Nikon 85mm f/1.4 - opinions?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Shacklebolt, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    Way pricey - just wondering if anyone owns one.
  2. RevToTheRedline macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2007
  3. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2004
    Northeast, CT
    Its a great lens, can be used in a variety of different photography. Great portrait lens and a pretty good indoor sports lens, for when you need a little more light.

    As the previous poster has said if you think thats expensive take a look at the super tele f2.8s. I own a 300mm and it cost a pretty penny.
  4. libertyterran macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2007
    According to many users from dpreview forum, 85mm f/1.4 is the BEST portrait lens (basing on its sharpness and the quality of bokeh). So get it if you can afford the pricey tag :).
  5. yeroen macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2007
    Cambridge, MA
    It's a beautifully built lens, commonly known as the 'cream machine' for what many regard to be it's unmatched bokeh.

    That being said, I've rented several copies over the years and never really could discern any difference between the 1.4 and the 1.8, even with regards to the 1.4's much vaunted bokeh (the best bokeh imo comes from the 105 2.5 ais). The 1.8 is even sharper and faster focusing too (though these may not be handicaps against the 1.4 when shooting portraits).

    Mainly, what the 1.4 has over the 1.8 is a robust metal build. Image quality, in my experience, is the same. Is the 1.4 worth 3 times the cost of the 1.8? You have to decide for yourself. My suggestion is to rent the 85 1.4 and 1.8 and get a feel for each (If you can find one for rent, you should also look into the 105 f/2 DC).
  6. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Rumor has it that Nikon may be revamping the 85 f/1.4, updating it with AF-S so that's something to keep in mind.... It is a wonderful lens, with gorgeous bokeh and indeed is preferred for portraits.

    "Uncle Frank" of the Nikon Cafe many years ago dubbed this lens "the Cream Machine," and for good reason. The bokeh is beautifully creamy...
  7. art gardiner macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2007
    Cairo, Egypt
    If you have access to a pro camera store near you, just go and play with it - as well as the 1.8. Once you look through the 77mm glass, any questions as to its worth will be put to rest. While primarily designed as a portrait lens, its ability to see in the dark makes it a beautiful low/available-light pj lens.

    So, depending on your needs, and budget only you will be able to determine if it's right for you. As mentioned by "Clix Pix" there is rumor to an AFS update. However, if recent replacements in the AFS lens line-up are to be used as a guide for what to expect down the road, then it's fairly certain a new version will be accompanied via "G" series F-mount. If this effects you? Either way, its something to consider depending on your current body line-up, or near future ones. (Reference film bodies, and Nikon's new ff sensor with respect to fps, and px count/image size.)
  8. qtpie36963 macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2008
    How much did you find this lens for? It's a great lens. I personally don't have it, but after talking to someone who owns a similar one, she says it's a great lens and recommends purchasing lenses that go down that low because you'll be able to photograph lower light situations. I know my lens that goes to 55mm only goes down to 5.6....

    If you're really into photography and do low light photography it's a good lens.
  9. walindour macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I own the 85mm f1.4 and didn't play with the f1.8. At the time I bought it I had a credit card burning a hole in my pocket. I actually had a portrait to shoot that same afternoon and used that as my justification. I don't use the lens as much as I could/should but absolutely love the lens. Definitely money well spent in my mind. I prefer to buy faster lenses whenever possible - which isn't all that often. They hold their value well if taken care of and are great if you need a little more light. And the bokeh is beautiful. Spend your money! It is only money and you can make more, right?


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