Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and " how its the best and sharpest"

Started Apr 7, 2013 | Discussions
Shotcents
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Such silly stuff!
In reply to DonSantos, Apr 8, 2013

There are eighteen trillion insanely sharp samples online from the 85mm 1.8 G and most tests can only see itty bitty differences between it and the 1.4 G.

And then some guy posts a bad pic of a hunk of wood and everyone goes "ooohhhh noooo!"

I chose the 85mm 1.8G over the 1.4G. It's a stunning lens for any price. If I thought the 1.4G was better it would be in my kit. I have not tried the Sigma version.

D800 and 85mm 1.8G at 1.8....

If you need more sharpness/acuity than this try a dedicated macro!

He's probably got a bad lens, bad camera or bad something-or-other. The 85 1.8G is hardly hyped. It's simply universally acknowledged as a very fine prime lens.

Robert

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wasserball
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My 85mm f1.8G lens
In reply to tektrader, Apr 8, 2013

Here is my sample, natural light shot at f1.8, came right out of a D700, no PP.  The next picture is dead center, 25% of the original, displayed 100% for comparison.

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bobcat3610
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Re: My 85mm f1.8G lens
In reply to wasserball, Apr 8, 2013

I agree he probably has a bad copy. I'm very happy with my copy!! It's sharper wide open than my 1.8D was at F/2.8. Here's a crappy snapshot I took during testing.

Even sharp wide open near the edges.

Crop from D300 with light sharpening applied.

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ed kelly
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Re: My 85mm f1.8G lens
In reply to bobcat3610, Apr 8, 2013

I bought a used one, and did not test it. My bad. Won't due that again. I am not complaining,it is what it is. It just won't focus properly.  Will send it out to get fixed. Never got burned before,but I think somebody got a lemon, and said "better sell it" and I was the guy that bought it.

Lesson learned: don't put off testing your glass.

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tektrader
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Re: My 85mm f1.8G lens
In reply to ed kelly, Apr 8, 2013

Ok here is a sample photo I just clicked off straight OOC and resized. The focus point is on the bridge of his nose. Shot with mirror up.

Note how there is NO SHARP focus point anywhere in the frame to show that the lens is back for front focused. I can only dream about the sort of focus that the previous baby photo shows at 100% crop.

Pretty sure this is a dud lens.

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tektrader
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Re: My 85mm f1.8G lens
In reply to tektrader, Apr 8, 2013

Here is a version shot in Live view so there is no microfocus  misadjustment  question.

Still looks rubbish at 100% and really doesn't look much better at F2.8 either. Even the focus point which is on the bridge of his nose in Live View is peppered with CA.

BTW I didn't say THE lens is crap. JUST MY COPY SEEMS TO BE CRAP. All I need is confirmation I am right. So don't go on about my pce of wood photo, when all I want is PQ like your crop of your boys eye.

Is this paticular lens garbage or not?  Opinions please?

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Chris Malcolm
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Re: My 85mm f1.8G lens
In reply to tektrader, Apr 8, 2013

The first of these was shot at 1/20th sec & ISO 100. The second at 1/400th sec & ISO 1250.  Why such dramatic changes? Is 1/20th fast enough to freeze cat motion? Is ISO 1250 free enough from noise (or noise reduction artefacts) to be able to see lens detail resolution?

Even if I could see the pixel level detail you're talking about, which is not present in these downsized images, I couldn't draw any conclusions about lens IQ from any of the images you've posted.

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marike6
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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is.
In reply to DaSigmaGuy, Apr 8, 2013

DaSigmaGuy wrote:

tektrader wrote:

Well i finally got around to buying one after I sent back the Samyang.

Whats the deal wiith the CA ???   It also doesnt seem that sharp. I microfocus adjusted it today. Really its isnt that good.

Is my copy a dud? look at the photo and click look at it at 100%. The phot is a 60% crop, the focus point is the on the edge of the wood toward the right. Look at all the green CA on the left.................... and its red to the right (which was cropped off)

Is this lens a BAD copy ????????????

The Lens Align Ruler looks horrible, indistinct focus point at F1.8 and CA in both directions each side of the fuzzy focus point. I am really bummed by this.

Can someone post some 100% crops so I can see what their copy is like?

What you have now learned is that you should always do your own research before buying lenses and never simply buy into the hype.

Yes, research will tell you (see links below) that the Nikkor are about as good as it gets for portrait lenses.

I know its a bit late but I can tell you now that the Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX has 30% less barrel distortion that the G, 20% less vignetting wide open than the G, its sharper wide open than the G, its actually sharper at f2 that the G is at f2.8!  And what's more, it costs about half the price!

The Sigma has poor corners relative to the Nikkors, so I'm not sure what all this talk about sharpness is.

I found these figures quickly and easily by simply comparing their test results on Photozone, where they were both tested on a FF D3X.

So should you sell the Nikon and get the Sigma instead so you can not only get a better lens but also save yourself about £600 in the process?...That's entirely up to you.

I'm surprised you even brought up Photozone as both the f1.4G and f1.8G Nikkors received "Highly Recommended" awards and the Sigma 85 1.4 did not.

Yes research is important as it will tell you that you couldn't possibly find two better lenses than the two Nikkors.

Sigma 85 1.4 Photozone test

Nikon 85 1.8G Photozone Test  (Highly Recommended)

Nikon 85 1.4G Photozone Test   (Highly Recommended)

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brightcolours
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Take some normal photos
In reply to tektrader, Apr 8, 2013

Not of indoor cats, with 1/20th sec exposure times. Too many factors at play there to draw conclusions. Take images of normal subjects with normal exposure times (without any MFA). And post 100% crops of what should be in focus, not downscaled images.

It may well be that your lens does not focus well, or is heavily decentered. But if you want us to agree with you, you have to give us better images to judge from.

Of course, you do not need our opinion at all, and can send the lens to Nikon to get it checked out or ask the retailer for a better copy.

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marike6
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It's not hype...
In reply to tektrader, Apr 8, 2013

The 85 1.8G is a close to perfect lens that absolutely tested off the charts on Photozone. (The Sigma 85 1.4 that others are crowing about tested worse than both the f1.4 and f1.8G Nikkors).

Re: LoCAs, what I think you are missing is as others have mentioned that ALL fast max aperture lenses show some amount of LoCA (Bokeh Fringing).  This is par for the course with all fast lenses used at or near max aperture.

As far as your lens, the sample image you posted is clearly mis-focused, so perhaps you actually made matters worse with AF micro adjust.  AF micro adjust should be used with care, and as a last resort.

I absolutely love my 85 1.8G, it's one of my sharpest lenses out of my 28-50-85 1.8G, Sigma 105 Macro and 70-200 f4 VR.  I can grab it and know that it will not let me down (I might let it down, but the reverse will never be true).

If you think you may have a bad copy, then you should probably exchange it for a new one as you'll never be happy.  But you should be aware that all the great reviews the 85 1.8G received online from the various testing site are not hype.  It really is one of the best portrait lenses in it's class and one of the best values in photography.

Best of luck and happy shooting, Markus Arike

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tektrader
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Re: My 85mm f1.8G lens
In reply to Chris Malcolm, Apr 8, 2013

Chris Malcolm wrote:

The first of these was shot at 1/20th sec & ISO 100. The second at 1/400th sec & ISO 1250.  Why such dramatic changes? Is 1/20th fast enough to freeze cat motion? Is ISO 1250 free enough from noise (or noise reduction artefacts) to be able to see lens detail resolution?

Even if I could see the pixel level detail you're talking about, which is not present in these downsized images, I couldn't draw any conclusions about lens IQ from any of the images you've posted.

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Chris Malcolm

Because I realized it was a bit slow after I posted it, so bumped up the ISO  so I could use a faster speed. Its a D800, there isnt much noise up to ISO 1250.

Look at the photo at 100% on DP reviews resize screen.

BTW the amount of CAT motion is zero, he was asleep.

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Re: It's not hype...
In reply to marike6, Apr 8, 2013

Beautiful shots.

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Enjoy.....believe in yourself..

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tektrader
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Re: It's not hype...
In reply to marike6, Apr 8, 2013

marike6 wrote:

As far as your lens, the sample image you posted is clearly mis-focused, so perhaps you actually made matters worse with AF micro adjust.  AF micro adjust should be used with care, and as a last resort.

Markus, did you read what I wrote? The last photo was taken with Live View at 1/400.

It wasn't misfocussed, no microfocus adjustment in Live View,..........       It isnt IN FOCUS. That is how this lens is.

Compared to your copy its obvious there is something wrong with it. Your photos where the most helpful part as obviously I am not getting that sort of result using my copy.

General comment for everyone, Not everyone that posts an issue is a goose and doesnt know how to use the equipment. If the focus was off or not microfocus adjusted correctly I would have seen it during my testing and done what was neccesary to fix it.  All my other lenses are pro grade and ARE VERY SHARP. I know what sharp is........

Unfortunately the assumption on DP review is the operator is the faulty one, and the equipment must be fine. You need to be careful assuming ANYTHING.

Fact is THIS LENS WILL NOT PEAK IN FOCUS REGARDLESS, In fact, the amount of CA it has, made the lens align ruler impossible to use.

So its going back as faulty.............................

Thanks

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: This is an "interesting" thread
In reply to tektrader, Apr 8, 2013

tektrader wrote:

How do any of us know whether the lens is good or bad based on a single photograph of a subject at an angle to the sensor with lots of fine detail probably taken close up, using F1 .8?

Depth of field should be very narrow close up at f1.8. The camera instruction book clarifies autofocus may not be accurate with this type of subject.

I would want to see a much better example of what the lens can or cannot do before passing an opinion on whether the lens might be good or less good.

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tektrader
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Re: This is an "interesting" thread
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Apr 8, 2013

Then look at the CAT photos a couple of posts above Leonard

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marike6
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Re: It's not hype...
In reply to tektrader, Apr 8, 2013

tektrader wrote:

marike6 wrote:

As far as your lens, the sample image you posted is clearly mis-focused, so perhaps you actually made matters worse with AF micro adjust.  AF micro adjust should be used with care, and as a last resort.

Markus, did you read what I wrote? The last photo was taken with Live View at 1/400.

It wasn't misfocussed, no microfocus adjustment in Live View,..........       It isnt IN FOCUS. That is how this lens is.

Compared to your copy its obvious there is something wrong with it. Your photos where the most helpful part as obviously I am not getting that sort of result using my copy.

General comment for everyone, Not everyone that posts an issue is a goose and doesnt know how to use the equipment. If the focus was off or not microfocus adjusted correctly I would have seen it during my testing and done what was neccesary to fix it.  All my other lenses are pro grade and ARE VERY SHARP. I know what sharp is........

Unfortunately the assumption on DP review is the operator is the faulty one, and the equipment must be fine. You need to be careful assuming ANYTHING.

Fact is THIS LENS WILL NOT PEAK IN FOCUS REGARDLESS, In fact, the amount of CA it has, made the lens align ruler impossible to use.

So its going back as faulty.............................

Thanks

I read your original post, and you didn't mention anything about about LiveView, but you did make a point of saying that you applied AF Micro Adjust.

But now I understand better that you did try shooting with LiveView, which is what I meant to suggest as a kind of control.

Question, is the problem you are having on when you shoot wide-open or at all apertures?  And regarding CAs, are LoCAs an issue throughout the aperture range, or only at or near max aperture?

According to the Photozone review, as with most large aperture lenses, LoCAs on the 85 1.8G are clearly visible at f1.8, but decrease considerably by f4, and are essentially a non-issue by f5.6.

Photozone examples of 85 1.8G LoCAs by aperture:

http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/717-nikkorafs8518ff?start=1

Anyway, I never meant to imply that it was user error, or that you don't have the ability to judge optics or evaluate lens performance.  Was just trying to be of some help.

So, yes, I agree that exchanging the lens for another copy is a good idea.  The copy I have is a USA model with a 5-year warranty, but if it's a new purchase for you, obviously you can just exchange it or replace it with the f1.4G or similar.  But I consider this 85 1.8G to be one of the best deals on photography, and I would have a hard time parting with mine, unless I got a good deal on the f1.4G.  

Best of luck in getting this sorted out, and we look forward to some images from the new portrait lens when you get it,  Cheers, Markus

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marike6
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Re: It's not hype...
In reply to Bajerunner, Apr 8, 2013

Bajerunner wrote:

Beautiful shots.

Thank you very much.  Sometimes I get lucky, sometimes not.  

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Neocon
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Re: Take some normal photos
In reply to brightcolours, Apr 8, 2013

Very satisfied with my G lens.  It will not work on my old Nikon film cameras and there is too much CA, but I can live with that.  Below is a real world photo, shot wide open -

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wchutt
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Re: That loCA is normal.
In reply to brightcolours, Apr 8, 2013

One reason I don't plan to buy another Nikkor fast lens is their LoCA is more obvious than other fast lenses.

If I remember correctly NX2 minimizes the LoCA. So you have to buy the camera, lens and software to get the most out of the lens. This insults me. If Nikon wants to save money by designing a lens with higher than typical LoCA and also make money selling me software to fix it, well I'm done buying fast Nikon lenses.

BTW I know LoCA is inherent in fast lens design. What annoys me is Nikon's recent fast lenses have such a high level compared to other lenses.

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PHXAZCRAIG
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How to check for damaged lenses
In reply to tektrader, Apr 8, 2013

Lenrentals blog has some nice articles on problems you see in lenses when they've been dropped or suffered impact damage of some sort resulting in decentered lens elements.   Any of this look or sound familiar?

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/08/a-tilted-element-demonstration

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/05/testing-for-a-decentered-lens-an-old-technique-gets-a-makeover

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2010/11/how-to-test-a-lens

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