Nikon 85mm f/1.4

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Buy_Sell, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Buy_Sell

    Buy_Sell Guest

    Thanks Rita. Nice shot...
    Buy_Sell, Jan 21, 2008
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  2. Good bokeh does _not_ come from having a degree of
    spherical aberration as Tony Polson claims, it comes
    from *not* having it. And the shape and number of
    diaphragm blades _is_ significant, as are other

    Regardless of spherical aberrations, an out of focus
    highlight will take on the shape of the aperture. At
    wide open that is (almost always) a smooth circle, and
    the lense is usually softest when wide open; hence
    generally lenses will have their nicest looking bokeh
    they can get when used at maximum aperture.

    As the aperture is closed down though, the lense will
    become sharper, and the shape of the aperture becomes
    important. If more blades or rounded blades are used
    the angles of intersection become wider, and it appears
    less obvious. Also, at each blade intersection there is
    the effect of a "star filter", with a flare line that
    intersects the image center and the point where the
    blades intersect. With an even number of blades two
    opposite intersections will always combine, thus forming
    a flare twice as bright as opposed to the flare from a
    single intersection as occurs with an odd number of
    blades. Additionally, most people tend to think twice
    as many flare lines, even at the same level of
    illumination, is less annoying.

    But through out the range described above, the most
    significant factor is indeed spherical aberration. That
    is the degree to which the curvature of the lense
    elements bring light from a single point source to focus
    on a single point in the image plane. If it is perfect,
    a point results. If it is over corrected the point will
    be in front of the image plane and a small circle will
    appear at the image plane (if under corrected, the point
    is behind the image plane).

    But when the point source is not in focus, the point is
    not supposed to be on the image plane. In that case the
    circle that is on the image plane shows one of two
    characteristics if the lense is not perfectly corrected.
    Either more of the light is concentrated towards the
    center of the circle, or it concentrates more light at
    the outer edge of the circle. Those two characteristics
    are *necessarily* reversed for objects out of focus in
    the foreground as opposed to in the background. (Which
    gets the "halo" effect as opposed to the "center ball"
    effect depends on whether the spherical aberrations are
    over or under corrected.)

    That is just the bare basics of it. Longitudinal
    chromatic aberration can give different colors to the
    the out of focus circle as a function of the radius.
    Traverse chromatic aberrations can give one edge a green
    tint and the opposed edge a magenta tint. Astigmatism
    will cause geometric distortion to the out of focus
    circles as a function of distance from the image center.
    And while point sources present as described when out of
    focus, straight lines of high contrast areas that are
    not in focus tend to become "double lines" due to
    spherical aberration.

    Obviously there is a great deal that goes into "bokeh",
    or the appearance of out of focus highlights. Designing
    a lense to be sharp does not necessarily result in the
    best images!

    Here are two URLs that explain all of the above in detail,
    plus a great deal more.
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 21, 2008
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  3. Buy_Sell

    Annika1980 Guest

    Annika1980, Jan 21, 2008
  4. Absolutely!

    Rita Berkowitz, Jan 21, 2008
  5. Buy_Sell

    Pboud Guest

    You know those bad puns are just going to hound you forever, don't you?
    Pboud, Jan 21, 2008
  6. Buy_Sell

    Robert Coe Guest

    : Buy_Sell wrote:
    : > The bokeh on the 80-200 f/2.8 is amazing.
    : > I once took a shot of a flower in my garden and the lawn behind it
    : > was completely gone.
    : >[email protected]/
    : The 85/1.4 Nikkor is a must have lens whether you are a Nikon or Canon
    : shooter. The lens is beyond amazing, it's that good. I use it a lot
    : on my D3 and it never ceases to amaze me at how well it works. Here's
    : a shot with it on my old 1D Mk III.

    How is it that your 1D3 is now "old"? You couldn't be very close to your
    18-month trade date.

    Robert Coe, Jan 21, 2008
  7. Only if the dog tries to bury his bone.

    Rita Berkowitz, Jan 21, 2008
  8. Because it is no longer mine. I sold it off early and made a $100. This is
    the reward for buying low. You get more time on the clock or value should
    you decide to sell early. Quite frankly I don't think the Mk III would have
    made it a value in 18-months due to a higher depreciation curve from the bad
    publicity of AF problems and the D3 hitting the streets. Recalculating the
    depreciation curve puts the Mk III at 11-months if one were foolish enough
    to pay the $4,500 MSRP.

    Rita Berkowitz, Jan 21, 2008
  9. Buy_Sell

    ____ Guest

    Would the manual focus version of that lens or the 1.8 produce the same
    sort of quality results. I have been toying with the idea of either a
    manual 85mm Nikon or a 300mm manual f/2.8m I am renting the 300mm this
    ____, Jan 21, 2008
  10. Buy_Sell

    ____ Guest

    Your barking up the wrong tree.
    ____, Jan 21, 2008
  11. Buy_Sell

    Jim Guest

    The f1.4 lens has a better reputation than the f1.8. It ought to be much
    better; otherwise that is a lot of money to pay for only 2/3 stop more.
    As for 85 vs 300 - they have different applications. If you need a 300 mm
    lens, then no 85mm lens will suffice.
    Jim, Jan 21, 2008
  12. Buy_Sell

    ____ Guest

    I would be using the two for different apps.
    ____, Jan 21, 2008
  13. Buy_Sell

    Roy Smith Guest

    I didn't realize just what "very little depth of field" meant until I found
    a DOF calculator on the net ( The
    numbers in the f/1.4 column for an 85mm lens and a DX-sized sensor are
    staggering -- at 6 feet, DOF is 1 inch. At 3 feet, it's 0.2 inch!

    So many toys, so few kilobucks to spend on them :-(
    Roy Smith, Jan 22, 2008
  14. Buy_Sell

    Buy_Sell Guest

    I tried this calculator and it must be broken.
    I didn't get the same results for my D70s.

    PS: So many toys and no place to park them...
    Buy_Sell, Jan 22, 2008
  15. Buy_Sell

    Roy Smith Guest

    I don't follow. I just plugged in D70s, 85mm, and "feet, inches" for
    units. For f/1.4, 3 feet, it says near focus is 2' 11.9", far focus is
    3' 0.1". The difference is 0.2". What did you get?
    Roy Smith, Jan 22, 2008
  16. Each lens has its own signature qualities as well as minor faults that make
    it very unique. An old manual 85/1.8 or 1.4 will give your great results.
    You just have to decide on if the lens is satisfying your requirements. My
    strategy for buying lenses, especially manual focus lenses, is to buy them
    as cheap as possible so they can be flipped for profit. That being said, if
    you are going to buy only one lens and not worry about flipping it I would
    suggest you go all the way and just get the 85/1.4D AF. You have the option
    of manual focus and an aperture ring to allow you to use it on Canon bodies
    should you desire. I'm not sure what body you are using? If you are using
    a D200 or D300 you might want to get a Katz-Eye screen if you are
    considering manual focus lenses.

    Rita Berkowitz, Jan 22, 2008
  17. Buy_Sell

    Buy_Sell Guest

    Now I understand. Sorry, it's been a long night... 12 hour graveyard
    shifts really suck. The good part is that now I am off for the next
    five days. I work a five on, five off rotation. Not always at night
    but that's when we have the most fun because the boss is at home
    sleeping. ;-) I work on the really expensive toys. Flight
    Buy_Sell, Jan 22, 2008
  18. I have compared/evaluated many Nikkors (see, though
    the AF version of the 85mm f1.4 is not evaluated),
    and all the Nikkor 85mms are excellent. Read the
    comments in addition to the evaluation numbers for
    specifics, but of the Nikkor 85mm f1.8 MF, f1.8 AF,
    f2 MF, and f1.4 MF, the best (by a bit, overall) is
    the 85mm f1.8 AF. The IF 85mm f1.8 AF works
    well as a MF lens, but I also have kept the 85mm
    f2 for its compactness for traveling (both have the
    same performance level even at f2 beyond maybe
    7-8 feet). The f1.4 (four samples) never seemed
    to have the "snap" and crispness I like (but then,
    I'm more into "sharpness" then "bokeh"...;-).
    As another poster pointed out, the two lenses you
    mention are utterly different in every respect (price,
    size, weight, speed, usefulness, etc.). If you can
    afford the 300mm, get the 85mm too...! ;-)
    David Ruether, Jan 22, 2008
  19. Buy_Sell

    Paul Furman Guest

    Yes, this is what I meant. I thought I was a bokeh-hound but in
    retrospect I think a longer lens is a more useful way to get subject
    isolation without cripplingly shallow DOF. There is a certain range
    where the 85/1.4 is useful, beyond about 6 feet to maybe twice that,
    depending how far away the background is that needs to be blurred. A
    longer lens will exaggerate the apparent distance of the background,
    burring it out faster without needing to resort to spooky shallow local DOF.

    For your 85mm f/1.4 6-foot example with 1 inch DOF, a 300mm lens at f/4
    20 feet from the subject has about the same view, a more blurred
    background 50 feet away and a 3-inch DOF. 135mm at f/2.8 12 feet away
    has a 4-inch DOF.

    Different background distances & such will will give different results,
    I'm not implying this is a universally useful generalization. I have a
    50mm f/1.2 & 35mm f/1.4 which I find very useful. The 35/1.4 gives about
    an inch at 3 feet but the background is a lot less blurred, the 50/1.2
    looks more like the 85 would on full frame. There really isn't any
    reason the 85 shouldn't be useful for certain situations.
    Sell your car!
    (I have an old paid-for car)
    Paul Furman, Jan 22, 2008
  20. You just have to be very weary of atmospheric distortions when doing
    portraiture work at 300 and 400mm. Sometimes it can work to your advantage


    Rita Berkowitz, Jan 22, 2008
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