Nikon 85mm f1.8G or not

Started May 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: Nikon 85mm f1.8G or not
In reply to Richieg, May 31, 2012

Richieg wrote:

Is it worth the extra over a f1.8D?

I'm not sure what you're asking. Is the f/1.4 G, f/1.8 G or f/3.5 Micro worth it over the f/1.8D version? Which one and for what? I'm a little slow sometimes.

If you're asking if the 85 f/1.8 G is worth the extra money over the f/1.8 AF-D. If you don't already have the older model, I'd say yes. The older model is excellent but it's not as good as the newer in optical performance. The newer model is stunning. I also prefer the SWM motor built into the newer model with instant manual focus override and silent, accurate performance over the older screw drive in the older model. I just bought two 85 f/1.8 G lenses last month. One for my daughter and her wedding business and one for my gal to shoot grandchildren with. So far both have performed flawlessly.

If you're asking if the 85 f/1.4 G is worth the extra cost, I'd probably say no to most people. $1700 is a lot to pay for a lens to fit on the average person's camera costing much less and the 85 f/1.8 G is so nice for only $499. What's the point? The f/1.8 G actually out tests the more expensive lens for overall sharpness depending on the review, so why consider the expense of the f/1.4 at all?

Well, to me the answer is because I've never been disappointed in the results I've obtained with any Nikon 85 f/1.4 lens and this new G version especially. Of all the really expensive Nikon lenses, this is the one I'd not do without. What does it give me the f/1.8 doesn't? I don't know, but when I enlarge a shot where I've done my part with the 85 f/1.4 G on my monitor, I know why I paid the price of admission. The beautiful tonal ramps and micro-contrast is amazing. The skin, hair, bokeh, everything is beautiful and not just at f/1.4 but at every aperture. It's not for everyone, but for those willing to take a chance at that price, most of us find it's worth it. We just can't suggest it to others as in the light of day, the price difference seems too much for something so hard to describe.

Finally, if I already had an 85 f/1.8 AFD, I'd just keep it. They are superb lenses in their own right. Unless I was unhappy or wanted to take that leap to the world of f/1.4, I'd just continue to use it.

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Cheers, Craig

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