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06-05-2011, 12:03 PM   #1
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Vivitar 85mm f1.4 vs Tammy 90mm f2.8 vs Tammy 28mm-75mm f2.8

Please help me decide on a lens:
Vivitar 85mm f1.4 vs Tammy 90mm f2.8 vs Tammy 28mm-75mm f2.8


My original priority was Vivitar 85mm f1.4 for portrait shots, now that i am hearing tamron rebate at B&H which brings Tamron 90mm almost close to the Vivi which is still a manual lens while it is F1.4. This and the recently recommended (here in forum) Tamron 28-75 f2.8 has given me 3 choices to decide from.

As usual i am looking towards the forum experts for guidance.

My primary purpose: I wanted to take portraits from a decent distance to subject which at the moment i am unable to take with my 35mm as i need to get awfully close to the subject embarrassing both me and the subject.

Also, that long distance will help me do some tele shots as well. While I can still continue to use my 35mm for group portraits and wide angle shots.

Another question is (which i've asked in another thread in this forum for which i am still waiting for advice) - can i just do away with a tammy zoom and put my 35mm to sleep as its focal length is covered here in the zoom and to some extent my 85mm desire also is taken care (almost there) with the longer side of the tammy 28-75?

06-05-2011, 12:10 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by sany Quote
Another question is (which i've asked in another thread in this forum for which i am still waiting for advice) - can i just do away with a tammy zoom and put my 35mm to sleep as its focal length is covered here in the zoom and to some extent my 85mm desire also is taken care (almost there) with the longer side of the tammy 28-75?
In my opinion, yes, assuming you are shooting on digital. The lens is plenty long at 75mm on digital. The 35's major advantage will be size, not image quality.

85mm's advantage will be wider apertures, but I would imagine for model shots you will be stopped down a fair bit and using strobes, yes?
06-05-2011, 01:44 PM   #3
hcc
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Each lens has its strength and weakness.

If the low light is important, the Vivitar f1.4 is the best option. It will allow you to take portrait in medium to low light without using a flash. Combined with the catch-in-focus function, the MF is not an issue. See for example https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/146443-manual-f...we-afraid.html.

The Tamron 90 mm is great value for money and it is nice for portrait taken from some distance. I have both the Tammy and a MF 85mm f1.4, and each lens has its strength and purpose.

The Tammy 28mm-75mm f2.8 might not have the reach that you want "to take portraits from a decent distance to subject". In addition, it is cross-purpose with your 35 mm lens.

All in all, the prime lenses are highly regarded for a good reason: their IQ. In your case, I would favour the Tamron 90mm or the Vivitar 85 mm, depending upon your low light needs. Both lenses are very good value for money...

Hope that the comment will help...

Last edited by hcc; 06-05-2011 at 05:37 PM.
06-05-2011, 08:41 PM   #4
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They all have their purposes.
The 85/1.4 is a cream maker for smooth and shallow DOF effects.
The 90/2.8 is a macro lens and doubles up for portraits as well.
The 28-75/2.8 is a versatile lens for walkabouts, portraits, etc

Given a chance, I'd get them all (in time).
I do have a 85/1.4; 100/2.8 macro and Tamron 28-75/2.8
I'd rank them in order of priority as follows :
1. Tamron 28-75/2.8 - does everything. Cheap and good performance

2. 90/2.8 macro - does macro (opens up a new area of photography to explore); Does portraits and other stuff too.

3. 85/1.4 - MF vs the other 2.
Less versatile as the other 2 (ie. can't get very near for closeups and macro and not a zoom)
Not known to be as razor sharp stopped down to f5.6 or f8.

06-05-2011, 09:30 PM   #5
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I already answered your 35 question on the other thread -- a fast prime is never made redundant by a zoom.

My take on primes within a zoom range (or beyond) is, get the fastest you can afford comfortably. That drove me to various fast manual primes. Most were cheap, a couple weren't, but all cost much less than any AF lens. But if you NEED 85/1.5, go for it! And don't hesitate to also get cheap slower lenses with character.

If you really want a stealthy / stand-off portraiture lens, get a 135/2.5 or even a cheap 135/2.8 -- it has thinner DOF than much more expensive shorter faster lenses. I've also mentioned that my favorite general portrait zoom is an M42 Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5, sharp and versatile and fairly fast, and it cost me US$8 shipped. With CIF it's only slightly less agile than an AF zoom.

Those are my opinions. Others will have different opinions. Our opinions are based upon experience and (hopefully) knowledge, and also upon our emotional and financial investments in our gear. What works for myself and others, may not work for you. Beware of opinions.

Last edited by RioRico; 06-06-2011 at 04:31 AM.
06-05-2011, 11:24 PM   #6
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as most people said, every lens mentioned have their own strengths and purpose.
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