Those that have owned both the 85 1.8 and the 85 1.4

Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
3,405
Location
Missouri
Well I have the 85 1.8 and yes it is pretty sharp but I've seen some fantastic photos with the 85 1.4. Those of you that have had both would you say that there is a big difference and would you pay the extra money for the 85 1.4.

Thanks!!!:smile:
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
150
Location
New Jersey
I haven't owned both, but I do own a 85/1.8 and when I was considering purchasing the 85/1.4 a friend let me borrow theirs for a little over a month and I shot with it almost exclusively.

Not sure what you are shooting most of or what about your 85/1.8 you may be unhappy with, but for me, I didn't think it was worth the large jump in price. If I had unlimited funds to use towards photography, or if this was my profession and I was shooting mostly portraits, I would consider it. As a hobbyist with the occassional paying gig, I found the 85/1.8 suited my purposes fine and decided the extra $800-$1,000 at the time was better spent elsewhere.

If you have the money and aren't passing over anything else you may need added to your kit, I say go for it. If there are a list of items you want to add to your kit though and you aren't unhappy with your 85/1.8, I say put the money to better use elsewhere.

Good luck!
Ann
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
1,956
Location
St. Paul, MN
Debbie,

you shoot a lot of portraits, so I imagine you would get the use out of the 1.4. I don't think that the 1.4 is a sharper lens at comparable apertures (though I've never personally compared the two). From what I've observed, it is that it has better bokeh, better skin rendition and well, goes to 1.4. You have a fair bit of overlap in the mid range with the 28-85, 24-70 and 17-55, though shooting both FX and DX I can somewhat understand. If it were me with your kit though, I would sell both the 28-85 and the 85 1.8 and get the 85 1.4D. I'd probably sell the 17-55 too, but that is just me. Take it for what it is worth though because I had the 85 1.8 for a while, but sold it for the 105 2.8 Micro because I liked the focal length a lot better on DX.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2009
Messages
420
Location
Alabama
I've owned Nikon's 85/1.8D, 85/1.4D, and 85/1.4 AIS. In terms of sharpness, the 85/1.4 AIS takes the cake, followed closely by the 85/1.8D. The 85/1.4D has the smoothest bokeh and best skin rendition of any of those 3, but is also the least sharp. If you're only using this for portraits, I'd consider stepping up to the 85/1.4D (though, if it were my money, I'd skip straight over the 85/1.4D and go for the Sigma 85/1.4 HSM). If you're using this lens for anything else, save your money and keep the 85/1.8D.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
2,431
Location
Scottish Highlands
I've owned the both 1.8 AFD and the 1.4G AFS.

The 1.8 is a fine, fine lens, but the 1.4G is better in every respect, except size and weight and price.

Is it worth the difference in price? If you can afford it, yes. But if not, no need to feel bad because the 1.8 is such a great little lens in its own right, perfectly capable of helping you take truly wonderful photos.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
1,370
Location
Canada
I'd like to know as well.

I have the 85/1.8, and it's a great lens, but there's so much buzz around the new 1.4G.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Messages
3,039
Location
Wilmington, NC
I have owned the 1.8D 1.4D and now the Sigma 1.4 HSM and I would rate the Sigma the best of the three, very sharp, accurate focus and beautiful bokeh. The 1.8D is sharp by f/2.5 and above but the bokeh is just OK IMO, if you shoot portaits and want the creamy backgrounds the Sigma is very close to the new 1.4G at half the cost!
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
4,793
Location
Nutley, New Jersey
This exact question is probably the most asked among Nikon Lenses. If you want a dedicated portrait lens the 1.4 is your lens. If you want a fast short do it all tele the 1.8. That about sums it up. go for the 1.4 and never look back
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
3,551
Location
Redmond, WA
The main difference is that the 85/1.4D produces better bokeh than the 85/1.8D with a greater variety of backgrounds in a greater number of shooting situations. Even at equivalent apertures.

If you don't care as much for the bokeh, or control your backgrounds very well, you may not realize that benefit.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
1,747
Location
San Diego
Stick with 85 1.8 it shares the same optic formula as the 105DC

98% percent of folks do not know what bokeh is, furthermore, how many folks really take portraits at f/1.4 with such small dof. At f/2.8 1.8 is sharper, it also weights less, and much cheaper. Lastly you have the 70-200 zoom as well if you want to melt background.
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
4,793
Location
Nutley, New Jersey
Stick with 85 1.8 it shares the same optic formula as the 105DC

98% percent of folks do not know what bokeh is, furthermore, how many folks really take portraits at f/1.4 with such small dof. At f/2.8 1.8 is sharper, it also weights less, and much cheaper. Lastly you have the 70-200 zoom as well if you want to melt background.
Everyone knows what bokeh is - hence why they hire a professional to take their photos. They most likely do not refer to it as bokeh but they know the subject isolation is only available in a pro camera with a pro lens. Yes both the 1.8 and 1.4 have great isolation but the 1.4 is designed specifically for it.

Cost can never really be an argument people have widely different views on what a dollar is worth to them. The 85 1.4d is legendary. Sadly the 85 1.8 is not.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Messages
3,039
Location
Wilmington, NC
Stick with 85 1.8 it shares the same optic formula as the 105DC

98% percent of folks do not know what bokeh is, furthermore, how many folks really take portraits at f/1.4 with such small dof. At f/2.8 1.8 is sharper, it also weights less, and much cheaper. Lastly you have the 70-200 zoom as well if you want to melt background.
I have had 3 different copies of the 1.4D and all of them were laser sharp at f/2.8 infact by f/2.2 and the bokeh at 2.8 is miles better than the 1.8 @ f/2.8.

In a studio setting where that does not matter maybe it can keep up but there is no comparison between f/1.8 and 2.8
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
1,747
Location
San Diego
Everyone knows what bokeh is - hence why they hire a professional to take their photos. They most likely do not refer to it as bokeh but they know the subject isolation is only available in a pro camera with a pro lens. Yes both the 1.8 and 1.4 have great isolation but the 1.4 is designed specifically for it.

Cost can never really be an argument people have widely different views on what a dollar is worth to them. The 85 1.4d is legendary. Sadly the 85 1.8 is not.
Most professionals I know still shoot with D2X or D200 coupled with 17-55 or 70-200 and they do not get caught up on buying new gear unless needed, diminishing marginal returns is not what they are after. Clients look for good color, light, composition and a story in their photos. They do not give a rat *** if the bokeh is nervous or under developed. Now, if you we take business out of the equation and just talk about hobby then yes 1.4D is a better lens on some fronts.

I have had 3 different copies of the 1.4D and all of them were laser sharp at f/2.8 infact by f/2.2 and the bokeh at 2.8 is miles better than the 1.8 @ f/2.8.

In a studio setting where that does not matter maybe it can keep up but there is no comparison between f/1.8 and 2.8
I also did have a 1.4 and sold it and got the 1.8, it focuses faster, does not hunt, does not misfocus and by my naked eyes it was sharper at 2.8 and above.
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
4,793
Location
Nutley, New Jersey
Most professionals I know still shoot with D2X or D200 coupled with 17-55 or 70-200 and they do not get caught up on buying new gear unless needed, diminishing marginal returns is not what they are after. Clients look for good color, light, composition and a story in their photos. They do not give a rat *** if the bokeh is nervous or under developed. Now, if you we take business out of the equation and just talk about hobby then yes 1.4D is a better lens on some fronts.
Sorry to derail the thread but this sounds very closed minded...define professional, its such a broad term? I also know professionals who would die without a 85 1.4 - so that argument is invalid.......just saying

If I am taking cash from a client I want to use the best available gear I can use not just enough to get by...thats me, fine I get if others do it there way I cannot control that. But to say photographers can give a rats *** about the quality and rendering of a lens is absurd sir.

Why do you assume that only hobbyists use an 85 1.4? :confused:
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
1,747
Location
San Diego
I do not, if you need really fast glass for dim light or need the build quality that is the lens to have. Of Course it has really nice rendering too, so does the 105mm f/2.5 and that lens is only $200 and has the legendary tag. Everyone wants good images associated with their names, not having the 85mm 1.4 is not going to make you or brake you as a photographer.

Also, correction I said "clients do not give a rat ***"

My 2cents worth has just ran out.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
3,405
Location
Missouri
Thanks guys for the info and your opinions!! Wow what a big decision!!!! My most used lenses are the 28-70 and the 70-200. Really like the bokeh of the 70-200 at 200 at about a 3.5. Seems like I get more keepers shooting around a 3.5. So saying that I would use the 85 at around a 2.8 or 3.5. But I was looking at the sharpness between the two.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Messages
3,039
Location
Wilmington, NC
Thanks guys for the info and your opinions!! Wow what a big decision!!!! My most used lenses are the 28-70 and the 70-200. Really like the bokeh of the 70-200 at 200 at about a 3.5. Seems like I get more keepers shooting around a 3.5. So saying that I would use the 85 at around a 2.8 or 3.5. But I was looking at the sharpness between the two.
Since you have the 1.8 and know it's capabilities I would guess you know something is missing or you would not be asking the question I think :) what is missing from the 1.8 is WOW factor! So if you want that the 1.4's will give you that and it is a pleasure to get that in something smaller than the 70-200 IMO. The sigma and the older 1.4d are in the same price range and I sold my 1.4d recently after testing the sigma and feeling it was better than the older Nikon. Most agree that the new Nikon 85 1.4g is the best of class but I don't imagine it's $900 better than the Sigma...
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
3,405
Location
Missouri
Thanks Dave!!! Yes I keep looking at that 900.00 price too!!!! I've only owned Nikon lenses. This is a silly question but do you need to set anything in the camera for a non Nikon lens??
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
150
Location
New Jersey
This is a silly question but do you need to set anything in the camera for a non Nikon lens??
Nope! Other than any usual AF fine tuning you might do with a Nikon lens, you can stick a Sigma/Tamron/whatever lens on a Nikon and not need to do anything additional. I only have one Sigma (the 30/1.4) and it's tied as my favorite lens.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
1,477
Location
Florida
Karen, it boils down to your style of shooting. If you shoot mainly in studio or indoors, then the F/1.8 is perfect. If you shoot a lot of natural light and outdoors then the 85mm F/1.4 will have a much smoother defocusing of the background, smoother bokeh and circular points of light as opposed to the octagons created by the F/1.8.

Sharpness is the the same for both from F/2.8 and smaller, contrast is superior with the F/1.4
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom