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Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF 35mm Primes
A fast f/1.4 aperture makes this lens a standout for sports photography and photojournalism. With Nikon's typical attention to details, its aperture has extra blades, enabling the diaphragm shape to be a near-perfect circle. This ensures crisper images and more flattering highlights in the out-of-focus portion of the image. Close-Range-Correction (CRC) affords superb optical performance from infinity to the closest focusing range of 2.8'.
Submitted by Enche Tjin a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: June 19, 2009
Strengths: smooth and round bokeh, solid built-construction
Weaknesses: slow AF, especially tracking moving subject. hood can't be reversible.
Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.4D has been hailed as legendary lens for Nikon DSLR or film camera. I think it is because of its unique characteristic but also its age. This lens has been around for thirteen years.
Image Quality and characteristic
Mounted in Nikon full frame camera D700, the lens is sharp at maximum aperture of f/1.4D, which is excellent. Stopped down to f/2.8, the lens become very sharp. But extreme sharpness is not what this lens is made for. It is primarily made for its ability in low light condition, and its ability to create a beautiful out of focus effect in background or foreground.
Because of those characteristic and its fixed focal length, this lens is ideal for portrait. It is also good for candid portraiture such as in wedding. For Nikon pro wedding shooters, this lens is one of must have lens.
Unfortunately, this lens suffers a bit from purple fringing in high contrast area (see sample pic below), it is also susceptible to flare, but not as bad as other lenses.
Auto Focus operation
Because Nikon 85mm f/1.4D does not have built-in motor focus like modern lenses (AF-S) lens, it relies on camera body to focus. It speed will also depend on the camera body. The more higher-end model such as Nikon D700, D3 or D3X will focus faster than the entry-level camera.
When mounted in Nikon D700, the lens focus very fast. Unfortunately entry level user such as Nikon D40, D40X and D60 only can use manual focus because the camera body doesn't have the capability to focus AF lenses. This lens also create some noise when focusing because lack of Silent Wave Motor.
In sport games such as basketball, the lens has difficulty in continuous tracking. It fails to lock on the object properly resulting in many blur image. I don't recommend it for sports.
Built quality of this lens is awesome, it is average in size and weight and very nice to handle. The focus ring is smooth. Closest focusing is 85cm, make it not very ideal for macro / close-up photography.
It will come with "metal" lens hood. Unfortunately the lens hood it screw in type and you can't reverse it for more compact storage. In spite of that, the lens hood is fully metal, so it is better than regular plastic type and a lot more durable.
Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D vso 85mm f/1.8D
Compare to f/1.8D version, This lens is 2.5 times more expensive, the cheaper lens is not as sharp as f/1.4D in its maximum aperture of f/1.8. At f/2.8, the sharpness is almost equal. The build quality is also a lot worse than the f/1.4D. But the 85mm f/1.8 is more compact and portable.
You might want to get this lens because of several reasons:
* You frequently shoot at extremely low light condition
* You are concern about artistic, especially smooth background blur.
* You might not want this lens if you are looking for the sharpest lens from edge to edge of the image. (The lens is designed to be sharp in the center "focus" and soft in the corner).
Don't buy this lens for indoor sports, it is better to get either f/2.8 telephoto zoom lens or lighting equipment. Check out my website http://www.radiantlite.com for sample photos and video tour.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $1000.00
Purchased At: Amazon
Similar Products Used: Canon 85mm f/1.8
Type of photography: People
Submitted by bupa a Expert
Date Reviewed: July 4, 2008
Strengths: every thing
this is the ultimate power of a glass , this is the most powerfull lens i have ever worked with till now , if you can find one then go buy immediatly and you will know what i mean , a cream machine indeed , your photos will look different with this lens , the colors , skin tones, sharpness ,bokeh, all is so true ....
it is so fast and precise , it is so simple made too and i think that is the secret of its power , i shot some photos with it and after a week i was looking at the result on an HDTV , plugged through an hdmi cable to my D3 .....i was blown away with the results ....this 85mm is really a jewel.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $1200.00
Purchased At: grand stores dubai
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Alain Cognard a Expert
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2007
Strengths: Quality of glass.
Focus precision (manual mode)
Weaknesses: Autofocus lacks of precision with a 801S (8008S)
Weight (lot of glass...)
Fan of 85 mm for night shots at Festival du Jazz in Montréal, or when people get out of bars to smoke or go to sleep in the morning, this lens is my friend. It is sharp at any aperture and very sharp past 2,8. Focus is easy thanks to a demultiplicated focus mechanism (if you compare to the quick one of the 85 tilt-shift) and to the brightness such a front lens gives you.
Best uses for me : portraits, because it delivers all the raw sharpness you want.and doesn't break the intimacy you have installed with your model ; street, because if you are not invisible, people don't stop doing what they do when they see you at a reasonnable distance. You have enough quality to enlarge, cut, crop and select your subject.
Furthermore, you get all the nuances in color or black and white that you could dream of. Not all 85 mm can deliver all that. This 85 do.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $900.00
Purchased At: Photo-Service Montré
Similar Products Used: 85 mm tilt-shift
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Ryan - Photobox Studios a Professional
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2006
Strengths: Optical performance almost flawless
Fast, fast, fast (only one faster in the world - Canon's 1.2L)
Weight - not too heavy and feels very solid
Metal hood, not plastic
Confidence it offers the low light shooter
77mm pro size filter thread (same as 17-55 and 70-200)
Weaknesses: Price is a bit high for a prime (only in the sense that the 17-55mm AF-S is the same price and offers more flexibility)
Lens hood cannot be reversed (threaded) for shorter storage
Would be excellent with AF-S though focusing is not particularly slow on D2X
WOW! That is all that one must or can say about this extraordinary optic. Most people I think would use this for portrait work, but why stop there. The glass is so crisp that wedding photographers and sports photographers would be crazy not to spring for this glass. I use it mainly at such events. About 90 percent of all the images I shot at my last wedding where shot with this lens. It allows for beautiful available light images. I like flash, don't get me wrong, but natural light is it's own language and makes for some stunning pictures! Even at 1.4 the lens is amazing. Obviously the focal point is smaller as DOF is shorter, but it does what a great 1.4 optic should do. I also shoot a lot of volleyball and basketball for a local university and this lens does the trick. The light is not terribly good in the gym so I put away the 2.8s and pull out the 1.4. Normally you will see photographers sporting the likes of the 17-55 and 70-200 VR which are fast at f/2.8 - I know because I own them both. However, with volleyball in particular, a shutter speed of 1/250-1/320 is necessary to get the shot and at that speed I have to push the ISO to 1000-1600 (new firmware update gives intermediate ISOs on the D2X!) This is ok, but not for the sharpest images because of noise. It can be cleaned up later, but why put yourself through the pain of post processing? The 85mm is a fix optic, but it allows shot at lower ISOs and higher shutter speeds. My average shot is about f/1.6-f/2 between ISO 500 and 640 at 1/250-1/320. Every sports and wedding photographer should consider this if low light shooting is a part of the day to day.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $1050.00
Purchased At: B&H Photo
Similar Products Used: Ahhhh, what products are similar? There are NO OTHER f1.4s for Nikon in this focal length unless there is something by Zeiss that cost more than a used car! The 50mm f1/4 AF-D is available for about $300 and may work better budget wise for most photogrphers.
Type of photography: Sports
Submitted by whymeagain a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: June 13, 2006
Strengths: Sharp, sharp, sharp... plus excellent colour reproduction, contrast, bokeh
Weaknesses: Can the high price tag be considered a weakness?
The sharpest lens I've ever owned, period. Had the chance to loan out a copy of the 85/1.4 from Nikon service centre and was blown away by the sharpness, colour reproduction, contrast, bokeh, sharpness (did i mention it already?)...
Right after trying it, I've sold off my Nikon AFD 85mm/f1.8 and AFD 80-200mm/f2.8 for this. No regrets and currently having a great time shooting my baby with the lens on either my D50 or D200.
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $1040.00
Purchased At: Local dealer
Similar Products Used: Canon 300D, 10D, 17-40/f4L, 70-200/f4L, EF 50mm/f1.8, EF 135mm/f2.8 SF
D100, D50, D2H, D200, 17-55/f2.8, 80-200/f2.8, 50/f1.8, 85/f1.8, 85/f1.4
Type of photography: People
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