Finaly a good 85 1.8 vs 85 1.4 comparison!

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by roman_thorn|1, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Hey all. I know this has come up quite a few times. Anyway, I did a search and came across this:

    personaly, I think it is one of the best reviews yet. definatley puts this debate to rest.
  2. "...puts this debate to rest."​
    Don't count on it.
    For one thing, people love to debate. It's mostly harmless fun, usually pointless but occasionally these debates contain a few gems of insight.
    Besides, these are two entirely different types of lenses. Apart from being the same focal length and carrying the "Nikkor" name, they serve very different markets. The 85/1.4 is a premium lens at a premium price. There will always be some photographers willing to pay a much higher price for slightly better performance or speed.
    And there will always be photographers who don't need the marginal improvements in performance, or simply don't understand the need for a fast premium lens. For them, the 85/1.8 is an incredible value with few compromises that would be noticeable to many viewers.
  3. You can find several on the web.. just do a search. I have owned both. I now have the 1.4. They are both fine lenses, great for portraiture. The 1.8 is a good deal for the price, but the 1.4 is worth it's weight in gold. It is a gem of a lens that you'll never ever sell.
  4. I agree with Joseph. The Nikon 85mm f1.4 is a classic. I had one briefly but didn't care for it with the 1.5x digital crop factor. But it was sharper than real life and a real joy to use. I'll be buying another one in the next year.
  5. There needs to be an 85mm VR lens.
  6. Did I miss something on that review page? The review heavily favoured the f1.4 for all the reasons that people choose it over the f1.8.
    I could not find an affordable used 85/1.4 AIs so I got a used 135/2 AIs instead. Also an excellent lens but I am always watching for a deal on the 85/1.4! I had to give up my Zeiss 85/1.4 when I switched from Canon to Nikon DSLRs.
  7. And let the debate begin... I've owned both in AIS form, and recently bought the AF-D version of the f/1.8, which I think marginally trumps the f/1.4 in all but one comparison: the f/1.8 looks a little cooler than the f/1.4 I own (and I prefer the warmth), but the sharpness and bokeh are as good if not slightly better than the legendary f/1.4 (I can't say regarding an AF-D version of the f/1.4 version).
  8. I should have read the review first. Actually, it seems pretty one sided to me. Not to mention the f/1.8 version he's using is not the newest. My experience with the 180mm, 300mm and 60mm are totally different from his results as well. I'm not sure what to make of his conclusions. Maybe sample error? Though I've owned 3 60mm's. One was decent, and the other two were not as sharp.
  9. I keep saying that the arguments for the 85/1.4 are better bokeh in some situations, better build and faster aperture. The advantages for the 85/1.8 are smaller size, lower price and slightly better resolution.
    I'm just waiting when the 85 PC gets drawn into this comparison ;-)
  10. Lex,
    "few compromises that would be noticeable to many viewers"

    You can expand this, please...just for debate fun.
  11. Paul, I can't speak for Lex, but looking at many reviews that have side by side image tests, it's very difficult to tell the difference between the two.
  12. the bokeh examples showed a clear difference. The f1.4 lens with rounded blades showed rounder shapes of the point light sources, in the out of focus areas. But, in the vein of "noticable", you have to be looking to tell the difference...
  13. umd


    1.4 seems definitely sharper, at least in close ranges, just look at the crops.

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