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

Started May 22, 2013 | Discussions
nathantw
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Re: Funny thread!
In reply to Chrichey, May 24, 2013

Here's a difference we all forgot to add, for whatever it's worth which is probably nothing -

f/1.8G - made in China

f/1.4G - made in Japan

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RBFresno
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Cell phones Rule! (Great for thin DOF and high ISO images ?)
In reply to MisterHairy, May 24, 2013

MisterHairy wrote:

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.

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

Nikon D3 ,Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF AF
1/200s f/1.4 at 85.0mm iso5000

View: original size

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

View: original size

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

View: original size

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

View: original size

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.

I disagree. I like the DOF on all of the above...but that's just me. Perhaps you like everything in sharp focus....

Would this cat be improved by increasing the DOF?

I suspect there are some who would say, "Yes", and others who would say, "No".

As far as I'm concerned, they're both right. ;-):

Could you show us some of your 85 f/1.8 shots that you think might benefit  from less DOF?

If you don't have any, then that might explain why you don't care for the 85 1.4. But your particular preference  wouldn't explain why others might strongly favor having the 1.4 over the 1.8.

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

I suspect that my cell 'phone wouldn't be too far behind the majority of those at these sizes.

.

Really.....

How does your cell phone do at exposures requiring ISO 5000 and f/1.4?

And how is your cell phone at obtaining a thin DOF?

How much sharper is the 85 1.8 at f/1.4 and f/1.6?

Do you think that all images are made better by being taken with lenses that are sharper?

If so, you might want something other than the 85 1.8 :

Nikon D3 ,Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZF
1/320s f/8.0 at 100.0mm iso1600

If this "postage stamp  size image"  is too difficult to assess, here is a crop where the airborne pollen particles in the upper left corner can be counted.:

In any event, I am intrigued by your knowledge, and would love to see examples of your work!

Thanks!

RB

(I'm in the middle of a lunch break from a hassled workday, so excuse my lack of tact and usually restrained cynicism!)

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

Guidenet wrote:

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

Lawl! Ding ding ding. Even funnier than me. Thanks for the laugh, crichey.

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

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

Yes, you're right.

Nothing.

nathantw wrote:

Here's a difference we all forgot to add, for whatever it's worth which is probably nothing -

f/1.8G - made in China

f/1.4G - made in Japan

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MisterHairy
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Re: Cell phones Rule! (Great for thin DOF and high ISO images ?)
In reply to RBFresno, May 24, 2013

Since we all take Photozone's results as gospel these days, apparently, it rather tickled me to see that the differences in sharpness between your Cosina lens and the Nikkor 85/1.8G are so slight as to be almost non existent at f/8.

Can't deny the quality of that shot though. Nicely done (and obviously, closer than the 85 can get).

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MisterHairy
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Re: Cell phones Rule! (Great for thin DOF and high ISO images ?)
In reply to RBFresno, May 24, 2013

I forgot to say that I would prefer a bit more DOF on the Big cat. There comes a point for me where thin DOF looks unnatural and makes my eyes strain in an attempt to see more.

Subject isolation, I fully get and appreciate. Single feature isolation is (IMO) faddy and even rather (sorry!) screams "amateur got a new lens". Shooting everything wide open is akin to buying a 70-200mm and only using it at 200mm. IMO.

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Guidenet
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Re: Truth to power, Kanye, truth to power.
In reply to MarkJH, May 24, 2013

MarkJH wrote:

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!

Heheheh. so funny. I love it. The foolproof "Shotcents Super-Reverso Principle."

Gotta love Mira's "Shades of the infamous Rockwellian stuffed Monkey, no?" as well. Both spot on. Poor Ken and his stuffed monkey. LOL

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

Sorry, it seems that the immaturity is infectious in this thread. I'll shut up now. Ciao!

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

At Imaging EXPO this past January here in Atlanta, the Nikon rep at their booth said that Nikon, Inc. think the 85/1.8G is a better lens than the 85/1.4G.  Only get the 84/1.4 if you just have to have the extra 2/3 stop, and then think long and hard about it.

That said, I wish mine had less Longitudinal Chromatic Aberation.   With certain combinations of out of focus highlights, it tends to ruin the shot for me sometimes.   Lightroom typically cannot deal with this, nor does Capture NX2.

I often find myself stopping down to 4.0 or 5.6 to smooth or eliminate the CA, at which point I may as well be using the 70-200/4G VR, which is an awesome lens from wide open, and it has VR, too.

If the background/foreground isn't too "busy" or shiny/specular, the 85/1.8G is amazing from wide open, and even a little CA is not always bad, depending on the subject.  For under $400 during their rebates, this lens was a steal!

Meanwhile, come on Sigma, where are those Art Series 24, 50 & 84 / F1.4 lenses that will perform as well as the stellar 35/1.4?   Ha Ha!  One can only wish!  I'd settle for an F1.8 on the 24mm so it could be 67mm filter thread and smaller/lighter.

While not perfect with regard to CA and bokeh, my Sigma 35/1.4 is optically impressive in all regards, and easily my favorite lens on the D600.  Plus, I know that when it's mounted, nothing is going to blow it away because it's so dang heavy...

Cheers.

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SubPrime
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So you admit you were talking rubbish when you claimed the 1.8 slayed the 1.4 at all apertures
In reply to MisterHairy, May 24, 2013

MisterHairy wrote:

It's funny to see comments like mine bring out the anxiety attacks in the easily undermined.

it's funny to see people who can't afford the premium lenses go to such lengths to pretend they ended up with the better lens anyway.  You're the one that started this thread, obviously because you had to justify why you ended up with the inferior lens,  yet you have the gall to accuse others of being insecure and having to reassure themselves.

Funny really.

All of the test data out there supports my claim that at wider apertures, the 1.8 lens is sharper.

Then point to it.  You seem to have a fear of putting your money where your mouth is.  You refuse to show comparative tests and can't provide a URL.

What's up with that?

Above f/5.6 or so, the 1.4 lens may be marginally sharper, but I doubt that many eyes could discriminate between the two. Especially in a print (you know, those things that you sell to clients).

So you admit you were talking rubbish when you claimed the 1.8 slayed the 1.4 at all apertures.

Pleasing blur is important, but this isn't Japan, and the reality is that at typical working apertures, there is little to tell between the two lenses. The 1.4 lens is a little warmer, but that's hardly a massive hurdle to get over for the 1.8. Flare resistance might be a valid point for many, but personally, this is not a big deal.

So really, this post was all about convincing yourself that the inferior lens isn't really so bad becasue no one will be able to tell in the final print.

Clearly, my opinion is based around my own usage patterns and personal bias. I appreciate that, but I think that folks who respond by calling my observations "garbage" are revealing rather more fragility and immaturity than they might like.

I see.  So using the word "garbage" isreveals fragilityk, but using the word "slays" is perfectly mature and manly.  Got it.

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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 MisterHairy, May 24, 2013

MisterHairy wrote:

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?

Well, I wouldn't say it was insignificant, but that is neither here nor there. You haven't got under my skin at all, I will happily go about my business and keep shooting photos just as I always have. But thank you for your concern of my welfare.

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.

Probably the same thing that drives you to feel so compelled to write this post, you could have moved on but you didn't.

At the end of the day, it's really quite simple, I just don't like to see misinformation.

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 think you have a picture in your mind of me that is far from reality. When I see something wrong I try to correct it, I call it as I see it. If I hadn't, would you have made the effort to really see that you had possibly jumped to a conclusion too early and then seen that you had gone over the top with your original post?

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.

LOL. Trust me, there is no iRage, I'm as calm as a cucumber. I just do not like to see misinformation as your original post was way over the top and I felt it needed to be corrected.

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.

I did let it go, but I all I did is to reply to Daisy's dig above.

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.

I commend you highly on admitting that you had gone over the top and retracted your original assertion.

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

Guidenet wrote:

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.

Absolutely perfectly put, Craig. You have hit the nail right on the head - I wish I had put it that succinctly!

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Guidenet
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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to HomoSapiensWannaBe, May 25, 2013

HomoSapiensWannaBe wrote:

At Imaging EXPO this past January here in Atlanta, the Nikon rep at their booth said that Nikon, Inc. think the 85/1.8G is a better lens than the 85/1.4G.  Only get the 84/1.4 if you just have to have the extra 2/3 stop, and then think long and hard about it.

Somehow, I don't really believe that a Nikon rep speaking as a Nikon rep would say that Nikon believes their 85/1.8G is a better lens than their 85/1.4G. He might be being polite while someone pontificated to him and nodded his head in affirmation, but I don't think he would say such a thing.

Furthermore, I would also doubt a Nikon rep would suggest to only buy the 85 f/1.4G if you have to have an extra 2/3rd stop. That would be extremely simplistic and might only come from the lips of a novice photographer, not the representative of an optics company.

The hyperbole abounds in threads such as this on both sides of a discussion. Play nicely and play fairly.

Take care.

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Let's make the "Beyonce Rule" official.
In reply to Guidenet, May 25, 2013

Guidenet wrote:

MarkJH wrote:

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!

Heheheh. so funny. I love it. The foolproof "Shotcents Super-Reverso Principle."

Gotta love Mira's "Shades of the infamous Rockwellian stuffed Monkey, no?" as well. Both spot on. Poor Ken and his stuffed monkey. LOL

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Always glad to entertain

However, I actually think Kanye might actually be on to something, here!

You may already be familiar with the "Halle Berry Rule," which posits that 12% neutral grey offers just about the same reflectivity as Halle Berry's skin tone.  So if you're stuck without an incident meter and you're trying to spot or center-weight and exposure comp for a given portrait subject's skin tone, you can simply imagine Halle Berry and compare rather than trying to guess at your subject's more abstract relationship to 12% grey.

(Or, if you happen to be photographing Halle Berry, you can just zero your meter right on in.  Where's that easy button?)

It seems, then, we might might add to this wonderfully helpful pop culture canon of photographic aids with the "Beyonce Rule," which posits that your choice of 85mm lens should be dictated by whichever you'd feel most comfortable using to photograph Queen B.   Much as the "Halle Berry Rule" eliminates the abstraction of grey cards and meter calibration, so too does the "Beyonce Rule" eschew complexities of lens performance for a much more direct and relevant answer!

Personally, I think Sasha Fierce deserves the nano crystal treatment.  Or, allow me to summarize with appropriate shorthand:

If Nikon liked the 1.8 they shoulda put a ring on it.

M.

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MisterHairy
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Re: So you admit you were talking rubbish when you claimed the 1.8 slayed the 1.4 at all apertures
In reply to SubPrime, May 25, 2013

I love the hackneyed attempt at belittlement by implying that these observations are the result of budgetary constraints. It's a cheap but effective put down, but the fact is that if I were to purchase the 85/1.4, it would then be one of my most inexpensive lenses. It just doesn't follow, Subby, old chum.

Digging that old tactic out of the bag belies deep insecurities. My four year old son is assessing the moves of a playground bully at school at the moment, and he describes similar behaviour there. We suspect that the poor kid (the bully) has a pretty poor home life and is reestablishing his self worth by knocking smaller kids over at play time.

I'm not a smaller kid though, and such obvious ploys say more about you than you realise.

Enjoy your mid-priced lens. You deserve it.

SubPrime wrote:

MisterHairy wrote:

It's funny to see comments like mine bring out the anxiety attacks in the easily undermined.

it's funny to see people who can't afford the premium lenses go to such lengths to pretend they ended up with the better lens anyway.  You're the one that started this thread, obviously because you had to justify why you ended up with the inferior lens,  yet you have the gall to accuse others of being insecure and having to reassure themselves.

Funny really.

All of the test data out there supports my claim that at wider apertures, the 1.8 lens is sharper.

Then point to it.  You seem to have a fear of putting your money where your mouth is.  You refuse to show comparative tests and can't provide a URL.

What's up with that?

Above f/5.6 or so, the 1.4 lens may be marginally sharper, but I doubt that many eyes could discriminate between the two. Especially in a print (you know, those things that you sell to clients).

So you admit you were talking rubbish when you claimed the 1.8 slayed the 1.4 at all apertures.

Pleasing blur is important, but this isn't Japan, and the reality is that at typical working apertures, there is little to tell between the two lenses. The 1.4 lens is a little warmer, but that's hardly a massive hurdle to get over for the 1.8. Flare resistance might be a valid point for many, but personally, this is not a big deal.

So really, this post was all about convincing yourself that the inferior lens isn't really so bad becasue no one will be able to tell in the final print.

Clearly, my opinion is based around my own usage patterns and personal bias. I appreciate that, but I think that folks who respond by calling my observations "garbage" are revealing rather more fragility and immaturity than they might like.

I see.  So using the word "garbage" isreveals fragilityk, but using the word "slays" is perfectly mature and manly.  Got it.

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SubPrime
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Re: So you admit you were talking rubbish when you claimed the 1.8 slayed the 1.4 at all apertures
In reply to MisterHairy, May 25, 2013

MisterHairy wrote:

I love the hackneyed attempt at belittlement by implying that these observations are the result of budgetary constraints.

There is nothing wrong with making a purchase based on budgetary constraints.  We all make those, otherwise I would be shooting a Phase One IQ2 digital back.

What I cannot tolerate are those who having purchased the more affordable option then try to convince themselves, and others, that they inadvertently ended up with the better product.  The Canon forums were littered with arguments  started by 7D users  trying to prove their camera was superior in IQ to the 5D2.

Digging that old tactic out of the bag belies deep insecurities.

Like I said, the deep insecurities are blatantly exhibited by those who start threads that try to prove the cheaper option is superior to the more expensive one.

My four year old son is assessing the moves of a playground bully at school at the moment, and he describes similar behaviour there.

Your behavior is akin to a playground trouble maker who throws sand in the faces of the bigger kids then runs back to mummy.

What really exposes you as a hack is that you began this thread with a deliberately provocative and hyperbolic claim that you have ultimately conceded was baseless.

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SubPrime
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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to MisterHairy, May 25, 2013

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.

But you are telling us we don't need to rely on that.  You made the claim that reviews are backing up your claim that the 1.8 slays the 1.4.  Then when Lance proved you wrong, you said, who cares about the charts, it's all about using them in the field.

Even if we were to take that argument seriously, you haven't even bothered to include any comparisons.

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.

It's also easy to fall into the trap of hyperbole and outlandish claims.

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. Sorry that I touched a raw nerve.

You didn't touch a nerve, you are trolling and demonstrating a lack of intellect and method to your argument.  First you made an outlandish claim, which you have not only utterly failed to back up, but you even claimed was supported by a bunch of links which contradict your claims.

Then when you're called out on your false claims, you accuse your critics of being hyper sensitive.

You have no perspective, you're a troll.

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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to Daisy AU, May 25, 2013

Daisy AU wrote:

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.

What real life comparison?  How can you appreciate it when he has provided no record of it apart from heresay?

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Re: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.
In reply to Daisy AU, May 25, 2013

Daisy AU wrote:

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!

Your opinion is your own, but the OP has not provided any evidence to support his claim.

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