Nikon 85mm f1.8G AF-S Lens Announced, Considered, and pre Reviewed vs the 85mm f1.8D, 85mm f1.4D and 85mm f1.4G Nikkor Prime Portrait Lenses

Nikon 85mm AF-S f1.8G Nikkor Lens

Nikon 85mm AF-S f1.8G Nikkor Lens

The Nikon 85mm f1.8G AF-S Nikkor Lens has been announced.

The  85mm f1.8D is a very sweet lens and quite inexpensive vis-a-vis its competing choices.

During a November, 2011 review of the 85mm f1.8D, I mentioned that that if price were no object, I would buy the Nikon 85mm f1.4G AF-S for like $1,700 …

For me, price is a consideration.

Also noted was that I have the 85mm f1.4D AF IF and, that my first piece of glass to go would be the 85mm f1.8D …

We’ll, the 85mm f1.8D is going.

The 85mm f1.8G is announced and ordered.

Due to start shipping in March, 2011, I have preordered my 85mm f1.8G from Adorama.  Click here to preorder your 1.8G from Adorama today.

Or, click here to order your 85mm f1.8G on Amazon.

In November, the 85mm f1.8G was not an available option.

While the 85mm f1.8G is a half stop slower than the 85mm f1.4D and 85mm f1.4G, it is half the price of the 1.4D and one-third to one-quarter the price of the 1.4G.  This half stop will not be a huge performance price in either shooting speed or in bokeh when shooting with good light sensitivity digital SLRs like the Nikon D7000.

Pricing for the 1.8G and 1.8D are very similar, within $10-$20 right now for new at about $499.00.

The MTF (modulation transfer function) performance of the 85mm f1.8G is better than those of either the 85mm f1.8D or the 85mm f1.4D.   Thus I expect, the  85mm f1.8G will be the sharpest of these three lenses.

Nikon 85mm f1.8G MTF Curve

Nikon 85mm f1.8G AF-S MTF Curve

 

Nikon 85mm f1.8D MTF Curves

Nikon 85mm f1.8D AF MTF Curves

 

Nikon 85mm f1.4D MTF Curves

Nikon 85mm f1.4D AF MTF Curves

 

Nikon 85mm f1.4G AF-S MTF Curves, AF-S

Nikon 85mm f1.4G AF-S MTF Curves

 

How to read and interpret Nikon MTF Curve Data

How to read and interpret Nikon MTF Curve Data

The real reason to go with the 85mm f1.8G ??

The 85mm f1.8G is AF-S (Auto Focus – Servo), that is  it has a servo motor in the lens for quick, accurate focusing.

Thus, I expect the 85mm f1.8G to focus more quickly and accurately than either the 85mm f1.8D or the 85mm f1.4D.  One shot in or out of focus can make or break a shoot.

AF-S is a most valuable feature.

While the  85mm f1.4G and the 85mm f1.8G are both AF-S lenses, how does the 85mm f1.8G compare to the 85mm f1.4G?

  • Fraction of the price
  • Fraction of the weight
  • 67mm vs 77mm Standard Pro Filter Size
    • Cheaper though not interchangeable with other pro glass filters
  • 1/2 stop or so slower
  • Little bit less bokeh

Beyond f2.8 or so, I will not be surprised to see very similar optical performance from both the  85mm f1.4G and the 85mm f1.8G.

I have read that the 85mm f1.4G does not suffer from focus speed and accuracy issues the way the 85mm f1.8D and the 85mm f1.4D are want to do.

Once the 85mm f1.8G arrives and is put through its paces next to the 85mm f1.4D, I’ll decide which lens to keep.  I’m betting it will be the 85mm f1.8G, if it focuses anything as quickly and accurately as my 70-200mm f2.8G ED VR II AF-S (currently the fastest most accurate focusing lens in my bag).

With razor-thin DOF (Depth of Fields) at f1.4 or f1.8, focus speed and accuracy is a key consideration for me.  The iris must be in focus in a glamour head shot or portrait.  Key advantage I expect for the 85mm f1.8G vs the f1.8D and f1.4D.

Click here for the review of the 85mm f1.8D.

Click here to preorder the 85mm f1.8G on Amazon.

Click here to preorder the 85mm f1.8G from Adorama.

 


This entry was posted in Gear Reviews & How to. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Nikon 85mm f1.8G AF-S Lens Announced, Considered, and pre Reviewed vs the 85mm f1.8D, 85mm f1.4D and 85mm f1.4G Nikkor Prime Portrait Lenses

  1. Yucel says:

    As an update, my Nikon 85mm 1.8G lens arrived, and I do love it… While the 1.8G seems to focus a bit more accurately and doesn’t take as long to seek or hunt as the 85mm 1.4D, it seems to focus at about the same over all speed as the 1.4D… So, the 70-200 VR2 2.8G is still my fastest focusing lens. Though, the 1.8G focuses closer and is a bit sharper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *