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85mm f/1.4D

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by pixel_a_ted, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. I've heard it said that this lens is somehow optimized for close subjects, such as portraits. Is this true?

    How do the f/1.4D and f/1.8D lenses compare for general telephoto use with more distant subjects?

  2. Sandro Bravo

    Sandro Bravo

    Nov 18, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  3. danmab


    Apr 26, 2007
    Don't have any specific examples to point to, but I know I've seen the 1.8 lens get mentioned quite a bit for indoor sports usage (basketball, volleyball, etc)
  4. I think you have the issue confused just a little. The 85/1.4 is better than the 1.8 version when shot with the more wide open apertures -- distance has nothing to do with it. They both serve very well as a general purpose tele when stopped down but the 1.8 might be a little better in this regard for a couple of reasons. 1. It doesn't seem quite as affected by diffraction when shot tighter than F8, there is an obvious difference with the 1.4 when shot at F8 and F11. It's a bunch cheaper than the 1.4 version so why pay more for the wide open performance if you're not going to use it? The IQ of both is very similar when shot at F8 and the 1.6 may be a little better at F11. Again, distance has nothing to do with it.

  5. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    I had a similar question in another thread
    say you are shooting at 1.8- 2.0
    but not necessarily a portrait..per se..possibly a candid type snap

    would you say the 1.4 is so much better than the 1.8 at 1.8 -2.0 ?
    and I don't mean just the OOF areas..color..contrast..natural tones ?
    for pure low light capability..1.8 vs 1.8 are they the same ?

  6. Mood: that is exactly what I am trying to find out with this thread.
  7. eyelevel


    Jun 28, 2007
    Tulsa, OK
    I took this one with the D200 and the 85mm f1.4 afd yesterday:

  8. Yes -- substantially better at the wider apertures and still better at F4 though not as much as at F1.8. Starting somewhere around F5.6 they are, for all intents and purposes, the same.

    Check the 100% crops of the small figurine for a visual answer.


  9. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    the 1.4 glass gives u a different look no matter how u use it...;-)
  10. Very nice!

    Since we're trying to identify the sweet spots, what was your aperture setting?

    Did you shoot this in b&w, or convert in post processing?
  11. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  12. eyelevel


    Jun 28, 2007
    Tulsa, OK
    Uncle Frank,

    D200, 1/320s, f5.6, Channel mixer, levels and curves in PS CS2.

    By the way, it was some of your 85mm pics on the DPR forums that caused me to have to have this lens. It's fun to use but it depleted my funds for the 17-55 or the 70- 200! Do I regret it?....not for a minute!
  13. Phil, that was awesome...thanks for sharing! Had no idea the difference would be that noticeable on a 100% crop.
  14. I can't understand the donuts, Ray. I've taken lots of pictures with my 85/1.4 and it's never rendered highlights in that manner. For example...

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  15. The effect is typical of the 85/1.4 and is about as harsh as you can make it (the 85/1.4 is very close to neutral in background/foreground bias, with a slight foreground bias [foreground smoother than background]).
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  16. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    Robert ...do u find the 1.8 a better lens?
  17. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    I know you've had both, and my other 1.8- 1.4 thread is rapidly deteriorating
    didn't you use your 1.8 at 1.8--2.0 alot ?
    and it got you great results from i've seen
    what makes the 1.4 so much better in your eyes..just the intangible skin tones..or bokeh ?
  18. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    Frank ...i find everything about the 1.4 ----------> BETTER! and NOT just a little better. yes, i got "great" results from the 1.8 but i find the 1.4 better, PERIOD!
  19. I have only played with the f/1.8 at a camera store so I cannot make concrete opinions about it other than optical characteristics which I have seen and can attribute to the designs (boke-aji being of course what I know best). I had the f/1.4 "D" version for a very brief while but sent it back. I do however like the (simpler) AIS version, and would consider keeping it if I could get a reasonable price on it (and if I was more fond of 85mm focal length)

    I doubt the f/1.8 is a "better" lens, though it's lighter and smaller, and that does count for something in my book. The 85/1.4 is a far more complex optical formula and is a very well corrected lens (in some books even winning favor over the coveted 85/1.2L in Canon's lineup). However, the modest telephoto lengths generally do not require extremely complex designs to overcome conventional aberrations (note: the ZF 85/1.4 is 6/5, 85/1.8 Nikkor is 6/6, 85/1.4 AIS is 7/5, and 85/1.4D is 9/8). Some degree of added complexity seems to have been necessary for the IF construction (considering the location of the glass). It does not necessarily equal "better quality", though many feel that there was no sacrifice, and that spherical aberration was even more accurately corrected in the AFD version than in the AIS (mostly meaning a bit more contrast and a bit more neutral boke-aji wide-open).

    I've not compared the two lenses side by side, nor do I ever plan to. Nor do I trust the opinions of some who claim to have done so or those who like to repeatedly cite one well-known comparison online, while at the same time wholeheartedly disparaging Photozone or Alan Yeo or other sites.

    You get some who say that they are about equal, that the differences are very minor. Then you get some who say the differences are huge at every aperture. Then you get some who say the differences are huge only at wide apertures. I'm a little reluctant to adhere with any given answer, but from what I've seen and from my own experience with the f/1.4, I will tend to disagree with hype-laden statements much more. There are other statements I try to make which would win me even more venom from the 85 club, but I end up deleting them before submitting the posts. The forum can only tolerate so much blasphemy. :biggrin:
  20. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    wow Robert ....this is the kind of posts i really really enjoy. much appreciated for your time and efforts here ......;-))
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