Nikons 85mm/1.4D AF vs. 105mm/2.0 DC

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by 35mmdelux, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. Hello All:

    I bought a new/used F6 and am shooting with a mf 50mm/1.4 Zeiss Planar....would like to add a fast "portrait" lens
    to take images in open shade primarily.

    The 85mm/1.4D might offer more general shooting capabilty for me, while the 105mm /2.0DC might be used less
    because of its more restrictive focal length. My Leicas which I use mostly sport a 35mm/1.4 and a 50mm/1.4. I also
    have a 105mm/2.5 nikkor on board.

    Can someone help sort the differences -- 85mm/1.4D AF vs. 105mm/2.0 DC please?

    BTW I find the F6 a phenom camera. In conjunction with my Leicas I plan on using the longer lens with the F6 and
    the wide lenses with the Leicas. I need some good Nikon glass to keep up with my Leica asphericals..

    Thanks -- Paul

    [PS: I did shoot with the 85/1.8 AF a few years ago and while I like the images was not all that impressed.]
  2. From a digital perspective, I always liked the 85 better than the 105. When I switched to FX, though, I find that my 'style' prefers a longer focal length than 85, as I like to cut off the top of the head often, and get really close. On the FX sensor, I am always working very close to the minimum focal distance of the 85, though and I find myself getting into situations where I am too close to focus often.

    So, I put the 105 on the camera and I am happier with the focal length. The image quality is similar, in my mind, as both are awesome... The 1.4 vs the f/2 DC is a wash. I usually use the 105 with no DC anyway.

    Then I go to shoot indoors... The 85 lets in enough more light, I assume, or there is something else about it, so that it focuses A LOT better than the 105 in low light. I have instances where the 85 gets kinda hung up and wont bump the focus a miniscule amount (i shoot with continuous focus when I am wide open, with the reticule directly on one eye) which annoys me at times, but I have the 105 sometimes just unable to acquire focus at all racking back and forth. That bothers me more.

    Outdoors, though, the 105 is great. To me the better focusing of the 85 is enough for me to keep that lens if I had to choose, but I shoot indoors a lot. If I was primarily outdoors I think I would go for the 105.

    Hope that helps.
  3. both are awesome... best thing you can do is get both and keep whichever you like more.. ;)

    (WARNING, you may want to keep them both)
  4. mjt


    The 85 is "phenom" to use your words. However, I have no experience with<br />
    the 105 to compare, as you asked. I suggest you check reviews from Bjørn:<br />
  5. Thank you. Paul
  6. bmm


    I use the 85/1.4 on a D80 and can add my hand to those raised in favour of it being a superb lens.

    When I go FX (D700) I'm likely to get the 135/2 to approximate the 85's focal length on DX but I at the same time I can't see my use of the 85 falling away due to its amazing optics and character.

    Just one additional note - and perhaps strange for me to be the one to raise it as I have the f/1.4 and love it so much - but also consider the 85/1.8. It is only a touch slower yet it is half the price and tests show it to have marginally better optics again than the f/1.4. I don't regret my decision to go the 1.4 for a second, but in the interests of fairness the 85/1.8 also has to be mentioned as a very good, and great value, alternative. I've only decided to say this as you were considering the 105/2 so f/1.8 seems fast enough for you.
  7. Forget either of these, save for the Zeiss ZF 100 F2 Macro.
  8. I will also add my voice to the chorus in favour of the 85mm f/1.4. I find it to be an extremely versatile lens with a beautiful bokeh effect. As I shoot mostly weddings I find it to be very useful if I have any indoor/low-light situations as well.
  9. Brent, did you find 85mm f/1.4 to be good for general stuff as well? Outdoor shots of mountains in the distance or temples etc? It seems 105mm can do that too, but 85mm seems more macro oriented. Is that true?

Share This Page