Reasons why no Nikon 85mm f1.2?

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Grevture Veteran Member • Posts: 4,188
Several ...

str8pipe wrote:

Is there technical reasons why Nikon doesn't produce this lens?

1. With the diameter of the f mount, Nikon can without to much trouble make lenses in the 50-60 mm focal range with f1.2, longer then that, you will run in to trouble with the lens mount.

2. As others have pointed out, f1.2 in practical terms means negligible amount of extra light compared to f1.4. The wider the aperture, the more angle of incidence light will have when it hist the sensor. As we get progressively higher resolutions, this gradually becomes more and more of a problem. Already, with most fast wide angle lenses, you get roughly only half a stop of extra light going from f2 to f1.4 (like with AF.S 35/1.4 or AF-S 24/1.4). And most of that half a stop of light happens already during the first third of a stop between f2 and f1.8, from then and onwards you get less and less increase of light for each third of a stop.

3. Compare the Nikon AF-S 85/1.4 with Canons 85/1.2: 660 grams and $1650 vs 1025 grams and $2200. There is almost half a kilo extra glass and $650 to get that extra 1/3 of a stop which do not really give any extra light ... And the Canon 85/1.2 focuses at lot slower to boot (all that extra glass to push around).

4. One can argue the extra 1/3 of a stop would make a difference in out of focus rendition ("bokeh"), but compared with f1.4 that difference must be very, very subtle at best.

The simple truth is if Canon had instead made a f1.4 version of their premium 85 mm lens, it could have been several hundred grams lighter, several hundreds of dollars cheaper, and faster focusing. And still had the same fine performance.

The most significant effect of that 1/3 extra stop is for marketing and bragging rights. For practical photography it has negligible positive effects.

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