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

Started May 22, 2013 | Discussions
Shotcents
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Funny thread!
In reply to MiraShootsNikon, May 24, 2013

I'd say there's quite a bit of lying going on here. QUITE A BIT.

Having used ALL of the 85mm lenses and carefully comparing the 1.4G to the 1.8G, I chose the 1.8. I have fairly specific reasons that suit HOW I SHOOT and WHAT I SHOOT.

But anyone who claims there are big differences between the two lenses is simply a liar. No matter how you care to look at it, both lenses are VERY sharp, produce VERY nice bokeh and VERY good color.

Most of the time, shooting with my D800 and D700, I could hardly tell which lens shot what! Nobody, who's seriously out there shooting, would give two hoots about the tiny optical differences. That's how small they are.

I think folks need to grow up a bit. Many of the posts "1.8 slays" and "No comparison" are just comical. If you can actually take a good photo, the differences between these two lenses would be about as important to the final image as what you had for breakfast.

Both are excellent. I prefer the 1.8G. Some folks like the 1.4. What's the big deal? They are so close that these discussions are common. It's not rocket science. Pick the lens you like and take some photos!

Robert

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Lance B
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Re: Funny thread!
In reply to Shotcents, May 24, 2013

Shotcents wrote:

I'd say there's quite a bit of lying going on here. QUITE A BIT.

Having used ALL of the 85mm lenses and carefully comparing the 1.4G to the 1.8G, I chose the 1.8. I have fairly specific reasons that suit HOW I SHOOT and WHAT I SHOOT.

But anyone who claims there are big differences between the two lenses is simply a liar. No matter how you care to look at it, both lenses are VERY sharp, produce VERY nice bokeh and VERY good color.

Most of the time, shooting with my D800 and D700, I could hardly tell which lens shot what! Nobody, who's seriously out there shooting, would give two hoots about the tiny optical differences. That's how small they are.

I think folks need to grow up a bit. Many of the posts "1.8 slays" and "No comparison" are just comical. If you can actually take a good photo, the differences between these two lenses would be about as important to the final image as what you had for breakfast.

Both are excellent. I prefer the 1.8G. Some folks like the 1.4. What's the big deal? They are so close that these discussions are common. It's not rocket science. Pick the lens you like and take some photos!

Robert

I am glad we finally agree on something, Robert.

This is basically what I was trying to get across all the way through this thread.

"I think folks need to grow up a bit. Many of the posts "1.8 slays" and "No comparison" are just comical. If you can actually take a good photo, the differences between these two lenses would be about as important to the final image as what you had for breakfast.

Both are excellent. I prefer the 1.8G. Some folks like the 1.4. What's the big deal? They are so close that these discussions are common. It's not rocket science. Pick the lens you like and take some photos!"

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Truth to power, Kanye, truth to power.
In reply to Shotcents, May 24, 2013

Shotcents wrote:

I'd say there's quite a bit of lying going on here. QUITE A BIT.

Having used ALL of the 85mm lenses and carefully comparing the 1.4G to the 1.8G, I chose the 1.8. I have fairly specific reasons that suit HOW I SHOOT and WHAT I SHOOT.

But anyone who claims there are big differences between the two lenses is simply a liar. No matter how you care to look at it, both lenses are VERY sharp, produce VERY nice bokeh and VERY good color.

Most of the time, shooting with my D800 and D700, I could hardly tell which lens shot what! Nobody, who's seriously out there shooting, would give two hoots about the tiny optical differences. That's how small they are.

I think folks need to grow up a bit. Many of the posts "1.8 slays" and "No comparison" are just comical. If you can actually take a good photo, the differences between these two lenses would be about as important to the final image as what you had for breakfast.

Both are excellent. I prefer the 1.8G. Some folks like the 1.4. What's the big deal? They are so close that these discussions are common. It's not rocket science. Pick the lens you like and take some photos!

Robert

And cue no. 2 drops in 85mm "best of all time" script.

But since the stuffed dog super-comparo left matters a bit hazy (literally), I can thankfully now apply my foolproof "Shotcents Super-Reverso Principle" and *really* know which one I prefer.

You know what this thread really needs, now?  It needs Kanye West to jump in and remind us that while the 85mm f1.8G is nice enough--Yo Shotcents I'm really happy for ya and I'm 'ma let ya finish--but whatever Beyonce likes is the greatest 85 lens of all time.  ALL TIME!

M.

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ffnikclif
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Re: Photozone disagrees...
In reply to marike6, May 24, 2013

I believe the 85 1.8g is a very good lens. I think I'll just go ahead & keep my 85 1.4g. It is tough having an to be stuck with the 1.4 but I'll just have to buck up & make due. Poor me. Glad you were able to get your hands on the 1.8 Mister Hairy.

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Daisy AU
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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to Lance B, May 24, 2013

Lance B wrote:

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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Firstly, I am not in the market for either.  It's in my 'Wish List' and it was included there after I did my OWN research.  THE ONLY aspect I prefer from the 1.4, is the bokeh.  Nothing else.  And when you consider that, at least here in Australia, the 1.4 costs 3 times what the 1.8 costs, I cannot see the justification of paying US$1,400 more for creamy bokeh.  Just accept the fact that I do not agree with you.  Period!

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KLO82
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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to MisterHairy, May 24, 2013

1.8G is sharper at f1.8 than 1.4G at f1.4. By f2 and onwards both the lenses are very sharp.

1.8G shows unnoticeable amount of pincushion distortion whereas 1.4G shows higher amount of barrel distortion (which is also very low in absolute terms).

1.8G has more or less same amount of vignetting as 1.4G at widest aperture. At f2 and f2.8, 1.8G has more vignetting than 1.4G at those apertures.

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Debankur Mukherjee
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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to MisterHairy, May 24, 2013

I have been using the 1.8 version for few months and its fantastic....don't buy the 1.4 at 4 times the price of the 1.8 version..........

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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 24, 2013

Daisy AU wrote:

Lance B wrote:

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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Firstly, I am not in the market for either.  It's in my 'Wish List' and it was included there after I did my OWN research.  THE ONLY aspect I prefer from the 1.4, is the bokeh.  Nothing else.  And when you consider that, at least here in Australia, the 1.4 costs 3 times what the 1.8 costs, I cannot see the justification of paying US$1,400 more for creamy bokeh.  Just accept the fact that I do not agree with you.  Period!

LOL. Whoah, settle down, I really could care less. However, it seems as though you are quite taken by his outlandish comments of the 1.8 over the 1.4 which is just plainly just rubbish he even admitted as such later. His comments also fly in the face of just about every other credible photog and test.

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Daisy AU - Brisbane
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MisterHairy
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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to Lance B, May 24, 2013

Lance.

Just what is it about a complete stranger making an assertion on a relatively insignificant internet forum that gets so far under your skin? Something has clearly got your back up to the point where you simply have to have the last word in the "conversation" and I sort of find it interesting, on a social level, what drives an individual to such an extreme reaction.

It's almost as though I logged in and said: "This Lance chap doesn't know his a-hole from his f-stop", but I didn't. I declared that a lens was "not so hot".

A lens.

Not your wife.

A lens.

An inanimate object with no feelings and which is just a tool. Not even a lifestyle choice.

Everything in moderation, my friend. If a disparaging remark about a lens brings you out in your Internet Police uniform, then it might be time to slow down a little before you burst something.

I have been mature enough to post some images, even though they do not support my original rhetoric, and have conceded that I need to revisit my first images which led me to draw my contentious conclusions. I had hoped that this might be enough to slake your iRage, yet you are now picking an argument with an innocent bystander.

Let it go. If I have made a mistake, then I shall be big enough to admit it. Please don't fill the thread up before I have the chance to.

On a more positive note, I do see that you have made the effort to read my words, for which I thank you. This is more than can be said for some of the other "contributors" on this board, who demonstrate levels of reading comprehension about as lowly as their maturity. Amazing what will pass as an education these days.

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nathantw
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Re: Yup, it's pretty pitchy.
In reply to MiraShootsNikon, May 24, 2013

MiraShootsNikon wrote:

"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

Thanks for the laugh. That was pretty good, especially the last line.

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Osvaldo Cristo
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I love my "overpriced and outdated" Nikkor 85 f/1.4 AFD
In reply to MisterHairy, May 24, 2013

For my particular case I love my "overpriced and outdated" Nikkor 85 f/1.4 AFD and I cannot justify any lens changing against the current lens availability and my present situation.

I think the OP is absolute right in his procedure and very kind to share his findings. It is one more contribution to destroy the myth the more expensive and last release thing is necessary better for all. It is not.

Different people with different skills and quality demand offers very broad possibilities to offer a single fit all solution for the best one.

Regards,

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Art Jacks
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Re: I love my "overpriced and outdated" Nikkor 85 f/1.4 AFD
In reply to Osvaldo Cristo, May 24, 2013

It maybe a minor point but the 1.8 version is the most recent of the Nikon releases at this focal length !

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RBFresno
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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to MisterHairy, May 24, 2013

MisterHairy wrote:

get the 1.8 G. It's actually the better lens.

Hmmm.....

I wonder how much better these shots would be with the 85 1.8 G......

Nikon D3 ,Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF AF
1/100s f/1.4 at 85.0mm iso3200

Nikon D50 ,Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF AF ,Kenko extension tubes
1/30s f/1.4 at 85.0mm

Nikon D3 ,Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF AF
1/125s f/1.4 at 85.0mm iso3200

RB

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CFynn
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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to SuperAchromat, May 24, 2013

SuperAchromat wrote:

Your observation about sharpness is no surprise.  Almost to a tee, slower lenses beat faster ones at all f-stops.

That may often be true where the lens manufacturer pays the same attention to design, materials and build quality in both lenses.  However with modern Nikon lenses, Nikon go a lot further in all aspects with the faster versions of the same focal length lens - and the price reflects this.

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MisterHairy
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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to RBFresno, May 24, 2013

Difficult to say, with postage stamp sized images, RB, but I suspect that my cell 'phone wouldn't be too far behind the majority of those at these sizes.

With the better high ISO capabilities of the D800, over the cameras listed by your images, I could even afford to stop the 1.8 down a little for a tad more DOF, as would likely benefit all but the shot of the tendril.

The 1.8G is most certainly sharper than the 1.4D too, which would not hurt.

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Guidenet
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Excessive Hyperbole :-)
In reply to MisterHairy, May 24, 2013

Whew, I read most of this thread and came away with not that much. I believe the OP, way exaggerated any differences between these two lenses, and I don't think one or the other has an obvious advantage in resolution over the other. Guess what? I own one 85 f/1.4G and have owned two 85 f/1.8G models along with having owned one 85 f/1.4D AF. The D model was stolen from my hotel room while on assignment. One f/1.8G was purchased for my gal on her birthday. The other I bought for my daughter who is a successful wedding photographer. I used it for a few weeks for fun prior to her stopping over to pick it up. I've had the f/1.4G for over a year since my beloved AFD model was stolen.

I work both on location and in a studio environment. For me and my style, I much prefer the 85 f/1.4G over the 85 f/1.8G. I could care less about which is more expensive. I also don't shoot much wide open at f/1.4 or f/1.8. For outside portraiture, I often shoot at anywhere from f/2 to f/5.6 depending on what I want with the background. Sometimes even smaller.

In the studio, I generally shoot at f/5.6 to f/8 so I didn't go with the 85 f/1.4 for the wider max aperture. I went with it because I like the rendition better, much better in fact. I also like the way the background OOF areas degrade gracefully as you stop down. You still get pretty backgrounds with a portrait made at f/5.6. To me the 85 f/1.8G gets a bit busy as it stops down comparatively. That's what I'm paying for with the f/1.4 and that is definitely worth it to me in my business.

In the studio where background bokeh isn't so important, I personally see better micro contrast and better gradations on the f/1.4 lens. That's probably taste and opinion, but so be it. It has to do with the character of the glass, and I believe in magic. To me, the f/1.4G has more magic than the more clinical look of the f/1.8G. It's something that really comes alive when printing fairly large portraits, not so much web published work.

I think what Lance objects to is the excessive hyperbole in the initial post and the fact that it's been over and over and over here on the forums. Personally, I could care less. The only thing I believe is the Nikon 85 f/1.8G really slays the price tag of the 85 f/1.4G. Is it worth it? That's up to the photographer and their tastes. Take care everyone.

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primeshooter
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Re: I love my "overpriced and outdated" Nikkor 85 f/1.4 AFD
In reply to Osvaldo Cristo, May 24, 2013

Osvaldo Cristo wrote:

For my particular case I love my "overpriced and outdated" Nikkor 85 f/1.4 AFD and I cannot justify any lens changing against the current lens availability and my present situation.

I think the OP is absolute right in his procedure and very kind to share his findings. It is one more contribution to destroy the myth the more expensive and last release thing is necessary better for all. It is not.

Different people with different skills and quality demand offers very broad possibilities to offer a single fit all solution for the best one.

Regards,

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Opinions of men are almost as various as their faces - so many men so many minds. B. Franklin

Agree, I love the 85mm 1.4D also...no reason to update.

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MisterHairy
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Re: Excessive Hyperbole :-)
In reply to Guidenet, May 24, 2013

you're not saying that I'm talking hyperbollocks, are you?

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Chrichey
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Re: Funny thread!
In reply to Shotcents, May 24, 2013

Shotcents wrote:

I'd say there's quite a bit of lying going on here. QUITE A BIT.

Having used ALL of the 85mm lenses and carefully comparing the 1.4G to the 1.8G, I chose the 1.8. I have fairly specific reasons that suit HOW I SHOOT and WHAT I SHOOT.

But anyone who claims there are big differences between the two lenses is simply a liar. No matter how you care to look at it, both lenses are VERY sharp, produce VERY nice bokeh and VERY good color.

Most of the time, shooting with my D800 and D700, I could hardly tell which lens shot what! Nobody, who's seriously out there shooting, would give two hoots about the tiny optical differences. That's how small they are.

I think folks need to grow up a bit. Many of the posts "1.8 slays" and "No comparison" are just comical. If you can actually take a good photo, the differences between these two lenses would be about as important to the final image as what you had for breakfast.

Both are excellent. I prefer the 1.8G. Some folks like the 1.4. What's the big deal? They are so close that these discussions are common. It's not rocket science. Pick the lens you like and take some photos!

Robert

Forgedaboutit

85mm 1.4g is better than 85mm 1.8g. ....period....What more don't you understand. Nikon made a cheap lens good and made a rugged expensive lens the best you could ever find...what more do you need to understand? Feel free to buy the 1.8. I am hard to find anybody who actually had the money to buy the 1.4g comfortably who did not. The best can not be explained well enough in words but in pictures, so as you go on with your career in photography you may begin to understand the ruggedness and examplary image quality of the 85mm 1.4g. time will tell

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Chrichey
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Re: Funny thread!
In reply to Chrichey, May 24, 2013

Chrichey wrote:

Shotcents wrote:

I'd say there's quite a bit of lying going on here. QUITE A BIT.

Having used ALL of the 85mm lenses and carefully comparing the 1.4G to the 1.8G, I chose the 1.8. I have fairly specific reasons that suit HOW I SHOOT and WHAT I SHOOT.

But anyone who claims there are big differences between the two lenses is simply a liar. No matter how you care to look at it, both lenses are VERY sharp, produce VERY nice bokeh and VERY good color.

Most of the time, shooting with my D800 and D700, I could hardly tell which lens shot what! Nobody, who's seriously out there shooting, would give two hoots about the tiny optical differences. That's how small they are.

I think folks need to grow up a bit. Many of the posts "1.8 slays" and "No comparison" are just comical. If you can actually take a good photo, the differences between these two lenses would be about as important to the final image as what you had for breakfast.

Both are excellent. I prefer the 1.8G. Some folks like the 1.4. What's the big deal? They are so close that these discussions are common. It's not rocket science. Pick the lens you like and take some photos!

Robert

Forgedaboutit

85mm 1.4g is better than 85mm 1.8g. ....period....What more don't you understand. Nikon made a cheap lens good and made a rugged expensive lens the best you could ever find...what more do you need to understand? Feel free to buy the 1.8. I am hard to find anybody who actually had the money to buy the 1.4g comfortably who did not. The best can not be explained well enough in words but in pictures, so as you go on with your career in photography you may begin to understand the ruggedness and examplary image quality of the 85mm 1.4g. time will tell

Even just the weight shows the difference, one is plastic, the other is heavy glass and alloy

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