85mm f1.8 Am i going to be disapointed?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by samoksner, May 13, 2008.

  1. I'm thinking of selling my 85mm f1.4 AI-s and buying an 85mm f1.8 AF-D for auto focus and full metering on my F100 and my D80. I've read the forums here regarding the 85mm f1.8 and although many people like it, it seems like not many people would keep it over the f1.4 AF version. I never shoot the lens WIDE open, i usually shoot between f2 and f2.8. I really love the bokeh on my 85mm AI-s, is the 85mm f1.8 AF-D going to be disappointing or is it just different? Here is a picture of the kind of shots i've taken with my 85mm f1.4 AI-S.
  2. Here is another photo, i realize i've used the lens little on digital because i have no AF or metering.
  3. Though more expensive, I think you would be happier with the performance of the 85mm f1.4 AF D. Its very sharp even wide open and has great bokeh. Build quality is closer to your 85mm f1.4 manual focus, too.
  4. As I remember 85/1.8 is almost half way less expensive than 85/1.4. If one stop is of value to you then it is much worth it in my opinion. I mean how often will you have to upgrade the lens?

    Here are few street snaps with 85/1.8 on D200, all wide open,









    - Sergey
  5. I'd forgo the lens and buy some image editing software so you can reduce them to a reasonable size for viewing on the web<g>. The 1.8 is a superb lens and you won't be disappointed. Some reviews rate the new AF-D optically sharper than the 1.4. It is definitely better than my old AIS version of the lens, which is probably what's being compared against the 1.4.
  6. Sam, No - you will not be disappointed with the performance of the 85mm f/1.8 D I had your same dilema and opted to invest the $$ saved from a f/1.4 version into other photographic gear. I find the f/1.8's sharpness acceptable at f/1.8 which I can adjust with a little post shoot editing - after f/1.8 it is truly deadly sharp and yields a very high contrast image. I bought mine new and it came with a glare hood which is more than useful. The price is very reasonable for this lens new compared to the faster f/1.4 version. Bokeh on this f/1.8 lens is well above average in my collection of Nikkors. I'll not be parting with my 85mm f/1.8 anytime soon.....
  7. I don't think you'll be disappointed. I've used both the 1.4 and 1.8 AF versions of this lens, and I opted for the less expensive, smaller, and lighter 1.8. The majority of the time, I shoot this lens stopped down to f/2.8 to ensure sharp focus on the subjects eyes, so for me the extra expense and weight of the faster lens didn't make sense.
  8. I like my Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-D very much with my D200. It is prone to flare easily but I would guess so is the 1.4. Smaller, lighter AF and metering are all great features. I do hate selling a lens then later needing it. If you upgrade the body to a D200 or D300 you would get metering with the 1.4. Tough call or good excuse to get a D300 ;^)
  9. Like Brett, the F1.4 version really didn't make sense. Mostly because I rarely use the focal length. I had the F1.4 for over two years and while it is superior IMO, the F1.8 does a fine job. In fact, for me, the only real difference was in the F2.2 or wider range. Hence, I sold the larger lens and have a copy of the F1.8 and am very happy. :)
  10. I had the 85mm f/1.8 AF for over 15 years, starting with my N8008s, and now it is used on my DSLR. It is a good balence of size, weight and performance. The f/1.4 may be better, but the f/1.8 can actually be with you since it is small and easy to carry, and the best lens is the one you have with you. You say that you don't use your lens wide-open, but I do very often, and at f/1.8 my lens does not let me down. A stop or two down, and it gets even better, so you should not have any problem with the f/1.8 lens' performance.
  11. wow, thanks everyone, i guess I'll go for the 1.8 then, it sounds like the performance is great and usable wide open, which was hardly the case on my AI-s lens. I'm getting one this weekend hopefully! Thanks again
  12. The 85/1.8 is an excellent lens and its performance in terms of resolution, distortion and CA is matched by very few lenses. In this regard it's better than the 1.4. The caveats are that at large apertures (f2 and large) the 1.4 is obviously to be preferred, the bokeh of the 1.4 is considered better (although the 1.8 is not bad) and the 1.8 is prone to flare and ghosting.
  13. along with the 35/2 and the 50/1.8, the 85/1.8 is one of the best "deals" in the nikkor lineup. i would hope you'd get better bokeh for $600 more with the 85.1,4, but on DX, 85mm may not be your most used focal length, and it's debatable whether 1.4 vs. 1.8 will make that much of a difference in real-world usage.
  14. Sam it is a matter of taste. Both lenses give sharp images. The question is if you prefer the bokeh of the 1.4 version. For some people it makes a big difference for others the difference is nothing.

    Do you post and ask if you should like peanut butter? Should you prefer green or blue olives?
  15. The f/1.8 is a very nice lens if you don't need that additional 2/3 stop. It's my choice for protraits and candid wedding shots. (I wish that I could remember the fashion photographer who carried it as her favorite lens.)
  16. You'll enjoy the AF-D 85/1.8.

    Your habit of not shooting wide open means you won't really push the limits of bokeh for your 85mm lenses anyway. If you did shoot the lenses wide open, you probably would be able to tell that the f/1.8 lens does not have the ultra-silky effect on out of focus highlights at f/1.8 that the f/1.4 lens does at f.1.4. I can see the difference in photos other people take... I did not spring for the 85/1.4 lens myself. The difference is not vast. It's not as if one lens is stellar and the other has horrific bokeh. They're both nice. One is better, but it is the one that costs a LOT more.

    I have a manual 35/1.4 and both manual and AF-D 50/1.4 lenses, but saved some money at 85mm by selecting the AF-D f/1.8. I have never regretted doing so. The 85/1.8 takes great photos, from tight head shots with nicely blurred backgrounds to mountain scenics at f/11 with sharp detail all around the frame.

    For me, the 85mm focal length makes more sense on film than with my D200... but I use it sometimes wirh the D200 anyway. I love the lens.

    (Now ask me about the manual focus 105 f/2.5 ... )
  17. I used to own a new 85/1.8. It was too soft wide open for my taste. But when closed down, the centre sharpness improved dramatically. Still, not good enough for someone who wants to use the lens wide open.

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