Anyone rate the Nikkor 85mm f2?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Matt5791, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Does anyone have any experience with this lens?

    I am looking for a nice short manual focus telephoto lens for my Nikon which is also quite fast - f2 is certainly fast enough for me, although I wouldn't want any slower.

    Thanks for any opinions,

    Matt
     
  2. Amund

    Amund Member

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  3. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Very interesting website - thanks for leading me there.

    Interesting about the dull lifeless rendition of this lens, and how much better he rates the f1.4 varient.

    I wondered why these cost so much more!

    Thanks

    Matt
     
  4. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I have a 85/2 and think it's fine. I have 2 105/2.5's to compare the results with so have a benchmark. Is a f1.4 better, I'm sure, but a f2 in your bag is better than a f1.4 on a store shelf cause you can't afford it! :smile:

    Attached photo (one with two people) was taken wide open (f2) handheld at about 1/15 or 1/30th sec at it was lit by the modeling lights of the strobes. The second was with the strobes (1/125 @ f8)
     

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  5. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I have the 85 1.4.

    I hired the 85 f2 to see if it would do what I wanted, which it did, except I wasn't really very happy with the softness.

    That isn't really a technical term, but it was what it seemed like compared to my 105 f2.5.

    A friend came around with his 85 1.4 and we had them on side by side tripods. Just looking through the viewfinder one could see a lower contrast picture through the F2 lens. I decided to wait and save up for the 1.4 and I'm happy that I did.

    You will as Nige says, be happier with an F2 in the bag, as opposed to a 1.4 on the store shelf. Depends what you wish to use it for. The 1.4 uses 72mm filters, that may be an issue.

    I have just come back from a dry run in a Church for a wedding I'm shooting tomorrow. I am using the 84 1.4 because the place is so dark, even with the lights on, that I need every bit of light gathering power I can get, to focus.

    The following is quoted from my Nikon Compendium, Handbook of the Nikon System, by Rudolf Hillebrand and Hans-Joachim Hauschild, pages 131 - 132.

    " In 1977 a newly designed five element lens with a maximum aperture of f/2 appeared as a successor of the 85 f1/8 six element design released in 1964. A great lens matched to the portrait photographer's demands by it's intentionally reduced contrast: skin blemishes and wrinkles should not be too obvious. On the other hand this lens is not that well suited for on-the-spot photography where the full aperture is often used, as well as high speed films delivering low contrast themselves. The desired crisp sharpness is simply missing in those shots, but together with the contrasty Kodochrome 25 it demonstrates its high resolution.

    In 1981 a real on-the-spot lens finally appeared in this area, the Nikkor 85mm,f/1.4. The use of CRC made it possible to do without an expensive aspherical front element, but even so this super-fast lens delivered brilliant, contrasty negatives and slides at any aperture. Slight losses in terms of distortion and vignetting do have to be taken into consideration though, and a lens as fast as this cannot be equally well-suited for close-range shots."

    Mick.
     
  6. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    The 85/1.8 was an excellent lens. I used one for many years and it never failed to produce tack sharp photographs at maximum aperture. It was much sharper at maximum aperture than a Leitz 90/2 Summicron I also owned at the time. I've never used the 85/2.
     
  7. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    I've owned the 85 f/2. If you want a very lightweight lens in the camera bag it is a joy. You'll have to go up a paper contrast grade when printing B&W.

    I've owned the 105 f/2.5. Great lens, with a longer "social" distance from the subject.

    I now own the 85 f/1.4 AF (77-mm filter). It is a boat anchor, but the extra stop and the better glass is very worth it for extreme situations.

    If weight is your concern, I pick the 105 over the 85 f/2, because it is a superior lens.

    If weight and money isn't a concern, the 85 f/1.4 is a winner.

    Personally, nothing beats my 75-mm f/1.4 Summilux-M. If you like rangefinder systems.
     
  8. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Add me to the club that owns/uses/likes the 85 F2 Nikkor. But, I tend to like "soft" and so do most of the people I've photographed.
     
  9. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    Nothing wrong with the 85mm f2 for portraits The price you can pick these up for especially the AI ones is quite appealing. Add a 24mm and a 35mm and you have a great set up that wont break the bank or weigh you down.
     
  10. johnr55

    johnr55 Member

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    I had the non-AI 1.8 and it was tack-sharp but heavy. I've thought about the 85/2 and have held off because of so-so reviews also. For now, sticking with the 105/2.5 and I prefer the 90-Elmarit (last series) rather than the Summicron on my R's. I'd love to have the 1.4 but can't justify the cost!
     
  11. images39

    images39 Member

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    I haven't tried the 85mm f/2. I've read the mediocre reviews, but clearly some users are pleased with the results. I opted for the 85mm 1.8, and I can't speak highly enough about it. Really nice results, and it seems to be about 1/3 the price of the 85mm 1.4 lens.

    Good luck,
    Dale
     
  12. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    Didn't want to go OT since thread was on the f:2, however since you pulled it in... I totally agree. A much, much better choice if you ask me.