Difference between new 85 1.8 and 85 1.4

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by cindygillespie, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Okay... help me understand here.
    What is the difference of these lenses?
    85 1.8 is 499.00 (not yet released)
    85 1.4 is 1699.00
    I have a d7000 and will be upgrading in the next year to full frame (not sure which just yet). I do portrait and random nature and autos...
    I have the following:
    Nikkor 35mm f1.8, 50mm f1.4, Macro 105 f2.8, 18-105 f3.5, 55-200
    f4-5.6, 70-300 f4.5-5.6, 24-70 f2.8
    I will be getting rid of the 18-105 and 55-200
    I am considering the 85mm 1.4 and the 70-200 to add to my line up this year before moving on to the full frame.
    Thoughts and opinions are MORE than welcome.
    Thank you
  2. http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/009vhb
    I think that page should give you just about all the information you need...
    Basically the 1.4 has a bit less flare, a tiny bit sharper, better bokeh, obviously is faster and a bit better build.
    Negatives are the (much) higher price, added weight and size and a larger filter (although this being a bad thing depends on your situation).
  3. The f1.4 lens is heavy. The 85mm f1.8D Nikkor is much less weight to carry around. If you shoot at f8 or f11, either lens is very good.
    If you choose to shoot at f1.4, the depth of field is limited. How often you wish to do so is unknown?
    You may try to rent either lens and see which might be better for you.
  4. You need to sit tight until there are actual reviews of the 85mm f1.8G. My choice out of all those would be the Sigma 85mm f1.4. Sigma has really upped the quality with their recent run of f1.4 lenses.
    Kent in SD
  5. Little price difference eh? I've owned the 85mm F/1.8D and currently own the 85mm F/1.4G. The F\stop difference is minimal, i.e. its half a stop by the time you calculate T-stops. The 85mm F/1.4 is like a tank. The thing is huge! Its also more sturdy than the F/1.8 version. Its IQ wide open is better than the 85mm F/1.8D wide open IMHO. The real reason you purchase an 85mm F/1.4 over an F/1.8 is Bokeh. Nikon's 85mm F/1.4's are legendary for being arguably the best Bokeh of any Nikon lens ever made. The old 85mm F/1.8D had a reputation for having "nervous bokeh". I do not know what the new 85mm F/1.8G's Bokeh is like.
    Truthfully you buy an 85mm F/1.4G because you've got money to burn. The 85mm F/1.8G will no doubt focus a lot faster, be a lot smaller and obviously a lot less expensive. Truthfully I have a hard time justifying my 85mm F/1.4 except its my favorite focal length of all time and I just like the look the F/1.4 gives at 1.4 over the F/1.8. The new one might change that though ;).
  6. $1200 is a bit much for 2/3 stop imo...Let's hope they bettered the f1.8 OOF characteristic quality.
  7. I will be using it for macro / detail
    images and portrait. I want the quality
    that i can with my 105 and my 24-70 (
    btw way I have NEVER regretted one
    penny of that lens).
    I want the quality. The weight goes
    with the quality most the time I am
    aware. I would like to have the
    notorious bokeh that I have loved with
    my 105. But the 85 fills a little gap and
    is a focal length I have used quite often
    going back on files.
    So I am asking a professional opinion.
    It will pay for itself in the long run and I
    know that. Looking for deals is not
    always the way to go. Sad to say.
  8. You got my opinion, which is half professional, since I make half my living from photography, I make the other half from film making (which I often use my DSLR and lenses, including the 85mm F/1.4). I love the 85mm F/1.4. There is no substitute for me. Although if I were you, I would purchase the Sigma 85mm F/1.4. I understand it has outstanding quality as well, and its AF is much faster, and its much cheaper. Or if you are on a budget the 85mm F/1.4D is also an excellent option, but a bit soft in the corners, which is usually irreverent because you are usually shooting wide open. Even the $6,000 200mm F/2.0 is a bit soft in the corners, but not as much as the F/1.4D. The F/1.4G is too, but its sharpens up by the time you stop down, the old one never quite did get sharp in the corners.
  9. Skyler ... Are you saying the Sigma is
    not soft on the corners then? Just
    want to clarify is all.
    And Thank you for your professional
    opinion! It means a great deal.
    That is why I belong to this forum. I've
    never been disappointed.
  10. I believe he is saying that the sigma is sharper in the corners ('not soft') isn't really particularly meaningful unless you have something to compare it to..
    I have to add that were I buying this lens corner sharpness would not be a primary concern. When you buy a 1.4 over a 1.8 you get it to shoot wide open at which point anything in the corners has been obliterated into cream. Or maybe you will shoot some portraits at f8 to f11 at which point the difference between each of the lenses in corner sharpness is much of a muchness.
  11. I've never used it so I won't comment on that. I'll bet Kent can help you out in that department. For every pro who says one thing, there is another pro who does the opposite. You maybe quite happy with the 85mm F/1.8D. I was. I watched and waited and at the opportune time I was able to purchase an 85mm F/1.4G on a bargain too good to be true, so I picked it up. But if I was still shooting with the F/1.8D version, I would still be making great pictures. I'm sure I would be blowing them up to 100% and examining every pixel, but then again I do that with the F/1.4G version too. Never being satisfied is how I keep learning :).
  12. Skyler ...
    Thank you. I too learn the best that
    way. Bing hyper critical is what makes
    good work and art. I am a pixel
    peeper. So I will weigh this heavily.
    But seem to be swaying to the 1.4 as
    of this will mean a lot to me in the long
    run. I will check the reviews and data
    on the sigma tomorrow and post a
    response at that time
    Thank you all once again!
  13. You buy a fast 85 (ƒ/1.2 or ƒ/1.4) for the bokeh. An ƒ/1.8 lens is plenty fast if what you need is a big aperture for low-light photography.
    As for the bokeh, yeah, all of the "new" Sigma ƒ/1.4 primes excel in that area. And, yeah, they're known to have pretty fast autofocus. Fast autofocus is useless, however, unless it's going to be accurate as well. In that area Sigma loses. Their autofocus is garbage (known to be especially unreliable on the 30/1.4 and 50/1.4, no live view support, no rangefinder dot support — even my non-CPU lenses can do this, no manual focus override w/ AF-C, etc), the build quality mediocre, and their support atrocious. Lensrentals.com eventually took down their scathing review of Sigma's support, but Sigma hasn't really changed much — if you buy dozes of copies of each of their high end lenses and can't get any paid support... what can you expect when you've only purchased one lens? Personally I've had nothing but trouble with Sigma USA. The Siggies are expensive, but certainly not pro-grade by any stretch of the imagination.
    Thing is, the Sigma 85 looked especially tempting to some because the Nikkor 85/1.4D had a reputation for slow auto focus and problems in low light. Those screwdriver lenses were very dependent upon the shooter having a higher end body. The 1.4G has "slow" autofocus, but it's /precise/. IMO, if you're doing portraiture and looking to save money look at one of the Korean 85/1.4s (Samyang, Vivitar, etc). They're manual focus, but at $300 they're a fraction of the price of the AF lenses.
    BTW, this was shot wide open with my D200 and the 1.4D:
    I fully expect that both the 1.4D and 1.4G would be just fine for portraiture, and probably even acceptable for sports.
  14. Well, keep in mind Cynthia, that the 85mm F/1.4G or the Sigma are not perfect, and a demanding sensor like the D7000 isn't going to be kind. Wide open my 85mm is sharp enough on my D7000, but there is a big difference between F/1.4 and F/2.8, the image gets noticeably sharper. The other problem is, regardless of what 85mm you are shooting, if you are wide open at F/1.4 or F/1.8, getting focus can be quite difficult. I like to frame wide shots with an 85mm and shallow depth of field and I notice the farther I get back with my D7000 the much high probability it won't be able to find focus consistently. Maybe its just me, maybe its just my camera, but remember, shooting an 85mm prime wide open is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of practice to get consistently in focus shots and even then its likely you'll miss a lot. Not a little, a lot. When you go full frame and get the benefit of a better AF system you'll probably get more consistency, I did with the D3s. I know you have a 50mm F/1.4, but an 85mm compounds focus problems significantly. Just something worth noting.
  15. Hi Cynthia
    You write you will be "using it for macro / detail images and portrait."
    The 85/1.8 G and 1.4 G are not macro lenses. Your 105 is.
    If you want an 85mm lens that is also macro, go for the 85/3.5 AF-S VR.
    I have the 60/2.8 AF-S Micro and it is a great super-sharp macro and portrait lens.
  16. Sorry for crossing forums I shoot with both the Canon 85 1.2L and 85 1.8 and after using both have decided to sell my 85 1.2L. Just way too big, heavy and obnoxious when shooting outdoors at night. I might as well hang a sign around my neck saying please come rob me. On the other hand I use the 28 1.8, 50 1.8 and 85 1.8 all three of which combined weigh less than the 85 1.2L. Yes the image quality of the 85 1.2L wide open is incredible and the L has a nice creamy colors and is built like a tank.... But, to me is way over kill and way too expensive for this small increase in performance. I would assume things are similar with the Nikon gear.
  17. The difference between them is $1200, which goes a long way towards a 70-200mm!!
  18. I think spending a lot of money on fast primes for use with D7000 is questionable; I did not have much luck getting consistent focus with that combination (but my old camera's AF components have been replaced by Nikon since; don't know if this aspect of performance improved). With D700, D3X I have been very happy with the 85/1.4D (which I sold) and extremely happy with the 85/1.4G AF-S - for my purposes this is a key lens that spends more time on my camera than any other. I owned the 85/1.8 AF (non-AFS) for many years and didn't use it much. It was extremely sharp and had good colour, but the background rendition of the old f/1.8 is not as consistently smooth as with the f/1.4's, the mechanical construction quality is not as good (the rear element is not as well protected as I'd like and it developed something of a wobble), and it was somewhat prone to low contrast and flare in backlit situations, more so than the f/1.4D. The f/1.4G is still improved in its handling of backlight and I think it has been one of my best buys as it is a lens that gives excellent results even at f/1.4 - I have all the AF-S f/1.4 Nikkors and the 85mm is in my opinion easily the best of them optically as well as in AF performance. However, it is an expensive lens, that cannot be denied. As my people photography is my main interest in photography I tend to use my short teles more than anything else so for me the investment was worthwhile.
    However, I have seen a comparison between the new AF-S 85mm f/1.8G and the older 85mm's and at least the rendition of out of focus areas has been much improved over the old f/1.8. Don't know if the flare characteristics have been improved. I would expect the AF precision also to be improved since that tends to be the case with AF-S lenses, but I haven't tested the lens so I cannot comment on AF speed etc. Just the AF improvements, nearly silent focusing (is really important in some indoor ceremonies and concerts of classical music and some modern music also, where the disruptive noise of in-body AF can be a problem), and much improved bokeh would be enough in my opinion to get the new AF-S f/1.8G. Although I like the f/1.4 AF-S a lot, it seems at least from the initial tests that the new f/1.8G is a formidable contender and probably should be the first choice unless you have a lot of money and/or a specific need for the f/1.4. But I think we need to wait for comprehensive reviews and field tests before removing the "it seems" and "probably" reservations ;-) This will take a few months at least.
    Personally for me lugging around the 70-200 is something of a pain and I rarely bring it when I travel. I do find it very effective, but I have no problem getting the results I need with 85mm and 135mm primes, which are much lighter and have better bokeh, not to mention in the case of the 85/1.4G also highly useable f/1.4 and f/2 apertures. I'm going to Venice in three weeks and I'll bring a set of primes; since there are so plentyful of subjects I have no issue finding enough material while restricting myself to primes. And in my previous experience shooting the carnival in 2010 I did have to extract all the low light capability of the 85/1.4 and my D700 to get portraits in twilight and in ambient artificial light after sunset. With the 70-200 I would get more options for close-ups but I don't like the bokeh at distance, and holding it in my hands for potentially 10-12 hours straight is quite arduous. The old 70-200/2.8 (Mk I) has excellent bokeh but is a bit on the soft side at 200mm, f/2.8 so there is a tradeoff.
  19. My choice out of all those would be the Sigma 85mm f1.4. Sigma has really upped the quality with their recent run of f1.4 lenses.
    Fast autofocus is useless, however, unless it's going to be accurate as well. In that area Sigma loses. Their autofocus is garbage​
    I get that Alex has had bad experiences, but let's be fair, ok? every review i've seen has said the sigma 85/1.4 has faster AF than the Nikkor 85/1.4G. (it's quite possible that many of Alex's issues stem from the fact he has a D200 which is known to have compatibility issues with 3rd-party glass and is a couple generations behind in terms of AF modules.)
    i own the sigma 30/1.4 and the 50/1.4 and havent experienced the AF problems he mentions. and, FWIW, i just rec'd a brand-speaking new Sigma 85/1.4 from Adorama yesterday. I mounted it to my D3s, set the aperture to 1.4 and attempted to focus on the tripod screw on my gorillapod. bam! nailed the focus exactly. no front-focus, no back-focus. right where i wanted it to be, even in fairly dim conditions.
  20. full image
  21. so, how did the sigma 85/1.4 do in real-world testing? pretty darn good. luckily i had a dinner party to attend last night so i was able to test it in a casual/candid portrait setting at apertures from 1.4-2.8. the only time it had the remotest trouble locking on AF was when i was too close for the minimum focusing distance. i think i like this lens.
  22. one more candid. the woman in the frame later commented she didnt know her picture was being taken. clearly not a characteristic of slow, inaccurate AF.
  23. to the OP: unless there is a compelling reason why you must purchase now, i would probably wait for reviews of the 85/1.8 AF-S G to come out before deciding. when you think about it, it's pointless to ask for opinions on a lens which is not yet available. it will be interesting to see how well it matches up against the sigma, as well as the 85/1.8 AF-D and the 85/1.4 G. FWIW i havent found the bokeh of nikon's 35/1.8 AF-S and 50/1.8 AF-D lenses exceptional, and the 85/1.8 AF-D is known for nervousness in out of focus areas, but maybe the new 85G will be like the recent 50G, but better.
    my reasons for purchasing the sigma were the faster AF and reputed better low-light focusing compared to the AF-D and G. of course, had i not have had positive experiences with the 50/1.4 and the 30/1.4, i probably wouldnt have considered it; luckily, the sigma 85 seems to be their best 1.4 lens yet in terms of IQ (and easily has the best build of all the 1.4 siggies).
  24. I can only speak for the D lenses of which I have owned both. I sold the 1.8 when a second hand (but still expensive) 1.4 became available. The 1.8 was a fine lens in its own way but I always thought it was still a bit "so what" ie lacking a certain je nai ces qua by comparison with the 1.4 which always had a stellar reputation. So I did not use it as much as I should have. I have not regretted buying the more expensive lens which I use much more than the 1.8. I would say that the 1.4 really shines when shot wide open in portrait work and the like. If thats not your scene then go for the 1.8.

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