Nikon 85mm 1.4D vs 1.4G

Started Mar 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
aut0maticdan Senior Member • Posts: 1,217
Re: Nikon 85mm 1.4D vs 1.4G

I had both with significant overlap. They are both amazing, if you're into this focal length; I prefer the G for various reasons from handling and styling to output.  I like nano-coated lenses for there added contrast and the G has better contrast, IMO.  Most of the reasons are in my head and really not having a huge impact on results.  I'm ok with that.

The G has obvious advantages with its more uniform sharpness and the AF-D has obvious advantages with its less uniform sharpness.  I'd give a nod to the G in this respect because generally when you want softness around the outside, you'll be working DoF and shooting close to wide-open. The G allows you to do 'extreme' compositions and shoot landscapes and at a distance with slightly better results.  I never loved the D at infinity, IIRC, it was the contrast that suffered.

The AF-D is definitely faster to snap into focus on a d800 and I would have to assume any body with a stronger focus motor.  I don't know how you could think otherwise if you try both side-by-side. That being said, the AF-D is noisy and sounds a lot more like its laboring. Especially, in AF-C, it gives a bit of a jerky feel and handling. The G will likely need a little to a lot of calibration like most AF-S lenses but its silent and smooth.

For taking photos of a baby, I can't imagine going wrong with either. The AF-D was THE baby lens for years. If fast focusing and tracking are your primary concern, I have to say that I think you'll be much better off using your 70-200 in those situations. Both 85s are dogs compared to the 70-200 or 24-70.

My answer on is it worth upgrading? No, absolutely not but, yes, totally.

I think you are on the right track staying in the 1.4 family on Nikon.  Though, the only Canon lens I'm truly jealous of is the 85/1.2  The 1.4D still has excellent value on ebay and probably will for years.

 aut0maticdan's gear list:aut0maticdan's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Nikon Df Sony Alpha a7S II Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +11 more
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