Any Bokeh examples from the new 85mm f/1.4 AF-S?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by robertbanks, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Anyone seen any examples shots from the new 84mm f/1.4 AF-S showing off its bokeh capabilities?
    Nikon's blurb on this lens says:
    Bokeh Master
    The AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G is designed to be the ultimate optic for professional portraiture. The fast f/1.4 aperture provides excellent subject-background separation, whilst the rounded nine-blade diaphragm renders stunning bokeh with smooth out of focus areas.​
     
  2. From Nikon:
    http://www.nikonusa.com/Assets/Camera-Lenses/2195-AF-S-NIKKOR-85mm-f1.4G/Photography/ER2.jpg
     
  3. hmmm...not a particularly inspiring shot from Nikon! But thanks for the link ;)
     
  4. I'm sure this is a great PRO lens and should be risk free for anyone willing to buy it... I'll wait to see my own samples!
     
  5. To me, the real question is this: at ~$1700US, is it four times better than the AF-D version (which is advertised right now at closer to $400)?
     
  6. To me, the real question is this: at ~$1700US, is it four times better than the AF-D version (which is advertised right now at closer to $400)?​
    Where did you find that price? Buy it now. That's the price for the 1.8 version
     
  7. Aaaaagh! Three seconds after the official announcement, and someone is asking about the bloody 'bokeh'. And Nikon has embraced the Bokian Heresy! "The ultimate optic for professional portraiture." Right. Most professional portraiture is done in the studio, where you have total control of background placement, contrast, color... Aperture is usually f5.6-8. What the hell has blur got to do with this?
    Guess it's time to update my portfolio. Need to shoot a model in contrasty noon light, with one eye out of focus and the camera tilted. Cross-processing might help too.
    Yeah, I DO like some wide-aperture portraits, but most of them will be badly dated in five years.
     
  8. Hey Les,
    If you go to http://www.jessicaclaire.net/ the first post has a portrait shot of a little baby. Less than half the baby's body is in focus and in fact even her full face is not in focus. And we are talking about one of the most sought after photographers in the country. So maybe bokeh does have an impact on "modern" day portrait photography?
     
  9. Btw I am not saying I liked that shot. If I had taken that photo I'd probably have been embarrassed and told people it was an accidental shot. But apparently other people do like it and the photographer herself thought it good enough to publicly upload the image.
     
  10. Most professional portraiture is done in the studio, where you have total control of background placement, contrast, color... Aperture is usually f5.6-8.
    Well, I don't know how you define professional portraiture. I do know that I've never met a couple who prefer a studio wedding portrait to one made in the summer in a nice location. If fact most loathe studio photography and would only consider doing one if it's pouring on the day of the wedding. Studio portraits are made in the winter when it is too cold outside but other than that generally people prefer outdoor portraits even though the light and background is less well controlled. Also, not all portraiture is formal, some are made in low light indoors e.g. in window light. f/1.4 lenses are very nice for this, with flash of course, you can control the viewer's eye and guide it to the main subject and by using a suitable aperture, let them see the expressions of other people they're communicating with, with subtle blur. Everything else (background clutter) is eliminated thanks to the bokeh.
    Need to shoot a model in contrasty noon light, with one eye out of focus and the camera tilted.
    Why would anyone do that? It's not like outdoors it is always contrasty. You've seen clouds, yes? There are trees, buildings etc. which allow you to shoot in the shade, in exquisitely lively, soft light, unlike in the studio, where everything is artificial, boring, repetitive, and controlled to death. And even though you have the f/1.4 aperture available, you can use the same lens at mid apertures if you like, and if the precedent of the 85/1.4D AF and 105 DC are any guides, you'll get very nice background blur even at such apertures like that if the shot is tight. Not so with many a slow zoom.
    I often ask people if they will do studio portraits and sometimes they do agree, but it is outdoor portraits and candid portraits in real life situations that make them really get excited. Who cares if the shot is controlled if there's no life in it, nothing real, nothing imperfect that would remind the viewer that these are actual persons and not models or plastic dolls for that matter. ;-)
    But maybe that's why I do not do professional portraiture, since I think like this (note that it is the subjects that I photograph who have made me to come to this opinion, not my own preferences).
     
  11. Hey Les, I'm not that interested in doing wide open portraits either, I was just interested in seeing the bokeh behaviour that Nikon were boasting of in there PR. I've seen shots of foliage where the OOF leaves look more like something from a child's painting by number book than a photograph. I know the lens will not be like that, but I have the D version and it gives very nice OOF effects (didn't people call it the cream machine?) - so I was interested in how the new one compares.
    Francisco - I think you're confusing the 1.8D with the 1.4. The 1.8D is currently $400 on B&H, the 1.4D is $1225. So the 1.4G is about $500 more.
     
  12. Francisco - I think you're confusing the 1.8D with the 1.4. The 1.8D is currently $400 on B&H, the 1.4D is $1225. So the 1.4G is about $500 more.​
    I know, I was responding to the previous post by Peter Rafle.
     
  13. It is true that in my own fine-art environmental portraits (some of which sell for dozens of dollars), I like to blur the background. It's just the mystical Ooh-Ooh character of the term 'bokeh' that bothers me. It is also true that it is VERY trendy right now to shoot wide-open for 'bokeh'. As I said, SOME images work this way; most don't.
    EDIT: The attached image was shot with the Nikkor 55-200 VR 'kit' lens--hardly known for its 'bokeh'--but I think the blur is fine and doesn't cause distractions for the viewer.
    00X6bB-270611584.jpg
     
  14. My mistake, Francisco and Rob -- you're right, I was looking at the 1.8 AF-D version. Which begs the question "is one stop worth a thousand dollars..." :)
     
  15. "It's just the mystical Ooh-Ooh character"
    ...and who wouldnt want some mystical ooh-ooh?
     
  16. EDIT: The attached image was shot with the Nikkor 55-200 VR 'kit' lens--hardly known for its 'bokeh'--but I think the blur is fine and doesn't cause distractions for the viewer​
    IMHO The out of focus rendition in your example is horrible and does "cause distractions".
     
  17. Les, thanks for the example - I'm sorry to say that this is exactly the type of OOF that I don't like! The halo around each point overlaps and is causing secondary lines which look to me like ugly brush strokes, not smooth at all. I will say the the upper right corner is slightly better than the grass in the lower right, probably because there are less detail there anyway to be halo'ed into lines.
    The old 1.4D gave very nice OOF blurring, even at smaller apertures. Nikon have made a marketing point out of the new lens' OOF performance - just wanted to see examples for myself :)
     
  18. How about a total lack of background as from a AF-I 400 2.8!
    00X6dg-270657584.jpg
     
  19. I have to agree with the other posters. The grass in the background especially the part under the goat's chin is distracting. I checked and about 85% of my shots with my 85 f1.4 are at f1.4 to f2.2. The only reason I'm not interested in the new one is that I have the old one and love it primarily for how it renders backgrounds.
     
  20. Les Berkley [​IMG][​IMG], Aug 19, 2010; 09:21 a.m.
    Aaaaagh! Three seconds after the official announcement, and someone is asking about the bloody 'bokeh'. And Nikon has embraced the Bokian Heresy! "The ultimate optic for professional portraiture." Right. Most professional portraiture is done in the studio, where you have total control of background placement, contrast, color... Aperture is usually f5.6-8. What the hell has blur got to do with this?
    Guess it's time to update my portfolio. Need to shoot a model in contrasty noon light, with one eye out of focus and the camera tilted. Cross-processing might help too.
    Yeah, I DO like some wide-aperture portraits, but most of them will be badly dated in five years.​
    Wow. What a bunch of bad advice. As to the sample posted with the zoom....talk about ugly, distracting, busy bokeh.
    Out of date? LOL!
     
  21. You know what would make that background behind the goat less distracting? If the goat was doing something more interesting. Like if maybe he were eating a printed-out copy of this thread. Not very nutritious, but lots to chew on.

    That is a cool-looking goat, though.
     
  22. Personally, knowing the OOF area won't be distracting is a big relief. Great bokeh is not necessary. However, distracting bokeh ruins most photos. And most of the time, you can't self select your backgrounds especially outside in the field...
     
  23. great shot ajay
    as for les' shot, the best one can say is that the goat takes up most of the frame
     
  24. Besides the complete out of focus 'bokeh' creaminess, I think the slightly out of focus areas are equally important. What happens in the areas that are just out of focus, in portraits they determine a lot of the look. I like the 105mm F2.5 for this. But I am sure either of the 85mm F1.4's will do perfectly. Too bad I cannot afford either. I'm also pretty sure Nikon will not have degraded this aspect of the lens, so I expect it to be even better in the new version.
     
  25. @Les - Yeah, I guess its personal choice, but still creamy bokeh is really pleasing. Have never used 85mm f1.4, but can see why Nikon says so...
    Just an example for creamy bokeh...
    00X6hU-270711584.jpg
     
  26. How about a total lack of background as from a AF-I 400 2.8!​
    It is not fair to compare background blur between a 400mm lens and a 200mm lens. Longer lens can blur the background more efficiently due to compression.
     
  27. Sen C , Aug 19, 2010; 03:49 p.m.
    Just an example for creamy bokeh...​
    so Sen, did you blur the foreground in post?
     
  28. I looked at that photographer's work and saw nothing there that impressed me at all. Looks just like a million other shots you can find on any forum taken by amateurs who shoot everything at wide-open aperture and mostly over-exposed with marginal post processing. Whatever...
    There is a time and place where shooting any lens wide open is appropriate for that artistic emotion to be implied, but there are so many more times where the correct way to portray the subject and overall composition is to stop that lens down and paint with light. I do in fact own no lenses slower than f2.8 and most of the time end up shooting them around f4 to f8. Sometimes I will shoot the 200 / 2 wide open (OK, a lot of the time!) but then that lens is just such a radically awesome optic that it almost cries out to shoot it wde open. And is still bleeding sharp at that...
    Now as to the new 85 / 1.4, I am sure it will be awesome as well. The current 85 / 1.4 I have in my bag will stay right there. I am totally happy with it. I will have that lens until the day I go away unless stolen or something. Same with my "old" 70-200 VRI. I think way too much emphasis is being placed on the latest / greatest lenses and not enough on improving the photographic skills. One good thing about all these who must have the newest stuff, they surely do help make great glass available on the used market at reasonable prices and that is very good.
     
  29. "However, distracting bokeh ruins most photos."
    I disagree. I think crappy composition and inattention to correctly utilizing camera settings relative to current light conditions ruins most photos, followed by marginal post-processing.
     
  30. Rob Sheppard - And Nikon has embraced the Bokian Heresy! "The ultimate optic for professional portraiture."​
    It's a "heresy" that they "embraced" a long, long time ago, probably before you were born. My old mentor used to rattle off the phrase "the quality of the out of focus area" like it was one 14 syllable-long word. He shot mostly Leica, but set me up with my original Pentax...
    Here's a discussion about the design of the 8.5cm f1.5, the 1950 predecessor to the 85mm f1.4, from Nikon's own wonderful 1001 Nikon Nights site.
    "Namely, the closer the lens is focused to the closest focus distance, the softer the subject image becomes and flare is increasing. It can be said that the characteristic of this seemingly shortcoming is well suited for portraiture or photography of a fixed still subject and the lens delivers an exquisite imaging characteristics...Sample 2 depicts an example for showing how defocus characteristics looks pleasing. Once you take a look at this sample, you could get a pleasing sense of defocus characteristics without lots of explanatory words." (ellipses mine).​

    Here's what Nikon says about the development of their 105mm f2.5 Xenotar type (often mistakenly called a "Gauss type") in 1971. Long before we started using the word "bokeh", Lens designers talked about...
    "In particular, it delivers a beautiful balance of focused and defocused (blurred) images, as well as higer resolution with natural gradation. The Xenotar-type lens design with the ideal aberration correction made it the perfect lens for portraits."​
    The discussions about the design of the 85mm F1.4 AF-D and the two DC Nikkors are also quite informative. And the fact that the two DC Nikkors existed some 20 years ago also tells you how important this stuff was to Nikon. If memory serves, and it usually does, Canon, Minolta, and Pentax only had one "bokehy" portrait lens each. Nikon's the only major player with two.
    Rob Sheppard - Right. Most professional portraiture is done in the studio, where you have total control of background placement, contrast, color... Aperture is usually f5.6-8. What the hell has blur got to do with this?​
    Hmmm. Let's see now. Checking DOFmaster...
    At 10 feet from the subject, the DOF of an 85mm 5.6 on FF is 1.4 ft, evenly distributed in front of and behind the subject, so with the background at 6 feet, it's pretty the hell blurred. The texture of the background changes dramatically with bokeh, and can be clearly seen on anything more interesting than plain seamless. Muslins acquire texture in both their fabric and their painting or dyeing. A seam or a wrinkle will "go away" on a lens with a nice bokeh, or become a distracting double line on a lens with harsh bokeh.
    Amazing, isn't it, that when you say "what the hell" does this matter in the studio, that people with a hell of a lot of studio time will answer. (But I'm probably the only person in this thread who's actually taken pictures in Hell. That's Hell, Michigan, just west of Ann Arbor).
    To conclude, photographers have been seeking "bokeh" for about a century, Some like it, some don't, but no one needs to listen to someone prattle about "Heresy!" or throw "hell" into the conversation unnecessarily.
     
  31. Les Berkley - I think the blur is fine and doesn't cause distractions for the viewer.​
    I think the grass below and to the right of the goat's face looks like it's exploding, and I find it highly distracting. If you hadn't named the lens, I'd have guessed the 200mm f4 micro-Nikkor, it's that harsh.
    Peter Rafle - Which begs the question "is one stop worth a thousand dollars..." :)
    Well, back when the difference was only about $700 (I paid about $1000 for my 85mm f1.4 AF-D, back when the f1.8 was about $300) I thought it was. I think nice bokeh is worth owning both an 85mm f1.4 AF-D and a 135mm f2.0 DC. Again, it's all a person's particular style.
    Ajay Tyagi - How about a total lack of background as from a AF-I 400 2.8!​
    The AF-I series, at least the 300mm f2.8 and 400mm f2.8, were the masters of Bokeh. I actually traded my 300mm f2.8 AF-S II for a 300mm f2.8 AF-I and a pile of cash.
    CC Chang - It is not fair to compare background blur between a 400mm lens and a 200mm lens. Longer lens can blur the background more efficiently due to compression.​
    That's actually an urban myth. If you frame the subject at the same size (same "reproduction ratio" between the two images) and the subject to background distance is the same, you get the same amount of background blur at the same aperture, regardless of focal length. DOF is weird like that. The reason the 400mm background looks cleaner is because it's got 1/4 the area of the background from the 200mm. And the photographer didn't shoot downward and get very close background into the picture.
     
  32. "However, distracting bokeh ruins most photos."
    I disagree. I think crappy composition and inattention to correctly utilizing camera settings relative to current light conditions ruins most photos, followed by marginal post-processing.​
    I was speaking of good photos or ok otherwise (composition, camera setting, emotional impact etc...). A poor composed (or harsh, lousy lit) photo can't be save if it had awesome bokeh, that need not be said. There are many elements in a photograph and many ways to ruin them...
     
  33. Joseph Wisniewski [​IMG], Aug 19, 2010; 08:34 p.m.
    Rob Sheppard - And Nikon has embraced the Bokian Heresy! "The ultimate optic for professional portraiture."​
    Hey Joseph, that quote was from Les not me!​
     
  34. Joseph,
    I wish you had not attributed Les' comments about heresy etc to me in your replies. I'm just not the sort of person to get worked up about this type of thing. Heresy is a pretty strong word to use about something that is just not that important in the grand scheme of things.
    This should have been atributed to Les:
    Joseph Wisniewski [​IMG], Aug 19, 2010; 08:34 p.m.
    ...each. Nikon's the only major player with two.
    Rob Sheppard - Right. Most professional portraiture is done in the studio, where you have total control of background placement, contrast, color... Aperture is usually f5.6-8. What the hell has blur got to do with this?
    Hmmm. Let's see now. Checking DOFmaster...​
    Les seems to take things to the extreme, even threatening to kill people, whereas I have a more live and let live attitude.
    Les Berkley [​IMG][​IMG], Jul 27, 2010; 08:42 p.m.
    If you want exceptionally pleasing blur, of course, you need a Dallmeyer Petzval-formula lens from about 1895. It was designed to have a degree (often variable) of under-corrected spherical aberration. (I will kill the person who calls this UCSA.) Lovely images are possible with these.​
    Just wanted to set the record straight.
     
  35. According to my test shots, the new 85 is at least the peer of the old one in terms of bokeh. It is fairly obvious that 'bokeh' was a major design criterion for this lens.
    I got the lens this morning and will run my usual tests on it.
     
  36. Bokeh doesn't matter too much. The only people that look at OOF areas are photographers. There is little doubt that great portraits are taken every day with lenses with bad bokeh. For instance the 50 1.8 is no bokeh star but I love it anyway, for portraits.
    Being able to have shallow DOF can be very useful. But if you choose your background with some thought, in terms of distractions, simplicity, and distance behind the subject, it doesn't really matter what aperture you're at. You need some background blur for separation but it doesn't have to be extreme. Lighting & composition & emotion are all far more important than whatever lens you've got on your camera.
     
  37. Joseph: The comments you quote are not Rob's but mine.
     
  38. Bokeh doesn't matter too much. The only people that look at OOF areas are photographers.​
    As a photographer, i can't make an unbiased opinion on this, but boke is certainly the main criteria for me when I judge a lens a lens.
    [​IMG]
    This shot is an example of bad boke, and really bothers me. I'm not sure how much it bothers non photographers.
     
  39. I'll post an example... here is a shot with the 50 1.8, if I remember correctly. In any case the bokeh is pretty bad, and you can see it here, but for me at least I like the picture. The question is... would it be a better shot if the lens had better bokeh? And who would notice the difference? I totally agree that bokeh can be 'distracting' and 'smooth', but bokeh is not the magic bullet that it is sometimes made out to be.
    00X6yP-270963584.jpg
     
  40. but bokeh is not the magic bullet that it is sometimes made out to be​
    Rob, I take photos for myself, and if others like them, great. But first, I have to like them.
     
  41. Fair enough! Can't argue there. By the way your B & W gallery here on pnet is really nice!
     
  42. Last Comments: On 'bokeh' now or in the future. I have been involved in photography for 45 years, as a 'pro' and a hobbyist. Back in The Day, I read every photo magazine on the stands. Until recently, I simply did not hear much about blur. LF shooters would talk about the plastic qualities of lenses, but only in a wider context. Looking at the work of many people I admired back then, I see few examples where the OOF blur was a significant factor. Overall softness was often used by fine-art shooters--hence the continuing popularity of the Dallmeyer Petzval variants--but rarely was bg blur mentioned or visibly important. The saying was, "F8 and be there," not "F1.4 and tilt it."
    Nikon has had a (possibly deserved) reputation for ugly blur. Now they publish articles about how they were 'always' into 'bokeh'. Lens design has been a series of demand-motivated compromises since M. Daguerre. The 'German Lens' (Petzval formula) traded flat field and sharpness for speed (f3.6); this was necessary to shorten portrait exposures on the slow daguerreotype plates. When Pictorialism was replaced by f64 and photojournalistic realism, designers pushed speed and sharpness. If you look at Cartier-Bresson's work, for example, you will see virtually everything in sharp focus.
    To some extent this reminds me of what is called audiophilia nervosa by writers like myself. Audiophiles concentrate on all sorts of details like 'air' and 'harmonic rectitude' and 'euphonic colorations'. They switch systems with the ease of a gearhead selling Nikon to buy Canon. Most people just want to hear the music. Sure, there are extremes--the tinny boombox is the audio equivalent of the Kodak Disk Camera, but the difference between two ten-thousand-dollar amplifiers is (if audible at all) utterly insignificant. The same, I will gladly wager, will be true of the new Nikkor 85mm; after all, it is replacing a universally praised 'optic'.
    "Its (sic) all good," they say, and so it may be. If enough Gearheads Without Portfolio buy the new, improved lens, then the price of the ancient, now-unbokeh'd version will drop.
    As to the current trend for wide-open aperture shots; the cream of the crop will survive as usual. The rest will be dated in five years or so. One last warning to the heretical blur-lovers: I have cat snapshots, and I know how to use them. Beware!
    [​IMG]
     
  43. Les, perhaps you've never seen the work of master portrait photographers like Steve McCurry, the famous Natty Geo photog and probably the best portrait photographer on Earth, who don't work in a studio, and who use shallow depth of field to great advantage.
    Disclaimer - warning to anyone that spends more than one hour looking through Steve's work. You may never touch your camera again.
     
  44. Les, if you've only been hearing about Bokeh for a short while, then you must have been conducting photography on a submarine for the better part of a half century. OOF area and Bokeh have been prinmary consideration since I entered photography in the early 80's.
     
  45. hmmm...not a particularly inspiring shot from Nikon! But thanks for the link ;)
    You think? Actually, if you really know what you're looking at, it's very impressive. Notice the out of focus circular elements. They are all of different brightness, yet they are perfectly round and almost perfectly evenly illuminated. There is no trace of astigmatism. Try that with your run of the mill lens.
     
  46. Les, perhaps you've never seen the work of master portrait photographers like Steve McCurry, the famous Natty Geo photog and probably the best portrait photographer on Earth, who don't work in a studio, and who use shallow depth of field to great advantage.​
    Only a few Dead People are unaware of McCurry. His portraits are very fine, partly because of their shallow DOF. No argument there. But I bet he makes INKJET PRINTS that show the lovely BLUR rather than 'giclée' prints with 'Creamy Bokeh®' :) Also, his Afghanistan images demonstrate that he is ready to use very deep DOF when the context is critical.
     
  47. Rob, my sincere apologies for the misattribution.
     
  48. Rob Piontek - Bokeh doesn't matter too much. The only people that look at OOF areas are photographers.​
    One could make that exact same argument for overall sharpness, contrast, distortion, correct colors, or good composition, and be equally wrong. It's more true to say that a photographer is "more likely" to be attuned to all of the attributes that we generally consider to be a "good photograph" than a neophyte is. So, what we do as "good photographers" is try to make sure that as many of the attributes of a photograph are the best that we can make them, in hopes that "something" will get through to the civilians.
    Or we could all just chuck the SLRs and adopt camera-phones...
     
  49. Wow, Les, I just don't know what to say. I read the same magazines as you, "back in the day" and I saw article after article delve into the quality of out of focus areas. I learned from someone that had racked up about 70 years experience by the time he passed, and he's the one who taught me about "the quality of the out of focus areas" in a way that was second only to composition and "the quality of light."
    Nikon has had a (possibly deserved) reputation for ugly blur.​
    Here's a few from 30-50 years ago.
    • 1959 - 10.5cm f2.5 had a great background blur, which only got better with the Xenotar redesign in 1971.
    • 1968 - 45mm f2.8 GN combined lovely blur with an aperture linked to focus for easy flash exposure. It was intended as a tool for event shooters.
    • 1978 - 50mm f1.2 has very pleasing background blur. The spherical aberration was deliberately undercorrected to deliver that, and they gave it Nikon's first 9 blade aperture on a large production lens.
    • 1981 - 85mm f1.4 the manual focus version had legendary bokeh, just like its AF successor.
    So, yeah, they might have gotten a reputation for ugly blur back in the late 50s, with things like the 50mm f2 or the 58mm f1.4, but they worked hard to change it, because (are you ready for this?) It mattered to a lot of people.
    You can't have it both ways. If, as you say, having a "reputation" for "ugly blur" was something that hurt Nikon, then it is not "heresy" for them to work to correct this.
     
  50. Okay. Not only will I never mention the god Bo-Keh again, but I will refrain from humor. Yeesh!
     
  51. @Rob Sheppard
    Sen C , Aug 19, 2010; 03:49 p.m.
    Just an example for creamy bokeh...
    >>so Sen, did you blur the foreground in post?
    Nope, absolutely no post processing except for a little straightening of horizon, curves and a bit unsharp mask, and NO selective blurring of foreground or background.
    Just out of curiosity - does it look artificial or blurred on post??
    Cheers,
    Senthil
     
  52. Most people just want to hear the music.
    That may be, but the artist performing the music, especially if they have a classical training, will pay attention to every minute detail of their performance. This isn't a bad thing, it is what makes the music enjoyable to even those who know something about music. Same is true of photography also; if you want to make a fine photograph you will pay attention to detail.
     
  53. Les - I will refrain from humor. Yeesh!​
    You actually have to do something, before you can begin to "refrain from" it.
     
  54. That may be, but the artist performing the music, especially if they have a classical training, will pay attention to every minute detail of their performance.​
    True, but they will NOT fuss over the precise details of the RECORDING, only the PERFORMANCE. Musicians who are also audiophiles are extremely rare, as I know from experience. My friend Pat, who sang at the Met, had the worst, cheap stereo system in the world.
     
  55. You actually have to do something, before you can begin to "refrain from" it.​
    Then I expect you can now refrain from ad hominem attacks?
     
  56. Les writes
    True, but they will NOT fuss over the precise details of the RECORDING, only the PERFORMANCE. Musicians who are also audiophiles are extremely rare, as I know from experience. My friend Pat, who sang at the Met, had the worst, cheap stereo system in the world.​
    I am a professional musician and know many as well, and have been a very serious musician for more than half my life, and this is categorically untrue in my experience. I think your friend was an anomaly.
     
  57. Les Berkley [​IMG][​IMG], Aug 20, 2010; 05:02 p.m.
    You actually have to do something, before you can begin to "refrain from" it.
    Then I expect you can now refrain from ad hominem attacks?​
    Then I hope you will refrain from Bokeh posts in the future....a topic of which you obviously know little.
     
  58. True, but they will NOT fuss over the precise details of the RECORDING, only the PERFORMANCE.​
    I can tell you, from direct personal experience dealing professionally with musicians (from classical artists to banjo players and bar bands) and those working in the recording and broadcasting industries: that is really incorrect. I can't even count the number of drummers who would spend hours obsessing with the recording crew over the tonality, ring, reverberance, phase correctness, and other subtle technical (and laws of physics) things that contribute to subtle qualitative nuances in the resulting recording. I know vocalists that are better than many professional recording engineers at noting a response curve problem that's preventing a consistent-sounding mix of two takes.

    The problem here, Les, is that you seem fixated on this whole thing as an either-or. Being thoughtful about one aspect of the tool's behavior doesn't mean it's the only thing taken into consideration. In fact, oddly, you seem far more concerned about the use of the word than you are about the fact that the optical issues involved get talked about in the first place. Would you actually abandon the crusade if all of the exact same conversations kept happening, and all of the manufacturers and users kept bringing the issue up, but everyone agreed to say "the quality of the out of focus background blur" instead of "bokeh?"

    Lastly: As we've established in thread after thread on this topic, the differences between lenses are concrete, demonstrable. Real. This is not idiotic audiophiles swearing that one SATA drive cable sounds better than another while fetching the data needed to play their MP3 files. Whether or not a jaggy background matters to you doesn't matter. Nikon is well aware that their older (and newer) 85/1.4's reputation is not about sharpness at f/8. It's about the quality of the out of focus background element rendering when used with a wider aperture. Does saying that feel more rational, since I used the required extra 15 syllables in mentioning it?
     
  59. It is true that shallow dof is very much in fashion, just look at the most popular wedding pros like Jessica Claire, Jasmine Star et al who shoot 1.2 lenses wide open with natural light. Then again so is selective focus with TS lenses - yuck.
     
  60. Very true Mark. Other, like Jose Villa, Jonathan Canlas, Leo Patrone, Riccis Valaderes, Leah Mccormick, etc, etc also shoot wide open with both 35mm and MF lenses.
     
  61. Les Berkley - Then I expect you can now refrain from ad hominem attacks?​
    I haven't made any, so there's nothing to refrain from. Although, since you just made a false accusation, it does appear to be the territory that you're treading into.
    You started a rather belligerent "knock the chip off my shoulder" thread, and you just kept getting worse as time went on and people countered the numerous misconceptions in your rant. You then tried to defend the bad day you shared with us as "humor". I merely called you on that bit of sophistry.
     
  62. Bokeh doesn't matter too much. The only people that look at OOF areas are photographers.​
    I disagree. Non-photographers look at an image and like it for reasons of which they're unaware, the b-word being among them, but their brains are connecting at a gut level. If you add up all the detail touches and TLC that better photographers put into their images, you'd understand that all the little things we do, taken together, add up, and can make a good photo into a stunning photo.
    Sadly, it seems most responders have chosen to ignore the OP's question and got alll hung up about the 'B-word'. I wish someone could actually show some examples of images from the new lens, specifically detailing the OOF highlights at wider apertures, and/or comment on whether the lateral CA has been improved/eliminated from the 85/1.4D. By the specs, it's a different number of lenses and grouping. How does that change affect the images in actual practice (not rumor, not speculation, not MTF curves, but actual images). New lens buzz is all good and well, but without images it'd be like buying a pig in a poke.
    I'm wondering whether I'm going to order the new 85/1.4G - specifically if it's worth the asking price. To me, improving on the 'D' lens would almost have to be diminished returns. OTOH, it's a bit like drag racing - speed is expensive...how fast do you want to go? I'd dearly like to hear (or see) some solid info on how the new lens performs (especially for $1700 when a new 'D' gray market version is about $1050). And is it finally a bayonet hood?
    Anyone?
     
  63. Peter Hamm: I am a professional musician and know many as well, and have been a very serious musician for more than half my life, and this is categorically untrue in my experience. I think your friend was an anomaly.​
    I have written about music and audio for about twenty years. Pat was an anomaly of sorts, but I have known many musicians--classical, rock, folk--who have pretty poor audio gear. Point is, they want to sound good, so folks will get up and dance. They don't obsess over minutia the way audiophiles do. A clam embarrasses them but the precise nature of the soundstage does not. Fabio, OTOH, had Gayle Saunders of Martin-Logan build him custom electrostatic speakers that cost him a hundred grand. I didn't express myself well on this, for which I apologize.
    Matt Laur: Would you actually abandon the crusade if all of the exact same conversations kept happening, and all of the manufacturers and users kept bringing the issue up, but everyone agreed to say "the quality of the out of focus background blur" instead of "bokeh?"​
    I promise. No more bokey out of me. But I will still feel sad for newbies who truly want to photograph, and are told of this all-important, mystical attribute that is only to be found in lenses they can't afford. I want people to discuss equipment as a whole, not just as a producer of soft backgrounds. I don't want to hear nonsense like 'you can't get bokeh with micro 4/3'. Here is a banal snapshot to prove them wrong.
    [​IMG]
    Matt, when I look at your Dogpictures, I see the personality of the animals, not sharpness or bokeh or Tiefenscharfenschadenfreude. (Why do we say, 'sharpness' or 'chromatic aberration' in English--if we are using that language--but we need 'bokeh' to mean 'blur quality'?) That's all. Out.
     
  64. Yes, it has a bayonet hood. And the AF-S mechanics are important regardless of the optical changes, in that you can have your camera perform AF, but still grab the focus ring and manually adjust. That's not possible with the D version.

    As for your request: Bjorn just got his to review. So, stay tuned. They've just announced it, they haven't started putting them on the shelf for general sale yet. It will be interesting to see how Sigma's new 85/1.4 HSM stacks up.
     
  65. Les Berkley - But I will still feel sad for newbies who truly want to photograph, and are told of this all-important, mystical attribute that is only to be found in lenses they can't afford.​
    Don't feel sad, Les. There's so much nice bokeh those newbies can have for 1/10 to 1/5 the $1960 US price of the new 85mm f1.4.
    1. One of the lenses that comes up frequently in discussions of bokeh, at least in Nikon mount, is the 105mm f2.5. This discontinued, but plentiful, lens that can be found for $100-200 used. Truly amazing lens on a film camera, where it's nearly a perfect portrait length (Personally, I prefer a 135mm, but that may just be the way I learned). It's a bit long on a newbie's APS DSLR, though, but great for tighter portraits.
    2. The Tamron 90mm f2.8 has bokeh so nice it's hard to believe it's a macro lens. A modern autofocus lens, it's one of the few that can do double duty: a near perfect 135mm equivalent portrait lens with a combination of good sharpness in the plane of focus and great bokeh outside it, along with the ability to go to 1:1 macro. $409 brand new with the rebates going on right now.
    3. The Samyang 85mm f1.4 is a new arrival, introduced about 18 months ago. This manual focus lens is often seen under the names "Bower", "Polar", "Vivitar", or "Opteka", and has a reputation for startlingly good bokeh. It can be found new, in Nikon mount, for about $350. On a film camera, it's a great short portrait lens, on a DSLR, a 125mm equivalent that puts it smack into long portrait range, between the venerable 105mm and 135mm.
    4. The Voigtlander 58mm f1.4 Nokton is a modernized version of the old Topcor 58mm f1.4. 58mm normals went out of style in film SLRs in teh 60s, but they're near perfect "short portrait" lenses on cropped DSLRs. The Voigtlander draws with quite respectable bokeh.
    5. If you really want pretty bokeh in a normal on an APS DSLR, the Sigma 30mm f1.4 is quite respectable, at $430 new.
    See, sadness is totally unnecessary. This is a happy time.
     
  66. Nikon missed on this one.
    The 85 1.4 needed VR.
    This disappointment just makes me more grateful for my Nikon 105 VR.
     
  67. Here are some Test pictures by Magazine "DIGIFOTO" ... ( they are not the best in the world for this subject but still..)
    http://www.dfpro.nl/artikel/2329672/testfoto’s-nikon-af-s-nikkor-85mm-f-1-4g
    Thanks for the link. The series of bicycle shots are challenging. Just a little rough wide open, perhaps, but very well behaved from f/2 on up. It looks like Nikon have tried hard to be keep it right at the edge of beautiful out-of-focus-background-blur, trying to keep stuff that's in focus sharp. If they've also managed to avoid discernible focus shift, that will be nice.
    Joseph, do you happen to know if the Voigtlander 58/1.4 also behaves decently on an FX camera?
     
  68. Hi John,
    The Nokton is on review Photozone , its in the Canon Fulframe dept. but that should not differ to much from Nikon FX as far as Bokeh goes ....
    The part that I always miss in reviews for these type of lenses is : How do they render Coma from lights in dark places ( like scity/treet lights at night..) , a lot of times those look very unrealistic or become just plain round circles ..... ( this is where a 58mm 1.2 Noct. realy shines for instance, whish I had the money for that one... :) ).
     
  69. It's good to get the bokeh discussion out of the way say we can move on to the really important subject of lp/mm.
     
  70. I am not an expert on bokeh or VR, but I have read that VR can cause unpredictable changes to the look of the bokeh at times. I assume this would bother many of the bokeh "purists".
    Andre Noble Said:
    Nikon missed on this one.
    The 85 1.4 needed VR.
    This disappointment just makes me more grateful for my Nikon 105 VR.​
     

Share This Page

1111