Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.

Started May 22, 2013 | Discussions
Cytokine
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Re: Something interesting
In reply to MisterHairy, May 23, 2013

The 85 1.8 has a slower T Stop and it looks to me like the D800E has increased the ISO Automatically and with the loupe you can see slightly more grain than the 1.4 which also looks to be better exposed looking at the collar area.

This automatic ISO behaviour has been high lighted by DXO Mark with heavily pixelated sensors. The point you have not mentioned is that the 1.8 cant do 1.4 or do you have a solution for that.

John

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MisterHairy
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Re: Something interesting
In reply to Cytokine, May 23, 2013

I very rarely want to shoot anything at f/1.4 to be honest. I honestly do believe that those 2/3 of a stop are used almost exclusively for internet bragging rights. Not much of the world's commercial photography is shot at f/1.4 and we are talking about a supposedly "pro" lens here.

I'd rather have a lens which is bloody sharp at f/1.8 than one which needs to be stopped down by two stops to compare.

Cytokine wrote:

The 85 1.8 has a slower T Stop and it looks to me like the D800E has increased the ISO Automatically and with the loupe you can see slightly more grain than the 1.4 which also looks to be better exposed looking at the collar area.

This automatic ISO behaviour has been high lighted by DXO Mark with heavily pixelated sensors. The point you have not mentioned is that the 1.8 cant do 1.4 or do you have a solution for that.

John

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Ray Ritchie
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Re: Something interesting
In reply to MisterHairy, May 23, 2013

I have nothing against the 85 f/1.8g. I played with it the day I got my D800, and liked it. I actually went to B&H a couple of months ago looking for it, but it was out of stock (as it has been for months). They did have the 85 f/1.4g that day, however, and after trying that one out, I just decided to give myself a treat and splurge for it. I haven't been sorry. The 85 f/1.4g is the best lens I own, and I find myself looking for opportunities to use it.

My problem (and I suspect it's the problem that many others have with this thread) is that you said in your original title that the 85mm f/1.4g is "not so hot" and you claimed in the OP that the 85 f/1.8g "slays" it. Your images don't support those contentions, and especially re sharpness, they show very minor differences. I can get bigger differences than that with any of my lenses by taking multiple images, racking the focus manually, and re-taking the image, especially when shooting a complex detailed subject like that toy dog. But in any case, even if the difference is consistently there, it's trivial, and the image doesn't support your original claim.

Now you've added the claim of color neutrality, but haven't included a calibrated reference like an X-Rite Color Checker chart or similar to allow others to check your claim. So I suspect you still aren't helping your case. Saying "trust me" probably won't end the discussion.

BTW, I note differences in the focus of the two images away from the focus point. The stitching on the collar, for example, seems to be sharper in the case of the 1.4g lens. Maybe this implies a slightly different focus point, or perhaps a slight difference in aperture calibration? It's like the DOF isn't quite the same.

Have fun - I probably won't have much more to say in this thread, but will be interested to see the comparative images which led to your original claims if you get around to posting them.

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: The Fashionable "Bad Copy."
In reply to MarkJH, May 23, 2013

Ken, it's very clearly "operator error."  Your statement, here, is longhand for "I don't know all the factors at play in getting sharp focus."

It has become fashionable around here to talk about "good copies" and "bad copies" of various lenses like they're vintages of wine.  It's lame.  For your own sanity, I recommend saving the "bad copy" cry for an occasion in which you've actually covered all the bases.  Or at least a few more of them.

Because you write as though you think your camera should always achieve a perfectly accurate focus and slow-shutter camera shake is the only factor that might blur your photographs. Cue the sad trombone on that.

Lol, might have to borrow that one :^)

Consider:

  • Fast lenses with spherical elements project more than one focal plane when shot wide open.   Look up "spherical aberration" on wikipedia for an interesting illustration.   Since there isn't a single sharp focal plane to pick, your poor D800E will have a hard, hard time nailing the perfect "one" you have in mind.
  • When using through-the-viewfinder "phase detect" autofocus, Nikon cameras evaluate the scene with an f/5.6 pupil.   In other words, if you shoot wide open, the camera's autofocus sensors can't really see how shallow the depth of field actually is, and so the camera is more or less taking a guess at where, within an f/5.6 depth of field, the f/1.4 focal plane you want actually is.   (The camera sees 4 inches of sharp depth, and guesses where the actual half an inch of sharp focus is within that 4 inches.)  It's a calculated, educated guess based on the lens design and a number of other factors, but still a guess.

Want to know more?  Start here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50045281

So, while your quick shutter speed is a good start, you also need to help the camera out in a number of other ways.  Such as:

  • No AF-S Focus Recompose
  • AF Fine Tuning
  • Or: Live View (it uses a different, more accurate system to evaluate focus)
  • Or: AF-C, taking care to set the camera's evaluative delay to zero and making sure it snaps with focus-priority, not speed priority.

I think some other folks in this thread have told you the same, so let me add a +20 to all of those comments.  They're not leading you astray or trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.  Shooting a fast prime wide open is different than shooting an f/2.8 zoom, and your statement, above says in a very obvious way, "I didn't know that!"

M.

Great post.  If we had ten bucks for all the putative "bad copies" out there, we'd all be kicking sand in the Bahamas.

As well, does the photographic world really require any more portraits with blurry nose and ears?  I've seen a lot of pics taken with the 1.4, and it has much greater mojo, imo.

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MisterHairy
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Re: Something interesting
In reply to Ray Ritchie, May 23, 2013

I did mention the differences in DOF, but also agree that the points of focus differ slightly. If you do take time to read the words, you'll also see that I concede that it's hardly a "slaying" here.

Ray Ritchie wrote:

I have nothing against the 85 f/1.8g. I played with it the day I got my D800, and liked it. I actually went to B&H a couple of months ago looking for it, but it was out of stock (as it has been for months). They did have the 85 f/1.4g that day, however, and after trying that one out, I just decided to give myself a treat and splurge for it. I haven't been sorry. The 85 f/1.4g is the best lens I own, and I find myself looking for opportunities to use it.

My problem (and I suspect it's the problem that many others have with this thread) is that you said in your original title that the 85mm f/1.4g is "not so hot" and you claimed in the OP that the 85 f/1.8g "slays" it. Your images don't support those contentions, and especially re sharpness, they show very minor differences. I can get bigger differences than that with any of my lenses by taking multiple images, racking the focus manually, and re-taking the image, especially when shooting a complex detailed subject like that toy dog. But in any case, even if the difference is consistently there, it's trivial, and the image doesn't support your original claim.

Now you've added the claim of color neutrality, but haven't included a calibrated reference like an X-Rite Color Checker chart or similar to allow others to check your claim. So I suspect you still aren't helping your case. Saying "trust me" probably won't end the discussion.

BTW, I note differences in the focus of the two images away from the focus point. The stitching on the collar, for example, seems to be sharper in the case of the 1.4g lens. Maybe this implies a slightly different focus point, or perhaps a slight difference in aperture calibration? It's like the DOF isn't quite the same.

Have fun - I probably won't have much more to say in this thread, but will be interested to see the comparative images which led to your original claims if you get around to posting them.

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Cytokine
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Re: Something interesting
In reply to MisterHairy, May 23, 2013

MisterHairy wrote:

I very rarely want to shoot anything at f/1.4 to be honest. I honestly do believe that those 2/3 of a stop are used almost exclusively for internet bragging rights. Not much of the world's commercial photography is shot at f/1.4 and we are talking about a supposedly "pro" lens here.

I'd rather have a lens which is bloody sharp at f/1.8 than one which needs to be stopped down by two stops to compare.

I have not seen anyone on here bragging about their 1.4G 85mm lenses, In fact when discussing my older 85mm 1.4D the owners of the newer lens have responded with reserved and polite opinions.

But to state that it is completely inferior to the 1.8G sounds like inverted bragging to me!  I am sorry you find f1.4 lenses useless, but I find them better at all fstops in terms of clarity and subtle colour.

Having spent 25 years in a commercial Advertising and photographic environment, I find that Creative photographers will try everything and squeeze every drop of creativity out of their equipment.

John

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wasserball
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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to Gittix, May 23, 2013

you're spoiling the fun.  I'm taking portraits of the high school swim team, and guess which lens goes on the D3s?  

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MisterHairy
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Re: Something interesting
In reply to Cytokine, May 23, 2013

I love f/1.4 lenses. Own three of them and use them almost exclusively. I really wanted the 85/1.4 to better the 1.8 lens for this very reason, as I would have liked to swap over now that the funds are available, but one must be pragmatic about these things, and the 85/1.4 has failed to shine. To be fair, I did say "not so hot" and not "utterly crap", and I would consider being equalled or easily beaten by the cheapo 1.8 lens as a "not so hot" performance.

Also, on an earlier point, I thought that the "silent" ISO boost was implemented to overcome the less efficient take up of light as incident angles move far away from the perpendicular, as is likely with wide aperture lenses, and in particular wide fast primes. As this is going to be dependant on set aperture rather than maximum aperture here, why would the camera behave any differently for the 1.8 lens when both are stopped down to f/2 or especially f/5.6? I must be misunderstanding how it works. Does this mean that my cameras are boosting the ISO for my 70-200II, since it also has poorer light transmission characteristics than the 85/1.4? I don't believe that it does, but am happy (maybe the wrong word) to be proven wrong. Also, from what I have read, I would have thought that the 1.4 lens was the more likely candidate for the stealth ISO boost.

To be clear, I was trying out the 1.4 lens with a view to purchasing one. My original post was driven out of disappointment rather than a desire to "inversely brag" or hurt anybody else's feelings.

Cytokine wrote:

MisterHairy wrote:

I very rarely want to shoot anything at f/1.4 to be honest. I honestly do believe that those 2/3 of a stop are used almost exclusively for internet bragging rights. Not much of the world's commercial photography is shot at f/1.4 and we are talking about a supposedly "pro" lens here.

I'd rather have a lens which is bloody sharp at f/1.8 than one which needs to be stopped down by two stops to compare.

I have not seen anyone on here bragging about their 1.4G 85mm lenses, In fact when discussing my older 85mm 1.4D the owners of the newer lens have responded with reserved and polite opinions.

But to state that it is completely inferior to the 1.8G sounds like inverted bragging to me!  I am sorry you find f1.4 lenses useless, but I find them better at all fstops in terms of clarity and subtle colour.

Having spent 25 years in a commercial Advertising and photographic environment, I find that Creative photographers will try everything and squeeze every drop of creativity out of their equipment.

John

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primeshooter
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Re: The Fashionable "Bad Copy."
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, May 23, 2013

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

Ken, it's very clearly "operator error."  Your statement, here, is longhand for "I don't know all the factors at play in getting sharp focus."

It has become fashionable around here to talk about "good copies" and "bad copies" of various lenses like they're vintages of wine.  It's lame.  For your own sanity, I recommend saving the "bad copy" cry for an occasion in which you've actually covered all the bases.  Or at least a few more of them.

Because you write as though you think your camera should always achieve a perfectly accurate focus and slow-shutter camera shake is the only factor that might blur your photographs. Cue the sad trombone on that.

Lol, might have to borrow that one :^)

Consider:

  • Fast lenses with spherical elements project more than one focal plane when shot wide open.   Look up "spherical aberration" on wikipedia for an interesting illustration.   Since there isn't a single sharp focal plane to pick, your poor D800E will have a hard, hard time nailing the perfect "one" you have in mind.
  • When using through-the-viewfinder "phase detect" autofocus, Nikon cameras evaluate the scene with an f/5.6 pupil.   In other words, if you shoot wide open, the camera's autofocus sensors can't really see how shallow the depth of field actually is, and so the camera is more or less taking a guess at where, within an f/5.6 depth of field, the f/1.4 focal plane you want actually is.   (The camera sees 4 inches of sharp depth, and guesses where the actual half an inch of sharp focus is within that 4 inches.)  It's a calculated, educated guess based on the lens design and a number of other factors, but still a guess.

Want to know more?  Start here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50045281

So, while your quick shutter speed is a good start, you also need to help the camera out in a number of other ways.  Such as:

  • No AF-S Focus Recompose
  • AF Fine Tuning
  • Or: Live View (it uses a different, more accurate system to evaluate focus)
  • Or: AF-C, taking care to set the camera's evaluative delay to zero and making sure it snaps with focus-priority, not speed priority.

I think some other folks in this thread have told you the same, so let me add a +20 to all of those comments.  They're not leading you astray or trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.  Shooting a fast prime wide open is different than shooting an f/2.8 zoom, and your statement, above says in a very obvious way, "I didn't know that!"

M.

Great post.  If we had ten bucks for all the putative "bad copies" out there, we'd all be kicking sand in the Bahamas.

As well, does the photographic world really require any more portraits with blurry nose and ears?  I've seen a lot of pics taken with the 1.4, and it has much greater mojo, imo.

Great post. I always have to laugh when I see this good copy bad copy crap. Sample variation exists I am sure, but most of this stuff is in these people's heads!

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brentsp
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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to ken6217, May 23, 2013

ken6217 wrote:

Don't beat him up. I just received my 1.4g today. This is my first prime in like 25 years. I was about to post and ask why I cannot get a clear image at 1.4 on my camera and then I saw this thread.

I am not a pro, but I cant understand why I can't get a clear image at 1.4 on my D800E? At 1/2000 it certainly isn't camera shake. I'm just taking a picture of my son.

I am hugely disappointed. It could be operator error but I don't see how it could be. I take the same picture at 2.8 on my 24-70 and it is crystal clear.

Ken

I have the 85/1.4G and use to own the 1.8G.  There is no comparison, the 1.4G is sharper, bokeh is creamier and more desirable. Wide open 1.8 vs 1.4 they are really close in sharpness giving the edge to the 1.8 but after that the 1.4 edges it out, especially in the center. Dxomark.com compare both.  Go to sharpness and then field map.....its all there. BTW  I use a D700 and have yet found a replacement for it.  D3x is what I'd like to go with but that's another topic

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Cytokine
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Re: Something interesting
In reply to MisterHairy, May 23, 2013

MisterHairy wrote:

Also, on an earlier point, I thought that the "silent" ISO boost was implemented to overcome the less efficient take up of light as incident angles move far away from the perpendicular, as is likely with wide aperture lenses, and in particular wide fast primes. As this is going to be dependant on set aperture rather than maximum aperture here, why would the camera behave any differently for the 1.8 lens when both are stopped down to f/2 or especially f/5.6? I must be misunderstanding how it works. Does this mean that my cameras are boosting the ISO for my 70-200II, since it also has poorer light transmission characteristics than the 85/1.4? I don't believe that it does, but am happy (maybe the wrong word) to be proven wrong. Also, from what I have read, I would have thought that the 1.4 lens was the more likely candidate for the stealth ISO boost.

Yes! I agree that f5.6 seems very early to start silent ISO boost, It may just be my monitor, you could judge that better.

The wider lenses will let in more of all the rays, straight ones and deviated ones for any given f-stop.

Maybe Nikon feel that the D800E has such good ISO performance that they can increase ISO more early. I think they should have a warning light that comes on when the Micro-lenses cant see any more light and ISO is being boosted. There is an older article Here. http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Insights/F-stop-blues

I hope the next generation of sensors will address this problem

John

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MisterHairy
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Re: Something interesting
In reply to Cytokine, May 23, 2013

On that I agree wholeheartedly. FWIW, on my other D800E, I see the opposite behaviour in terms of shutter speed, with the 1.4 lens getting a consistently faster speed.

For what it's worth, here's another pair of image centres at f/2 with a longer subject distance. Still no slaying. In fact, I couldn't really pick between them. I need to redo some human subjects as it is totally inappropriate for me to distribute any of the "test" shots from yesterday. More's the pity, but I'd get shot.

Cytokine wrote:

MisterHairy wrote:

Also, on an earlier point, I thought that the "silent" ISO boost was implemented to overcome the less efficient take up of light as incident angles move far away from the perpendicular, as is likely with wide aperture lenses, and in particular wide fast primes. As this is going to be dependant on set aperture rather than maximum aperture here, why would the camera behave any differently for the 1.8 lens when both are stopped down to f/2 or especially f/5.6? I must be misunderstanding how it works. Does this mean that my cameras are boosting the ISO for my 70-200II, since it also has poorer light transmission characteristics than the 85/1.4? I don't believe that it does, but am happy (maybe the wrong word) to be proven wrong. Also, from what I have read, I would have thought that the 1.4 lens was the more likely candidate for the stealth ISO boost.

Yes! I agree that f5.6 seems very early to start silent ISO boost, It may just be my monitor, you could judge that better.

The wider lenses will let in more of all the rays, straight ones and deviated ones for any given f-stop.

Maybe Nikon feel that the D800E has such good ISO performance that they can increase ISO more early. I think they should have a warning light that comes on when the Micro-lenses cant see any more light and ISO is being boosted. There is an older article Here. http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Insights/F-stop-blues

I hope the next generation of sensors will address this problem

John

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MisterHairy
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Re: Something interesting
In reply to MisterHairy, May 23, 2013

The image doesn't seem to want to work (I am sure that it will now!) so here's another try.

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Cytokine
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Re: Something interesting
In reply to MisterHairy, May 23, 2013

MisterHairy wrote:

On that I agree wholeheartedly. FWIW, on my other D800E, I see the opposite behaviour in terms of shutter speed, with the 1.4 lens getting a consistently faster speed.

For what it's worth, here's another pair of image centres at f/2 with a longer subject distance. Still no slaying. In fact, I couldn't really pick between them. I need to redo some human subjects as it is totally inappropriate for me to distribute any of the "test" shots from yesterday. More's the pity, but I'd get shot.

I can see more detail in the wood detail on the right, in the 1.4 also there is marginally more blurring on the right hand side photo. Odd that the cameras should perform differently. Larger lenses have more spherical aberration that shows more as the lens is opened up.

I love good bokeh, I think if they had put a nine blade aperture in the 1.8G it would have been closer still, but the aberration caused by the wide lens also contributes to bokeh.

The blossoms I posted recently

John

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Lance B
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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to Daisy AU, May 23, 2013

Daisy AU wrote:

Lance B wrote:

MisterHairy wrote:

But have you personally tried and compared the 1.8 lens, Lance? It seems to me that it would be a little difficult to make any claims about the relative performance without having first hand experience.

I am not making the claims, you are, and that is what I am calling you on. Do I have to say it again? Sheesh! you stated emphatically:

"Sharpness is a no-brainer. The cheaper lens simply slays the 1.4 all the way up to f/5.6 or 8. It's not even close for the first couple of stops."

You basically canned the 85 f1.4G, not just simply said that the 85 f1.8 might have been a tad better say, when value for money is considered, but you canned it outright.

Also, I know that it's easy to fall into the trap of name calling, but I'd appreciate if you would try to show some restraint. I am neither slow nor ignorant, thank you, just curious and open minded enough to compare a couple of lenses and anecdotally share my results.

I didn't call you a name at all, I said you were a little slow on the uptake. That is not necessarily an indictment of you, just that you may be in this case.

Sorry that I touched a raw nerve.

There is no raw nerve, I am just calling you out on your claim, which flies in the face of all evidence, anecdotally, review and test.

The 1.8 lens is in no way "beloved" to me. It's a lens and I am able to maintain some perspective in my life.

LOL. Really? Making such an outlandish claim? That certainly doesn't seem as though you are able to maintain some perspective in life.

p.s. Have you tried the 1.8 lens personally?

I don't need to as I have seen extensive photographic results from both lenses from accomplished photogs and I have also read the just about every review and can make a very good judgement from that. My thoughts would be similar to those of these reviews, and that is, both lenses are excellent:

The 85 f1.4 G is a smidgen sharper from f2.8 to f5.6 and better in the corners and has wonderful bokeh in certain circumstances. It has low CA, is well built and focuses quite fast, is quite expensive but you get what you pay for.

The 85 f1.8G is a smidgen sharper at the wider apertures, also has wonderful bokeh in certain situations, has reasonably low CA, is well built, a tad slower to AF and is a real bargain.

However, overall both lenses are very close, both are sharp, both have relatively low CA, both well built and both focus well. So, regardless that I have never used the 85 f1.8G I am sure when I say that, neither slays the other in any respect.

Each to their own ... I, for one, appreciated MisterHairy's real life comparison and don't see it as an attention seeking (or whatever else you called it) thread.\

You are completely missing the point and maybe you want to miss the point. However, as you are in the market for the f1.8 version, I can see why you would make your comment.

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Lance B
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Re: Something interesting
In reply to MisterHairy, May 23, 2013

MisterHairy wrote:

I did mention the differences in DOF, but also agree that the points of focus differ slightly. If you do take time to read the words, you'll also see that I concede that it's hardly a "slaying" here.

That's all I wanted to hear. My beef with you was your original statement of "The cheaper lens simply slays the 1.4 all the way up to f/5.6 or 8. It's not even close for the first couple of stops. CA is also worse on the 1.4" was clearly wrong and I felt that needed to be called into question. Slaying was way over the top and even the CA comment was found to be wanting, according to the  tests.

I have no issue if you believe that the 85 1.8 is better for you and you stating that, but let's try to keep the comments realistic.

D800 + 85 f1.4 @ f5

crop

@ f2.8

@ f5.6

Ray Ritchie wrote:

I have nothing against the 85 f/1.8g. I played with it the day I got my D800, and liked it. I actually went to B&H a couple of months ago looking for it, but it was out of stock (as it has been for months). They did have the 85 f/1.4g that day, however, and after trying that one out, I just decided to give myself a treat and splurge for it. I haven't been sorry. The 85 f/1.4g is the best lens I own, and I find myself looking for opportunities to use it.

My problem (and I suspect it's the problem that many others have with this thread) is that you said in your original title that the 85mm f/1.4g is "not so hot" and you claimed in the OP that the 85 f/1.8g "slays" it. Your images don't support those contentions, and especially re sharpness, they show very minor differences. I can get bigger differences than that with any of my lenses by taking multiple images, racking the focus manually, and re-taking the image, especially when shooting a complex detailed subject like that toy dog. But in any case, even if the difference is consistently there, it's trivial, and the image doesn't support your original claim.

Now you've added the claim of color neutrality, but haven't included a calibrated reference like an X-Rite Color Checker chart or similar to allow others to check your claim. So I suspect you still aren't helping your case. Saying "trust me" probably won't end the discussion.

BTW, I note differences in the focus of the two images away from the focus point. The stitching on the collar, for example, seems to be sharper in the case of the 1.4g lens. Maybe this implies a slightly different focus point, or perhaps a slight difference in aperture calibration? It's like the DOF isn't quite the same.

Have fun - I probably won't have much more to say in this thread, but will be interested to see the comparative images which led to your original claims if you get around to posting them.

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Nikon D800E Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +13 more
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Ruh Roh!
In reply to MisterHairy, May 23, 2013

MisterHairy wrote:

Before I start to prepare our evening meal, I have snapped off a few test shots. However, before I show them (not that there is much point, as the single attached image will show) I have noticed something interesting.

The 1.8 lens is consistently giving me shorter exposure times, by 1/3 of a stop or so for the same aperture setting as the 1.4 lens when shot in A mode. This is at every aperture, and while my test shots were conducted outside, I see the same indoors under more controlled lighting as well. In addition to this, the 1.4 lens appears to be giving me slightly more DOF than the 1.8 lens at the same nominal aperture, which makes me think that the camera (D800E) is stopping the 1.4 lens down too far, since I think (can't be arsed to check now) that the 1.4 lens is supposed to be faster in T-stop terms than the 1.8 at the same aperture. If anybody knows otherwise, I'd be grateful for the information.

In any case, this is a screengrab of Lightroom with the two f/2 images open in Compare. Images were imported using the "Default" setting with the default sharpening of 25/1.0/25/0 in both cases. No subsequent manipulation has been done in either case. Tripod, liveview focusing on the nose and 3s exposure delay. A mode. This is the image centre in each case.

The 1.8 lens is sharper at the point of focus, but it's not a slaying, I have to confess, which means that I shall revisit the model shots from yesterday and work out what the differences were.

And, as if on cue:

There's the obligatory comparison shot where I'm supposed to see the "obvious" superiority of the f/1.8's image, and yet find more to like in the f/1.4 image?

(The fringing is more obvious on the f/1.8 side.  I think I might prefer the f/1.4 side's exposure (why they're different, sheesh, I'm not even going to touch.)  The "more color neutral" claim is a tough one to sell if you shot these in auto white balance, especially with the exposure variation.)

Also, this kind of comparison doesn't demonstrate the f/1.8's real strength, which, if I'm to understand it, is chart-topping sharpness at distance and smaller apertures.  Why not show us that?

These wacky comparisons are always bound to reveal more about you, the claimant, than they are about either lens.   So what this thread is really about, now, is the difference between your hot air argument about "best" and the comparative photographs that reveal no truth in any of it.  WTF, man?

This place is so weird sometimes.

M.

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marike6
Senior MemberPosts: 5,070Gear list
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Photozone disagrees...
In reply to MisterHairy, May 23, 2013

Nikon 85 1.4G

http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/606-nikkorafs8514ff?start=1

Nikon 85 1.8G

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

I have the 85 1.8G and I think it's great.  That said, I'd trade it for the 85 1.4G is a heartbeat, even if the two lenses were priced the same.  The extra lens speed, metal barrel, 9-blade aperture, etc  are all huge benefits of the more expensive lens.  So, even though I love my 85 1.8G, I'm not so naive to think that it's a better lens than the 85 1.4G, one of the finest portrait lenses ever made.

As far as your assertions, the Photozone resolution test pretty clearly shows the f/1.4 with better performance in the center.  By f/4.0 it reaches an extremely high 4000 lw/ph a level not achieved by the f/1.8G lens.

Anyway, the above two links if you look at the data in the two tests, do not at all support the premise of your post.

This topic has been beaten to death but if the 85 1.8G works for you, enjoy it. Why you need to prove that the less expensive lens is superior to the Nikon top-of-the-line, totally ignoring the larger the max aperture, the far better build quality, AF speed, bokeh, etc and all without posting a single image to at least try to support your assertions is beyond me.  But perhaps you will upload some of your side-by-side tests in the future.

Anybody can make any claim they want on the internet.  Without images, crops, something, it's all just talk, IMHO.  No offense.

 marike6's gear list:marike6's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P330 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Nikon D800 Fujifilm X-E1 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +7 more
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Lance B
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Re: Ruh Roh!
In reply to MarkJH, May 23, 2013

MarkJH wrote:

MisterHairy wrote:

Before I start to prepare our evening meal, I have snapped off a few test shots. However, before I show them (not that there is much point, as the single attached image will show) I have noticed something interesting.

The 1.8 lens is consistently giving me shorter exposure times, by 1/3 of a stop or so for the same aperture setting as the 1.4 lens when shot in A mode. This is at every aperture, and while my test shots were conducted outside, I see the same indoors under more controlled lighting as well. In addition to this, the 1.4 lens appears to be giving me slightly more DOF than the 1.8 lens at the same nominal aperture, which makes me think that the camera (D800E) is stopping the 1.4 lens down too far, since I think (can't be arsed to check now) that the 1.4 lens is supposed to be faster in T-stop terms than the 1.8 at the same aperture. If anybody knows otherwise, I'd be grateful for the information.

In any case, this is a screengrab of Lightroom with the two f/2 images open in Compare. Images were imported using the "Default" setting with the default sharpening of 25/1.0/25/0 in both cases. No subsequent manipulation has been done in either case. Tripod, liveview focusing on the nose and 3s exposure delay. A mode. This is the image centre in each case.

The 1.8 lens is sharper at the point of focus, but it's not a slaying, I have to confess, which means that I shall revisit the model shots from yesterday and work out what the differences were.

And, as if on cue:

There's the obligatory comparison shot where I'm supposed to see the "obvious" superiority of the f/1.8's image, and yet find more to like in the f/1.4 image?

(The fringing is more obvious on the f/1.8 side.  I think I might prefer the f/1.4 side's exposure (why they're different, sheesh, I'm not even going to touch.)  The "more color neutral" claim is a tough one to sell if you shot these in auto white balance, especially with the exposure variation.)

Also, this kind of comparison doesn't demonstrate the f/1.8's real strength, which, if I'm to understand it, is chart-topping sharpness at distance and smaller apertures.  Why not show us that?

These wacky comparisons are always bound to reveal more about you, the claimant, than they are about either lens.   So what this thread is really about, now, is the difference between your hot air argument about "best" and the comparative photographs that reveal no truth in any of it.  WTF, man?

This place is so weird sometimes.

Perfectly put.

M.

 Lance B's gear list:Lance B's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +13 more
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MiraShootsNikon
Contributing MemberPosts: 601
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Yup, it's pretty pitchy.
In reply to MarkJH, May 23, 2013

MarkJH wrote:

And, as if on cue:

There's the obligatory comparison shot where I'm supposed to see the "obvious" superiority of the f/1.8's image, and yet find more to like in the f/1.4 image?

(The fringing is more obvious on the f/1.8 side.  I think I might prefer the f/1.4 side's exposure (why they're different, sheesh, I'm not even going to touch.)  The "more color neutral" claim is a tough one to sell if you shot these in auto white balance, especially with the exposure variation.)

Also, this kind of comparison doesn't demonstrate the f/1.8's real strength, which, if I'm to understand it, is chart-topping sharpness at distance and smaller apertures.  Why not show us that?

These wacky comparisons are always bound to reveal more about you, the claimant, than they are about either lens.   So what this thread is really about, now, is the difference between your hot air argument about "best" and the comparative photographs that reveal no truth in any of it.  WTF, man?

This place is so weird sometimes.

M.

"Ruh Roh!" and it's a picture of a dog!  

(That's a fine grab at the snark crown, MarkJH.)

Agreed, though, that MisterHairy walked himself right off the deep end on this.   It's a draw at best.  Maybe a "draw" is a "win" for the f/1.8 given that it's so much cheaper, but then there's build quality and flare resistance and weather resistance and all those other uses and results that a "test" like this won't show . . . . backlight, specular highlights, moderate distances, etc. etc. etc.

And we don't know if he's fine tuning, how he's fine tuning.  We don't know how he's white balancing.  We don't know what distance this is (how big the dog is, etc.)   He's talking word salad about "t-stops at comparable apertures," so it doesn't bode well for the rest of it.  And then there's just the general principle of thinking that a Rockwell-esque comparison like this actually shows something, anything, at all.  (Shades of the infamous Rockwellian stuffed Monkey, no?)

MisterHairy: you're pretty pitchy here, dawg.

mira

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