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Next PZ Lens Test Report: Nikon AF 85mm f/1.4 D (FX)
#1
http://www.opticallimits.com/nikon_ff/53...rafd8514ff



-- Markus
Editor
opticallimits.com

#2
Ouch, not as good as I would have expected.



BTW, nice idea to have a field rating now in the lens reviews.



---

Wolfram
#3
I find the 85mm/1.8 lenses usually a much better deal. Background blur is very close to the 1.4 versions and sharpness much higher. In addition you save on weight (very important to me) and price. Also, while I love ultra shallow depth of field, 1.8 is already on the verge of being practically usefaul for portraits (at least outside a studio, where people tend to move).
#4
Hi Markus,



Thanks! It does look again like we see the real performance of this lens as it really is now, being tested with high MP cameras sporting a relatively less agressive AA-filter. For the type of lens, I think it is an excellent one, it doesn't get all that much better.



Regarding the focus shift: I reckon if you can micro-adjust the AF of this lens a little, you won't notice the focus shift in real life anymore, as it seems to be only millimetres (even if it persists till F/5.6). I don't know if that is an option of the D3X however.



Regarding LoCas I do have a request. Could this please be called by its official name of spherochromaticity from here on? The reason I am asking is that I see a lot of confusion in other forums about this; people think it is just a form of standard CA and that it can be corrected easily. As you state, it can be corrected, but not easily, as it requires a fair amount of masking work and specifically addressing parts of colour channels, while normal CA correction one can do at the touch of a single slider on Photoshop and other PP software. Using the official term for this may help in alleviating the confusion.



Kind regards, Wim
Gear: Canon EOS R with 3 primes and 2 zooms, 4 EF-R adapters, Canon EOS 5 (analog), 9 Canon EF primes, a lone Canon EF zoom, 2 extenders, 2 converters, tubes; Olympus OM-D 1 Mk II & Pen F with 12 primes, 6 zooms, and 3 Metabones EF-MFT adapters ....
#5
Hi Markus,



I'm a bit surprised to see just 2/5 rating on the optics vs. 4/5 on the field rating <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' /> Other than that I wonder how much more difficult is for this (or any other) lens to perform on the D3X comparing to a D700 (which I own) ? I'm asking since I also use the N85 f1.4 and I am more than happy with it (except for the AF, that leaves me wanting at times due to it's inconsistent results at small distances). Specifically, are the optical aberrations more visible and irritating due to the increased resolution of the sensor ?



BTW, I don't know how to describe it, but the image rendition of this lens in portraiture somehow goes beyond resolution alone, while comparing with results from other apparently sharper overall lenses at f 2.8, I liked the outcome from the N85 f 1.4 much more, whether it's microcontrast, skin rendition or whatever else - I don't know, but it's there (and the 85 1.8 somehow hasn't got it).. Just my subjective 2 cents <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />
#6
[quote name='wojtt' timestamp='1281354163' post='1601']

Hi Markus,



I'm a bit surprised to see just 2/5 rating on the optics vs. 4/5 on the field rating <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' /> Other than that I wonder how much more difficult is for this (or any other) lens to perform on the D3X comparing to a D700 (which I own) ? I'm asking since I also use the N85 f1.4 and I am more than happy with it (except for the AF, that leaves me wanting at times due to it's inconsistent results at small distances). Specifically, are the optical aberrations more visible and irritating due to the increased resolution of the sensor ?



BTW, I don't know how to describe it, but the image rendition of this lens in portraiture somehow goes beyond resolution alone, while comparing with results from other apparently sharper overall lenses at f 2.8, I liked the outcome from the N85 f 1.4 much more, whether it's microcontrast, skin rendition or whatever else - I don't know, but it's there (and the 85 1.8 somehow hasn't got it).. Just my subjective 2 cents <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />

[/quote]



It's always an adventure to publish such lens tests - the outcry is always the same. :-) Technically there isn't really any stellar lens in this class. The C85/1.2L, Z85/1.4, Samy 85/1.4 or N85/1.4 - they all perform very similar which means less than stellar at large apertures. However, we can't really ignore the technical findings in our ratings.

As far as qualities beyond the technical aspects is concerned - well, to be honestly I fail to see these. Technically their sharpness is not any different. However, due to the very shallow depth-of-field a "sharp object" is much more pronounced (subjectively) compared to a -say- 18mm lens where just everything tends to be within the depth-of-field. This "transition" into sharpness is certainly a unique feature but "just" a visual effect. However, this is, of course, the primary aspect here and naturally worth the investment - we don't question this at any time. You will not be able to achieve it with slower lenses. From a field perspective the weak corners are usually irrelevant. Who uses such lenses e.g. for nature photography after all.



As far as "micro contrast" is concerned - the MTF50 figures are actually just that. MTF20 or less can be regarded as macro contrast. It is valid to state that the 85/1.4 group has a higher macro contrast at f/2 than e.g. the 85/1.8 lens group.
#7
[quote name='mobydick' timestamp='1281343687' post='1593']

BTW, nice idea to have a field rating now in the lens reviews.

[/quote]



Kudos to Klaus, please, it was his idea <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />



-- Markus
Editor
opticallimits.com

#8
[quote name='jenbenn' timestamp='1281346815' post='1594']

I find the 85mm/1.8 lenses usually a much better deal. Background blur is very close to the 1.4 versions and sharpness much higher.[/quote]



Agree and disagree <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />



Yes, sharpness is usually higher with f/1.8 lenses, the amount of blur is, too, of course, at identical aperture settings. However, the faster 85mm lenses usually offer a better quality of bokeh.



This is also the case when directly comparing both the Nikkor AF-D 85/1.4 and 85/1.8. Review of the latter one will follow.



-- Markus
Editor
opticallimits.com

#9
[quote name='wim' timestamp='1281350653' post='1599']

For the type of lens, I think it is an excellent one, it doesn't get all that much better. [/quote]



Not so sure about it. Judging from initial measurements, the ZF 85 seems to give slightly better sharpness in the borders, but doesn't really like close focus. I have no real hopes the Sigma 85 is any better than the "ancient" Nikkor, but maybe the (hopefully) upcoming AF-S 85/1.4 is ...



Now, the real question is: are any of the possible improvements really field relevant ... for such a lens?



[quote name='wim' timestamp='1281350653' post='1599']

Regarding the focus shift: I reckon if you can micro-adjust the AF of this lens a little, you won't notice the focus shift in real life anymore, as it seems to be only millimetres (even if it persists till F/5.6). I don't know if that is an option of the D3X however.[/quote]



Yes, focus adjustment is available on the D3x (as well on quite a few "lesser" cameras). However, the LoCA shots are done at rather close focus. Any focus error at close focus will of course be more visible at larger distances. A few milli meters may easily become a few meters (allthough often not visible with slower glass because well buried within DOF).



Just went through this with the Leica 75/2.0 APO (another lens I failed to fall in love with, btw.) Just slightly off at close focus (0.7m), but already almost 1 meter off at around 8 meters.



[quote name='wim' timestamp='1281350653' post='1599']

Regarding LoCas I do have a request. Could this please be called by its official name of spherochromaticity from here on?[/quote]



Hmm, not so sure about this one. LoCAs as short form of longitudinal chromatic aberration seems well established to me, it's used by many other sites as well (DxO, for example).



On the other hand, I have honestly never heard of spherochromaticity before. Which is true for many other, probably well established phrases, too <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' /> however a google search did not really shed additional light on this word, too (just 4 hits).



-- Markus
Editor
opticallimits.com

#10
Great review Markus! I've been waiting to see that one just out of curiosity. How does it balance with the D3x? Did you enjoy using it?
  


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