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New Lens this weekend. Nikon's new 85 f/1.4 AFS G

My 85 f/1.4 AFD was stolen a while back as some of you might remember. I finally resplace it last week with Nikon's new 85 f/1.4 AFS G. This new baby is great. The new model is rated as the best 85 f/1.4 in existance by Photozone. It's the first 85 f/1.4 to give edge to edge, corner to corner sharpness pretty much across the board. An amazing acheivement. It's a killer portrait lens and now that it's edge to edge, it's going to be good for most anything.

As many might know, the magic of the Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFD was the creamy bokeh. For those that don't know, Bokeh is the word that describes the condition of the out of focus areas behind and in front of the subject. Bokeh isn't those areas. It's the condition of those areas. If the OOF area looks great and creamy, it's said to have good Bokeh. If it's busy or offensive looking, it's said to have bad Bokeh.

But, you wouldn't point at the out of focus region and say that there is bokeh back there. You'd say there's out of focus area back there and the bokeh is either good, indifferent or bad.

Ok that said, the old Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFD was called The Cream Machine and that's why many of us spend the $1000 to own this prime lens. It have creamy magical bokeh. The 85 f/1.8 was a sharper lens and a third the price, but no magic bokeh. See what I mean?

Ok, so I've been looking without luck for the new Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS model for two reasons. One, to see if it has the same magic or better and two, I just needed a portrait lens. I finally found one in South Dade County at Pitmans Photo. It cost me $1800 including tax but let me tell you, it's gorgeous and every bit as magical as the old model. Wow. Simply beautiful. Now I haven't shot any portraits yet, but I shot a couple of snaps of orchids in the yard just to get a peak at the bokeh. Let me share them with you and you can decided whether the out of focus creamyness is worth the $1800. LOL Oh, I forgot, it also has Nano crystal coating and silent ultrasonic motor.

Please ignore the snapshotishness and look at the creaminess. :) Was it worth it. I think so.

orchid_yellow_12-8-11.jpg

orchid_miami_12-8-11.jpg
Nikon D800, D3S, D700, D300, Canon G1X, Sigma 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6, Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR, Nikon 28 f/1.8G AFS, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AFS VR, Nikon 35 f/2, Nikon 50 f/1.8 G, Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro, Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS G, Nikon 105 f/2.5 AI, Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro, Nikon 300 f/2.8 AFS VR, Nikon 500 f/4 -P, Interfit Stellar X complete six light studio

Replies

  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    85 1.4 has a well deserved reputation for the being the world most fantastic portrait lens, and for good reason. We want to see a portrait or three.

    Do you miss the iris ring?

    Do you own a 50 1.4 or 1.2? If you do, can you compare the two please?
  • GuidenetGuidenet Posts: 239 Officer
    85 1.4 has a well deserved reputation for the being the world most fantastic portrait lens, and for good reason. We want to see a portrait or three.

    Do you miss the iris ring?

    Do you own a 50 1.4 or 1.2? If you do, can you compare the two please?

    Well, I use this focal length as much for portraits as not. It and an old 35 f/2 used to be my walk around combo and probably will be in the future as well. As you might know, I shoot 90% FX with a D700 so I've not really been interested in the 50mm range much, even when I shot mostly DX for some reason. I've always prefered my macro lenses in that range. I did buy the new 50 f/1.8 because it was a no-brainer at $219 but it's bokeh isn't close to this 85mm, though it is a great sharp lens and worth every penny. The only other portrait lens I might consider is the Nikon 135 f/2 DC but for now, I've got to put money back into the bank in waiting for a new FX body maybe next year. :)

    Since I don't shoot my older manual focus film cameras much if ever, I don't really care one way or another about not having the aperture ring on G lenses. I sort of hate that they are gone, but it doesn't really affect my shooting in any way.
    Nikon D800, D3S, D700, D300, Canon G1X, Sigma 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6, Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR, Nikon 28 f/1.8G AFS, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AFS VR, Nikon 35 f/2, Nikon 50 f/1.8 G, Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro, Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS G, Nikon 105 f/2.5 AI, Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro, Nikon 300 f/2.8 AFS VR, Nikon 500 f/4 -P, Interfit Stellar X complete six light studio
  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    Hmmmmm. A 50 is the standard lens on your FX. Further, that is why I specifically asked about one of the 50's with wider iris than the 1.8, specifically the 1.2 and the 1.4, both of which are reported to have better Bokeh than the 1.8.

    Thus, I was hoping you had one of the lenses to compare ans show the difference between the 85 1.4 and say the 50 1.2.

    I too, as many many others, own some version of the 50. Mine is quite old....from my film days. Everyone should own one of these and I agree the new version for close to $200 is a no brainer.
  • GuidenetGuidenet Posts: 239 Officer
    the 50mm is not so much "standard" as what they used to call "normal" when that was the kit lens in the film days. I've owned them over the years, but usually never kept them. But, just because it is considered the Normal size or because it was the kit lens, doesn't mean I like the focal length on either DX or FX. I don't find it that useful to me. I like 35mm or 85mm on either format. Now I know 35 on a DX is close to the FOV of 50 on FX, but I still like it on DX and not the 50 on FX. For that reason, I haven't owned a 50mm prime for any time since the early 1960s except I still have that 50 f/1.8 Super Takumar for Pentax. It came on a Spotmatic. I've had many other primes, but not 50mm focal lengths. I tended to buy bodies back in those days.

    I've seen some tests of the 1.2 and noct. I'm not really impressed. The sperical aberations are crazy bad I think. The 50 f/1.4 models aren't bad I've heard, but again no direct knowledge. I don't buy them or use them, not because I can't afford them but because I don't feel the need for them. I do like the 60 f/2.8 AFS G and I think it's bokeh is incredible. Another sleeper is the Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro. It has wonderful bokeh and is a pretty amazing portrait lens on FX; a little long on DX. The 200 f/2 and 300 f/2.8 both also have incredible bokeh. Here's my 300 f/2.8 with the 1.7 converter at 500 f/4.8 and Riley.

    riley_walk_1-1-11.jpg

    Here's that old 50 f/1.8 I still own. You know, it might have come new on this old H model instead of my old Spotmatic. I can't remember.

    pentaxh.jpg
    Nikon D800, D3S, D700, D300, Canon G1X, Sigma 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6, Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR, Nikon 28 f/1.8G AFS, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AFS VR, Nikon 35 f/2, Nikon 50 f/1.8 G, Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro, Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS G, Nikon 105 f/2.5 AI, Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro, Nikon 300 f/2.8 AFS VR, Nikon 500 f/4 -P, Interfit Stellar X complete six light studio
  • Cane PoleCane Pole Stuart, FLAPosts: 9,907 Admiral
    I want one.

    Reminds me of my favorite lens ever. Unfortunately, it was stolen long ago...

    nikkor_105mm_f2.5.jpg
    Live music 7 nights a week: http://www.terrafermata.com/_events
  • GuidenetGuidenet Posts: 239 Officer
    Cane Pole wrote: »
    I want one.

    Reminds me of my favorite lens ever. Unfortunately, it was stolen long ago...

    105mmpreAI25.jpg

    Hey, my friend. I love that old Nikon 105 f/2.5 and use one as one of my current portrait lenses. It's hard to beat even today. Mine is a pre-AI converted by Nikon. It's still the Gauss design and not the older Sonnar.
    Nikon D800, D3S, D700, D300, Canon G1X, Sigma 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6, Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR, Nikon 28 f/1.8G AFS, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AFS VR, Nikon 35 f/2, Nikon 50 f/1.8 G, Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro, Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS G, Nikon 105 f/2.5 AI, Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro, Nikon 300 f/2.8 AFS VR, Nikon 500 f/4 -P, Interfit Stellar X complete six light studio
  • Cane PoleCane Pole Stuart, FLAPosts: 9,907 Admiral
    I'm getting close to pulling the trigger on an 85.

    The Nikon 1.8 seems like a great lens for $459.

    Thoughts?
    Live music 7 nights a week: http://www.terrafermata.com/_events
  • Cane PoleCane Pole Stuart, FLAPosts: 9,907 Admiral
    Saw this posted yesterday on B&Hs Facebook page.

    From: http://danbaileyphoto.com/blog/lens-review-nikon-85mm-f1-8d-short-telephoto/

    Lens Review: Nikon 85mm f/1.8D Short Telephoto
    Posted on November 30, 2011 by Dan Bailey

    Although I do own and have owned a number of zoom lenses, I generally shoot with fixed lenses or primes in my photography. Why? Because they’re lighter and more compact than most zooms, and they’re sharp. Really sharp. A lens with elements that don’t move inside the lens barrel is optimized for one angle of view, and so it does one thing extremely well.

    One of my favorite lenses is my Nikon 85mm f/1.8D short telephoto lens. I use it all the time; I rarely leave the house without it. It’s actually lens that I slapped on when I bought my very first digital body. I take it backpacking, hiking, biking, traveling and skiing, and it goes with me on every single assignment.

    In fact, if you comb through the metadata in my Lightroom catalog, you’ll see that it’s my second most used lens. Over the years, many of my favorite images were made with that lens. Although I’ve mentioned it here on the blog, (See What Can You Do With a Short Telephoto Lens and 4 More Reasons Why I Love my 85mm f/1.8 lens.) but this is the first time I’ve done a formal review of the 85mm f/1.8.

    Rather than include images in the post, I’ve created a gallery of photos at the end to illustrate all the ways that I use this lens.

    Lens Speed

    First of all, this lens is fast. With a f/1.8 maximum aperture, it’s fast enough to use inside and for many photography applications where you’re dealing with reduced ambient light. I’ve used it in my house, inside the garage, inside buildings, dark monasteries, flamenco bars, deep canyons and dimly lit forests, under overhanging boulders, under ominous overcast skies and just about everywhere else where the light sucks.

    In all of those places, it performs extremely well. f/1.8 is fast and that kind of speed lets me use shutter speeds that would be impossible to get with something like an f/4 lens. This means getting the shot, whether you’re shooting a subject that’s moving or just standing there looking at the camera.

    Even though modern DSLR cameras have high ISO capabilities, speed still matters, which is why I always advocate getting the fastest lens that you can reasonably afford. The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 definitely falls under the category of “fast.” In that regard, it’s a lens that won’t let you down.

    Depth of Field

    The 85mm f/1.8 has an extremely shallow depth of field, which makes it an excellent choice for photographing portraits. Short telephoto lenses are generally ideal for portrait use because of the appealing way that they compress the features of the face. If you really look at a person’s features, you’ll see that our ears are too far back on our head to look all that good. A short telephoto flattens our features just enough to bring those forward a little bit and make us look that much better.

    Although the 105mm is often considered the ideal portrait lens, the 85mm f/1.8 does the job really nicely, and it’s m go to lens for portraiture. Even on a crop sensor DX body, the 85mm effectively becomes a 130mm lens, which is still a great length for this kind of photography.

    That shallow depth of field is also great for nature and landscape work, as well as any time you want to isolate your subject matter from the background. The 85mm f/1.8 really pulls your subject matter forward and makes it pop in the frame against a really soft backdrop. This makes for extremely nice bokeh qualities.

    I take advantage of this aspect of the lens and apply it with nearly every style of subject matter that I shoot, whether I’m photographing people, landscapes, closeups, travel subjects, still lifes. In that way, the 85 1.8 is really a great all around lens. It will do just about anything, except of course, wide angle. However, you can still get in pretty close and just show part of the subject and include some out of focus elements to give your scene a sense of place.

    Construction, Size and Specs

    The Nikon 85mm f/1.8D is a durable, well built lens. Trust me. I’ve banged it around enough to have damaged the thing if it was a cheap piece of junk. It’s not, it’s built to withstand a reasonable amount of abuse and still perform flawlessly.

    The lens weighs 13.4 ounces, and without the lens hood, it’s 2.3 inches long and 2.8 inches wide. However, I always use the HN-23 lens hood, it reduces flare and protects the front of the lens from my occasional recklessness in the outdoors. Overall, it’s compact enough to fit on the camera in just about any type of camera bag, even with the lens hood.

    As I said, I rarely leave the house without my 85mm lens, and over the years, I’ve found it to be an extremely valuable and creative tool in my outdoor, adventure, location and travel photography. I highly recommend this lens to any photographer as an essential piece of solid glass that will get the job done in a variety of photography applications and produce professional quality work and exceptionally sharp imagery.
    Live music 7 nights a week: http://www.terrafermata.com/_events
  • GuidenetGuidenet Posts: 239 Officer
    Cane Pole wrote: »
    I'm getting close to pulling the trigger on an 85. The Nikon 1.8 seems like a great lens for $459. Thoughts?

    For the money, I'm not sure there's a equal to the 85 f/1.8 AFD. It's extemely sharp and has a fairly nice bokeh. It's lightweight and and seems to have a good but consumer build. It will not autofocus on the entry levels.

    Now, there are two things to consider here. Nikon is expected to announce a new 85 f/1.8 AFS G lens early to mid January with early February delivery. The price could go up or down. Nobody knows. Many think it might be an 85 mm version of the 35 f/1.8 and 50 f/1.8 which sell around $200. If so, that would be fantastic. Others say the price will go up because it will fit into the f/4 zoom lineup as a f/1.8 portrait lens and therefore come in higher than the current model. Again, we dont know but we do know it's coming. I'd wait and see. Regardless, I'd think the current f/1.8 would go down in price.

    Secondly, there are several 85 f/1.4 models to choose from including the Samyang who makes the Bower for around $330. It's manual focus only but that's a killer price for an f/1.4. It gets excellent reviews.

    Sigma also makes a superb autofocus 85 f/1.4 HSM which sells for around $950 new and $700 used. It also reviewed extremely highly.

    As strictly a portrait lens, all these f/1.4 models seem to outperform the 85 f/1.8 AFD. They are not sharp corner to corner but are very much so in the center. All the f/1.4 models have a creamier beautiful bokeh where the 85 f/1.8 is sharper edge to edge but has a busy bokeh in comparison. There's also the old model 85 f/1.4 AFD which is King of creamy bokeh until just lately. It sells for around $1200 new and $950 used.

    There is now a new reigning champion for 85 f/1.4 models and that's the one I just got. It's the new Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS G. It does something not done before on this kind of lens at f/1.4. It's extremely sharp in the center then edge to edge stays pretty much just as sharp from wide to stopped down. This opens it up for more than portrait use. The only downside is that it's priced at $1699 and not being discounted anything. Another amazing thing about it is that it has no special glass, just killer good design. There is no ED glass or Aspherics, but it's king as the sharpest and least distortion 85mm ever. Pretty cool.

    I just wanted to go over all the options before buying right now. I'd at least wait until Nikon annouces in January before deciding. See what they have up their sleave.
    Nikon D800, D3S, D700, D300, Canon G1X, Sigma 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6, Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR, Nikon 28 f/1.8G AFS, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AFS VR, Nikon 35 f/2, Nikon 50 f/1.8 G, Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro, Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS G, Nikon 105 f/2.5 AI, Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro, Nikon 300 f/2.8 AFS VR, Nikon 500 f/4 -P, Interfit Stellar X complete six light studio
  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    Nice analysis Craig. Please, just give me the "Cream Machine" and I will be more than happy, thank you very much.
  • Cane PoleCane Pole Stuart, FLAPosts: 9,907 Admiral
    I just read a bunch of review on B&H, and the Nikon 85mm 1.4D is just as "creamy" as the new G model and at $1039 (import) much more affordable.

    Not quite as sharp wide open in the corners, but otherwise...

    Is it really hard to get "import" lenses serviced if needed???
    Live music 7 nights a week: http://www.terrafermata.com/_events
  • GuidenetGuidenet Posts: 239 Officer
    Cane Pole wrote: »
    I just read a bunch of review on B&H, and the Nikon 85mm 1.4D is just as "creamy" as the new G model and at $1039 (import) much more affordable.
    Not quite as sharp wide open in the corners, but otherwise...
    Is it really hard to get "import" lenses serviced if needed???

    B&H will stand behind their imports just as well as Nikon. I would trust B&H though I tend to always get USA.

    I've owned both the 85 f/1.4 AFD and now the AFS G version. Yes, both have great creamy bokeh. The G is a little nicer in that it's green shift matches green backgrounds almost perfectly. The G also includes Nano coating which if worth it to me. The G is also pretty much edge to edge sharp as well as the corners. The AFD is plenty sharp in the center, but never gets better than soft at the edges or corners even stopped down.

    The older AFD model has the screwdriver autofocus system while the new one is SWM sonic ring type. The old one won't AF on an entry level while the new one will. The AFS is silent, fast and accurate. The G lens' AFS allows full manual focus override, where the old lens has to be switched into manual mode which is unusable for fine tuning on the fly.

    I like the crinkle black metal finish and Aperture ring on the old one better.

    As a pure portrait lens, they are both fine. I loved my old 85 f/1.4 AFD a lot. It was a magic lens to me. You just don't need sharp edges or corners in a portrait lens. They are usually part of the background and soft creamy anyway and you want that. The problem is that I love the 85 f/1.4 as a street lens and a landscape lens on occasion. One of my favorite walkaround kits is an 85 f/1.4 and a 35 f/2, one on the camera and one in my pocket. It's nice to have one of Nikon's sharpest lenses edge to edge, corner to corner on there for other than portraits. And that's just what this new lens is. It might be one of the sharpest lenses ever made and that's not an over the top statement.

    I just felt that the extra $700 was worth it to me for AFS with manual override, edge to edge sharp, and Nano coating. Would I have been happy as heck with the AFD? You darn right I would have. It's also a killer lens. I would never upgrade if I had the other, but I really love the new one. I waited over a year, one because I couldn't find one and two, because I wanted to make sure the new lens had the old lens' magic.

    http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/606-nikkorafs8514ff

    http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/538-nikkorafd8514ff
    Nikon D800, D3S, D700, D300, Canon G1X, Sigma 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6, Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR, Nikon 28 f/1.8G AFS, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AFS VR, Nikon 35 f/2, Nikon 50 f/1.8 G, Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro, Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS G, Nikon 105 f/2.5 AI, Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro, Nikon 300 f/2.8 AFS VR, Nikon 500 f/4 -P, Interfit Stellar X complete six light studio
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