Looking to buy an 85mm in the near future.

Parptarf

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I need an 85 for portaits. But there's a few options I'm considering. Mostly looking for f/1.4 and not 1.8 but I'm also considering their newest 1.8G

How's the old f/1.4D in todays standard? Is it worth paying that extra for a 1.4G? And anyone who has tested any one of them against the Zeiss Planar T f/1.4ZF.2? (which I already know that I like a lot)

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astroNikon

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I need an 85 for portaits. But there's a few options I'm considering. Mostly looking for f/1.4 and not 1.8 but I'm also considering their newest 1.8G

How's the old f/1.4D in todays standard? Is it worth paying that extra for a 1.4G? And anyone who has tested any one of them against the Zeiss Planar T f/1.4ZF.2? (which I already know that I like a lot)

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That's a nice contradictory statement. :)

I have the older 85/1.8 & 1.4 AF-D. Derrel will give a tons more information.
But the older 85s are not as tack sharp as the modern 85s on modern 24mp and newer sensors. and the OOF areas are nice and creamy compared to the newer ones.
And since they are not tack sharp you won't notice very minor blemishes, etc which is great for Portraits but not much so for Landscapes.

But, I do very little people shots now-a-days.
 
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Parptarf

Parptarf

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What I'm basically looking for is great bookeh, but also that nice transition from the elements in focus to those that are out of focus. (shoting portaits with a wide open aperture)

The Zeiss was brilliant for this.

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Parptarf

Parptarf

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I read through that thread. Seems like the 1.8G would be superb for something like car photography, which is also something I plan on using the 85 for. But I want that super creamy bookeh of the 1.4.

I have kind of already fallen in love with the Zeiss Planar 85. So I'm basically only wondering how those Nikkor equivalents compare to that thing.

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But I want that super creamy bookeh of the 1.4.
Are you sure about that? I guess I would like to see some kind of comparison.
 
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Parptarf

Parptarf

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I love a tack sharp image as much as the next guy. But super soft bookeh is perfect for that dreamy painting-like feel. So yeah, I'm sure about wanting creamy OOF elements.

I should get a Noctilux :D

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But super soft bookeh is perfect for that dreamy painting-like feel.
When I first came to this forum site, "bokeh" meant the quality of the blur, not just blur.

I think that can now be called the "old definition" of bokeh.

There's smooth blur and jittery blur. So which kind would you like?
 
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Parptarf

Parptarf

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Like I said. Smooth and creamy blur/bokeh/OOF elements.

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Mr.Photo

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I absolutely love my Nikon 85mm 1.8G. In addition to that I also use a variety of other lenses including an 80-200 2.8 zoom lens, and even a couple of old manual focus Nikon lenses from the late 70's-early 80's. None of these lenses have an f/1.4 aperture and many of them only go to 2.8. I can't afford the insane prices that Nikon wants for many of their 1.4 lenses and in my opinion 1.4 is not really a necessity.

I've read numerous posts on this forum and others complaining of overly soft photos when shooting at 1.4 with various lenses. This can happen because when photographing even a single subject (especially close up head and shoulder shots) the depth of field is so shallow at 1.4 that you can have the eyes in sharp focus, but other parts such as the ears will be out of focus. This of course is more pronounced when using a full frame sensor vs a crop sensor, but can still happen in certain instances.

Blurry backgrounds or "Bokeh" can be achieved in various ways other than just using a wide open aperture on a fast lens. Focal length as well as subject to lens distance, and subject to background distance can be used to much greater effect than by just using an extremely fast aperture. While I do use my 1.8 lenses wide open at times, I've discovered that stopping down a stop or two can yield a better result in certain situations.

Here's a shot I took of a young couple using my old Nikon AF 80-200 2.8 push pull zoom lens. Settings were 135mm @ f/2.8. I was about 10 ft from them and the background objects were roughly three times that distance. 2.8 works here to give that creamy blurred background as I'm far enough away from the subjects to have a wider depth of field despite the 2.8 aperture.

DSC_3155.jpg


Here's a shot I did with my Nikon 85mm 1.8G lens wide open at 1.8. If I had done this same shot with a 1.4 lens wide open because of the distance to the subject, It's likely the edges of her shoulders would have been too soft as well as the edges of her hair.

DSC_7763.jpg


And lastly this shot shows that even at a small aperture (f/8) that using a long lens (300mm in this shot) can produce a very small depth of field as is shown by how quickly the sharp area falls off in the foreground.

DSC_4340 by Garrett Cross, on Flickr
 

Derrel

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Here's a recent shot with the 85mm 1.4 AF-D lens, shot hand-held at f/2.8. You can see the way the focus transition is by looking at the brickwork.
_D3X4132_web-ready.JPG


EXIF information says 2.37 meters distance, ISO 500, shutter speed 1/160 second.
 
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Parptarf

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You see, I want the option of that super shallow dof that a 1.4 can give me. I have used the Zeiss before, and the images when shooting wide open is incredibly dreamy. And if I want a larger dof, I can always stop it down. ;)

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ronlane

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I can't give you the comparisons that you are asking for since I'm a canon guy but from reading this thread it seems to me that you've made up your mind with the Zeiss. The way you have commented here, I would venture to say that you aren't going to be happy with anything but that Zeiss glass. My suggestion, why spend the time and expense to get something that you aren't going to be happy with with, just get the Zeiss.
 

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Based on what I have read and seen from your recent camera-buying, you do seem to have a penchant for Leica, Leitz, Zeiss, and so on, and an attraction toward the high-end, marquis-type stuff (Noctilux, etc), so you probably would be better served with the Zeiss 85/1.4, which has a more patrician aura surrounding it than anything Nikon has ever released in the 85mm realm.
 

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