Portrait lens for Nikon FM ?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by gregmacc, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. gregmacc

    gregmacc Member

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    Hi all ... I'm looking for a general purpose fixed focal length portrait lens to use with my Nikon FM. I want to work at a reasonable distance from my subject (at least 8ft). Selective focus ability and nice bokeh are important because I anticipate having to work in varied locations with the possibility of distracting backgrounds. My preferred composition for portraits seems to be head and shoulders. Any ideas?
    Thanks
     
  2. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I would recommend the 85mm f1.8 AIs Nikkor, it's a killer portrait lens.
     
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  3. mono

    mono Subscriber

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    Or the 85/1.4 AIS?
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I dont own any Nikon schtuff, but any fixed 95mm-105mm will work. My preferred focal length for portraits is a 100mm, it gets you just far enough away from the subject to avoid distortion, but stay close enough to still be intimate.

    Rick
     
  5. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    The 85/1.4 is an excellent lens, but it might be a bit short for your needs.
    Have you tried the 105/2.5 or 105/1.8? I would say that any of these would be a perfect choice.
    The 105/2.5 is one of the really classic SLR lenses and easy to find.
     
  6. eddym

    eddym Member

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    I love my 105mm f1.8...
     
  7. budrichard

    budrichard Member

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    The 135mm f2.8 Nikkor has been my favorite for 40 years. I'm on my second one. I chose it over the 105 because it has an integral sliding lens shade. Never pops off and is impossible to lose. It is sharp with nice bokeh.-Dick
     
  8. eddym

    eddym Member

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    My 105 has a sliding lens shade too...
     
  9. takef586

    takef586 Member

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    The 105/2 DC would be very handy for what you describe.
     
  10. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    while the 85 1.4 is a great lens and extremely sharp, I agree with others suggesting the 105. I have a 2.5 but I'd think any iteration is gonna be good.
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Another vote for the 85mm f/2 or f/1.8 from me.
     
  12. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I have an AF 85/1.8 and an AI 105/2.5, and while I love them both, I find the 105 to be the more indispensible.
     
  13. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    I like the little extra room you get with the 105mm

    Mike
     
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  15. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

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    Ai-S Nikkor 85/1.8 doesn't exist.

    first one for SLR was Nikkor-H Auto 85mm f/1.8 (symmetrical 6/6 element, subsequently updated to C coated version) - great lens
    next was non-Ai Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 (symmetrical 6/4 element, rubber focussing ring, can be found as Ai converted) - great lens too
    short run of Ai Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 was made too, with the same optical formula.
    then it was updated to Ai-Nikkor 85 mm f/2.0 (5/5 element optics) - rather mediocre performer compared to the older 85's
    last update was Ai-S 85mm f/2.0, still 5/5 element optics

    current AF-Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 D is a lot better lens than ais 85/2.0, probably on par with original 85/1.8's


    however my favorite lens for portraiture is 35mm f/1.4 nikkor
     
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  16. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Those are the two I have. The AIS is very forgiving with model work. I like it and the models do too.

    I don't think my models would appreciate the large noses.
     
  17. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    I use both the 85/1.4 ai-s and the 105/2.5 ai-s, both are awesome, but the 85 is my favorite.
     
  18. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    I use an 85mm f1.4 Zeiss lens.

    I get far enough away from my clients for various reasons one which is to allow enough room on the negative/file to be able to crop when printing on different sizes of paper.
     
  19. unclemack

    unclemack Member

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    A cheap 135/2.8 from any of the manufacturers in AI fit will give good results at eight feet - 135mm. just happens to be easier to correct for aberrations than most focal lengths.

    The reason I offer such an outlandish suggestion is this: with practice one more quickly develops an easy rapport with a new subject and eight feet becomes too far.

    Spend too much on this lens and the cost of the 85 that you will eventually want is harder to justify, innit?

    My 2 cents, FWIW.
     
  20. Vincenzo Maielli

    Vincenzo Maielli Member

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    I own both Nikkor AIs 85/1.4 and Nikkor Ais 105/2.5. Both are excellent performers.
    Ciao.
    Vincenzo
     
  21. edward calvey

    edward calvey Member

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    The 105 1.8 is excellent, as is the 2.5 version, and the prices are great too, especially on the 2.5. The images look basically interchangeable at 2.8. I also love the superb 85 1.4, and the DC lenses, but have been very unsatisfied with the 85mm 1.8. Perhaps this is a problem with the AF version, but the blurry backgrounds are pretty rough wide open. Lines never get blurry at all. The edges just get farther apart. If you want that dreamy background blur, the 85 1.8AF is about as bad as it gets without becoming a "special effect." Perhaps the Ai versions are different as so many people are recommending them.
     
  22. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I would use the 105. If I had a 85, I would still make the 105 my first choice, the 85, second choice. Nothing else.:smile:
     
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I agree with Ralph, The 1.8 or f2 versions are excellent portrait optics without costing silly money.
     
  24. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

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    that depends on distance from your object....

    http://www.fstop.cz/fstop/imgrepo/2/287/lipo.jpg (2.8/28 af nikkor)
    http://www.fotoaparat.cz/g/09/04/05/623895_472d1.jpg (2/28 ais nikkor)
    http://www.fotoaparat.cz/g/08/12/05/592647_62fc6.jpg (2/35 ais nikkor)
    http://www.volny.cz/lukas_kozesnik/scn_astia100f/kampa_md.jpg (2/35 ais nikkor)
     
  25. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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  26. eddym

    eddym Member

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    If you want an "environmental" portrait, a 35mm is fine; but not for a head and shoulders closeup.