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
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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Thanks,
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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http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathantw/
Always have a camera with you and make sure you use it.

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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Daisy AU - Brisbane

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

Daisy AU wrote:

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.

Daisy after extensive research on the 1.4's including Canon and Zeiss, I came to the conclusion that the 85mm 1.4D is better than the others for Bokeh and blur for portrait and flower photography, and landscapes where the centre is always sharper, in fact it gives a similar blur to the Canon 1.2L V2 @f1.2 (see photozone playing card tests) with the Nikon D at 1.4, it also seems to have more contrast in the centre than all but the Canon and because the rapid blur is engineered, it gives better subject isolation than the Canon. The bokeh circles are clearer and to die for! Though the Canon is smoother in the transition zone by a tad.

The Canon costs even more than the Nikon 1.4G, which is an exceptional all-rounder, but the D is still the 85 bokeh King . You can buy used at circa 750 us dollars. (It is the combination of contrast and sharpness and design in the centre that kills. There are many good lenses for centre to edge sharpness for landscapes including the 85. 1.8G. But not for ultimate Bokeh.

John

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

Thanks, John.  I very much appreciate you sharing your research conclusions.  Decisions, decisions ... !

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Daisy AU - Brisbane

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just Tony
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Re: Triangles vs. points of light
In reply to nathantw, Apr 10, 2013

nathantw wrote:

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.

Keep in mind that the examples I posted are just a step away from pixel peeping. The lights would look close enough to pinpoints in an 8x12" print, and for anyone shooting a D3 or D700 the lower sensor resolution is even more insurance. I think that the vast majority of f.1.4 lenses are put to shame in the corners by this one so I'm not knocking it.

But still, edge to edge pinpoints on a field of stars in the D800 is a real challenge. Great lenses can accomplish that at f/5.6. Absolutely amazing lenses are pretty much there at f/4. I haven't seen one yet that does it at f/2.8 but I haven't given up hope.

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Stacey_K
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Re: Stop shooting rulers...try it on real subjects.
In reply to Joe Porto, Apr 10, 2013

Joe Porto wrote:

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.

Ditto, I've never seen this CA is real world with of this lens used correctly.

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Stacey

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clarnibass
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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and
In reply to tektrader, Apr 10, 2013

Hi

I have the 85mm 1.8G. It is my most used lens and I'm very happy with it. I didn't "buy into the hype" because I didn't buy it based on anything I read. I just decided what lenses (focal lengths) I wanted and tried some lenses at local stores. I chose the 85mm 1.8G because I liked it and it is excellent.

I use it almost always at f/1.8 to f/2.2 apertures. Usually at high ISO, around 3200-6400, with the occasional 12800 or a good day only at 1600. Almost all hand held. So it is difficult to get anything critical from this. Brief tests at the store before buying seemed excellent for f/1.8 so I bought it. Focus is a bit slow but not bad.

Consider that I'm colourblind and maybe I just don't notice some of the problems you describe, which seem to be with colours. Shrpness is definitely not a problem with my lens. Of course it's sharper at f/5.6 or f/8 than wide open. It is obvious in a critical side by side comparison. But I consider it sharp at f/1.8 and excellent for what I need (maybe 80% concerts in very low light).

I just did this quick test, FWIW. Can't post the photos here for some reason, I get an error that the subject is too long. But you can see all photos in this album (order is by aperture f/1.8, f2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8) http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/771045578/albums/niokn-85mm-1-8g-test

Edit: Forgot to mention these are 100% crops.

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Shotcents
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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and
In reply to clarnibass, Apr 10, 2013

Most people have not tested both lenses, side by side or they read stuff online and make a choice based on that.

Having tested both on my D800...

1.4G = best bokeh, slightly superior micro-contrast wide open

1.8G = best sharpness, slightly faster AF

I find the rendering of the 1.8G more realistic, the ideal street lens. Again, disregarding the cost difference, for my needs the 1.8G is superior because I do a lot of candid work. The extra sharpness and AF speed is a bigger advantage to me and I'm just lucky that the lens happens to be such a bargain.

Robert

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lazy lightning
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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and
In reply to Shotcents, Apr 10, 2013

I have tested and owned all of the Nikkor 85's, except for 1.8D. The best of them for me by a wide margin is the 85 1.4G. I guess I'm used to looking at large prints of my fashion portraits. The 1.8G is far to clinical and cool for a classic portrait lens. The 1.4D was my favorite and I had to try real hard not to like the output from the 1.4G better, but it didn't work. The 1.4G, due to the better sharpness, color and micro-contrast really makes the subject pop! I used to like the warm, dreamy, softish portrait look and still do to an extent but I can achieve that in post if I need. The rubbish about the 1.4D's bokeh being better than 1.4G's is just that, rubbish. For those of you "who see little difference" between the 1.8G and the 1.4G, if you say it enough you might start believing it I suppose.

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WildSammy
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You have lemon..
In reply to tektrader, Apr 10, 2013

Definitely I can tell you that your copy is dud.. go and exchange it for another.. I have this lens about 1 year and my copy is definitely sharper than yours. Before I have Sigma 85/1.4 and exchanged it for this Nikkor.

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~S.

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: Triangles vs. points of light
In reply to just Tony, Apr 10, 2013

I have used the 85mm F1.8g for astrophotograhy or rather nightscapes.

It was good once stopped down to about F2 to F2.2. Same with Samyang 24mm F1.4.

I have also used it for doing stitched panoramas. It worked fine albeit a relatively narrow field of view so its going to take quite a few panels. I find the 24mm Samyang better for that and a nice rich colour rendering as well. The 24mm Samyang is sharper than my 24-70 F2.8 and richer in colour. But its manual focus and I had to a get a 2nd copy so buyer beware QC is not their strong point.

Greg.

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Shotcents
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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and
In reply to lazy lightning, Apr 10, 2013

lazy lightning wrote:

I have tested and owned all of the Nikkor 85's, except for 1.8D. The best of them for me by a wide margin is the 85 1.4G. I guess I'm used to looking at large prints of my fashion portraits. The 1.8G is far to clinical and cool for a classic portrait lens. The 1.4D was my favorite and I had to try real hard not to like the output from the 1.4G better, but it didn't work. The 1.4G, due to the better sharpness, color and micro-contrast really makes the subject pop! I used to like the warm, dreamy, softish portrait look and still do to an extent but I can achieve that in post if I need. The rubbish about the 1.4D's bokeh being better than 1.4G's is just that, rubbish. For those of you "who see little difference" between the 1.8G and the 1.4G, if you say it enough you might start believing it I suppose.

Sorry, Lazy...

I've tested all of these lenses. It's fair for you to say which lens YOU like, but the rest is all subjective.

Except the Sharpness! The 85mm 1.8G is sharper on a D800 or D800e.

Except the Bokeh! The 85mm 1.4G has bokeh that is a notch beyond the 1.8G.

What you call clinical I call "real" and exactly what I want from a portrait lens. The dreamy quality of the 1.4G is not to my taste. I view it as a lens for shooting babies in a studio.

As for the 1.4D, I also owned that lens and it absolutely makes the new 1.4G look clinical by comparison, so I know why some of my friends continue to prefer it over all others. The 1.4D is even better for those studio baby shots!

In the end and looking at things more practically, the 1.8G and 1.4G lenses are so close it's pretty tough to tell them apart in real world shooting without pixel peeping. It's nothing remotely close to the IQ disparity that existed between the older versions.

For candids and portraits I find that the sharpness and AF speed is more important than the 1.4G bokeh advantage. Mind you, these are BOTH great lenses, but this is not a case where one lens wins on all fronts. Both have specific strengths. Choose according to taste and don't play "class warrior" games with lenses!

My speaker cables cost more than ALL of your lenses! So there.

Robert

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lazy lightning
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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and
In reply to Shotcents, Apr 10, 2013

Shotcents wrote:

Sorry, Lazy...

I've tested all of these lenses. It's fair for you to say which lens YOU like, but the rest is all subjective.

Except the Sharpness! The 85mm 1.8G is sharper on a D800 or D800e.

Except the Bokeh! The 85mm 1.4G has bokeh that is a notch beyond the 1.8G.

What you call clinical I call "real" and exactly what I want from a portrait lens. The dreamy quality of the 1.4G is not to my taste. I view it as a lens for shooting babies in a studio.

As for the 1.4D, I also owned that lens and it absolutely makes the new 1.4G look clinical by comparison, so I know why some of my friends continue to prefer it over all others. The 1.4D is even better for those studio baby shots!

In the end and looking at things more practically, the 1.8G and 1.4G lenses are so close it's pretty tough to tell them apart in real world shooting without pixel peeping. It's nothing remotely close to the IQ disparity that existed between the older versions.

For candids and portraits I find that the sharpness and AF speed is more important than the 1.4G bokeh advantage. Mind you, these are BOTH great lenses, but this is not a case where one lens wins on all fronts. Both have specific strengths. Choose according to taste and don't play "class warrior" games with lenses!

My speaker cables cost more than ALL of your lenses! So there.

Robert

I've seen you post your same old story on every 85 1.4/1.8 thread. It's okay, you couldn't afford the better lens, we get it.

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markprincess
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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and
In reply to Shotcents, Apr 10, 2013

Shotcents wrote:

Sorry, Lazy...

I've tested all of these lenses. It's fair for you to say which lens YOU like, but the rest is all subjective.

Except the Sharpness! The 85mm 1.8G is sharper on a D800 or D800e.

Except the Bokeh! The 85mm 1.4G has bokeh that is a notch beyond the 1.8G.

What you call clinical I call "real" and exactly what I want from a portrait lens. The dreamy quality of the 1.4G is not to my taste. I view it as a lens for shooting babies in a studio.

As for the 1.4D, I also owned that lens and it absolutely makes the new 1.4G look clinical by comparison, so I know why some of my friends continue to prefer it over all others. The 1.4D is even better for those studio baby shots!

In the end and looking at things more practically, the 1.8G and 1.4G lenses are so close it's pretty tough to tell them apart in real world shooting without pixel peeping. It's nothing remotely close to the IQ disparity that existed between the older versions.

For candids and portraits I find that the sharpness and AF speed is more important than the 1.4G bokeh advantage. Mind you, these are BOTH great lenses, but this is not a case where one lens wins on all fronts. Both have specific strengths. Choose according to taste and don't play "class warrior" games with lenses!

My speaker cables cost more than ALL of your lenses! So there.

Robert

I'm sorry Robert but it seems you should have spent less on cables and more on lenses. Cables have much more of a diminishing return than quality glass. But seriously, I know I'm not alone in thinking you are doing those who are honestly evaluating and making decisions a grave disservice. The new 85 1.4 is a far better lens than the 1.8. Not by a notch here and a smidge there either!

You like your 85 and that's fine. I don't know what your friends are telling you except maybe what they know you WANT to hear but the new 85 1.4 is not a dreamy rendering lens. That distinction goes to the old 1.4. I also can easily tell the difference between the 2 lenses. Just take a look on flickr...it's very easy to do and the results are very telling.

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Shotcents
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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and
In reply to lazy lightning, Apr 11, 2013

lazy lightning wrote:

Shotcents wrote:

Sorry, Lazy...

I've tested all of these lenses. It's fair for you to say which lens YOU like, but the rest is all subjective.

Except the Sharpness! The 85mm 1.8G is sharper on a D800 or D800e.

Except the Bokeh! The 85mm 1.4G has bokeh that is a notch beyond the 1.8G.

What you call clinical I call "real" and exactly what I want from a portrait lens. The dreamy quality of the 1.4G is not to my taste. I view it as a lens for shooting babies in a studio.

As for the 1.4D, I also owned that lens and it absolutely makes the new 1.4G look clinical by comparison, so I know why some of my friends continue to prefer it over all others. The 1.4D is even better for those studio baby shots!

In the end and looking at things more practically, the 1.8G and 1.4G lenses are so close it's pretty tough to tell them apart in real world shooting without pixel peeping. It's nothing remotely close to the IQ disparity that existed between the older versions.

For candids and portraits I find that the sharpness and AF speed is more important than the 1.4G bokeh advantage. Mind you, these are BOTH great lenses, but this is not a case where one lens wins on all fronts. Both have specific strengths. Choose according to taste and don't play "class warrior" games with lenses!

My speaker cables cost more than ALL of your lenses! So there.

Robert

I've seen you post your same old story on every 85 1.4/1.8 thread. It's okay, you couldn't afford the better lens, we get it.

And now no one will take you seriously. Good work!

Robert

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Shotcents
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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and
In reply to markprincess, Apr 11, 2013

My speaker cables cost more than ALL of your lenses! So there.

Robert

I'm sorry Robert but it seems you should have spent less on cables and more on lenses. Cables have much more of a diminishing return than quality glass. But seriously, I know I'm not alone in thinking you are doing those who are honestly evaluating and making decisions a grave disservice. The new 85 1.4 is a far better lens than the 1.8. Not by a notch here and a smidge there either!

You like your 85 and that's fine. I don't know what your friends are telling you except maybe what they know you WANT to hear but the new 85 1.4 is not a dreamy rendering lens. That distinction goes to the old 1.4. I also can easily tell the difference between the 2 lenses. Just take a look on flickr...it's very easy to do and the results are very telling.

It's so odd to see how people are really emotionally tied up in their gear. In some cases it's clearly a big ego thing. Look at the fellow above who's concerned with what I can afford!

I've looked at a lot of photos from both. When it comes to faces I prefer the 1.8G. I'm not alone in this belief either. I also find that my older and cheaper 70-200 VR1 did certain things better than my newer 70-200 VRII.

The 1.4D is the least clinical of these primes, followed by the 1.4G. I PREFER the clinical look some are critical of. I've had them all on my cameras. I find the 1.8G the sharpest and best lens for faces ever. That's my experience based on my tastes.

There are plenty of nice lenses I don't like; the 70-200 F4, 24-120 F4, 17-35, 35 1.4, 85 1.4g, 50 1.4g, 16-35 F4, 20 2.8D and many more. That doesn't mean you have to agree, which is why there are so many other good choices.

I'm not a lens snob and I don't buy expensive glass so I can be part of a club. I buy what works best. As I can buy whichever lens I like, I don't really care about cost except in the value aspect. For example: I find the 70-200 F4 a poor value.

And again, that's MY view, quite valid for my usage of the gear on jobs or simply having fun.

Cheers,

Robert

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clarnibass
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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and
In reply to Shotcents, Apr 11, 2013

You're right that many of those differences are a matter of choice and are subjective and that some people can't seperate the two things (what they think is automatically "correct", not subjective). Anyway maybe tekradar will see my comparison which just shows how sharp the lens is even at f/2.8. Not as sharp as f/8, but it is still sharp.

BTW, if your speaker cables are really more expensive than any lens, then I'm sorry to hear that... as a musician, musical instrument repairer and cable maker...

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tektrader
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Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and
In reply to clarnibass, Apr 11, 2013

Thanks for the post, Yes there are lots of good shots showing what the 85mm F1.8G is capable of.

Pity my copy was rubbish, I am going to buy local next time and hopefully test the butt out of it before I leave the store.

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