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Thread: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    I am considering of getting one of these lens. Does anyone has these two lens and based on your experience are there any differences in them beside the F1.4 wide open? How sharp are these two lens at wide open and also chromatic aberration?

    thanks,
    -Son
    ALPA (MAX, STC, TC) | CAMBO (Actus DB2, WRS-AE) | CONTAX | HASSELBLAD | LEICA | DB (CFV-16, CFV-39, IQ180, IQ360, IQ3100, P45+) | Lens (Canon, Fujinon, Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Rodenstock, Schneider, Zeiss)

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    ddk
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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    Quote Originally Posted by Pham Minh Son View Post
    I am considering of getting one of these lens. Does anyone has these two lens and based on your experience are there any differences in them beside the F1.4 wide open? How sharp are these two lens at wide open and also chromatic aberration?

    thanks,
    -Son
    Hi Son,

    Rendering is quite different between the two and wide open the 85/1.4 is the clear winner. CA is a major issue with the 85/1.4, don't remember about 85/1.8 I sold it shortly after purchasing it. If mf isn't an issue, I highly recommend the Zeiss ZF instead. It isn't as sharp as the Nikkor wide open, which I like, it gives me another possibility to use the lens differently, otherwise its tack sharp from f1.8 to f8 and has that special Zeiss drawing, colors and contrast.

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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    Quote Originally Posted by Pham Minh Son View Post
    I am considering of getting one of these lens. Does anyone has these two lens and based on your experience are there any differences in them beside the F1.4 wide open? How sharp are these two lens at wide open and also chromatic aberration?

    thanks,
    -Son
    Hi Pham:

    I have them both (bought the 85 1.8 first and didn't want to sell it when I got the 85 1.4) but never did an A-B test between the two. If I'm worried about size, I'll opt for the 1.8.

    Here's are images I uploaded for something else (hopefully the link will work) with the 85 1.4 under very challenging lighting conditions. It's possible to see the chromatic aberration but (noise aside, these are D200 shots at ISO 800) it is a sharp lens.

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3069/...be90c037_b.jpg

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3105/...d4e68b63_b.jpg

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/...2ec70b3a_b.jpg

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    Have a look at the "Fun Pictures with Nikon" thread. I've posted a lot of photos with the 85mm f/1.8 from page 17 and out.

    For me, it was a question about money. I bought my non-D version for less than $200, which is a fraction of what I would have to pay for the 1.4-version. When that is said, I must say that I'm very happy with the lens. Nice bokeh (although I'm sure the 1.4 is even better), little CA and more than sharp enough. The smaller size also makes it more convenient for travel.

    I would love to see a new version from Nikon, with AF-S and VR. Dreams, dreams...

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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    I smiled when I saw this thread get started. Just the information I am looking for.

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    ddk
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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Have a look at the "Fun Pictures with Nikon" thread. I've posted a lot of photos with the 85mm f/1.8 from page 17 and out.

    For me, it was a question about money. I bought my non-D version for less than $200, which is a fraction of what I would have to pay for the 1.4-version. When that is said, I must say that I'm very happy with the lens. Nice bokeh (although I'm sure the 1.4 is even better), little CA and more than sharp enough. The smaller size also makes it more convenient for travel.

    I would love to see a new version from Nikon, with AF-S and VR. Dreams, dreams...
    Been looking at your recent pictures from Thailand Jorgen, very nice!

    I liked the compact size of the 1.8 too but preferred the drawing of the 1.4, its more majestic with a smoother bokeh, but is prone to CA and mine has a strong blue cast. The other compact alternative is the voigtlander 90mm, but its manual only f3.5 but doesn't suffer from CA as badly as the Nikkors. The rendering is closer to 85/1.8.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    David,
    Have you considered the 105mm f/2.0? From the photos I've seen, I prefer that one to both of the 85mm lenses, but that's obviously personal.

    I was also hesitant to buy the f/1.8 after seeing lots of test shots "proving" that the f/1.4 was much superior, particularly with regards to bokeh. In real life however, I'm surprised how well the f/1.8 performs in almost all areas. My major gripe is the focus, speed as well as sound, but mine is an ancient version, and the D80 is no powerhouse.

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    ddk
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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    David,
    Have you considered the 105mm f/2.0? From the photos I've seen, I prefer that one to both of the 85mm lenses, but that's obviously personal.

    I was also hesitant to buy the f/1.8 after seeing lots of test shots "proving" that the f/1.4 was much superior, particularly with regards to bokeh. In real life however, I'm surprised how well the f/1.8 performs in almost all areas. My major gripe is the focus, speed as well as sound, but mine is an ancient version, and the D80 is no powerhouse.
    I have the 135/f2 DC and I really like it a lot more than either of the 85mms, the 105 is closer to the 85/1.4 in drawing but more refined imo. As far as focusing speed goes, 85/1.4 isn't that fast either, the 135 might be a little better but I'm not sure since only focus manually, I still can't get used to focusing with AF and then recomposing, I need to focus on the composition and just shoot without moving.

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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    Quote Originally Posted by Pham Minh Son View Post
    I am considering of getting one of these lens. Does anyone has these two lens and based on your experience are there any differences in them beside the F1.4 wide open? How sharp are these two lens at wide open and also chromatic aberration?

    thanks,
    -Son
    Rumour has it that there will be a refresh of these lenses (and other nikkor primes) just before photokina.
    So, my feeling is to wait, and in the meantime I'm using the 'cheap as chips' 58mm voigtlander f1.4 - it's wider of course, but with nice bokeh, and the new105mm AFS VR Macro - which is a fine portrait lens with a great bokeh

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    Quote Originally Posted by Pham Minh Son View Post
    I am considering of getting one of these lens. Does anyone has these two lens and based on your experience are there any differences in them beside the F1.4 wide open? How sharp are these two lens at wide open and also chromatic aberration?

    thanks,
    -Son
    Son, can't speak to the f/1.8 version, but I do like the f/1.4 version for certain "people" applications. It's one of my mainstay optics for wedding work ... it has a pictorial quality to it that suits the subjects and cluttered environments of a wedding.

    Since weddings are frequently low light affairs, I always opt for the widest aperture lens possible to help brighten up the viewfinder, even if it is just incremental. The 100/2DC is also a very nice optic, but it duplicates the focal length of my 100/2.8 VR Macro ... so I selected the 85/1.4 instead.

    A few 85/1.4 shots from a recent wedding:
    Last edited by fotografz; 17th August 2008 at 15:35.

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    Thanks everyone for your inputs especially the images from Jorgen showing how sharp the 1.8/85 lens is capable. However, the images from Marc showed clearly how beautiful the bokeh is rendered by the 1.4/85 especially the first image. In situation where the 2nd and 3rd images I find that the Zeiss often offer a more circular bokeh light rendering areas whereas the Canon and Nikkor glass offers a more oblong bokeh in the highlight object from the background. I used to be a wedding photographer myself and thus understand completely Marc's comment and his high standard to achieve image in such difficult environment. I normally will always go with the optics that offer the best quality but since I have so many of these wonderful great bokeh lens and I feel saturated but at peace for the first time to go with the less of a version.

    BTW once you are a wedding photographer and you have not done one in a while you miss the action and the challenges.

    Best Regards,
    -Son
    ALPA (MAX, STC, TC) | CAMBO (Actus DB2, WRS-AE) | CONTAX | HASSELBLAD | LEICA | DB (CFV-16, CFV-39, IQ180, IQ360, IQ3100, P45+) | Lens (Canon, Fujinon, Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Rodenstock, Schneider, Zeiss)

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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    Son,
    Yeah, the 1.8 is designed for resolution only, it seems. Bokeh is so horrible you'll puke at it. The 1.4 OTOH - well you saw the samples (you'll find a round blur a f/2 and up). Re build quality - you get what you pay for. What's important, you decide.
    Lars
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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Son,
    Yeah, the 1.8 is designed for resolution only, it seems. Bokeh is so horrible you'll puke at it. The 1.4 OTOH - well you saw the samples (you'll find a round blur a f/2 and up). Re build quality - you get what you pay for. What's important, you decide.
    Lars
    Lars,
    Thank you for the information regarding to F2 and higher for more circular bokeh which I really like. You got me rethink again here (good and bad) LOL.

    Best Regards,
    -Son
    ALPA (MAX, STC, TC) | CAMBO (Actus DB2, WRS-AE) | CONTAX | HASSELBLAD | LEICA | DB (CFV-16, CFV-39, IQ180, IQ360, IQ3100, P45+) | Lens (Canon, Fujinon, Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Rodenstock, Schneider, Zeiss)

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Nikkor 1.8/85 vs 1.4/85

    Son,
    If you think about it, it's not that surprising that some lenses do not have a uniform bokeh. The trick is to use a lens design where the aperture opening appears round over the entire image circle. As you move to a larger aperture design this gets more difficult, to the point where the mount and mirror box physically gets in the way.

    This happens with the 85/1.4D on an F5 body - the rear element has a 32 mm diameter so the folded-up mirror actually slightly vignets the rear element surface (actually it's the secondary mirror that vignets). So with this lens Nikon is pushing the limits of the F mount, not surprising that there is no 85/1.2 - to avoid vingetting in the mirror box some kind of retrofocus design would have to be used.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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