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  1. #11
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    The 85 has usually been a few dollars more than the 100 / 105, and not as common.

    Even the 105 has had a general rise in popularity: for most shooters the 135 was more common 30 years ago.

    The classic 'blueprint' for an 85 was the Sonnar made for the Contax rfdr in the '30s. The uncoated lens, almost 70 years old, is still formidable. It's spiritual descendants grew in two directions: f/2 lenses, and FASTER !

    My favorites in the f/2 class ( for SLRs ) are the Nikkor MF 85/1.8s in all their variety, the current Canon EF 85/1.8, and the Jupiter 8. Any one of which is a bargain, and a wonderful performer. The Jupiter comes as a pre-set M42 mt., and is as close to being free as is possible. And any generation 90 Summicron is a lovely lens.

    In the fast f/1.5 - f/1.4 class, it's pretty safe to say any early 1950's f/1.5 ( like Leica's Summarex or the Nikon f/1.5 ) are pretty inferior by objective and strict lab standards. In other words, they have immense potential if you shoot faces. At f/1.5 the Summarex is soft, but not grotesque; by f/4 they are show detail at a good contrast. The Nikon is a bit better, being a postwar design. They are both rfdr lenses, both highly collectable, and a little extreme for normal taste. Love 'em.... or hate 'em !

    For SLR 85 f/1.4, it seems every one ever made is superb. EVERYBODY made one ( OK, Canon is f1.2 ) and they are all ... great. But they are all relatively new lenses.

    As a tool, all 85s have a special look, neither normal nor long. Get one and see, and live in a much better world than some interrmediate setting between 80 and 200 on a zoom.

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

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  2. #12
    bobfowler's Avatar
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    I love my 85mm f/1.8 Nikkor (the last version before autofocus). I bought it and the 105mm f/2.5, but the 85 seems to spend a lot more time mounted and in use...
    Bob Fowler
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  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anupam Basu
    I would guess a 105/1.8 or 1.4 would be very expensive. so it's not only the length but the speed that you need to consider as well. It gets very costly to produce fast telephotos.
    The Nikon 105mm/f1.8 AIS goes for approximately the same money as 105mm f/2 DC or 135mm f/2 DC ... and about three times as much as a 85mm f/1.8. 85mm 1.4 and 105mm f/2 cost the same and are ridiculously good pieces of glass.

    Manual focus Nikon 85mm-s (at least the f/1.8 and f/2 ones) are not actually expensive.

  4. #14

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    I have the Takumar 85 1.8 42mm and in the past had the AIS Nikon 85 1.4. I have not checked out the current price of a Nikon 85, but in terms of Pentex my best guess is that the Takumar 85 was not made in great numbers and was for most part used for available light work by photo journalists hence the current price. In the 60s and 70s it was not unusual for camera stores to sell kits, body, 50mm, 35mm, and 135mm, lots of 35 and 135 on the market. The 135mm is the next to the lest useful lens that I own, too long for portrature and too short as a telephoto. Pentex also made a 150mm Takumar which I find to be even less useful that the 135. My workhorse Takumar is the 105 2.8.

  5. #15
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    It's pretty interesting to see that the 85mm length is never seen in slower speeds. While I can find a 135mm f3.5 for peanuts, there isn't such a thing as an 85mm f3.5.

    Bentley, you make an interesting observation by pointing out that this focal works best at large aperture. That explains the price question nicely: the only reason to manufacture this focal would be to use it with a large aperture, which in turn commands a premium because of the technical effort needed to make a large aperture telephoto.

    I've looked at the Jupiter-9 and they seem very tempting (I can only use M42 in 35mm). They're still in production but the company that manufactures them accepts only Western Union or similar payments over the Internet, and it feels a bit unsafe. Most *bay sellers I've seen are from the FSU as well, so postage is a premium. Does anybody recommend anyone for the J9 ?
    Using film since before it was hip.


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  6. #16
    Shawn Mielke's Avatar
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    Yes, the 85mm f1.4 is to be the next lens on my F6. It is to become my "normal" lens!

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv
    It's pretty interesting to see that the 85mm length is never seen in slower speeds. While I can find a 135mm f3.5 for peanuts, there isn't such a thing as an 85mm f3.5.

    Bentley, you make an interesting observation by pointing out that this focal works best at large aperture. That explains the price question nicely: the only reason to manufacture this focal would be to use it with a large aperture, which in turn commands a premium because of the technical effort needed to make a large aperture telephoto.

    I've looked at the Jupiter-9 and they seem very tempting (I can only use M42 in 35mm). They're still in production but the company that manufactures them accepts only Western Union or similar payments over the Internet, and it feels a bit unsafe. Most *bay sellers I've seen are from the FSU as well, so postage is a premium. Does anybody recommend anyone for the J9 ?
    From what I understand the Jupiter 9 does not have rear pin for autostop down and must be used as a preset. If you are unable to locate a Jupiter 85mm you may want to consider a 105.

    Paul

  8. #18
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Check a seller's feedback. If they have sold a hundred lenses with no problem,
    they are safer than your corner camera shop.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv
    It's pretty interesting to see that the 85mm length is never seen in slower speeds. While I can find a 135mm f3.5 for peanuts, there isn't such a thing as an 85mm f3.5.

    Bentley, you make an interesting observation by pointing out that this focal works best at large aperture. That explains the price question nicely: the only reason to manufacture this focal would be to use it with a large aperture, which in turn commands a premium because of the technical effort needed to make a large aperture telephoto.

    I've looked at the Jupiter-9 and they seem very tempting (I can only use M42 in 35mm). They're still in production but the company that manufactures them accepts only Western Union or similar payments over the Internet, and it feels a bit unsafe. Most *bay sellers I've seen are from the FSU as well, so postage is a premium. Does anybody recommend anyone for the J9 ?
    85s and 90s in slow speeds were common in the rangefinder world. I had both a 85 2.8 Monolta and a 90 3.5 Litz in Leica SM.

    Paul

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv
    It's pretty interesting to see that the 85mm length is never seen in slower speeds. While I can find a 135mm f3.5 for peanuts, there isn't such a thing as an 85mm f3.5.
    Rollei introduced a 80mm f/2.8 for their RF35 a couple of years ago and it also comes with a special adapter (expensive) for Nikon F. Its not precicely cheaper than Nikon 85mm f/1.4, even without the adapter.

    [it is also the first zeiss lens for nikon f in a way ;-)]

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