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

Started May 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
RBFresno Forum Pro • Posts: 12,597
Re: Excessive Hyperbole :-)

Guidenet wrote:

Whew, I read most of this thread and came away with not that much. I believe the OP, way exaggerated any differences between these two lenses, and I don't think one or the other has an obvious advantage in resolution over the other. Guess what? I own one 85 f/1.4G and have owned two 85 f/1.8G models along with having owned one 85 f/1.4D AF. The D model was stolen from my hotel room while on assignment. One f/1.8G was purchased for my gal on her birthday. The other I bought for my daughter who is a successful wedding photographer. I used it for a few weeks for fun prior to her stopping over to pick it up. I've had the f/1.4G for over a year since my beloved AFD model was stolen.

I work both on location and in a studio environment. For me and my style, I much prefer the 85 f/1.4G over the 85 f/1.8G. I could care less about which is more expensive. I also don't shoot much wide open at f/1.4 or f/1.8. For outside portraiture, I often shoot at anywhere from f/2 to f/5.6 depending on what I want with the background. Sometimes even smaller.

In the studio, I generally shoot at f/5.6 to f/8 so I didn't go with the 85 f/1.4 for the wider max aperture. I went with it because I like the rendition better, much better in fact. I also like the way the background OOF areas degrade gracefully as you stop down. You still get pretty backgrounds with a portrait made at f/5.6. To me the 85 f/1.8G gets a bit busy as it stops down comparatively. That's what I'm paying for with the f/1.4 and that is definitely worth it to me in my business.

In the studio where background bokeh isn't so important, I personally see better micro contrast and better gradations on the f/1.4 lens. That's probably taste and opinion, but so be it. It has to do with the character of the glass, and I believe in magic. To me, the f/1.4G has more magic than the more clinical look of the f/1.8G. It's something that really comes alive when printing fairly large portraits, not so much web published work.

I think what Lance objects to is the excessive hyperbole in the initial post and the fact that it's been over and over and over here on the forums. Personally, I could care less. The only thing I believe is the Nikon 85 f/1.8G really slays the price tag of the 85 f/1.4G. Is it worth it? That's up to the photographer and their tastes. Take care everyone.


 RBFresno's gear list:RBFresno's gear list
Nikon D2H Nikon D4 Nikon AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR +14 more
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