For portraits AIS 85/1.4 or AF 85/1.8

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Jeffrey A. Steinberg, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    I have to do a session tomorrow and I was going to use my standard setup: 85mm AIS/1.4 (big honker) on either my F3 or F4.

    Someone lent me an F5 which I have been using, and frankly I like the F4 better for some odd reason when using manual lenses (all I have).

    With the loaner F5 came an AF Nikkor 85/1.8. Its plastic, but what about the optics? Are they better than the AIS 1.4?

    I am voting for the old school, metal-built 85 AIS 1.4.

    Would others agree?
     
  2. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Use what you know, but don't miss the opportunity to do a free side-by-side test.

    A class oral report is due Tuesday. Grin.
     
  3. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Seconded! Use the lens you know for the shoot then shoot comparison shots.

    I've always used the 105 for portraiture and I have to say my favourite remains the old 105mm f 2.5. I originally, (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth!!) bought the 105 1.8 and a few weeks later had the chance to compare he 2.5. In 35mm the 2.5 remains my favourite portrait lens. I even use it on my D200, (customer demand - not choice) for portraits. Don't know why but that lens is awesome.

    Have fun on the shoot.:tongue:
     
  4. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    I have the 1.4 Ais, the MF 1.8 H.C, and my wife's AF 1.8. Tested them all at the same time, on 100 speed chromes, tripod, cable release, mirror lockup, DG-2, two bodies and two rolls, all F-stops up to F8, shot at near middle and far-ish middle distances. At wide open, the 1.4 is better but not by much over the AF 1.8, the center is sharper on the 1.4 but the AF is more even over the whole frame. At F2, the 1.4 is clearly better, bokeh is clean and plane of sharpness extend over the whole frame, very nice overall look. The AF 1.8 and the old H.C 1.8 were pretty even at this point, the H.C had a bit 'different' signature to the bokeh, but sharpness was nearly the same. At F4-5.6, the differences between all lenses was so minute that I had to consult the notes to figure out which lens was used. I use and interchange between them all the time, taking the 1.4 when I need more wide open performance and the weight issue is minor, taking the 1.8 when I need the weight savings and less chance of a *critical* need for wide open performance. The AF is currently in 'need to be repaired' status, needs a good cleaning and perhaps a new mount.
     
  5. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    For portraits, you may actually not want a bitingly sharp and contrasty lens like either of these. Shoot whichever you choose, you'll probably want to soften the print anyway, even if you shoot wide open.

    For side-by-side comparisons see photozone.de.
     
  6. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Any one of those lenses will give superb results. I love and still use my ancient 105 f/2.5

    Kiron Kid
     
  7. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Easy there. That lens may be ancient - but it's younger than me. The truth hurts:D
     
  8. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Jeffrey I have the 1.8 and am happy with the results. Testing is always best.
     
  9. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I have the 1.8. It's a fantastic lens. I hear the 1.4 is better though, but I've never used it.

    If you're comfortable focusing manually (and I assume you must be :smile: ), use your /1.4, but do play with the 1.8 to see how you like it.

    The F5 is a great camera, but if your F4 is in good condition, it is a better body to use with manual-focus lenses, unquestionably.
     
  10. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Actually, the original Nikkor 105 f/2.5, was designed in 1959, the same year that I was born. So I guess that makes me ancient too. :rolleyes: I'm using the first edition 105, and love it.

    Kiron Kid
     
  11. ehparis

    ehparis Member

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    The 85 f1.4 and 105 f2.5 are both legends. There's a reason.

    (The 85 f1.8 Nikkor is also a fine lens but not in their class.)
     
  12. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    "Actually, the original Nikkor 105 f/2.5, was designed in 1959, the same year that I was born. So I guess that makes me ancient too. I'm using the first edition 105, and love it.

    Kiron Kid"

    Don't feel so bad now - got 6 years on you though! But I agree - that f2.5 is a wonderful lens. I really can't articulate exactly what it is about it. I have the 105 f2.8 AF micro and it's great for some of the product work I do, but the f2.5 for portraiture is just the best.


    See you at the senior centre!!!!:D

    Bob