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Selected Lens threads from the old forum - Some of the choice threads and requests  Rating:  Rating

Posted by Robert: Mon Apr 23rd, 2012 17:11 1st Post

This thread is under construction, if anybody has any suggestions for lens threads they would like to see brought forward from the old forum please PM me with the info. Thanks, Robert.


This is a collection of threads relating to lenses brought forward from the old forum (2000-2012).

I have made minor edits to the text to improve readability.

Once I have a few threads here I will create an index to help the reader find specific lenses.

Because of the vast number of lens threads on the old forum there is no way I can bring all the threads over, so if there are any that you know of which are particularly interesting please tell me. We don't know how long the old forum will remain accessible so it's not realistic to simply provide links back.



Posted by Robert: Mon Apr 23rd, 2012 17:13 2nd Post

28-70 AFS Lens for Portraits

Thread started 10th March 2001

Post # 1 Neeley:

Does anyone have any experience of serious portrait photography using the 28-70 AFS lens. Is this lens suitable or can anyone suggest an alternative. I already have the 17-35,80-200 and the 300mm f4, all AFS and have been particularly impressed with all these lenses.

Any comments would be helpful.

Post # 2 Brad:

Hope I don't insult you but I have learned the hard way that when shooting portraits with 35mm lenses 50mm is the minimum because any focal length below that will cause distortion of any body part that is closer to the lens than others. This can lead to noses and other body parts which are not reproduced accurately on the print. I am a part time photographer but will never shoot portaits with a 35mm again with less than 60mm or better focal length because I shot some cheerleaders with a 18-35mm and was mortified by the results, live and learn! Best of luck.

Post # 3 srphoto:

70 to 105 or so has been the standard. Gives normal perspective and adequate depth of field. Keep in mind the lenses have a narrower field of view on the D1, so you'd have to get further back for the same view.

Also, you still have the SAME depth of field that lens has on a film camera, so further back increases it a little. Moving further back, however, changes perspective a little, so it's a trade off.

I found the 70 end of the 28-70 or the 80-90 end of the 80-200 to be adequate. If you have a prime lens in this range, use it.


Post # 4 Richard Parkinson:

I have the 20-70AFS and the 80-200AFS, but would not choose to use them for portraits. The 85 1.8 (or 1.4 if you can afford it) or the 50mm 1.4 perform much better for portraits on the D1 IMO.

Post # 5 Graham JR Whistler:

I find my 24-120 Nikon lens works very well for studio portraits and even full face close-up at 110-80mm range.

I also have an old 105mm f2.5 none AF lens and it produces super sharp pictures.

Graham Whistler FBIPP FRPS

Post # 6 Joe McCary:

I have been shooting lots of portraits lately with my D1 and although I love my 105 DC portrait lens on a 35-film camera, I find it is just too long for most location situations. With this lens I find I am back too far to have a decent rapport with the subject and too far back for what seems to be the small rooms on location. SO I use my 24-120 in about the 65-75 range. I have been considering switching from the 24-120 when I can afford the more expensive lens, so I see no reason you could not use the 28-70.

Of course, this relates to formal portraits, when shooting environmental portraits any lens is fair game.


Post # 7 Bob Davies:

I also have the 17-35 and 80-200 and recently purchased an AFS 28-70 f2.8, using it quite often for portraits. Shooting wide open, it delivers excellent sharpness and usually throws the background sufficiently out of focus.

I find the 80-200 a bit too long for most portraits, though I sometimes use it in the studio, which has plenty of room to retreat back. The upper end of the 28-70 will do fine, but if you're doing just portraits in a controlled environment (e.g., the studio), I'd invest in something a bit less expensive and more job-specific. The 85mm f1.8 or 1.4 sound good, but I have no experience with them and don't know how they're priced, though I'd expect the latter to be high. The depth of field with either would be advantageous while wide open.

I didn't buy one of these more portrait-specific lenses because my work isn't usually structured and I need the flexibility. I.e., I may shoot a job in the studio in the AM and then go out on location later on for a portrait in a cramped office.
Plus, I must plan around using both the D1 and film bodies (F4 and F5).

Post # 8 Don Zawadiwsky:

I've had good success with the 85/1.8 AF for portraits on the D1. Only disadvantage over using a 50 or the upper end of a 28~70 is having to move back farther; otherwise you're too close.

Post # 9 Larrynip:

I shoot the 17-35, 80-200, and I also have the 28-70. I LOVE that Lens! That has been my portrait lens of choice. If you have the $$, go for it. You won't be sorry. Remember, the D1 gives you more reach because of the CCD size.

Post # 9 Trapagon:

I agree with Richard's post above. I use the 50/1.4 and 85/1.4 for portrait work. I'd not go any wider than 50mm unless you are going for a W/A effect.



Posted by Robert: Mon Apr 23rd, 2012 20:41 3rd Post

17-35 AFS or 28-70 AFS?

Thread started 1st May 2001

Post #1 Peter:

I am thinking of buying either the 17-35 AFS or 28-70 AFS. Which one would you recommend as standard lens to be used in many different situations. You know the kind of lens you're happy to see mounted on your camera when you get it out of your bag...

I currently have :
- an 80-200mm 2.8 (old generation),
- a 85mm 1.8 D, great lens but limited use for portraits,
- a 20mm 1.8 D (unusable on my D1, all pictures get overexposed, I don't know why).

Thanks for your help,


Post #2 Clive:

Hi peter, The lens that I am pleased to see on my camera is the 80-400 VR as most of shots are candid from a distance and this lens gives me what I want most of the time and its very sharp.

However to answer your question more directly I have both of the AFS lenses you mention and I suspect dependant upon what you shoot you will not be disappointed with either.

The 20-70 for portraits etc and the 17-35 for landscapes generally. These are, however, my personal opinions and these are more proficient photogs in this group you might find provide a more professional opinion. But I doubt you will be disappointed with either from my experience - if you can afford both then have both you won't regret it.

I want the AFS 300 next with 2x tele convertor for wildlife but am waiting for the pennies to come in!!

Post #3 Ustein:

We have both lenses and they are fine. But what is standard changes all the time:

As we have to cameras we can complement each other.


80-400 VR + 300 f/4 AFS + TC-14E/TC-20E
+ 105 Micro for flowers in the bag


28-70 + 17-35 (we are not that much in wide angle photography but sometimes we need it)

Read here:



Post #4 Larrynip:

I have both, and find I use the 28-70 far more for my "people stuff", and my 17 for my "nature, scenic" stuff. It really depends what you shoot more of. If I were pressed to make a decision, I would probably go with the 28-70

Post # 5 Carol Steele:

I was pretty much in the same situation. Because I shoot mainly people I decided to save money and go for the 28-70 as I felt this would be my main lens, but I went for a prime 17mm Tokina lens for the wide angle. If I need anything between 17 and 28 I just pop on the 17mm and move forward a few inches.

Post # 6 RonRoss:


I too have both. I started with the 28-70 and when I got the 17-35 I switched.

One thing to keep in mind. The 17-35 has a greater tendency to back focus.

Post #7 Don Zawadiwsky:

I purchased the 28-70 AF-S a couple of weeks ago and love it. Especially nice for me is the macro capability--not true macro, but close enough that I don't worry about grabbing another lens for closeups.

Rather than purchasing the accompanying 17-35 AF-S lens, I've been happy with a 20/2.8 AF(non-D) Nikkor and the Sigma 14/3.5 AF.

Post #8 Dennis Barnes:

My all around lens is the 28-300 Tamron -- the most versatile lens I know of -- from wide angle to telephoto. For my money you cannot beat it.

Post #9 Paul Chiu:

There was a rather spectacular shot on page 72-73 of September Pop Photo by Tom Sperduto of the World Trade Center site. He took it with a D1X and the Tamron 28-105 f2.8 zoom.

The details were amazing. Any of you with experience with this lens?


Post #10 Terence F. Treppa:

I have both lenses. I began with the 28-70 and continue to use it most of the time. I take a lot of people pictures and this lens gives me the versitility that I desire.
I use the 17-35 mainly indoors for pictures of medium to large groups of people.
Both are excellent.

Terry Treppa

Post #11 Steve Saunders:

I have the 17-35 & 28-70AFS lenses. I rarely use the 17-35 at all, except for group shots & landscapes that are not my usual type of shooting. I do however use the 28-70 almost all of the time, the 80-200AFS takes care of the longer stuff.

Post #12 Paul Chiu:

Guys !

The lens used in the 2 page layout was a TAMRON 28-105 2.8 LD; not the Nikon 28-70 AFS.

Sorry for the confusion !


Post #13

As this is very much a personal preference thing I suppose as many opinions as possible are desirable. I too own both lenses and find that I seldom install the 28-79 with the exception being occasions where I'm going to shoot people outdoors. For most of what I do it's the shorter lens. What really surprises me is the fact that for nearly all the shots I take with it the focal length is set for 17 mm. Can't say why. Just personal preference I guess. With Lensdoc to take out the pincushion and perspective distortion the main minus of short focal length is gone (IMO). For the record, I believe these lenses both take fine pictures (not as fine as a prime,of course) so that is not a factor in which I mount. I guess I just like wide angle photography.


Post #14 Dave Higdon:

Peter -- An understandable question, given the prices of the gear. But wonder whether you might be better off approaching this on the basis of the effective focal length on a Nikon D-series SLR...when you think about the two, ask yourself whether a 40mm-105 would be more useful than a 24-50. One of Nikon's earliest successes in zoom lenses was in the 43-80 range, and the 28-70 functions in the same range, only a little bit longer.

FWIW, we use both lenses and find we need to go to them with equal frequency....shooting a lot of people, airplanes, people in/with airplanes. For some staged events -- press conferences, etc. -- often use an 85/1.8D, an old 80-200/2.8ED or the 28-70/2.8AF-S...personally, I like it the best, but it's not always the right one.
For truly wide, in-tight and the like, we use the 14/f2.8 rectilinear -- it gives us about the same as a 20, with no distortion.

Again, think specifically about the effective length after the D-series lens-flation before you make a pick.


Post #15 jjphotos:

My paper has supplied me with the 17-35 and the 80-200 AFS lenses. I thought I should fill the gap and get the 28-70. I should have saved the money and bought a 50mm f/1.8. I rarely use the 28-70 for newspaper work. We do a LOT of getting in close to the subject in their environment, filling the frame with the person as much as possible and then using the wide-angle to show the surroundings. Now, were I shooting film with my F5 the 28-70 would be ideal.... but when you consider the magnification factor I often find myself wanting the 17-35 to be even a touch wider angle....

Of course if you really want to save some cash and have the sharpness of Nikkor lenses, I suggest you buy the 20mm f/2.8; the 28mm f/2.8 and the 60mm Macro.... prime lenses are smaller and the great thing about them is that they make you work more for your shot -- rather than get lazy and stand in one place and zoom I find that I move around my subject a lot more to get the right framing and composition.



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