Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF D

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Matt5791, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Is there anyone who is familiar with both this lens and the F1.4 - is it worth all that extra money for the extra speed?

    I own a F1.8 and it seems to perform well, but I would really like some opinions on the optical performance compared with the 1.4, from anyone in the know.

    Matt
     
  2. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    I have the 1.8 AF-D and I'm entirely happy with it, so from my point of view, the 1.4 is going to have to produce something a bit bloody special for all the extra money you'd pay. Still wouldn't mind having one though! It looks the biz, don't you think? Wide open it performs pretty good and bokeh is not at all unpleasant. I've posted an image taken with the 85mm 1.8. See what you think. Regards, Blights
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    As a photo-journalist I own and use the 85 f/1.4 as well as their 28 f/1.4.

    They are great lenses, but they are big. If I didn't have to use the speed of this lens, I'd go for the f/1.8 to reduce the load.

    Unless you need the f/1.4 to make a living, don't bother.
     
  4. ehparis

    ehparis Member

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    The 85 f1.4 is essentially a stop faster than the f1.8 as you need to stop down the f1.8 to at least f2.0 or so to approach the other in quality. One stop in that range is not inexpensive.

    The 85 f1.4 is arguably the finest Nikkor lens. Its reputation for sharpness, contrast, bokeh, et al are widely known. There's more at work here than the difference between f1.4 and f1.8.

    Amateurs, not just professionals, also like to shoot existing light. That stop difference is always expensive. Compare the cost of the 50 f1.8 and 50 f1.4.
     
  5. rexp

    rexp Member

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    Christmas can be such a good excuse for purchases that are otherwise "too expensive"! And I took full advantage of it this holiday to pop for the 85 1.4. So far, -wow. In all honesty I can't compare to the 1.8 as I have never used one, but I really am happy with the results I have gotten so far with the 1.4. Focusing certainly becomes a big issue with the vanishing depth of field when wide open.

    As is often the case, you have to go with what makes you happy. Good results can be gotten with just about any camera, but if ya ain't happy doin' it, then you will be less than thrilled with the results.

    Ask around & see if someone local has one. Maybe for a beer they would be willing to go out on a shoot with you to compare with your 1.8. I did this with a 300mm 2.8 lens. One soccer game convinced me that I was pretty darn happy with my f4 version of this lens. I went with the 1.4 version of the 85mm primarily for shooting in the dark. Portraits in natural indoor light and for shooting live musicians in bars (hmmm... shouldn't there be something here about a piano player?).

    Heck - buy the big one. Someone besides me has to keep this economy going.
     
  6. jbj

    jbj Member

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    If you're worried about the price of the 85 f1.4 vs. f1.8 then do what I did and purchase the bargain rated 85 f1.4 from KEH. The cost of the bargain rated f1.4 at KEH varies, but the sample I bought was cheaper than the f1.8 new! And the lens was absolutely flawless with respect to glass, aperture blades etc, although there were a few light scuffs on the barrel that don't affect picture quality at all. The lens is NICE, go for it.
     
  7. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Thanks for the replies - I think that ultimately I will acquire the 1.4 because I shoot weddings, and the 1.8 is such a useful, and flattering, lens, however that extra stop would be awfully useful, not withstanding the optical qualities (although, as I said, the 1.8 is a great performer)

    Whilst churches are usually dark, you get come really wonderful light inside them sometimes, just not much of it, and the effects can be really great.

    I will have a look at KEH - great exchange rate at present!
     
  8. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    The 1.4 is a magnificent lens, but the 1.8, although inferior, is still incredibly good. I have the 1.8 non-D (which is identical optically) and I find it to be exceptionally good. I see no reason to upgrade.
     
  9. Daniel_OB

    Daniel_OB Member

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    The differences between 1.4d and 1.8d are
    a. 1.4d is much better mechanically and materials it is made is "better" (if you consider Aluminum better than plastic....)

    b. 1.4d handle "out of focus" edges in different way (some call it bokeh, I call it blur). Blur that 1.4d produces is a quality that make me to say 1.4d is among the best (if not the best) lens Nikon ever made. It better than Zeiss, it is on a parr with Leica.

    c. 1.4d have nice "in focus" edge rendering at F1.4-F2.8 that is uncomparable in portrait photography of people. No other lens is that much useful at F1.4 as nikkor 1.4d (nor Leica). It just eliminate unvanted small details, jet pic looks extremely sharp and with high resolution. It is a part of only the best lenses in photography.

    d. beside all at F4-F11 it is just incredible high edge accutance (some call it sharpness) so can be used even for achitecture photography with Pan-F film.

    e. filter size on 85d F1.4 is 77mm, and heliopan filter pol-cir cost around $300-$400 in BH (NYC)...

    If you wish high technical quality photographs this lens should a choice. Also it will help you to see how top techical quality looks like, but you have to at first to know how to use this lens and will take time.

    www.Leica-R.com
     
  10. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Thanks for that - the blur and wide aperture performance is very important to me.
     
  11. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Hi Matt, I shoot a lot of low light work and the 85mm 1.8 lives almost permanently on my 35mm.
     
  12. jbj

    jbj Member

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    Not sure if you are still in the market for 85 mm lens, but KEH has the 85 1.4 AIS bargain rated in stock again. I purchased mine from them same rating...gorgeous lens @ 1/3 the cost. I think when I was looking to purchase I checked daily there for about 2 months before it came in stock.
     
  13. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    I have the Nikkor 1.8 AF-D lens and I've taken my best pictures with that lens. It's sharp with good contrast and worth the money I paid for it. I doubt there would be significant improvement over the Nikkor 1.4 AF-D unless your work is very critical.
     
  14. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    Hi all

    Just take out an old issue of Color Foto a german mag!
    They rate the AF D f1,8 85mm Nikon higher with 85,8 then the
    AF D f1,4 85mm get only 81,5 but they booth get an extraordinary
    They do this test with an MTF machine wich costs as much as a middle large house!
    Now which one is the sharper and better lens?
    I have the 1,8 its lighter and sharper, but if anyone needs the 1,4 then he has to buy it!
    Happy day, Armin Seeholzer
     
  15. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    I think Bjørn Rørslett would disagree and depending on only one rewiev would not be vice. Though I find my 85 f/1.4 incredibly good and feel its superiour to the f/1,8's I have seen work from it really doesn't matter since the f/1.8 is a good lens and much cheaper. I would think money is better spend on the f/1.8 for generel use. Unless you want the out of focus look and that bit of extra sharpness of the f/1.4 or shoot a lot at f/1.4 to f/4 you probably wont notice the difference. Just look at Nicoles pics, do you think they lack anything in imagequality, I don't
    Cheers
    Søren
     
  16. catem

    catem Member

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    I went for the f.1.4 and never regretted it. I was worried that it is larger than the f1.8 but it has a lovely balance to it - a pleasure to use, and great to use at widest aperture. I've never tried the f1.8 but know people who are very happy with it. Either lens, I don't think you'll go wrong!
     
  17. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Considering the latest low end Nikon D**gitals can't autofocus with either of these lenses odds are prices on used will drop. Worse I wonder how long Nikon will sell either.


    Not sure if that means you should run out and get one now or wait.
     
  18. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    Nick, now you done it....gone and given away my secret....I am waiting quietly for the D40 and now D40x shooters to dump the D lenses so I can gobble them up at firesale prices.
     
  19. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I wonder how much longer the higher priced models autofocus. That's when the D lenses will go on sale -)
     
  20. mawz

    mawz Member

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    Nick, you don't want to put an 85 on a D40. They don't handle too well with all that glass on the front.

    yes, I tried my 85/1.8 K on a D40. It's a very odd feeling setup. Much prefer running the 85on my FA or Nikkormat FTn.
     
  21. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Not really the point I was trying to make.

    Right now none of the Nikon primes and some of the zooms won't autofocus with the D40 or D40x. I'm guessing when they replace the D80 it won't either.

    My fear is Nikon will just drop all these lenses. They won't announce it they'll just use up the warehouse stocks.
     
  22. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    Perhaps we'll see an 85mm AF-S lens sometime soon. Unless Nikon stops making primes and concentrates on VR zoom lenses . . .
     
  23. sanderx1

    sanderx1 Member

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    Well, people who would buy D40 would probably not buy a prime lens - ever. It is certainly disconcering that Nikon is on a way towards AF-S everything, but ... DX sensor only (tele)zoom lens in focal length ranges where the DX limit really is much more concerning. Say a new 85mm f/1.8 AF-S VR would be fine for most Nikon users (with a minority losing AF and many not getting VR), but a 85mm f/1.8 that had a DX sized image circle would be bad.

    In this regard the new 105mm f/2.8 micro is a good example and the 55-200 zoom a very bad one.
     
  24. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    But sooner or later they'll decide to drop the autofocus bit from the more expensive bodies.

    I also wonder how big is the market for primes and who are buying them?
     
  25. sanderx1

    sanderx1 Member

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    Yes, having the ability to mechanicaly focus lens will be moving towards being present in higher and higher end bodies, just like the ability to meter with non-cpu lens has been. However given how slow that has been and then nikon still makes some non-cpu manual lenses it is going to be a very long process until only special bodies will have mechanical autofocus and even more, until non-af-s lens will be phased out.