If you already have the 85 1.4D would you trade 'down' for the 1.8G + cash for other lenses?

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 8,670
Re: If you already have the 85 1.4D would you trade 'down' for the 1.8G + cash for other lenses?

Yea, I think Nikon definitely has changed glass types to be more eco-friendly over the years. I also do think they have, for the most part, upgraded their lens designs in a positive manner as well. There certainly may be some cases where "character" is lost as some of the newer lens designs tend to be aimed a bit more towards performance since we now live in a world we never imagined 20 years ago in the day of the AFD primes - a world where something like the D800E is capable of MF to LF results, and thus the lens designs had to change. I've studied Nikon lenses over time a lot, and in general the newer stuff is warmer. Some exceptions to that (the 14-24 is quite cool for example) of course.

As for the 85/1.4D - at 5.6 it was pretty sharp, particularly up close. Honestly a D3 isn't resolviing enough to be a really good test bed for the lens at distance; you'd see the 85's deficiencies at distance on a more demanding camera but perhaps only if you compared it to something that is really truly staggeringly sharp. It's not like one is a coke bottle and the other is a scalpel. I spent a boatload of time comparing my mid to late run 85/1.4 AFD to everything I had a few years ago and that's where I ended up making the decision to move it since I wasn't using it for what it was meant to be and needed something it wasn't. I personally think the newer 85/1.4G is a better lens for the portrait speciality as well because it combines the strengths of the AFD with the longer distance performance the older lens was lacking, although the difference in color and an increase in global contrast means it has a different rendering signature that some may (or may not) miss than the older AFD.

Try an 85/1.8G on a D800E some day though if you want to see what SHARP looks like. You'll have to spend several thousand to find something sharper. IMO it's one of the few lenses that won't break the bank that will blow you away on that camera. However, sharpness isn't everything...


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