85 1.4 test

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by steve_phillipps, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Got the 85 1.4 and shot some simple tests.
    Will try to upload the shots, first at 1.4, then f2, then 2.8, then f4.
    It gets progressively better as my 50 1.8 does. The difference between f1.4 and f4 is disappointingly massive!
    Steve
    00VnQd-221539584.jpg
     
  2. Most lenses have resolution peaking around f/4 - f/8. @ f4, the resolution is certainly within the peak region. So, there's no need to be surprised that it is drastically better than at f/1.4.
     
  3. I saw the same when I tested mine, since it is mostly used as a portrait lens the corner sharpness wide open isn't a massive deal much of the time.

    My 105mm f/2.5 AIS blows it away, it looks the same at almost every aperture until f/16. Max centre sharpness is similar however.
     
  4. In the f1.4 shot you got the focus really nailed at the black background with the thin white stripes :) It may be only 1 mm or less but still....
    Also I wonder if this lens focal plane is very flat? So if not then an almost flat, very near object may not be a perfect test object.
    What type of post processing did you apply? In some areas of the second image at f4 it looks like artifacts from PP.
    Seriously - I suppose accurate focus is very difficult to obtain at f1.4. And lens testing is a tricky business.
     
  5. Mark,
    Don't still have my 105 2.5, but from tests I did when I did I think my results agree with yours, it was just incredible. Same goes for the 180 f2.8 AIS.
    With the 85 I thought and was hoping f2 would be quite close to its best but it's still well below f4.
    Steve
    00VnRm-221543584.jpg
     
  6. Walter,
    it was on AF with the central sensor so focus should be in the dead centre of the image. I did try it with MF too with same result.
    No PP applied to either image.
    Steve
     
  7. With the 200 f2 the difference between wide open and f4 is a lot smaller. But, it's fair to say that even on this super-lens there is still the inevitable quality drop.
    Steve
     
  8. Here it is at f2
    00VnSL-221549584.jpg
     
  9. And this is f4
    00VnSN-221549684.jpg
     
  10. According to the EXIF data, the "85mm" images are with a 50mm lens, so I'm confused. But at any rate, with depth of field this small, the first thing to do would be to check for back focus and correct any problem there, because this appears to be a problem.
     
  11. Right Curt, thanks for pointing that out! Having all sorts of problems posting pics!
    Ignore the above shots from the "85", these are the correct ones!
    Sorry about that!
    Steve
    00VnTV-221555584.jpg
     
  12. It's because of depth of field that I'm shooting a flat subject (ie print on a flat piece of paper).
    This is another test, same results.
    Steve
    00VnTo-221559584.jpg
     
  13. And again at f4
    00VnU7-221559784.jpg
     
  14. Lot of chromatic aberration at f1.4 too.
    Steve
     
  15. OK, now we got that nailed down and I will offer that I see about the same difference between f/1.4 and f/4 on my 50mm f/1.4 (and I should note that I tested 4 samples in the store and picked the best one several years ago). I don't own the 85mm, however, so I can't comment on it specifically. I will still suggest that you check for back focus, although I don't see as much evidence of that in these shots. And on that subject, since the last images have a smaller subject, I found that the spot being used by the camera to determine the focus did not correspond precisely with the focus marks in the viewfinder (I was using the eyes in my very patient Teddy Bear test). Lens testing like this is not an exact science without laboratory equipment.
     
  16. Curt, sorry to ask a silly question but how do you access the EXIF data on these links?
    Steve
     
  17. how do you access the EXIF data on these links?
    If you are using Firefox, there are several add-ons available. I happen to be using one called "FxIF". Just right-click on the image and it comes up as a menu item. There are others available that give even more information like "EXIF Viewer", just search on EXIF in the add-on search.
     
  18. Thanks.
    I'll run a few more tests. I realise we're not looking at a real world situation here (ie it's a sheet of print or a film box), but looking at the f1.4 shot I'd almost rate that as diabolical, and wonder if we should be expecting more from a nearly £1000 lens?
    Steve
     
  19. To avoid focus problems it's usually easier to test subjects at infinity, this also makes it very easy to compare centre and corner sharpness.
     
  20. OK Mark, difficult to do infinity as it's night time here! But just did it at about 6m and it's exactly the same, very blurry at f1.4 and snaps in at f4. And I'm only really looking at the centres, thought they at least should look OK.
    Steve
     
  21. Steve,
    My 85 f1.4 is quite sharp when wide open in the centre. I think you may have got the foucs wrong in the first test shot or have a back focus issue. I've attached a real world image shot wide open, shot on my D3. Foucs point was her right eye.
    00VnVr-221577584.jpg
     
  22. I shoot with the 85 1.2L and anything wide than 2.8 I alway suse manual focus. I prefer a tripod and on my 5D Mark II I use Live-View to zoom in 100% to get dead on manual focus. If shooting hand held even slight motion will cause my focus point to shift causing a blurred photo. With these high end lenses it is more often technique rather than issues with the lens.
     
  23. http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/220-nikkor-af-85mm-f14d-review--test-report
     
  24. http://regex.info/exif.cgi?b=3&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.photo.net%2Fattachments%2Fbboard%2F00V%2F00VnQd-221539584.jpg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.photo.net%2Fattachments%2Fbboard%2F00V%2F00VnQd-221539584.jpg
    This is a link to a web based exif viewer that I use all the time. What I do is to open the image itself in a new tab and then click on the javascript bookmark I have in my bookmark bar (in Safari). If you go to the link below (which is the page that you reach via the first link, but with no image referenced) you can drag the javascript to your bookmark bar directly from the page.
    http://regex.info/exif.cgi
     
  25. steve, i'm not sure what you're so upset about. the (correct) 1.4 shot looks ok on my monitor. maybe you should try shooting an actual human being.
     
  26. Steve, your testing methodology is flawed. You won't get consistent or useful results until you improve your testing methodology.
    For one thing, the EXIF data indicates you're shooting in EV 4 lighting. That's so dim I'd have trouble manually focusing accurately, let alone expecting a camera's autofocus system to perform optimally. The EXIF data shows ISO 800, 1/45th - 1/60th sec @ f/1.4. That's very dim lighting.
    For example, sunlight is usually between EV 14-16. Daylight shade is around EV 11. The worst school gymnasium lighting I've encountered is around EV 5 and my D2H would struggle to autofocus quickly enough to keep up with scampering kids in basketball and volleyball games. For a meaningful test you need more light, at least EV 6-8.
    And testing at ISO 800 isn't giving your camera a fair shot at producing the best possible results. You're testing noise as much as anything else, even with the excellent high ISO performance of the D3 and comparable recent Nikon dSLRs.
    Increase the lighting enough to shoot at ISO 200 and with a shutter speed of at least 1/125th sec without mirror lockup. If you use mirror lockup you can shoot at slower shutter speeds. But this brings up another flaw in your testing methodology.
    Your photo of the Ilford film box is inherently flawed in two respects:
    1. The box is standing on end, with a curved surface. Even the faintest hint of a breeze or vibration will cause the box to rock slightly. With a shutter speed slower than 1/500th sec, you won't be able to reliably determine whether you're seeing optical softness or subject motion blur.
    2. The focus is off. The sharpest point of focus appears to be in front of the box - look at the stacked sheets (cardboard?) toward the left.
    Again, if you're relying on autofocus, don't leap to conclusions about the "front/back focus" bugbear until you've tightened up your testing methodology. Use more light and give your camera a fair shot at optimal performance.
    In my opinion, especially considering the much less than optimal testing methodology, the photo of the Sony logo is what I'd consider adequately sharp for a fast lens used wide open in poor lighting. It's not a macro lens and shouldn't be expected to perform as one.
     
  27. Thanks for the responses.
    Lex, I will do some more tests taking into account what you've said, although I don't agree with any of it. The shutter speed obviously can't be an issue - think about it, it's going to be faster at f1.4 than at f4 and the f4 one looks fine! The focus is not off, I did it several times in AF and MF, and it was the same each time. Noise is not an issue at ISO800 the D3 at all.
    We obviously have different ideas of adequate performance as the Sony logo shot is well below what I think is acceptable.
    Thanks again, I will do some more and see how it looks.
    Any suggestions as to a test subject?
    Steve
     
  28. Mybe ISO setting and shutter speed are not the reason of lack of sharpness but I agree with Lex: focus is off. The greenish halo around black letter tells focus plane is in front of the target. Try to focus with Live View (auto or manual), you should get sharper results @ f/1.4 with the 85mm f/1.4. If not, I think your lens has a problem.
     
  29. You can see rather clearly from the texture of the table that at least the card with the small print touches only the rear end of the plane of focus.
     
  30. OPK

    OPK

    portrait lenses are not intendent to make extremely sharp pictures. their nature is in sharp center and soft blured surrounding. all in that subject. if you want pin sharp lens then go for macro...
     
  31. Only a small part of the text is in focus.
    This lens is designed for people photography and I think it should be judged on its merits in that area. If you do so, you'll be a lot happier with it than when you shoot text with it at close range and wide open. The 85/1.4 works well for many other subjects than people also, but what you're trying to do is much better done with a Micro-Nikkor.
     
  32. FWIW, here's a series of tests I did with an 85mm f/1.4 AF on a D700 at about 2 meters. Camera on solid tripod, mirror lock-up, cable release, and I took pains (using a mirror) to make sure the camera and subject were parallel. These are pixel-for-pixel crops from the center. No output sharpening.
    I set the exposures manually. Note that the f/1.4 image is a bit darker than the others, apparently indicating that the "f/1.4" designation is slightly optimistic. Also (not visible in these crops of course), there is significant vignetting at f/1.4, which is mostly gone at f/2 and completely gone by f/2.8.
    00Vnhv-221691584.jpg
     
  33. Steve. To me these results show a superb lens. Go take pictures.
     
  34. You can go to pixel-peeper and check the Nikkor 85mm f1.4 images from f1.4 to f2, 12mp (I can't give you the direct link because it is blocked) At 1.4, the 85 f1.4D is known to be very good and well focused images are indeed very good. Although it does not say that they were taken with the AF D version, I presume they are because the AIS version is not known for its sharpness at f1.4.
     
  35. Right, interesting! I've turned on AF Fine Tune as suggested by Dante Stella in another thread. When it's cranked all the way up to +20 the results are excellent at f1.4.
    What exactly does this mean? I'm surprised (and a little worried) it needs to go all the way up, would this mean an alignment issue?
    Steve
    00VnqW-221737584.jpg
     
  36. This is with AF Fine Tune at +20
    00Vnqe-221737684.jpg
     
  37. Seems now, after just a quick fire test, that most of my lenses look much better with fine tune at +20! I tried the 50 1.8 that I was also disappointed with wide open and it's much better. Same with the 80-200 f2.8. NOT the case with the 200 f2, which is blisteringly sharp at 0.
    So you might think it's my D3, but it's the same on the D300, the 85 is miles better at +20.
    HELP!!!! I cut my teeth with Nikon F3 and Canon F-1n with MF lenses quite a while back now and it's a strange new world now!
    Steve
     
  38. Steve said:
    Seems now, after just a quick fire test, that most of my lenses look much better with fine tune at +20!​
    If you need +20 to get anything in focus, either the mount on your body is badly off or the mount on your lens is way off. You need to send BOTH the body and the lens to Nikon to get it fixed. There's absolutely NOTHING we can do for you here except to say "yes" we hear you. I am sure that's not what you have in mind.
    Good luck.
     
  39. If "most of" your lenses require a +20, it clearly means the mount on your camera body is way off and needs to be adjusted by Nikon.
     
  40. I don't know if it means the mount is off, and I can't imagine how that would be adjusted. It seems more likely that the submirror assembly might be out of alignment.
     
  41. The mount can be adjusted by Nikon. If you use long lenses a lot and let them hang from the camera it will tweak the mount out of alignment. If multiple lenses are needing that much AF adjustment then it sure sounds like the camera mount is off.
    Usually when I send my cameras in to Nikon for CLA one of the many things they do is adjust the mount.
     
  42. I think the auto fine tune is lens specific. My understanding is that you would have to set each lens individually at +20, or adjustment will only be made to the 85mm lens.
     
  43. If your lenses need a AF Fine Tune of +20 it does not mean your mount is out of alignment. In fact it more than likely means your AF mirror is out of alignment and needs to be calibrated; a fairly simple task that is done by adjusting one of the two hex screws (the rear one I believe) inside the mirror box. Of course don't try this yourself. If your camera mount was out of alignment then how would AF Fine Tune fix it unless the mount was out of alignment at exactly the 12 o'clock - 6 o'clock position which is vey unlikely? The camera AF or manual focus can go out of perfect calibration for a number of reasons. Also the AF Fine Tune is not lens specific if you set the default setting to +20 it will use that for every lens.
     
  44. Also, the AF Fine Tune will only affect the AF function and have no influence on the camera manual focus function which does not use the secondary AF mirror for focusing.
     
  45. As far as I know, AF fine tune /is/ lens specific. Otherwise, it would be a bloody mess.
    And the manual focus function uses the submirror assembly for the rangefinder. Otherwise, you're right, it's all in the wrist.
     
  46. Luke that's only partly correct. You have a choice with AF Fine Tune. You can designate a particular lens and set the AF Tune for that lens only (settings for up to 20 lenses can be stored) or you can use a default setting that applies to all the lenses mounted. The first option is for a lens that may be front or back focusing and the second option is for a camera body that is front or back focusing. I have my D3 set to +17 as the default setting because the camera itself front focuses. I'll get around to sending it in to have the AF calibrated but in the mean time all my AF lens work perfectly at this setting and also on my D700 with no AF Fine Tuning needed.
    You're correct in that manual focus uses the secondary mirror (the main mirror being slightly translucent in the center) to transmit information to the the AF sensors, that reside at the bottom of the mirror box, for use of the electronic rangefinder (green dot). However, the main mirror is all that is needed for manual focus. A lot of people, myself included, don't use the green dot for correct manual focus confirmation. I'm not sure though, whether the shutter would still fire if the AF sensors and electronic rangefinder were damaged.
     
  47. Luke that's only partly correct. You have a choice with AF Fine Tune. You can designate a particular lens and set the AF Tune for that lens only (settings for up to 20 lenses can be stored) or you can use a default setting that applies to all the lenses mounted. The first option is for a lens that may be front or back focusing and the second option is for a camera body that is front or back focusing. I have my D3 set to +17 as the default setting because the camera itself front focuses. I'll get around to sending it in to have the AF calibrated but in the mean time all my AF lens work perfectly at this setting and also on my D700 with no AF Fine Tuning needed.
    You're correct in that manual focus uses the secondary mirror (the main mirror being slightly translucent in the center) to transmit information to the the AF sensors, that reside at the bottom of the mirror box, for use of the electronic rangefinder (green dot). However, the main mirror is all that is needed for manual focus. A lot of people, myself included, don't use the green dot for correct manual focus confirmation. I'm not sure though, whether the shutter would still fire if the AF sensors and electronic rangefinder were damaged.
     
  48. Oops, a double post. please delete it somebody.
     

Share This Page