Which would you choose? 85mm 1.4g or 135mm f2 DC?

Started May 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
Not the reason for f/1.4

AllMankind wrote:

I would go with the 85mm f1.8.  Actually, that's the lens I own and use.

I went with the f1.8 because it is so much cheaper than the f1.4, and because shooting wide open is not something I do. So paying extra for a feature I would not use would make no sense.  I use my 85mm in the studio where the 135mm would just be too long to work comfortably.

I agree, in a studio, there may not be any advantage for the 85 f/1.4 over the f/1.8 model, but otherwise there could be for many photographers, and it isn't the small additional speed.

Indeed, if the only difference between the 85 f/1.4G and the 85 f/1.8G was that slightly faster aperture, I'd have sprung for the cheaper lens without a doubt, but you're buying a lot more when you plunk down the additional cash for the 85 f/1.4G model.

For starters, you're buying a better build level which can't be denied. You're also buying additional aperture blades which allows the OFF regions to decline way more gracefully as you go to smaller apertures. When I shoot an outdoor portrait at f/5.6 with the better lens, I get a much nicer bokeh to the OFF areas. Neither are slouches wide open or at f/2, but thoughout the aperture range, I believe it's a major advantage to the more expensive lens.

Also, the Nano coating makes a good bit of difference in my eyes. I see a better micro contrast, again thoughout the range than I do with the more clinical character of the f/1.8 lens. I see smoother, more silky gradations of tones. I also see a better resistance to various kinds of flare and veiling.

I've purchased two 85 f/1.8G models for my gal and daughter and one 85 f/1.4G for myself. I wouldn't trade mine regardless of price. I think if one were looking for a purely sharp tight landscape lens or a studio portrait lens, the 85 f/1.8G might be the better buy, but if one is looking for the special character only the 85 f/1.4G can give, spending the extra is well worth it. Only the photographer can make that decision and his wallet.

Again, my point is that you're not really just paying for the difference in aperture. There's a lot more there to consider.

Take care.

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Cheers, Craig
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