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Showcase Nikon 85mm f/1.8

Discussion in 'Lens Sample Image Showcase' started by JustinD, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. I'm curious about the 85mm focal length in a prime lens.

    Are those who use it mostly shooting portraits? I've seen many superb photos here on the Cafe shot with an 85mm lens.

    Since the f/1.4 is a bit out of my budget (unless I felt like saving for a few weeks...which doesn't sound too appealing) how would I be fairing if I picked up one of the 1.8s? Is there an appreciable difference in image quality or is Nikon charging more simply for the larger aperture?

    Pictures taken with the 85 1.8 and displayed in this thread would be most helpful!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2008
  2. Here's a couple:

    click on image for larger view

    NIKON D300    ---    85mm    f/3.5    1/2500s    ISO 200

    NIKON D3    ---    85mm    f/2.2    1/6400s    ISO 200

  3. Thanks, Mike. Smooth bokeh in both shots you posted. Nice sharpness in the horse photo as well.
  4. Justin,

    I love this lens. From time to time I think of the f/1.4, but the f/1.8 is also very nice. Here are a few recent examples:





    Also, I love it for portraits. I can post also some of those, if you wish.
  5. Please do, Jani - I'd love to see how the 1.8 handles people.

    Although I'm not a huge sharpness peeper how sharp is the lens wide open? Contrast and IQ seems pretty good in the samples displayed so far...does it focus pretty quickly?
  6. Here's a portrait at f/1.8 for ya. :smile: (This was taken with the 1.8 that I used to own).


    At f/2.8
    View attachment 245764
  7. That's a lovely shot.
  8. Here are a few more samples to (hopefully) help you out. I really like the focal length on DX for much more than just shooting people. Can't say that I haven't been tempted by the 85/1.4 but as this is only a hobby for me I can easily use the cash elsewhere.

    NIKON D80    ---    85mm    f/11.0    1/0s    ISO 100

    NIKON D80    ---    85mm    f/8.0    1/180s    ISO 200

    and this last one shot with an e-tube
    NIKON D80    ---    85mm    f/1.8    1/60s    ISO 200
  9. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    i really like this one...:biggrin:

    pro photog friend of mine prefers the 1.8 over the 1.4 for shooting b$w film:cool: 
  10. Here are a few samples of my favorite subject:

    @ f/2.8

    @ f/1.8

    @ f/1.8

    @ f/1.8
  11. As for the sharpness, I would say it's sharp at 1.8. I've most probably done some sharpening on the above examples, but I shoot NEF with 'low' in-camera sharpening.

    On the D200 the focus hasn't been an issue for me, but I don't shoot sports (some people use it for indoor basketball, if my memory serves).
  12. I've done a lot of those portraits you've seen, and it is an excellent lens for that. But I also use it for sports:

    NIKON D50    ---    85mm    f/1.8    1/200s    ISO 1100

    NIKON D1H    ---    85mm    f/1.8    1/180s    ISO 1600
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2009
  13. Interesting, Harry. Thanks for showing some of the versatility of the lens.
  14. ultimind


    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    By far, my favorite people lens.
    Taken with a D2H - F2.4 @ ISO400
    Taken with a D1X - F4.5 @ ISO800
    Taken with a D70 - F2.8 @ ISO400 (under hot studio lights)
  15. My one and only sample

    My one and only sample, it is a superb lens

  16. I've since upgraded to the 1.4 but used the 1.8 primarily for concert photos. It works well in low light.


    View attachment 245773
  17. This is my favorite lens. Very good for portraits and action. There are some VERY good examples in this thread.


  18. If getting a f1.4 means just "saving for a few more weeks," I'd give it serious thought. You'll notice several of the posters have already made that jump and you're looking at the f1.8 they "used to have."

    My advice has always been that if you can see the difference, go for the f1.4, if you can't, get the f1.8 and keep the difference in your jeans.

  19. Based on the samples here I think the 1.8 would serve well enough.

    Bruce does make a valid point though.
  20. Is there anywhere up there that you could rent one? See how you like the focal length, and then decide at that point whether its worth it to save for the 1.4. Had I not gone FX, I would never have bought the 1.4, I just did not like the focal length at all. Found my 35/2 to be my "everyday" lens, and the 28-70 ran a close second. (Sadly, I hardly touch either lens right now).

    If the focal length is just "ok" to you, then I'd say stick with the 1.8 If you find that you love it, save for the 1.4 :smile: Also consider your intended use for this. The 1.4 is much bigger/heavier than the 1.8 Is this to be something for a pack which will be carried long distances or long hours? The 1.8 may be the smarter choice there.
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