New Lens for a hopeful working professional
Hi All! This is so exciting! I have been reading PL for a while and have found the lens reviews so valuable. I have been shooting for quite a while and have focused mainly on wildlife in the past. I am picking up photography again after a hiatus and hoping to turn some of my side photo gigs into more steady work. Long story short, I am debating a new lens purchase (probably refurbs) for the Nikon Z series. I shoot with a Nikon Z6 and have the 50 f/1.8 and the 24-70 f/4.
I am shooting mainly portraits, families, etc. though I still love wildlife. Can't decide between something on the wide end like the 14-30 f/4 or splurge for a workhorse 70-200 f/2.8 (on sale right now). Or maybe the 85 1.8? Anyway, any suggestions would be welcome, I am so excited for this forum!
Would like to keep below 2k.
Buy the 85 1.8 and be done with it. I have the 2.0Ais, 1.4Ais, 1.4D, 1.4G, 1.8S and 1.2 S. The 1.8 is almost as good as the 1.2.
It depends on WHERE you are shooting.
For indoor (other than Churches) you may need a better FStop (for either more natural light, and/or better subject-isolation). If your current 50/1.8 is not close enought, the 85/1.8 looks good. More light means lower ISO, and therefore a better dynamic-range - a push for quality.
Wide-Angel is not my shooting-style for anything living. It can be really great for landscapes, architecture or such, but I don't like the distortion resulting from the near subjectdistance.
For outdoor, I would prefer a tele as it's easier for candids, or for situations where you just can't get closer (e.g. subject on the other side of a water/street).It's also a better position to get into wildlife.
If you can't decide, a tele (e.g. covering 200mm) is a new ability for photography, while the mid-range (like 85) would be only a small push in the quality-corner.
For me, the 70-200 f/2.8 is my most used lens for events and outdoor portraits. The Z version is terrific and worth the extra cost. If budget is tight, the VRII or FL versions for F-mount are both very good, but you'll need to use the FTZ adapter. I replaced one of my two VRII lenses and kept the remaining VRII lens for my wife to use as a second shooter on her Z50.
Certainly the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 is a terrific lens. If you are photographing in low light and indoors - such as weddings - it's a viable option. It's also good for tight headshots.
Can't decide between something on the wide end like the 14-30 f/4 or splurge for a workhorse 70-200 f/2.8 (on sale right now). Or maybe the 85 1.8? Anyway, any suggestions would be welcome, I am so excited for this forum!
Would like to keep below 2k.
Lenses depend on what you shoot and your "style" I guess. But from the list you posted I would go for the 70-200. As a zoom it is very versatile and this is a stellar lens.
It will work great for portraits and even a bit of wildlife.
You could do portraits with the 70-200 f/2.8, although it would be a very terrifying lens to bring to sessions. The 85mm f/1.8 is made for this. Wide open it will produce flattering head and upper body shots.
You will need to buy a separate lens (or camera) for wildlife.
If your main gig will be portraits, you have three, possibly 4 choices; the Z 85, Z MC 105, the Z 70-200, and if your budget can handle it, the new Z 85 1.2. I own the 85, 105 and 70-200, and depending on use requirements, use all three for event portrait. But just one lens; the 70/200 hands down.
Keep track of the times you want to get an image but can't - because you don't have the right lens for it. Maybe can't get closer or further away to frame whatever the way you want. How many times does this happen? You can't shoot it the way you want with the glass you have?
That will help with your decision and help show the difference in "I want it" and "I need it".
Remember you can rent glass to try out before you buy.
For portraits and family photography and a $2000 budget, I would suggest the 70-200 f2.8. Might be hard to find (even used) the z mount version, though the f mount versions plus an FTZ adapter would suit your budget.
The 14-30 f4 would be rarely used unless you are looking for creative shots or shooting weddings. The 85 f1.8 is nice, but that focal length is covered by the 70-200. Unless you shoot mostly very low light, the 70-200 f2.8 is more sufficient. Besides there will be many situations where zooming with your feet just isn't practical or safe.
for wildlife photography, the 70-200 allows you to photograph urban wildlife or animals at the zoo. If you want to photograph birds or mammals out in the wild, then you'll want a lens 400-800mm.
for people photography, your 24-70 and a 70-200 would cover 90-95% of your work.
I use a z6. I used to own a 35 f1.8:, 50 f1.4 and 85 f1.8. Sold them because I rarely used them. I prefer zooms and I shoot a decent amount of low light situations. IBIS and VR and good handholding techniques are very helpful since most people/family/wedding photography requires an aperture of f4-5.6-8 to keep everyone in focus. F2.8 works well for portraits and people in the same depth of field
For portraits the short lenses you mentioned would be a real challenge, because perspective runs with the camera to subject distance. You would be tempted to fill the frame and be fighting the big nose effect. For full frame the more standard portrait focal length would be in the 85-105 range for that reason.
Not a professional, nor into portraits, but if it were me, I'd be eyeing the 28-75 f/2.8 and 70-180 f/2.8 if I were on a budget, and the 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8 if I weren't. The Tamron-derived lenses aren't as sharp corner to corner, but that doesn't matter in the slightest for portraits. It's got it where it counts in the central sharpness, and even then, you may want to soften things up with a filter for beautifying reasons.
The 85mm is an ideal portrait lens, but isn't flexible, and sometimes you need that reach. I would personally only get it for your purposes if I was buying a basket of primes to cover more scenarios (35 and 50mm at minimum).
200mm isn't adequate for wildlife unfortunately, unless you're very close. Wildlife needs are different from portrait needs, and generally the longer the better, up until you hit around 800mm. I use the 100-400mm and even 400mm isn't enough to fill the frame unless I'm very close to the animal in question.
Landscape can overlap, but my experience is that you want wider than 24mm and at or longer than 200mm. YMMV here, it's very personal, and if you find you take great landscape photos at 50mm, more power to you. The 14-30mm is a great landscape lens that I wouldn't recommend for portraiture unless you're doing highly stylized/distorted shots that make use of the perspective distortion in an attractive way.
The advice to get a second body seems like just good sense, and I would follow it. Remember 2 is 1 and 1 is none when it comes to problems.
tl;dr: I like kwongphotography's idea of getting the 70-180mm and buying a Z5 or Z6 as a backup camera.
I did not yet go toward Z camera.I still use D850 with only 5 lenses.Two of them are Tamron's - 35-150 mm and 100-400 mm -. Both of them are good for portrait and wildlife.( For wildlife I use too Sigma 150-600 Sports,but less often because its weight.) Thank You.