I'm seeking a perfect prime in the 85-105mm range. I want it for portraits (FF), both outdoors and studio.
I have ruled out the 105 and 135 DC primes, I do not like that complication. Some alternatives that I have explored:
- Nikon 85mm f/1.4, very nice on DX, but does not focus close enough in FF, and sharpness and purple fringing/CA wide open leaves lots of room for improvement.
- Carl Zeiss ZF 85mm f/1.4. Much better that the Nikon, but neither focuses close enough.
- Carl Zeiss ZF 100mm f/2. What a nice lens this is. Lovely in so many aspects. Two problems though. CA wide open is easily observable, and focusing is quite a challenge for medium distances. As a macro lens, it is optimized for close focus, and the focus scale has a lot of range for short distances. The focus throw needs however micro adjustments for medium-long focus distances, and it is not always easy to nail it.
- Nikon 105mm f/1.8 AIs. I´m waiting for one to test, I´m expecting similarities with the Nikon 85mm, AF aside.
- Leica R APO 90 f/2, converted to F-Mount using the www.leitax.com bayonet. Sharpness can't be better wide open, colours and contrast are fantastic, and it really focuses very close (0.7m). The perfect lens? Yep, if it wasn't that the conversion turns it into a dumb lens. No diaphragm control means that you have to really close it and focus and meter stopped down. Nice for wide apertures, but useless for studio and where you may need f/8 or smaller, depending on the ambient light.