Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

Started Dec 9, 2013 | Discussions
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Nexu1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,589
Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

I'm a big fan of backlit portraits.  I saw a few posts where some folks mentioned that the 85 f/1.8G can have quite a bit of flare (I think this was in comparison to it's much more expensive big brother f/1.4) so I wanted to ask and dig a little deeper.

So I'm curious, anyone having issues with backlit portraits & flare with this lens?  For the record, I'm not asking for "best ever" type performance out of a $500 lens, but I would like to know if it sucks for flare and one should avoid doing portraits of this type.

thanks in advance

elliotn Senior Member • Posts: 1,150
Re: Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

I haven't seen much flare, but when shot wide open in backlit situations it exhibits strong green/magenta aberrations just in front and behind the focus plane (sorry, I forgot the name for this type of aberration... but ACR doesn't seem to deal with it very well... I generally have to brush it out in photoshop...).

Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 13,233
Re: Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

Nexu1 wrote:

I'm a big fan of backlit portraits. I saw a few posts where some folks mentioned that the 85 f/1.8G can have quite a bit of flare (I think this was in comparison to it's much more expensive big brother f/1.4) so I wanted to ask and dig a little deeper.

So I'm curious, anyone having issues with backlit portraits & flare with this lens? For the record, I'm not asking for "best ever" type performance out of a $500 lens, but I would like to know if it sucks for flare and one should avoid doing portraits of this type.

thanks in advance

I haven't had any flare problems. Here's something backlit:

-- hide signature --

Leonard Migliore

 Leonard Migliore's gear list:Leonard Migliore's gear list
Canon PowerShot G12 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III Nikon D300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G +8 more
adrian1sun
adrian1sun Forum Member • Posts: 55
Re: Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?
 adrian1sun's gear list:adrian1sun's gear list
Nikon D800 Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS Macro HSM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/25 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +1 more
brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 12,824
Re: Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

elliotn wrote:

I haven't seen much flare, but when shot wide open in backlit situations it exhibits strong green/magenta aberrations just in front and behind the focus plane (sorry, I forgot the name for this type of aberration...

Longitudinal chromatic aberration.

but ACR doesn't seem to deal with it very well... I generally have to brush it out in photoshop...).

Nexu1 OP Senior Member • Posts: 2,589
Re: Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

adrian1sun wrote:

Lenstip review indicates flare can be an issue...

http://www.lenstip.com/333.9-Lens_review-Nikon_Nikkor_AF-S_85_mm_f_1.8G__Ghosting_and_flares.html

It's reviews like that, that caused me to ask.  It looks like from your sig you have this lens?  Have you had problems with flare/ghosting?

Lifeofdavid Regular Member • Posts: 216
Re: Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

The lens definitely can have issues with flare and ghosting. It's not unworkable though. Most of the shots in this set:Models are with the 85mm 1.8g and there are some back lit examples.

Kitacanon Senior Member • Posts: 2,802
Re: Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

Don't know if this is of any help but...it's a shot taken with my old 85/1.8 MF Nikkor the "H" version....and shot @ F8 on a Canon 40D...full frame and 100% crop

 Kitacanon's gear list:Kitacanon's gear list
Nikon D610 +1 more
clarnibass Senior Member • Posts: 1,902
Re: Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

What do you mean by "strong"?

It's one thing if you have the sun in the frame.

OTOH I take photo in a concert series where the lights are almost always backlight which makes it difficult. I can't use a flash there. So far I don't remember ever getting flare.

adrian1sun
adrian1sun Forum Member • Posts: 55
Re: Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

I posted the link to show how the lens might perform under extreme conditions.

Personally, the only issue I have is the lack of VR/OS, although when shooting an event a couple weeks I found that AF is not the fastest. I’ve also noticed in some situations some CA, but this is easily corrected.

Overall I find it great value. It’s sharp and I regard it’s IQ closer to my Zeiss 25 than my 50 f1.8. To me, out of focus rendition is fine.

The only photo I have shooting into the sun with the 85 is a hazy sunset in India.

 adrian1sun's gear list:adrian1sun's gear list
Nikon D800 Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS Macro HSM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/25 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +1 more
hypercore360 Contributing Member • Posts: 923
Re: Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

Nexu1 wrote:

I'm a big fan of backlit portraits. I saw a few posts where some folks mentioned that the 85 f/1.8G can have quite a bit of flare (I think this was in comparison to it's much more expensive big brother f/1.4) so I wanted to ask and dig a little deeper.

So I'm curious, anyone having issues with backlit portraits & flare with this lens? For the record, I'm not asking for "best ever" type performance out of a $500 lens, but I would like to know if it sucks for flare and one should avoid doing portraits of this type.

thanks in advance

I do this with all my lenses, not just the 85 (85G f/1.4).

 hypercore360's gear list:hypercore360's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +2 more
Nexu1 OP Senior Member • Posts: 2,589
Re: Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

clarnibass wrote:

What do you mean by "strong"?

It's one thing if you have the sun in the frame.

OTOH I take photo in a concert series where the lights are almost always backlight which makes it difficult. I can't use a flash there. So far I don't remember ever getting flare.

Good question.  "Strong" is definitely all relative.  I'm not going for the sun right in the frame, although in some shots it might be close or pretty much look like it's in the frame.  Here's some examples of the look I'm going for (compliments of Lisa Holloway):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/desertrose76/9670322136/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/desertrose76/10863602843/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/desertrose76/8741816580/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/desertrose76/8695237764/

Lifeofdavid Regular Member • Posts: 216
Re: Anyone shooting the 85mm f/1.8 into strong backlighting?

Yes the 85mm 1.8g can easily handle lighting situations like the above listed.
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