Nikon F4s favorite lens?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Jenni, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Jenni

    Jenni Member

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    Hello, this is a new-to-me camera, It came to me with a Tamaron 28-200 f/3.8 af aspherical xr [if] lens. Needles to say the lens is not impressing me. I can use my 50mm F/1.4g on the camera but only in auto, program or shutter priority, wich is ok I can still get the exposure I want with some careful use of the ae-l button. I want a lens that will AF, and has the aprature ring. I prefer Nikkor lenses unless a third party lens performs just as well or better.

    So fellow F4 owners what is your favorite lens for portraits?
     
  2. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    Two of Nikon's best Portrait lenses are the DC lenses. They're over a grand each, but will work perfectly on your F4s, as well as nearly all other Nikon bodies.
     
  3. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    The 85/1.4 AF-D is phenomenal, as is the 1.8 version. Also look at the 105/2.8 Micro, or the 180/2.8 AF-S.
     
  4. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I'm a former F4 owner, and I really liked the AF 105mm f/2.8 combined with a soft focus filter for portraits. If I was going to buy one now, I'd try the AF 85mm f/1.8. You might be able to get a deal on either lens since the F4 does not need "D" lenses; you could get the earlier AF lenses.
     
  5. whlogan

    whlogan Member

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    I think (which means it is next to worthless) the finest lens yet made for the F4 and/or the F100 is the Nikkor 24-120 AF. nearly all the important ranges are covered here. A truly superb lens at a good price and can be used as a cudggel in the coming bar fight. I like the F100 better than the F4 these days, but still have great affection for the F4. You just can't got wrong with the 24-120!
    Logan
     
  6. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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    I find the right lens for a portrait depends on the portrait.

    I think my dog looks best with a 16mm fish-eye. I think I look best with a wrinkle erasing Portragon [single element meniscus, makes a pinhole look like a micro-Nikkor] mounted on a fuzz-magnifying telexender.

    I like the 85mm f2.0 Nikkor - it is a lot smaller/lighter/cheaper than the 1.4 which I find to be just too huge/heavy/pricey. As I shoot at f4.0 or so the extra stop is just so much dead weight on my camera.

    135mm lenses are derided but I like them. Again, bargain prices compared to the almost cultish 105's

    But some of my best portraits have been made with a plain-ole-50mm. It make rather intimate portraits, as long as you don't go in for nostril-examining perspectives.

    Portraiture doesn't reward pin-sharp lenses, not with any subject over the age of 16. I'm with Cameron in that a little bit of motion blur from subject movement makes for a more revealing portrait as it obscures distracting detail without making for a "that's just out of focus" look.
     
  7. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Your 50mm 1.4 is a very good start. The 24-120 zoom is also a great all rounder but slow. Often derided, the 24-120 is not good near wide open but performs really well stopped down to around F8. If you are not on a tight budget I can wholeheartedly recommend the 85mm 1.4, one of Nikons best, as is the 180mm 2.8,another legend. All the wide angles that I have are MF, but I imagine the AF versions are much the same. I have the 20mm and the 28mm F2, both are superb.
    A lot of people deride the F4, but not me! Sure it is big and heavy but is beautifully built with superb metering that will work just as well with older lenses, even the non-Ai ones. Enjoy!
     
  8. Jenni

    Jenni Member

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    I wish the forum had a like button! I'm borrowing a 70-210mm D For a few weeks to see how I like it. Anyone here use it? So far I love the F4 it's a brick but works like a clock!
     
  9. chung

    chung Member

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    Don't forget 55mm F2.5 Macro manual lens,very delightful to use.
     
  10. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Though big--and probably best on tripod with the F4--the various 80-200/2.8 AFD zooms are great portrait lenses. At the opposite weight extreme, the teensy 100/2.8 E series is a sleeper worth having.
     
  11. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    For portraits I'd recommend the 85mm f1.8 AF-D. The f1.4 version is another option - it is no sharper nor better corrected than the f1.8 version (which is an excellent lens), but might give you better "bokeh". Someone earlier mentioned the AF-DC lenses. Those are good but expensive, heavy, and the shorter one is 105mm so not sure if that is too long for you. Alternatively, you can just go with the 50mm f1.4 AF-D (or even the f1.8 which has less distortion and is ridiculously cheap). Another great 85mm is the PC-E, but that's not something you'd want for portraits, and it is both bulky and expensive.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2012
  12. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I've enjoyed the 50/1.4 D-af (light and fast focusing; don't need to stinking AFS), 28-70 EDIF afs beast, 105/2-dc, Tokina 80-200/2.8 af and 300/2.8 af, and older lenses like AI'd 55/3.5 macro.
     
  13. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I have three F100. (but not F4)

    I searched for a long time before settling on 24-85 f/2.8-4D. Small(ish), sharp, distortion isn't too bad for this type of lens, and reasonably priced. It's kind of chunky but not too bad.
     
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  15. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    For portraiture?

    85/1.8 (D or non-D; remember, D does nothing on the F4) The f/1.4 version is probably better but I love my f/1.8 so I'm in no rush to find out.

    I agree that the 24-120 is a great lens (I own the first version). It has a lot of distortion but it's very sharp.

    If you can live without AF, it's hard to go wrong with the 105/2.5.
     
  16. zk-cessnaguy

    zk-cessnaguy Member

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    105/2.5 AI with a K focus screen installed.
     
  17. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    I shot my own wedding with an F4, two rolls of TMax 400, and a 50mm f/1.8D (at the time, this was all the photo equipment I had in the world). All the shots I took were hand-held, no flash, completely candid. Out of the shots I took that day, there are a small handful that I still objectively consider "good", even though I was in my photographic infancy at the time (I'm in photographic adolescence now).

    Anyway, I like a 50 mil. for hand-held, medium-to-full-length portraits. A longer focal length is probably better if you're serious about portraiture, but remember you need more room (and flash power) the longer you go. The F4's electronic rangefinder is truly awesome for manual focusing, but I actually really like its autofocus too. The AF works in suprisingly dim light, and it's impressively fast with certain lenses. I also love having just one autofocus sensor in the middle and using the AF lock to recompose--it sounds like a pain but it's quite smooth in practice.
     
  18. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    The Tamron 28-200 f/3.8 was given to me as a gift. I was going to get rid of it because I thought I had no use for it but it surprised me. Mine was such a darn good portrait lens that I added it to my stable of portrait lenses. My personal favorite portrait lens in the stable is the 105mm f/2.8 macro.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11336821@N00/5219147826/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11336821@N00/5226999447/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11336821@N00/6134402593/
     

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  19. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The 24-120 has a tendency to develop zoom creep with use. The zoom slides downward when the camera is carried lens downward.
    The 28-105 is nice & slightly smaller than the 24-120.
     
  20. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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    Back when I shot 35mm, I used a 50mm ƒ/1.4 about 90% of the time. I only own two other lenses a 70-200 ƒ/2.8 VR and the 14-24 ƒ/2.8. The 70-200 gets about 8% use and the 14-24 the other 2. I bought the 14-24 a few months after it was introduced and can count on my hand the number of times I used it. I wouldn't say it was a waste of $2,000, but I really expected to use it much more than I have,

    That being said, if I had to do it all over again, I'd go for the 50mm
     
  21. Aja B

    Aja B Member

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    The AF models of the 180/2.8 consist of the 'AF' or 'AF-D' versions. There isn't an 'AF-S' 180.

    But back to the question; favorite AF portrait lens w/ ap ring is my 105/2 AF DC. Next is the 85/1.4 AF-D. Though quite long but very capable in the right hands is the 180/2.8. And for those on a budget and/or wanting a smaller but legendary lens, one cannot go wrong with the manual focus 105/2.5.
     
  22. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    As far as Nikkor lenses are concerned, I have yet to use a lens better than the 105/2.5. Mine is of non-AI NPK vintage. This lens will mount nicely to your F4. Its build quality is as beautiful as the photographs it produces.

    I should add that the 135/3.5 is a very close second. This lens can be had for almost nothing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2012
  23. Jenni

    Jenni Member

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    Theses are quite popular on here, I'll hunt them down. Thanks!
     
  24. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    I agree about the 135mm f/3.5. I have the Non AI Nikkor Q version and it is stellar. The design actually predates the Nikon F, and similar (if not identical) optics are found in the S mount (rangefinder) version. It only has four elements which I believe gives photos a different look than more complex formulas.

    None of the various versions ever achieved Legend status like the 105mm f/2.5, probably because of the modest maximum aperture and low price.
     
  25. OldBodyOldSoul

    OldBodyOldSoul Member

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    I had a beautiful, in like-new condition, Nikkor Q Auto 135/3.5 that had gorgeous blue coating. It was just heaven to hold and use and was incredibly sharp even wide open. I think it was my sharpest lens, and I had some pretty sharp ones (28/2.8 ais, 35/1.4 among others). Problem was that it also liked to tell me, over and over again, how many aperture blades it had ("Look, I've got six aperture blades! That's six! S-I-X! Yeah buddy, 6! Look here and here and here and here and here and here and also here and here and now I'll throw some there too..."). It was a bloody hexagonfest.
    Sold it for $55, which was a shame and I shouldn't have done it.

    It's a fantastic lens if you can make it shut up, which I couldn't.
     
  26. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    Huh, my Q has seven blades (s/n 934xxx). My God it is sharp. I first realized its greatness when I shot some zebras at the zoo with b&w film.

    I dropped this lens on an asphalt road one time, right on the nose (my dog pulled at his leash when I was changing lenses). The lens cap shattered, but the lens wasn't phased--save for a dent in the filter ring.