I would look at the 105 f/2.8 VR Macro to get the best of both worlds. I have the 60 mm as well, it is a great "normal" lens, but the 105 much better for portrait shots.
  3. I had the same idea and ended up going with the Tamron 60 f2. Only you can decide if 2.0 or 2.8 is close enough to 1.4 for your purposes, it was for me and only cost me $400 after rebate.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Carlos, are you going to use those lenses on a DX-format body? As far as focal length is concerned, a 60mm lens should work quite well as a portrait lens on DX. 105mm is more appropriate for FX. Whether those macro lenses are too sharp for protrait purposes is another issue.
  5. One other consideration is if you shoot crop or full frame, 60 on full frame may be a bit short, 105 on crop may be a bit long.
    If using crop and heavy into macro and the budget allows it maybe the 60 f2 Tammy and a 100-150 macro would be just the ticket.
  6. A 50mm lens for portraits on DX can do in a pinch, but it's far from ideal.
    If I was doing a lot of them, I'd get the Voigtlander 58mm, but it's manual focus. As it is, I find the 70 end of either my 18-70 or 70-300 okay, too.
    Macros can be so sharp that they end up being kinda unflattering for some portraits.
  7. If you must do both on a one lens budget, Vivitar use to make a 2X macro converter (~$50 used). It is a 2X plus a variable extension all build in one. Add that to a 50/1.4, while you get less than a true macro lens optically but it work well all the way to 1:1. For DX and stop down a little, it can get the job done (IMHO).
  8. Carlos, looking at your portrait folder, which is very nice BTW!, I see that you shoot a lot of natural light, "environmental" or "documentary" type portraits. This is primarily how I shoot portraits too, and I find the 50mm 1.8 and 1.4 excellent choices for handling low light and shooting around f2-2.8 for a soft background effect. I also like the 28mm and 35mm lenses when I need to capture more of the environment by stepping back further to include more of the person. It looks like you are using a full frame D700 with a 24-70mm f 2.8 lens already, which in my opinion would be perfect. I would just stick with that and get a macro lens for the small stuff.
  9. I have the nikkor 60mm af-d micro and i hardly use it for portraits, i prefer the nikkor 50mm 1.4 and the tamron 28-75 2.8 zoom for this. The reason is that, as many said here, macro lens are too sharp for this use and results seem "harsh", colour is quite neutral too and this may look "cold" in portraits.
    My opinion is: buy the nikkor macro, it's a clever lens for the job, and save a little more money for a dedicated portrait lens like the cheaper (but clever as well) 50mm 1.8 or 35mm 1.8 lens. You can also consider save a little money buying the older af-d nikkor macro or the tamron 60 f2 and spend the rest in the portrait lens.
  10. bms


    You shoot FX? I second 105mm Macro. Best of two worlds, IMO
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

  12. I use a D700 and have both the AFD 50 f1.4 and 60 f2.8 micro and imo I prefer the 50. Hard to believe but the 60 is so sharp that it's to sharp for the portraits I've tried it on showing off all the fuzz and pores and what nots. If you only want one lens for both portraits and macro try something in the 105 range. If you can afford a dedicated portrait lens try the AFD 85 f1.4, prices are beginning to drop. I picked up a refurb for < $1000 and it's superior to 105 macro.

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