85mm Nikon 1.4 Vs 1.8; Full Comparison

85mm Nikon 1.4 Vs 1.8; Full Comparison

In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll explore the key differences and similarities between two popular Nikon 85mm prime lenses: the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 and the Nikon 85mm f/1.8. From image quality and bokeh to price and versatility, we’ll help you decide which lens suits your photography needs. Welcome to Shutter Proz.

What to know about 85mm Nikon 1.4?

The Nikon 85mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor Lens, often referred to as the Nikon 85mm f/1.4, is a popular and highly regarded prime lens designed for Nikon DSLR cameras. Here are some key points to know about this lens:

  • Focal Length: The lens has a fixed focal length of 85mm. This is considered a classic portrait focal length as it provides a natural perspective and allows you to capture subjects with a pleasing compression.
  • Wide Aperture: The f/1.4 aperture is the standout feature of this lens. It allows for excellent low-light performance and creates a very shallow depth of field. This wide aperture is perfect for achieving a beautiful background blur, or “bokeh,” which can make your subject stand out.
  • Image Quality: The Nikon 85mm f/1.4 is known for its exceptional image quality. It produces sharp, high-contrast images with minimal optical aberrations, such as distortion and chromatic aberration. The lens is at its sharpest when stopped down slightly from its widest aperture.
  • Portrait Photography: This lens is a favorite among portrait photographers. The 85mm focal length and the wide f/1.4 aperture allow for stunning portraits with a creamy background blur that isolates your subject.
  • Autofocus: The lens features an autofocus system, but it’s worth noting that it’s not as fast as some other lenses in Nikon’s lineup. However, it’s still suitable for most portrait and low-light situations.
  • Build Quality: The lens is built to professional standards. It’s durable and features a metal lens mount. It’s also weather-sealed to some extent, offering protection against dust and moisture.
  • Filter Size: The lens has a filter thread size of 77mm, a standard size for many professional lenses. This allows you to attach polarizers or neutral density filters easily.
  • Weight: It’s important to know that the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 is relatively heavy compared to other lenses, especially its f/1.8 counterpart. This might affect your choice if you prefer a more lightweight setup.
  • Price: The Nikon 85mm f/1.4 is generally more expensive than the f/1.8 version but offers superior low-light performance and image quality.

In summary, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 is a top choice for portrait photographers and anyone looking to capture stunning images with a shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh. Its wide aperture, excellent image quality, and durable build make it a reliable option for those who demand high-quality results, even in challenging lighting conditions. However, its weight and price may be considerations for some users.

What is a 85mm 1.4 lens good for?

An 85mm f/1.4 lens is a versatile tool renowned for portrait photography. Its medium telephoto focal length provides ideal subject framing and flattering perspective, while the wide f/1.4 aperture creates stunning bokeh and isolates subjects from the background.

This lens is perfect for capturing dramatic, creamy portraits with striking depth and sharpness. Additionally, its low-light capabilities make it excellent for indoor, event, and available-light photography.

Beyond portraits, it can be used for astrophotography, selective landscape shots, and creative close-ups, offering photographers the ability to produce exquisite images with a unique, dreamy quality, especially when used wide open.

What to know about 85mm Nikon 1.8?

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S Nikkor Lens, often referred to as the Nikon 85mm f/1.8, is another popular prime lens designed for Nikon DSLR cameras. Here are some key points to know about this lens:

  • Focal Length: Like the f/1.4 version, this lens has a fixed focal length of 85mm, making it well-suited for portrait photography and other applications with a medium telephoto perspective.
  • Aperture: While it has a slightly narrower maximum aperture compared to the f/1.4 version, with a maximum aperture of f/1.8, it is still considered a fast lens. This aperture allows for good low-light performance and some background blur, although not as pronounced as the f/1.4 version.
  • Image Quality: The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lens delivers very good image quality. It provides sharp, clear images with good contrast and color accuracy. Many photographers find it impressively sharp, especially when stopped down slightly from its widest aperture.
  • Portrait Photography: This lens is also highly regarded for portrait photography. While it may not achieve as extreme a background blur as the f/1.4 version, it still produces pleasing bokeh and is capable of rendering subjects beautifully against a blurred background.
  • Autofocus: The f/1.8 version features Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology, which provides fast and quiet autofocus performance. This makes it suitable for a wide range of photographic situations, including portraits and low-light photography.
  • Build Quality: While the f/1.8 version is well-constructed, it may not be as rugged as the f/1.4 model. However, it still offers good durability for everyday use. It’s important to note that the f/1.8 version may not be as weather-sealed as higher-end Nikon lenses.
  • Filter Size: This lens has a filter thread size of 67mm, which is slightly smaller than the f/1.4 version but still allows for the attachment of various filters.
  • Weight: The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 is generally lighter and more compact than the f/1.4 version. This can make it a more convenient choice for photographers who prioritize portability.
  • Price: One of the most significant advantages of the f/1.8 version is its affordability. It provides excellent value for its price, making it an attractive option for those who want a high-quality 85mm lens without the cost of the f/1.4 model.

In summary, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 is a versatile lens with excellent image quality, good low-light performance, and pleasing bokeh. It’s a strong choice for portrait photographers, and its affordability makes it accessible to many photographers. While it may not have the extreme low-light capabilities or slightly wider aperture of the f/1.4 version, it still performs admirably in various photographic scenarios.

What is a 85mm 1.8 lens good for?

An 85mm f/1.8 lens is exceptionally well-suited for portrait photography. Its medium telephoto focal length allows for flattering subject isolation and compression, while the wide f/1.8 aperture creates a beautiful background blur (bokeh) that makes subjects pop.

It excels in capturing headshots, individual portraits, and even group shots, providing sharpness and clarity. Additionally, its low-light capabilities make it suitable for indoor and event photography.

While portraits are its primary forte, this lens can also be used for street photography, some types of wildlife photography, and candid shots where you want to emphasize your subject against a blurred background.

What is the difference between Nikon 85mm 1.8 D and G?

The main difference between the Nikon 85mm f/1.8D and Nikon 85mm f/1.8G lenses lies in their autofocus systems and compatibility with different Nikon camera bodies:

Autofocus System

Nikon 85mm f/1.8D: This lens features a traditional “D” type autofocus system, which relies on a mechanical aperture control lever. It means that the lens can autofocus on older Nikon DSLR camera bodies with a built-in focus motor, such as some models in the D7000 and D3000 series. However, this lens will require manual focusing on entry-level Nikon DSLRs without an in-body focus motor (e.g., D3xxx, D5xxx series).

Nikon 85mm f/1.8G: The “G” in the lens name stands for “Gelded,” which means the lens lacks the mechanical aperture control lever. Instead, it has an integrated autofocus motor (SWM – Silent Wave Motor). This allows it to autofocus on a broader range of Nikon DSLRs, including those without an in-body focus motor. It’s compatible with older and newer Nikon DSLR models, making it a more versatile choice.

Optical Quality

Regarding optical quality, both lenses are generally well-regarded and produce excellent image quality. However, the newer “G” version may have some improvements or coatings that enhance image quality, though this difference is often subtle.

Build and Features

Both lenses are similar in build quality, compactness, and features. They are lightweight and portable, making them great for portraiture and general photography.

Price

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is usually priced slightly higher than the f/1.8D version due to its broader compatibility and possibly some minor optical improvements.

The key difference between the Nikon 85mm f/1.8D and Nikon 85mm f/1.8G lenses is their autofocus systems and compatibility with different Nikon camera bodies. The “D” version relies on a mechanical aperture control lever and may require an in-body focus motor on the camera for autofocus, while the “G” version has its own autofocus motor and can autofocus on a wider range of Nikon DSLRs, including those without a focus motor.

Nikon 85mm 1.8G vs 1.4G vs 1.8D

85mm Nikon 1.4 Vs 1.8; Full Comparison

Certainly, here’s a comparison table between the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 and Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lenses to help you understand their key differences and similarities:

FeatureNikon 85mm f/1.4Nikon 85mm f/1.8
Maximum Aperturef/1.4f/1.8
Image QualityExcellentVery Good
Bokeh EffectPronouncedPleasing
Focal Length85mm85mm
AutofocusFastFast and Silent
Low-Light PerformanceExcellentGood
Portrait PhotographyExcellentVery Good
Build QualityProfessional-gradeWell-constructed
Weather-SealedYesPossibly, to some extent
Filter Thread Size77mm67mm
WeightHeavierLighter
PriceMore ExpensiveMore Affordable
85mm Nikon 1.4 Vs 1.8

Please note that while the f/1.4 lens has advantages in terms of wider aperture and slightly better image quality, it comes at a higher cost and is heavier.

The f/1.8 lens, on the other hand, offers excellent value for its price, is more portable, and still delivers very good image quality and low-light performance, making it a great choice for photographers on a budget or those who prioritize portability. Your choice between the two lenses will depend on your specific needs and budget.

Nikon 85mm 1.4G vs 1.8G

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