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
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tektrader Senior Member • Posts: 1,461
Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and " how its the best and sharpest"

Well i finally got around to buying one after I sent back the Samyang.

Whats the deal wiith the CA ???   It also doesnt seem that sharp. I microfocus adjusted it today. Really its isnt that good.

Is my copy a dud? look at the photo and click look at it at 100%. The phot is a 60% crop, the focus point is the on the edge of the wood toward the right. Look at all the green CA on the left.................... and its red to the right (which was cropped off)

Is this lens a BAD copy ????????????

The Lens Align Ruler looks horrible, indistinct focus point at F1.8 and CA in both directions each side of the fuzzy focus point. I am really bummed by this.

Can someone post some 100% crops so I can see what their copy is like?

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DaSigmaGuy Forum Pro • Posts: 12,299
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is.
1

tektrader wrote:

Well i finally got around to buying one after I sent back the Samyang.

Whats the deal wiith the CA ???   It also doesnt seem that sharp. I microfocus adjusted it today. Really its isnt that good.

Is my copy a dud? look at the photo and click look at it at 100%. The phot is a 60% crop, the focus point is the on the edge of the wood toward the right. Look at all the green CA on the left.................... and its red to the right (which was cropped off)

Is this lens a BAD copy ????????????

The Lens Align Ruler looks horrible, indistinct focus point at F1.8 and CA in both directions each side of the fuzzy focus point. I am really bummed by this.

Can someone post some 100% crops so I can see what their copy is like?

What you have now learned is that you should always do your own research before buying lenses and never simply buy into the hype.

I know its a bit late but I can tell you now that the Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX has 30% less barrel distortion that the G, 20% less vignetting wide open than the G, its sharper wide open than the G, its actually sharper at f2 that the G is at f2.8!  And what's more, it costs about half the price!

I found these figures quickly and easily by simply comparing their test results on Photozone, where they were both tested on a FF D3X.

So should you sell the Nikon and get the Sigma instead so you can not only get a better lens but also save yourself about £600 in the process?...That's entirely up to you.

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engbert Senior Member • Posts: 2,504
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G

That does look awful.  I had been considering one of these lenses.

Please would you tell us how you did it.  Was the camera on a tripod? What as the focus distance?  How did you focus - AF or manual, what focus mode?  I do not understand 'micro-focusing.'

Did you look at it in Nikon view to see the actual focus point? (Must be used before cropping.)

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Tyr-Sog Contributing Member • Posts: 806
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is.
2

DaSigmaGuy wrote:

tektrader wrote:

Well i finally got around to buying one after I sent back the Samyang.

Whats the deal wiith the CA ???   It also doesnt seem that sharp. I microfocus adjusted it today. Really its isnt that good.

Is my copy a dud? look at the photo and click look at it at 100%. The phot is a 60% crop, the focus point is the on the edge of the wood toward the right. Look at all the green CA on the left.................... and its red to the right (which was cropped off)

Is this lens a BAD copy ????????????

The Lens Align Ruler looks horrible, indistinct focus point at F1.8 and CA in both directions each side of the fuzzy focus point. I am really bummed by this.

Can someone post some 100% crops so I can see what their copy is like?

What you have now learned is that you should always do your own research before buying lenses and never simply buy into the hype.

I know its a bit late but I can tell you now that the Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX has 30% less barrel distortion that the G, 20% less vignetting wide open than the G, its sharper wide open than the G, its actually sharper at f2 that the G is at f2.8!  And what's more, it costs about half the price!

I found these figures quickly and easily by simply comparing their test results on Photozone, where they were both tested on a FF D3X.

So should you sell the Nikon and get the Sigma instead so you can not only get a better lens but also save yourself about £600 in the process?...That's entirely up to you.

He bought the 1.8G, not the 1.4G.  So we're back at halves, the 1.8G is half the cost of the Sigma 1.4 .  Saying that ,I'd still save and pay double for the siggy.

OP, I think the 'hype' is the same with the 35 1.8G(I thought it was complete garbage, had 2 copies 8 months apart).  It's think the hype is built upon a price to performance ratio.

tektrader OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,461
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G

This was taken hand held but note the shutter speed was 1/500 so no shake issues. This CA is apparent regardless of using live view or the mirror. Distance about 4 metres. The FOCAL b&w focus pattern is also peppered with CA. After rejecting the SAMYANG 85 for being a bit soft and no better than the 70-200 @85mm. This lens is worse.

FOCUS point is in the correct spot. The lower right edge. Microfocus adjust is a in the Nikon menu to allow lenses or cameras that dont focus quite right to be adjusted perfectly so the TTL mirror focusses at the same point as Live View.

It came from Cameta camera.  Hope there are no return issues.

engbert wrote:

That does look awful.  I had been considering one of these lenses.

Please would you tell us how you did it.  Was the camera on a tripod? What as the focus distance?  How did you focus - AF or manual, what focus mode?  I do not understand 'micro-focusing.'

Did you look at it in Nikon view to see the actual focus point? (Must be used before cropping.)

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newtoy Regular Member • Posts: 391
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G

tektrader wrote:

This was taken hand held but note the shutter speed was 1/500 so no shake issues. This CA is apparent regardless of using live view or the mirror. Distance about 4 metres. The FOCAL b&w focus pattern is also peppered with CA. After rejecting the SAMYANG 85 for being a bit soft and no better than the 70-200 @85mm. This lens is worse.

FOCUS point is in the correct spot. The lower right edge. Microfocus adjust is a in the Nikon menu to allow lenses or cameras that dont focus quite right to be adjusted perfectly so the TTL mirror focusses at the same point as Live View.

It came from Cameta camera.  Hope there are no return issues.

engbert wrote:

That does look awful.  I had been considering one of these lenses.

Please would you tell us how you did it.  Was the camera on a tripod? What as the focus distance?  How did you focus - AF or manual, what focus mode?  I do not understand 'micro-focusing.'

Did you look at it in Nikon view to see the actual focus point? (Must be used before cropping.)

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Set AF fine tuning to zero and shoot some real pictures again. I won't trust FOCAL for the time beging! Its just not working!

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DaSigmaGuy Forum Pro • Posts: 12,299
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is.

Tyr-Sog wrote:

DaSigmaGuy wrote:

tektrader wrote:

Well i finally got around to buying one after I sent back the Samyang.

Whats the deal wiith the CA ???   It also doesnt seem that sharp. I microfocus adjusted it today. Really its isnt that good.

Is my copy a dud? look at the photo and click look at it at 100%. The phot is a 60% crop, the focus point is the on the edge of the wood toward the right. Look at all the green CA on the left.................... and its red to the right (which was cropped off)

Is this lens a BAD copy ????????????

The Lens Align Ruler looks horrible, indistinct focus point at F1.8 and CA in both directions each side of the fuzzy focus point. I am really bummed by this.

Can someone post some 100% crops so I can see what their copy is like?

What you have now learned is that you should always do your own research before buying lenses and never simply buy into the hype.

I know its a bit late but I can tell you now that the Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX has 30% less barrel distortion that the G, 20% less vignetting wide open than the G, its sharper wide open than the G, its actually sharper at f2 that the G is at f2.8!  And what's more, it costs about half the price!

I found these figures quickly and easily by simply comparing their test results on Photozone, where they were both tested on a FF D3X.

So should you sell the Nikon and get the Sigma instead so you can not only get a better lens but also save yourself about £600 in the process?...That's entirely up to you.

He bought the 1.8G, not the 1.4G.  So we're back at halves, the 1.8G is half the cost of the Sigma 1.4 .

Whoops, my bad...Anyway I Just checked and perhaps not supprisingly the Sigma is sharper at every aperture than the 1.8 G.

Saying that ,I'd still save and pay double for the siggy.

OP, I think the 'hype' is the same with the 35 1.8G(I thought it was complete garbage, had 2 copies 8 months apart).  It's think the hype is built upon a price to performance ratio.

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Shotcents
Shotcents Senior Member • Posts: 4,472
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is.
3

My Copy of the 1.8G was compared directly against the 1.4G and I sent the 1.4G back!

I think you got a bad copy.

Robert

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brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 13,039
That loCA is normal.
1

tektrader wrote:

Well i finally got around to buying one after I sent back the Samyang.

Whats the deal wiith the CA ???

That is normal with this lens. The AF-S 85mm f1.8 G has strong LoCA. As do most other big aperture lenses, by the way. LoCA is CA which shows up in OOF areas, one colour towards the back (usually green) and one towards the front (usually magenta).

It also doesnt seem that sharp.

I can't tell if it is  not sharp with this shot, and if not, why not. Try a normal target (person?) to judge it it has a sharpness problem (due to misalignment, of focus inaccuracy).

I microfocus adjusted it today. Really its isnt that good.

Is my copy a dud? look at the photo and click look at it at 100%. The phot is a 60% crop, the focus point is the on the edge of the wood toward the right. Look at all the green CA on the left.................... and its red to the right (which was cropped off)

Totally normal LoCA for this lens.

Is this lens a BAD copy ????????????

No, concerning the CA. Very normal. Can't judge the sharpness, you have to make better test shots for that.

The Lens Align Ruler looks horrible, indistinct focus point at F1.8 and CA in both directions each side of the fuzzy focus point. I am really bummed by this.

Can you show images which show the unsharpness better? This lens should be quite sharp wide open.

Can someone post some 100% crops so I can see what their copy is like?

Brian Caslis
Brian Caslis Senior Member • Posts: 2,927
Re: That loCA is normal.

Agree with the comments from brightcolours. I'd turn of the focus adjustment and try another target. You do know the focus adjustment is really only accurate for the distance the target is at when you set it? My experience is people spend too much time with this when it's better to just use it without unless you can determine an actual problem.

My 85 1.8G is very sharp. Not as sharp at 1.8 as f4, but what do you expect?

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anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 8,131
D800E F/1.8 example

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.

-m

ohcello Senior Member • Posts: 1,599
OK, here are some samples shot with the 85G .....

So I got this lens yesterday and put it through it's paces outdoors... here are some shots

This is wide open... no sharpening... through Lightroom

and here is the 100% crop.. .I'd say the focus point is on his eyebrow

here is another 1.8 shot, but slightly backfocused.... HOWEVER... this is shot wide open and he was running FULL TILT right at me... I'd say the D600 did a pretty good job considering the DOF sliver is so tiny...

and here is the 100% crop... again, slightly backfoused

here is a shot at f/2.2... very sharp if you ask me...

100% crop

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ohcello Senior Member • Posts: 1,599
Re: OK, here are some samples shot with the 85G .....
1

Just for good measure... here is one at f/5.6... POW!

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m_appeal Veteran Member • Posts: 3,434
I prefer the Sigma 85 1.4 to the 85 1.8G
1

Other than the weight... the Sigma has nicer colors and superior/more pleasing OOF rendering. I do really like the weight of the G, but other than being sharp it's nothing special otherwise...

inasir1971
inasir1971 Senior Member • Posts: 3,461
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and

I had this 85 1.8G previously and it is indeed sharp. From the image you posted I believe yours is front focused. The lens does display LoCA in OOF areas at wider apertures which further suggests that it is in this case misfocused. I suspect that you may need to change your AF fine tuning.

You can verify lens performance by focusing liveview.

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ed kelly
ed kelly Senior Member • Posts: 1,142
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and

inasir1971 wrote:

I had this 85 1.8G previously and it is indeed sharp. From the image you posted I believe yours is front focused. The lens does display LoCA in OOF areas at wider apertures which further suggests that it is in this case misfocused. I suspect that you may need to change your AF fine tuning.

You can verify lens performance by focusing liveview.

I have the F/1.8 also. It does not focus well with or without fine tune. Can anyone give me a ballpark figure on what Nikon charges for af adjustment

Thanks

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tektrader OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,461
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and

I am not an amateur at using the microfocus adjustment on the D800. I used FOCAL  to set it as well as the lens align protractor. Unlike most other lenses I have, even at F1.8 what should be a rather sharp focus point on the protractor. The loads of CA made it almost impossible to fine tune with Lens Align. So I resorted to Focal. The micro focus point setting of -11 is the same as most of the other lenses. So I know its set correctly. There is NO CA at the focal plane. Its all in the OOF areas. If this is normal, Its not what I need, I also use this to shoot panoramas and the LOca doesnt completely go away till F8.

I am thinking its just a poor sample of this lens. I just got confirmation from Cameta to send it back.

Very dissapointed at the moment. Totally not what I was expecting. Not sure what I am going to do now about replacing it.

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brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 13,039
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and

tektrader wrote:

I am not an amateur at using the microfocus adjustment on the D800. I used FOCAL  to set it as well as the lens align protractor. Unlike most other lenses I have, even at F1.8 what should be a rather sharp focus point on the protractor. The loads of CA made it almost impossible to fine tune with Lens Align. So I resorted to Focal. The micro focus point setting of -11 is the same as most of the other lenses. So I know its set correctly. There is NO CA at the focal plane.

Of course there isn't, that is the nature of LoCA. It shows up in OOF areas, so in front of the focal plane in one colour (magenta in the case of most lenses) and behind the focal plane (green with most lenses)

Its all in the OOF areas. If this is normal,

It is normal.

Its not what I need, I also use this to shoot panoramas and the LOca doesnt completely go away till F8.

You won't see it in panoramas, as you shoot at much larger focus distances than your test shots.

I am thinking its just a poor sample of this lens. I just got confirmation from Cameta to send it back.

No idea (if you have a poor sample), you have not given normal photos with it to judge focus accuracy. The LoCA is normal.

Very dissapointed at the moment. Totally not what I was expecting. Not sure what I am going to do now about replacing it.

Nothing, the old AF 85mm f1.8 has LoCA too, and PF. The Sigma 85mm f1,4 has strong LoCA too. The 85mm f1.4 Nikkor has LoCA too.

Just don't make such a big deal out of it, I guess. In normal usage it rarely is a problem, and if you happen to have a shot where it is a problem, LoCA is easily masked in PS, or dealt with in Lightroom.

D Knisely Senior Member • Posts: 2,016
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. ...

It should be sharp; if not, you may have a poor copy if you are testing correctly.  Use support, Liveview focus, manually verified, and flash to eliminate subject and camera motion completely.

CA, bokeh fringing, and flare are inherent problems for lenses with huge apertures (along with focal plane curvature).  You have to be able to live with them in order to get the other creative advantages.  Perhaps you can get better results with multi-$1000 exotics, but the Nikon 1.8G lenses offer a pretty good balance of sharpness (which you cannot correct in post if it is missing) with a few compromises.  Software correction for CA is pretty good today with almost zero effort, and there are other more tedious ways to selectively clean it up in Photoshop for problem areas that are crucial.  Or you can just work in B&W like me.  

My 85/1.8G requires an AF Fine Tuning adjustment of about +18, which is annoying, and I can't adjust it far enough with extension tubes.  However, it is sharp.  For me, flare is by far the biggest drawback; it limits the usefulness for night shooting with bright lights present.

Doug

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DonSantos Senior Member • Posts: 1,145
Re: Nikon 85mm F1.8G I bought into the hype about how sharp it is. and ...

tektrader wrote:

Well i finally got around to buying one after I sent back the Samyang.

Whats the deal wiith the CA ???   It also doesnt seem that sharp. I microfocus adjusted it today. Really its isnt that good.

Is my copy a dud? look at the photo and click look at it at 100%. The phot is a 60% crop, the focus point is the on the edge of the wood toward the right. Look at all the green CA on the left.................... and its red to the right (which was cropped off)

Is this lens a BAD copy ????????????

The Lens Align Ruler looks horrible, indistinct focus point at F1.8 and CA in both directions each side of the fuzzy focus point. I am really bummed by this.

Can someone post some 100% crops so I can see what their copy is like?

Sometimes ca lowers contrast and perceived sharpness (acutance) drops while resolution is still high.

My sigma 35mm 1.4 wide open spanks the 85mm 1.8g wide open because of the lack of ca and very high acutance.

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