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Sandman 12-13-2012 12:09 PM

Disappointed at the Nikkor 85mm f1.4/G
 
So I bought the ~$500 85mm f1.4/G lens from Nikon, supposedly a
high-end lens with their new "Nano Crystal Coat" and rounded blades
for superb bokeh. I've used it in a studio setting where bokeh is of
no issue, and I've been fairly disappointed by it in terms of
sharpness. My last shoot was of kids, so I used a smaller aperture
(f5.6) in order to lengthen the focus length in order to handle moving
subjects and still be able to get enough in focus. Here are some pics
to compare them (click to enlarge):

<http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196148.jpg>

As you can see, the 85mm isn't very sharp. And it wasn't just this
shot, the majority of images were poorly focused, some worse, some
better. This shot is representative of the overall focusing result
though.

<http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196147.jpg>

My favorite lens, the 50mm 1.4/G which, as you can see, is a lot
sharper. Pretty big difference from the 85mm

<http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196146.jpg>

But the clear studio winner here is the Sigma 28mm f1.8, which
incidentally is the cheapest of the three. Superb sharpness and speed.

Note that the aperture is the same for each lens, and the 85mm even
has a lower ISO than the other two, yet still has poorer sharpness.

I'm sort of wondering what I'm doing wrong with this one?

--
Sandman[.net]
http://jonaseklundh.se


dbd 12-13-2012 06:14 PM

Re: Disappointed at the Nikkor 85mm f1.4/G
 
On Thursday, December 13, 2012 4:09:58 AM UTC-8, Sandman wrote:
> So I bought the ~$500 85mm f1.4/G lens from Nikon,
>

....
>
> I'm sort of wondering what I'm doing wrong with this one?
>
> Sandman[.net]


In the US the 85mm 1.4G retails new for about 1500 dollars. If you paid 500dollars, that might be a reason for your results.

I assume that the edited images correctly represent the original pictures content.

The 85mm image has no region of really sharp focus and no content at great enough distance to show the back side of the depth of field. There is no way to tell from the image whether the lens is bad or the picture is focused incorrectly.

If you want the depth of field to remain constant you must keep both F-ratio and image size constant. You didn't in the 50mm image so depth of field changed.

The 28mm image has a region in focus and portions out of focus due to limited depth of field. This is a good subject for making comparison. Too bad neither of the other images are comparable.

If you reshoot with constant image size, remember that the longer lens has tougher mounting requirements: a smaller unintentional rotation during exposure will produce the same number of pixels of blur as for a shorter lens. (I don't suggest that this is the problem with the original 85mm image.)

Dale B. Dalrymple

Peter Jason 12-13-2012 11:19 PM

Re: Disappointed at the Nikkor 85mm f1.4/G
 
On 13 Dec 2012 12:09:58 GMT, Sandman
<mr@sandman.net> wrote:

>So I bought the ~$500 85mm f1.4/G lens from Nikon, supposedly a
>high-end lens with their new "Nano Crystal Coat" and rounded blades
>for superb bokeh. I've used it in a studio setting where bokeh is of
>no issue, and I've been fairly disappointed by it in terms of
>sharpness. My last shoot was of kids, so I used a smaller aperture
>(f5.6) in order to lengthen the focus length in order to handle moving
>subjects and still be able to get enough in focus. Here are some pics
>to compare them (click to enlarge):
>
><http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196148.jpg>
>
>As you can see, the 85mm isn't very sharp. And it wasn't just this
>shot, the majority of images were poorly focused, some worse, some
>better. This shot is representative of the overall focusing result
>though.
>
><http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196147.jpg>
>
>My favorite lens, the 50mm 1.4/G which, as you can see, is a lot
>sharper. Pretty big difference from the 85mm
>
><http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196146.jpg>
>
>But the clear studio winner here is the Sigma 28mm f1.8, which
>incidentally is the cheapest of the three. Superb sharpness and speed.
>
>Note that the aperture is the same for each lens, and the 85mm even
>has a lower ISO than the other two, yet still has poorer sharpness.
>
>I'm sort of wondering what I'm doing wrong with this one?


I always get sharper focus when I use a flash
assist. The sensor seems to love the actinic
light. So does the lens.

Try this next.


Peter

otter 12-14-2012 12:29 AM

Re: Disappointed at the Nikkor 85mm f1.4/G
 
On Dec 13, 6:09*am, Sandman <m...@sandman.net> wrote:
> So I bought the ~$500 85mm f1.4/G lens from Nikon, supposedly a
> high-end lens with their new "Nano Crystal Coat" and rounded blades
> for superb bokeh. I've used it in a studio setting where bokeh is of
> no issue, and I've been fairly disappointed by it in terms of
> sharpness. My last shoot was of kids, so I used a smaller aperture
> (f5.6) in order to lengthen the focus length in order to handle moving
> subjects and still be able to get enough in focus. Here are some pics
> to compare them (click to enlarge):
>
> <http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196148.jpg>
>
> As you can see, the 85mm isn't very sharp. And it wasn't just this
> shot, the majority of images were poorly focused, some worse, some
> better. This shot is representative of the overall focusing result
> though.
>
> <http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196147.jpg>
>
> My favorite lens, the 50mm 1.4/G which, as you can see, is a lot
> sharper. Pretty big difference from the 85mm
>
> <http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196146.jpg>
>
> But the clear studio winner here is the Sigma 28mm f1.8, which
> incidentally is the cheapest of the three. Superb sharpness and speed.
>
> Note that the aperture is the same for each lens, and the 85mm even
> has a lower ISO than the other two, yet still has poorer sharpness.
>
> I'm sort of wondering what I'm doing wrong with this one?
>
> --
> Sandman[.net]http://jonaseklundh.se


I can't read your EXIF. What was the shutter speed? Pretty important
part of the story, no?

Sandman 12-14-2012 09:15 AM

Re: Disappointed at the Nikkor 85mm f1.4/G
 
In article <df93247b-3db7-4dfe-bf2a-e0c17190f2a6@googlegroups.com>,
dbd <dbd@ieee.org> wrote:

> > So I bought the ~$500 85mm f1.4/G lens from Nikon,
> >
> > I'm sort of wondering what I'm doing wrong with this one?

>
> In the US the 85mm 1.4G retails new for about 1500 dollars. If you paid 500
> dollars, that might be a reason for your results.


Ooops, missed the 1 there. Sorry abut that :) The blog post has been
updated:

http://jonaseklundh.se/pages/85mmdisappointment?lang=en

> I assume that the edited images correctly represent the original pictures
> content.
>
> The 85mm image has no region of really sharp focus and no content at great
> enough distance to show the back side of the depth of field. There is no way
> to tell from the image whether the lens is bad or the picture is focused
> incorrectly.


That's the thing - the method of focusing is the same for all three
lenses. The image is incorrectly focused, and in light of the other
two being a lot better focused, my assumption is that the problem is
with the lens.

> If you want the depth of field to remain constant you must keep both F-ratio
> and image size constant. You didn't in the 50mm image so depth of field
> changed.


I'm not sure I understand what you mean here, really? Could you please
elaborate?

> The 28mm image has a region in focus and portions out of focus due to limited
> depth of field. This is a good subject for making comparison. Too bad neither
> of the other images are comparable.


All three images have the same aperture, which probably gives each
different DOF, I'm sure, but surely that's comparable?

> If you reshoot with constant image size, remember that the longer lens has
> tougher mounting requirements: a smaller unintentional rotation during
> exposure will produce the same number of pixels of blur as for a shorter
> lens.


The image sizes are the same... I feel like I'm misunderstanding what
you mean here...

--
Sandman[.net]

Sandman 12-14-2012 09:18 AM

Re: Disappointed at the Nikkor 85mm f1.4/G
 
In article <2012121314412416708-savageduck1@REMOVESPAMmecom>,
Savageduck <savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}me.com> wrote:

> On 2012-12-13 10:14:30 -0800, dbd <dbd@ieee.org> said:
>
> > On Thursday, December 13, 2012 4:09:58 AM UTC-8, Sandman wrote:
> >> So I bought the ~$500 85mm f1.4/G lens from Nikon,
> >>

> > ...
> >>
> >> I'm sort of wondering what I'm doing wrong with this one?
> >>
> >> Sandman[.net]

> >
> > In the US the 85mm 1.4G retails new for about 1500 dollars. If you paid 500
> > dollars, that might be a reason for your results.

>
> A friend of mine (a non-photographer) shot this wide open with a
> borrowed D800 + 85mm f/1.4G. He had no idea of what this camera lens
> combination was capable of, and had no idea of what to do to adjust for
> DOF:
> < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/Fil...%207359-A3.jpg >
> A look at the exif data below will tell some of the story.
> < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/Fil...eenshot_77.jpg >


That's also pretty poor focus, and that's at ISO 1600, which would be
a lot less grainy on my D3s than in that shot. I'm rather puzzled why
the D800 has such grainy ISO1600, maybe it's because of the resolution?


--
Sandman[.net]

Sandman 12-14-2012 09:23 AM

Re: Disappointed at the Nikkor 85mm f1.4/G
 
In article
<53018a6e-06f5-46cd-807a-e5c92eb09825@10g2000yqk.googlegroups.com>,
otter <bighorn_bill@hotmail.com> wrote:

> On Dec 13, 6:09*am, Sandman <m...@sandman.net> wrote:
> > So I bought the ~$500 85mm f1.4/G lens from Nikon, supposedly a
> > high-end lens with their new "Nano Crystal Coat" and rounded blades
> > for superb bokeh. I've used it in a studio setting where bokeh is of
> > no issue, and I've been fairly disappointed by it in terms of
> > sharpness. My last shoot was of kids, so I used a smaller aperture
> > (f5.6) in order to lengthen the focus length in order to handle moving
> > subjects and still be able to get enough in focus. Here are some pics
> > to compare them (click to enlarge):
> >
> > <http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196148.jpg>
> >
> > As you can see, the 85mm isn't very sharp. And it wasn't just this
> > shot, the majority of images were poorly focused, some worse, some
> > better. This shot is representative of the overall focusing result
> > though.
> >
> > <http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196147.jpg>
> >
> > My favorite lens, the 50mm 1.4/G which, as you can see, is a lot
> > sharper. Pretty big difference from the 85mm
> >
> > <http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196146.jpg>
> >
> > But the clear studio winner here is the Sigma 28mm f1.8, which
> > incidentally is the cheapest of the three. Superb sharpness and speed.
> >
> > Note that the aperture is the same for each lens, and the 85mm even
> > has a lower ISO than the other two, yet still has poorer sharpness.
> >
> > I'm sort of wondering what I'm doing wrong with this one?
> >
> > --
> > Sandman[.net]http://jonaseklundh.se

>
> I can't read your EXIF. What was the shutter speed? Pretty important
> part of the story, no?


Sorry. I never felt it was motion blur so I didn't think to include
that information in the images. The blog post have been updated:

http://jonaseklundh.se/pages/85mmdisappointment?lang=en


--
Sandman[.net]

Sandman 12-14-2012 09:23 AM

Re: Disappointed at the Nikkor 85mm f1.4/G
 
In article <ciokc812vf0i2apqebk7sjk2lgi7hdtpik@4ax.com>,
Peter Jason <pj@jostle.com> wrote:

> On 13 Dec 2012 12:09:58 GMT, Sandman
> <mr@sandman.net> wrote:
>
> >So I bought the ~$500 85mm f1.4/G lens from Nikon, supposedly a
> >high-end lens with their new "Nano Crystal Coat" and rounded blades
> >for superb bokeh. I've used it in a studio setting where bokeh is of
> >no issue, and I've been fairly disappointed by it in terms of
> >sharpness. My last shoot was of kids, so I used a smaller aperture
> >(f5.6) in order to lengthen the focus length in order to handle moving
> >subjects and still be able to get enough in focus. Here are some pics
> >to compare them (click to enlarge):
> >
> ><http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196148.jpg>
> >
> >As you can see, the 85mm isn't very sharp. And it wasn't just this
> >shot, the majority of images were poorly focused, some worse, some
> >better. This shot is representative of the overall focusing result
> >though.
> >
> ><http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196147.jpg>
> >
> >My favorite lens, the 50mm 1.4/G which, as you can see, is a lot
> >sharper. Pretty big difference from the 85mm
> >
> ><http://jonaseklundh.se/aimg196146.jpg>
> >
> >But the clear studio winner here is the Sigma 28mm f1.8, which
> >incidentally is the cheapest of the three. Superb sharpness and speed.
> >
> >Note that the aperture is the same for each lens, and the 85mm even
> >has a lower ISO than the other two, yet still has poorer sharpness.
> >
> >I'm sort of wondering what I'm doing wrong with this one?

>
> I always get sharper focus when I use a flash
> assist. The sensor seems to love the actinic
> light. So does the lens.
>
> Try this next.


I will! Thanks!


--
Sandman[.net]

Robert Coe 12-14-2012 02:47 PM

Re: Disappointed at the Nikkor 85mm f1.4/G
 
On Fri, 14 Dec 2012 10:18:56 +0100, Sandman <mr@sandman.net> wrote:
: In article <2012121314412416708-savageduck1@REMOVESPAMmecom>,
: Savageduck <savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}me.com> wrote:
:
: > On 2012-12-13 10:14:30 -0800, dbd <dbd@ieee.org> said:
: >
: > > On Thursday, December 13, 2012 4:09:58 AM UTC-8, Sandman wrote:
: > >> So I bought the ~$500 85mm f1.4/G lens from Nikon,
: > >>
: > > ...
: > >>
: > >> I'm sort of wondering what I'm doing wrong with this one?
: > >>
: > >> Sandman[.net]
: > >
: > > In the US the 85mm 1.4G retails new for about 1500 dollars. If you paid 500
: > > dollars, that might be a reason for your results.
: >
: > A friend of mine (a non-photographer) shot this wide open with a
: > borrowed D800 + 85mm f/1.4G. He had no idea of what this camera lens
: > combination was capable of, and had no idea of what to do to adjust for
: > DOF:
: > < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/Fil...%207359-A3.jpg >
: > A look at the exif data below will tell some of the story.
: > < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/Fil...eenshot_77.jpg >
:
: That's also pretty poor focus, and that's at ISO 1600, which would be
: a lot less grainy on my D3s than in that shot. I'm rather puzzled why
: the D800 has such grainy ISO1600, maybe it's because of the resolution?

Pretty poor focus? Given that it was shot at f/1.4 from fairly close
(therefore low DOF) I don't see how rhe lens could have done much better.

As for the graininess, the Exif data indicate that the camera wanted flash but
didn't get it. It's a good bet that the Duck helped his non-photographer
friend brighten the picture considerably in post-processing. Increased noise
is a price you pay for brightening an image from a high-resolution camera like
the D800.

Bob

Sandman 12-14-2012 03:15 PM

Re: Disappointed at the Nikkor 85mm f1.4/G
 
In article <ntdmc8d239l77va47gathq3bge4n3qfvjk@4ax.com>,
Robert Coe <bob@1776.COM> wrote:

> : That's also pretty poor focus, and that's at ISO 1600, which would be
> : a lot less grainy on my D3s than in that shot. I'm rather puzzled why
> : the D800 has such grainy ISO1600, maybe it's because of the resolution?
>
> Pretty poor focus? Given that it was shot at f/1.4 from fairly close
> (therefore low DOF) I don't see how rhe lens could have done much better.


But surely you would say that this image at 100%, zoomed in at her eye:

<https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/Kajsa%207359-A3.jpg>

Is of poorer focus than the 100% eye in this picture:

<http://jonaseklundh.se/media/modules...2012/12/14/10/
28mm.jpg>

Granted, the 100% is a lot *larger*, so scaled down to the same
resolution, they may be the same, but still..

And, the highlights in the eyes suggests that we have some motion blur
in the D800 pic as well...

I took the liberty to resize the D800 to be the same resolution as my
D3s file shot with the Sigma 28mm:

http://sandman.net/files/28vs85mm.jpg

I don't know, I'd still say that the 28mm is a lot sharper, and that's
with ISO 2500 and 1/80 shutter and f5.6 - imagine the 28mm matching
the exposure settings of the 85mm?

All I'm saying is that this pic didn't really win me over for being a
very sharp lens.

Mind you - I *WANT* this to be user error and not lens problems. I
will fix my studio setup and try it again :)

--
Sandman[.net]


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