Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and " how its the best and sharpest"

Started Apr 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
NASattack Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: D800E F/1.8 example

anotherMike wrote:

A few notes:

1) IF you are focused precisely, you shouldn't get too much CA at the focus plane. See example I've provided. You WILL get CA in the out of focus areas. Most every lens you buy will do this wide open. Really only things like the exotics (200/2, etc) or the new Zeiss 135/2 Apo Sonnar are exempt from this. So you can't use this as an excuse to damn the lens, honestly. One must be realistic.

2) On a D800E, there is not a lens I own that is tack sharp corner to corner wide open other than my 200/2, and even that likes being nudged down a touch on the D800E. Again, one must be realistic about results.

3) IF you are properly focused, the 85/1.8G is one of the sharpest lenses you can mount on a D800E at the more regularly used apertures. I've shot a lot of glass in 30+ years (40+ Nikkors alone plus other brands) and this is definitely a very sharp lens - but as I've said, not wide open, and definitely not if you miss focus. You'll have to spend a lot more money to get anything that is even a smidge sharper. I've been there, tested that. I'm far from alone in this opinion, photozone, dxomark and others have come to the same conclusion.

The image provided is a 100% crop (crop needed because one can't upload a full sized image to dpreview gallieres) of a test chart taken at about 5 feet with the 85/1.8G on my D800E, on tripod, mirror lockup, shot delay, and properly live view focused. This is what you should be able to get with a flat target at this aperture. Go see if you can find the CA in this shot. Now - of course if you stop the lens down a bit sharpness will increase, but what I provide is a good realistic starting point of what your lens should be capable of wide open in the focused plane - again, areas in and out of focus will show fringing, just like every other fast lens I own except the 200/2, and that includes the 50/1.8G and the Sigma 35/1.4 btw.

Is this tack sharp? No. See point 1. But if you were to do the same thing with either older 85 Nikkor AFD, the Sigma, or even the 85/1.4G, you might be surprised to see which lens wins (it would be the 1.8G closely followed by the 1.4G). Again, one must get realistic about wide open results on this particularly demanding camera, and one must focus precisely.


Late to this thread and was going to post but this reply say it all about this lens. Great lens with CA wide open But still the sharpest lens I have for my D800e.

Post (hide subjects) Posted by
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow