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
Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: Wait a Minute!!
In reply to tektrader, Apr 9, 2013

Panos at 85mm with a 36MP camera?

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Clark Hampton
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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sh
In reply to tektrader, Apr 9, 2013

I have a very old nikkor 85 1.8D and it is THE sharpest lens I own.  I even have an OLD 70-210 variable aperture (I think from around 1989) and it is amazingly sharp.  The 50 1.8G is also very sharp although newer. I love my old primes.  Who knew there was so much sharpness in them. The D800 shows just how good they are.

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RockyBalboa
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Re: It's not hype...
In reply to tektrader, Apr 9, 2013

Good decision , it should be really sharp even at 1.8 .

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tektrader
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Re: Wait a Minute!!
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, Apr 9, 2013

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

Panos at 85mm with a 36MP camera?

yes, I often do 140 MP stitched panoramas. AND print them at 30 inches x 70 inches. 36MP looks OK, But the stitched photos are magnificent.

I don't doubt some of you have a good copy of this 85mm lens, Mine was CRAP.

Just to close this off. The cat was asleep in the same spot tonight. Heres a photo taken in LIVE VIEW with my 70-200 at 85MM

Its way better than the other lens. Its obvious to me now it was faulty. Click on both of the live view cat photo's, then click "view original" and compare them. The 70-200 VR1 kicked the faulty 85mm F1.8's ass.

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just Tony
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Triangles vs. points of light
In reply to nathantw, Apr 9, 2013

nathantw wrote:

One of the things that has never been shown with the f/1.8G is whether points of lights at the corners when shot at f/1.8 are pinpoints or triangle shape.

I haven't tried the 1.8G but I specifically tested the 1.4G for astrophotography. I found it to be not quite suitable for that purpose at 1.4 (check out the blue halos on the mercury lamps too):

85mm f/1.4 AFS-G at f/1.4. Really good for a 1.4 but those aren't pinpoints.

but it's much better by f/4.0, and I consider it to be excellent for a 1.4 design:

85mm f/1.4 AFS-G at f/4.0

These are 2:1 downsamplings at the lower left corner. The streaks extending to the lower right of the brighter lights are the poles that support the lights (it's not an optical problem). Additional light poles are visible to the upper right as well.

In my case I needed a lens that would provide pinpoints, or close it it, when wide open.

Both the 1.4 and 1.8 might be disappointing then.

If the f/1.8G does that then yes, I could have spent $1k less. If the lights are triangle shape, well, it was money well spent.

It's actually a question about whether the triangular smears are equivalent, and which lens cleans up first with stopping down.

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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sh
In reply to Clark Hampton, Apr 9, 2013

Clark Hampton wrote:

I have a very old nikkor 85 1.8D and it is THE sharpest lens I own.  I even have an OLD 70-210 variable aperture (I think from around 1989) and it is amazingly sharp.  The 50 1.8G is also very sharp although newer. I love my old primes.  Who knew there was so much sharpness in them. The D800 shows just how good they are.

I agree, I have a few older wonderful lenses. One is a Nikkor-S 50MM 1.4  Really sharp, even wide open  and great rendition. I shoot with a D300.

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Daisy AU
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Re: D800E F/1.8 example
In reply to anotherMike, Apr 9, 2013

anotherMike wrote:

A few notes:

1) IF you are focused precisely, you shouldn't get too much CA at the focus plane. See example I've provided. You WILL get CA in the out of focus areas. Most every lens you buy will do this wide open. Really only things like the exotics (200/2, etc) or the new Zeiss 135/2 Apo Sonnar are exempt from this. So you can't use this as an excuse to damn the lens, honestly. One must be realistic.

2) On a D800E, there is not a lens I own that is tack sharp corner to corner wide open other than my 200/2, and even that likes being nudged down a touch on the D800E. Again, one must be realistic about results.

3) IF you are properly focused, the 85/1.8G is one of the sharpest lenses you can mount on a D800E at the more regularly used apertures. I've shot a lot of glass in 30+ years (40+ Nikkors alone plus other brands) and this is definitely a very sharp lens - but as I've said, not wide open, and definitely not if you miss focus. You'll have to spend a lot more money to get anything that is even a smidge sharper. I've been there, tested that. I'm far from alone in this opinion, photozone, dxomark and others have come to the same conclusion.

The image provided is a 100% crop (crop needed because one can't upload a full sized image to dpreview gallieres) of a test chart taken at about 5 feet with the 85/1.8G on my D800E, on tripod, mirror lockup, shot delay, and properly live view focused. This is what you should be able to get with a flat target at this aperture. Go see if you can find the CA in this shot. Now - of course if you stop the lens down a bit sharpness will increase, but what I provide is a good realistic starting point of what your lens should be capable of wide open in the focused plane - again, areas in and out of focus will show fringing, just like every other fast lens I own except the 200/2, and that includes the 50/1.8G and the Sigma 35/1.4 btw.

Is this tack sharp? No. See point 1. But if you were to do the same thing with either older 85 Nikkor AFD, the Sigma, or even the 85/1.4G, you might be surprised to see which lens wins (it would be the 1.8G closely followed by the 1.4G). Again, one must get realistic about wide open results on this particularly demanding camera, and one must focus precisely.

-m

Interesting!  So, are you therefore saying that the Nikkor 85/1.4G is really not worth the expense?  .. and the Nikkor 85/1.8G would be enough?  What is better in the 1.4G then to justify the higher cost?  One of these lenses is next on my list, hence my question.

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Daisy AU - Brisbane

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ki11ua
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Re: D800E F/1.8 example
In reply to Daisy AU, Apr 9, 2013

From what I know, except from the additional 2/3 of a stop and better construction, it has a bit better bokeh, a bit faster AF and a bit better flare resistance, all mainly because of the better glasses used.

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Daisy AU
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Re: D800E F/1.8 example
In reply to ki11ua, Apr 9, 2013

ki11ua wrote:

From what I know, except from the additional 2/3 of a stop and better construction, it has a bit better bokeh, a bit faster AF and a bit better flare resistance, all mainly because of the better glasses used.

Thanks for that.  I will look at the 1.8G a bit closer, because it's considerably cheaper than the 1.4G.  But on the other hand, I don't have any 1.4 lenses.  Difficult choice, I think.

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ki11ua
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Re: D800E F/1.8 example
In reply to Daisy AU, Apr 9, 2013

Consider then the excellent Sigma 35mm 1.4, which is a much more useful lens for all-around use. Just my thought...

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Daisy AU
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Re: Wait a Minute!!
In reply to tektrader, Apr 9, 2013

Hi,

Now I get it ... that is the problem ... you live DownUnder!    What if one our lovely couriers dropped the box in transit?  (just kidding)

Cheers

tektrader wrote:

I returned the Samyang primarily because wide open it wasnt any better than the 70-200 at F2.8. It was a bit soft.

The Nikon 85 F1.8 has way way more CA than the Samyang which IMO has limited its use. This lens is SOFTER than the 70-200. I am after the crispness and microfocus from the Nikon 85 as I want to use it for stitched panoramas. Doesnt seem I will get it.

BTW I did buy the lens from a USA business and it has a Nikon USA warranty inside. But I live in Australia so I have to send it back to New York now.

I quite liked the rendering of the Samyang, but it wasnt worth $400 extra seeing I already had a 70-200 which was just as sharp.

Samyang photo, Quite good at F8, This image was sharpened etc BTW

mistermejia wrote:

You returned your Samyang 85 1.4??  Now you are having problems with your Nikon 85 1.8?

Doesn't that tell you that there might be something wrong with your camera?  I have the Ronikon 85 1.4 too and i would NEVER sell that lens, at 1.4 my copy is already very sharp.  Something else is going on here, no?

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Daisy AU
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Re: D800E F/1.8 example
In reply to ki11ua, Apr 9, 2013

ki11ua wrote:

Consider then the excellent Sigma 35mm 1.4, which is a much more useful lens for all-around use. Just my thought...

I will, although I'm a Nikon devotee ... but I have broken the rule once (Tokina 11-16)  Thanks!

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Daisy AU - Brisbane

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tektrader
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Re: D800E F/1.8 example
In reply to Daisy AU, Apr 9, 2013

Can I suggest you go and try one locally before you buy !!  Beat them around the head for a reasonable price. Wouldnt want you to go through what I just did.

Daisy AU wrote:

ki11ua wrote:

From what I know, except from the additional 2/3 of a stop and better construction, it has a bit better bokeh, a bit faster AF and a bit better flare resistance, all mainly because of the better glasses used.

Thanks for that.  I will look at the 1.8G a bit closer, because it's considerably cheaper than the 1.4G.  But on the other hand, I don't have any 1.4 lenses.  Difficult choice, I think.

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Daisy AU - Brisbane

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Daisy AU
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Re: D800E F/1.8 example
In reply to tektrader, Apr 9, 2013

tektrader wrote:

Can I suggest you go and try one locally before you buy !!  Beat them around the head for a reasonable price. Wouldnt want you to go through what I just did.

Daisy AU wrote:

ki11ua wrote:

From what I know, except from the additional 2/3 of a stop and better construction, it has a bit better bokeh, a bit faster AF and a bit better flare resistance, all mainly because of the better glasses used.

Thanks for that.  I will look at the 1.8G a bit closer, because it's considerably cheaper than the 1.4G.  But on the other hand, I don't have any 1.4 lenses.  Difficult choice, I think.

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Daisy AU - Brisbane

Although I know it is a lot cheaper for us here to order from the US, I do buy my lenses locally, but I order smaller gear from B&H in NY.

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nathantw
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Re: Triangles vs. points of light
In reply to just Tony, Apr 9, 2013

just Tony wrote:

I haven't tried the 1.8G but I specifically tested the 1.4G for astrophotography. I found it to be not quite suitable for that purpose at 1.4 (check out the blue halos on the mercury lamps too):

85mm f/1.4 AFS-G at f/1.4. Really good for a 1.4 but those aren't pinpoints.

but it's much better by f/4.0, and I consider it to be excellent for a 1.4 design:

85mm f/1.4 AFS-G at f/4.0

Holy Yikes, Batman! Thanks, Tony, for doing the test. That first one doesn't look good.

However, I did tests myself and the lights were pretty round (not perfect though). The magenta cast was removable in ViewNX2 that I use.

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nathantw
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Re: D800E F/1.8 example
In reply to Daisy AU, Apr 9, 2013

Daisy AU wrote:

ki11ua wrote:

From what I know, except from the additional 2/3 of a stop and better construction, it has a bit better bokeh, a bit faster AF and a bit better flare resistance, all mainly because of the better glasses used.

Thanks for that.  I will look at the 1.8G a bit closer, because it's considerably cheaper than the 1.4G.  But on the other hand, I don't have any 1.4 lenses.  Difficult choice, I think.

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Daisy AU - Brisbane

I have a friend that was in the market for the 85mm f/1.4G. She wanted that one badly. I received mine, I tested it and I reported back to her to just get the 85 f/1.8G instead. The reason was that the advantages were small and had her ask herself if it was worth $1000. She agreed that the 85 f/1.8G would be better.

I tested the 85 f/1.4G with the 85 f/1.8AF (non-D) and the difference in the out of focus highlights are so small. The 85mm f/1.8 had donut shaped out of focus circles though it's not really noticeable unless you look hard. It doesn't sound like the 1.8G has that problem.

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m_appeal
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The 1.4 has a special look IMO
In reply to nathantw, Apr 9, 2013

that I can't get with the f1.8

This is with the sigma:

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Joe Porto
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Stop shooting rulers...try it on real subjects.
In reply to tektrader, Apr 9, 2013

You will see that it is very sharp as a portrait lens, even wide open. If you are shooting a ruler with thin lines and high contrast, of course it is going to exhibit CA. But on people, flowers, etc., this lens is excellent.

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Daisy AU
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Re: D800E F/1.8 example
In reply to nathantw, Apr 10, 2013

nathantw wrote:

Daisy AU wrote:

ki11ua wrote:

From what I know, except from the additional 2/3 of a stop and better construction, it has a bit better bokeh, a bit faster AF and a bit better flare resistance, all mainly because of the better glasses used.

Thanks for that.  I will look at the 1.8G a bit closer, because it's considerably cheaper than the 1.4G.  But on the other hand, I don't have any 1.4 lenses.  Difficult choice, I think.

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Daisy AU - Brisbane

I have a friend that was in the market for the 85mm f/1.4G. She wanted that one badly. I received mine, I tested it and I reported back to her to just get the 85 f/1.8G instead. The reason was that the advantages were small and had her ask herself if it was worth $1000. She agreed that the 85 f/1.8G would be better.

I tested the 85 f/1.4G with the 85 f/1.8AF (non-D) and the difference in the out of focus highlights are so small. The 85mm f/1.8 had donut shaped out of focus circles though it's not really noticeable unless you look hard. It doesn't sound like the 1.8G has that problem.

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I believe the bokeh with the 1.4 is better, but, like you said, is it worth the price? I'm inclined to get the 1.8 for that reason.  I appreciate your advice, thank you.

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Daisy AU - Brisbane

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Daisy AU
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Re: The 1.4 has a special look IMO
In reply to m_appeal, Apr 10, 2013

m_appeal wrote:

that I can't get with the f1.8

This is with the sigma:

Nice shot!  I agree with you that 1.4 gives better bokeh and is probably a bit sharper, but as I do not want a third party lens and prefer to stick with Nikkor, my decision is basically one of being satisfied with the 1.8 or paying almost 3 times more (here in Australia) for the 1.4.  Thank you for the example.

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