Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: What Lens?

  1. #1
    Plus size jersey model
    Reputation: bigworm520's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,189

    What Lens?

    Thinking of getting a new lens and having trouble saying yes for sure. What something better for bike shots and not 100%. I already have a great wide angle that I am loving for most shots but want something to pull it in a bit. So what I am leaning towards is the Nikon 85mm f/1.8. I also already have a 35mm f/1.4 which is great but feel like I am to close sometimes and mainly use it for social gatherings/indoors. Also have a 70-300mm for my bird shots but feel its to slow for bike stuff and its really a cheap lens that needs to go soon. Anyone have any concerns about a 85mm or should I just stop over thinking it and pull the trigger?

  2. #2
    Kathleen in AZ
    Reputation: DurtGurl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    5,132
    I have the 85mm f/1.8 Rokinon for my Canons. When in focus, the images are AMAZING! But what an absolute PITA to focus. Granted, the Rokinon is a manual lens, but it will be super difficult to shoot fast subjects like bikers at f/1.8 and get anything focused correctly even with autofocus. At 1.8, the DOF is so narrow that one's ear will be in focus but their nose will then be really out of focus. Of course, if you are shooting outside in AZ during the day, then you'll likely be at a much narrower fstop so 85mm might be okay on the trail.

  3. #3
    Kathleen in AZ
    Reputation: DurtGurl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    5,132
    Another thought... rent it before you buy! I wish I had done that with the very expensive Canon 24mm f/1.4

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    105
    Since you are shooting Nikon get an AF-S version of the lens, but otherwise yes it will be fine.

    With regards to shooting with a fast prime and proper focus, you can stop down the lens as much as you want for more DOF. Magnification also effects your DOF, the closer you get the less DOF you have to work with. So if you are taking a photo of someone and you are including the entire person (and possibly a bike) you will have much more in focus than if you were shooting a photo of just their head and shoulders at the same aperture.

    Also with fast lenses your camera focuses with the lens wide open and then closes down at the time of capture. This lets more light in your viewfinder and more light for your focus sensors. Both are good things.

  5. #5
    Plus size jersey model
    Reputation: bigworm520's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,189
    Thinking I am sold on the 85mm. The reviews are outstanding for it and on Monday Nikon is doing their yearly rebate program so it will be $100 off.

    DG I think DOF is kinda a formula of the f/ and the distance you are from the focus subject to a shallow DOF if I am further away hopefully shouldn't be to bad. Was kinda one of the things you have to be careful with on the 35mm a lot because you just have to be closer to the subject. Would love to rent it but kinda waited to long to pull the trigger and now the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo is next weekend and I kinda need it. Think I am shooting back-up shots for Epic all weekend.

  6. #6
    FBI tested, NSA approved!
    Reputation: Forster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    930
    85 is a good portrait lens as well. Still some value in a good portrait in a selfie world.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jetboy23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,181
    What camera do you have? Is it full frame or cropped? My 1.6 cropped chip makes a 35mm act similar to a 50mm full frame. So, it makes a bit of difference.

    Unless i was stuck in a defined area, i try to get as close as physically possible and near wide open to really draw all attention to the subject. Sometimes getting close isn't possible, though. For a crop camera, i wouldn't go longer than 85mm. Full frame, no longer than 100. With the megapixels we have these days, you can crop in PP and still get a great resolution image.
    Last edited by jetboy23; 02-09-2014 at 12:47 PM.

  8. #8
    Just Ride
    Reputation: Cormac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,740
    Sigma has some nice lenses. Though I've no experience with them, the various lenses are well received in the reviews!
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    51
    It really depends on how much you want to "pull in" and wether you have a full frame camera or not. Some people find 85mm on DX too long and prefer a 50mm, etc. Since you have a 70-300mm you can already test to see if you'll like that kind of work distance. Having said that, 85mm (wether f/1.4 or f/1.8) is definitely a great lens.

  10. #10
    saddlemeat
    Reputation: bsieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    2,483
    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    Another thought... rent it before you buy! I wish I had done that with the very expensive Canon 24mm f/1.4
    What was your experience with the 24mm?
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  11. #11
    Kathleen in AZ
    Reputation: DurtGurl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    5,132
    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    What was your experience with the 24mm?
    I bought it for low-light action photography like night-time parties or pump track sessions. It does ok with these - I like the focal length with a FF - but auto focus is slow in low light making it tough to get spot-on focus on fast moving subjects. Usually I prefocus on where I think the rider will be and then will turn the lens to manual focus. When I get it - the images are great. But it is hit or miss for sure. The real disappointment was when I tried the lens for my astro landscape night shots. The stars at the corners will have wicked coma (or mustache) when at f/1.4. It does mostly go away when up about 3 stops but my "cheap" Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 is still my go-to lens for the star landscape shots.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jetboy23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,181
    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    I bought it for low-light action photography like night-time parties or pump track sessions. It does ok with these - I like the focal length with a FF - but auto focus is slow in low light making it tough to get spot-on focus on fast moving subjects. Usually I prefocus on where I think the rider will be and then will turn the lens to manual focus. When I get it - the images are great. But it is hit or miss for sure. The real disappointment was when I tried the lens for my astro landscape night shots. The stars at the corners will have wicked coma (or mustache) when at f/1.4. It does mostly go away when up about 3 stops but my "cheap" Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 is still my go-to lens for the star landscape shots.
    Ahhh. How quickly we forget the art of manual focus. Luckily, you're not having to reload the film as a group of riders are just about to pass you... missed more than one of those shots. Digital gives me hundreds of images before i need to reload.

    I have found that the listed widest aperture is never very clean. 1.5-3 stops closed down seems to give me the best wide open shot depending on lens. Better to start off with a 1.4 than a 5.6 when this happens.

  13. #13
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,519
    Bit late, but I'll throw in my $0.02.

    I own a Nikon 85mm F/1.8D lens, it's old now (had it since '93) and it is by far the sharpest piece of glass I've ever had the privileged to use, loved it (sadly needs servicing badly). As has been said, if you're not using a full frame sensor camera, then an 85mm is equivalent to 125mm lens, which could be too long for the trail. Another sweet option if budget would allow is one of the nice wide to slight tele zooms with a fixed aperture of 2.8 - I quite like the range of the stock POS 18-70mm I got with my D7000 kit, but the slow aperture and general crap construction of it are more than disappointing.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    5,962
    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    I bought it for low-light action photography like night-time parties or pump track sessions. It does ok with these - I like the focal length with a FF - but auto focus is slow in low light making it tough to get spot-on focus on fast moving subjects. Usually I prefocus on where I think the rider will be and then will turn the lens to manual focus. When I get it - the images are great. But it is hit or miss for sure.
    Why is the lens so slow in AF mode?

    I've been considering the Canon 28mm/1.8f USM lens because 95% of my MTB shots are deep in the dark forest and I can't get too far away from my subjects anyways.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  15. #15
    Plus size jersey model
    Reputation: bigworm520's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,189
    So I ended up not getting the 85mm. Just spent some time with my zoom lens just shooting at 85mm and was not digging it for mtb shots. Was just to limited and you could not caputre really any background. Just could'nt really make it fit what I was wanting.

    Instead got a Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 which at the high zoom end gets me close to 85mm if I ever need it but give me more of what I was looking for in the 28-50 range I think. So far I am really enjoying it but have not use it a ton yet. Should get put thru its paces at the Whiskey Off-Road this weekend.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    136
    Quote Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
    Sigma has some nice lenses. Though I've no experience with them, the various lenses are well received in the reviews!
    I have the 17-50 f2.8 sigma lens and its pretty awesome. The new art series lenses are supposed to be amazing. The 35mm prime is getting a lot of praise and people have said its better than the canon 35mm f1.4L which is $1100 more expensive.


    As to all the 85mm talk, I have one for my 7D and love it. The Canon 85mm f1.8 has been awesome for portraits and weddings. Focuses fast and is really sharp. A little tight on crop bodies, but that doesn't interfere too much with what I need it for.

Similar Threads

  1. Magicshine with red lens
    By ozlongboarder in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 12-05-2012, 03:47 AM
  2. TIG Torch Gas Lens Mod
    By TgMN in forum Frame Building
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-08-2012, 01:17 PM
  3. Magicshine lens
    By Bryank930 in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 52
    Last Post: 01-25-2012, 03:26 PM
  4. Which lens for trail use
    By Wzl in forum Photography for mountain bikers
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 10-26-2011, 01:33 PM
  5. Magicshine lens
    By Bryank930 in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-22-2011, 05:42 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •