Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 lens not so hot.

Started May 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 650
Ruh Roh!

MisterHairy wrote:

Before I start to prepare our evening meal, I have snapped off a few test shots. However, before I show them (not that there is much point, as the single attached image will show) I have noticed something interesting.

The 1.8 lens is consistently giving me shorter exposure times, by 1/3 of a stop or so for the same aperture setting as the 1.4 lens when shot in A mode. This is at every aperture, and while my test shots were conducted outside, I see the same indoors under more controlled lighting as well. In addition to this, the 1.4 lens appears to be giving me slightly more DOF than the 1.8 lens at the same nominal aperture, which makes me think that the camera (D800E) is stopping the 1.4 lens down too far, since I think (can't be arsed to check now) that the 1.4 lens is supposed to be faster in T-stop terms than the 1.8 at the same aperture. If anybody knows otherwise, I'd be grateful for the information.

In any case, this is a screengrab of Lightroom with the two f/2 images open in Compare. Images were imported using the "Default" setting with the default sharpening of 25/1.0/25/0 in both cases. No subsequent manipulation has been done in either case. Tripod, liveview focusing on the nose and 3s exposure delay. A mode. This is the image centre in each case.

The 1.8 lens is sharper at the point of focus, but it's not a slaying, I have to confess, which means that I shall revisit the model shots from yesterday and work out what the differences were.

And, as if on cue:

There's the obligatory comparison shot where I'm supposed to see the "obvious" superiority of the f/1.8's image, and yet find more to like in the f/1.4 image?

(The fringing is more obvious on the f/1.8 side.  I think I might prefer the f/1.4 side's exposure (why they're different, sheesh, I'm not even going to touch.)  The "more color neutral" claim is a tough one to sell if you shot these in auto white balance, especially with the exposure variation.)

Also, this kind of comparison doesn't demonstrate the f/1.8's real strength, which, if I'm to understand it, is chart-topping sharpness at distance and smaller apertures.  Why not show us that?

These wacky comparisons are always bound to reveal more about you, the claimant, than they are about either lens.   So what this thread is really about, now, is the difference between your hot air argument about "best" and the comparative photographs that reveal no truth in any of it.  WTF, man?

This place is so weird sometimes.


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