Saturday, September 16, 2023

Hole in the lineup...

I really like a fast 85mm lens for casual portraiture. The best part is that they're reasonably cheap. If you're shooting an FX Nikon body, you can get an old Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 AF-D for peanuts. Good used ones are under two hundred bucks on BezosMart or at KEH or Roberts.

Nikon D3 & 85mm f/1.8

Similarly, for full-frame Canons, an EF 85mm f/1.8 USM is under three bills used and does yeoman work for candid portraits.

Canon 5DS & 85mm f/1.8

The 85mm focal length is considered so important that even in non-full frame sensor sizes, they'll make an equivalent. In the Fujifilm X-mount, which is an APS-C sensor, they make the 56mm f/1.2 R. Corrected for the 1.5x crop factor, that's an 84mm equivalent field of view.

In the defunct Nikon 1 system with its tiny 1" sensor, there's the 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2, which is an 87mm equivalent after correcting for the 2.7x crop factor.

Nikon 1 V1 & 32mm f/1.2

So why don't Nikon or Canon make a dedicated crop-sensor equivalent?

I suppose for the DSLR mounts it's a dead letter now. The EF-S and the DX F mounts are headed for that big camera store in the sky. With Nikon I guess you could always use the FX 58mm f/1.4, which would be an 87mm equivalent. But there was just flat nothin' in the Canon lineup that would work the same on their little APS-C sensors because Canon has always phoned it in on their crop sensor lens catalog.