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Disappointed at the Nikkor 85mm f1.4/G

 
 
dbd
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      12-14-2012
On Friday, December 14, 2012 1:15:48 AM UTC-8, Sandman wrote:
....
> > 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.
>


The ideal DOF/focus test image would have a region to far away to be in focus, a region in focus and a region too close to focus. Then we could tell if you had placed the plane of best focus on an object within the image. Youdidn't do that so we can't tell bad focus(lens) from bad focusing(photographer). Intended method of focusing doesn't count, only achieved (as shown by the image) focus counts.


> > 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?


Pick an object in the photo (say the babies head) and keep it the same sizein the photos you wish to compare.
From:
http://www.dofmaster.com/dof_imagesize.html
quote
A rule of thumb for depth of field is:
Depth of field is the same for all lenses when the image size is constant and the same f-stop is used.
endquote

Dale B. Dalrymple
 
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otter
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      12-14-2012
On Dec 14, 3:23*am, Sandman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> In article
> <(E-Mail Removed)>,
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *otter <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > On Dec 13, 6:09*am, Sandman <(E-Mail Removed)> 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


1/(focal length) is a common guideline. Some people like to at least
double that speed. That guideline also only holds if you are
positioned well and trying to be still, and doesn't take into account
movement of the subjects. If you notice, the first picture was at
1/60 which did not meet the 1/85 guideline. The other pictures that
you are happier with just met the guideline, in the case of the 50mm,
and exceeded it by about 3X in the case of the 28mm, which you liked
the best.

I think if you want to fairly judge this lens, you need to start with
a good tripod, remote release, good light, and static subjects with
high contrast edges. Take some shots at 1/1000. If the pictures are
sharp, it is not the lens at fault, it is technique.
 
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Sandman
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      12-15-2012
In article
<(E-Mail Removed)>,
otter <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> > 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

>
> 1/(focal length) is a common guideline. Some people like to at least
> double that speed. That guideline also only holds if you are
> positioned well and trying to be still, and doesn't take into account
> movement of the subjects. If you notice, the first picture was at
> 1/60 which did not meet the 1/85 guideline. The other pictures that
> you are happier with just met the guideline, in the case of the 50mm,
> and exceeded it by about 3X in the case of the 28mm, which you liked
> the best.


All sounds logical to me, which of course means that you judge the
focus problems to be motion blur. I just didn't make that conclusion
myself, but when you put it like that, I have to concede that it would
make sense.

> I think if you want to fairly judge this lens, you need to start with
> a good tripod, remote release, good light, and static subjects with
> high contrast edges. Take some shots at 1/1000. If the pictures are
> sharp, it is not the lens at fault, it is technique.


Good point. These pics were not me testing the lens, it was a real
shoot and I just used these pics for reference for my disappointment.
I will use your suggestions to further test the lens during the next
shoot.


--
Sandman[.net]
 
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otter
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      12-15-2012
On Dec 15, 8:45*am, Sandman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> In article
> <(E-Mail Removed)>,
>
> *otter <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > > 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

>
> > 1/(focal length) is a common guideline. *Some people like to at least
> > double that speed. *That guideline also only holds if you are
> > positioned well and trying to be still, and doesn't take into account
> > movement of the subjects. *If you notice, the first picture was at
> > 1/60 which did not meet the 1/85 guideline. *The other pictures that
> > you are happier with just met the guideline, in the case of the 50mm,
> > and exceeded it by about 3X in the case of the 28mm, which you liked
> > the best.

>
> All sounds logical to me, which of course means that you judge the
> focus problems to be motion blur. I just didn't make that conclusion
> myself, but when you put it like that, I have to concede that it would
> make sense.
>
> > I think if you want to fairly judge this lens, you need to start with
> > a good tripod, remote release, good light, and static subjects with
> > high contrast edges. *Take some shots at 1/1000. *If the pictures are
> > sharp, it is not the lens at fault, it is technique.

>
> Good point. These pics were not me testing the lens, it was a real
> shoot and I just used these pics for reference for my disappointment.
> I will use your suggestions to further test the lens during the next
> shoot.
>
> --
> Sandman[.net]


I would do the experimenting BEFORE the next shoot. It could be a
number of things, but you should figure out what the problem is before
you try again with live models.
 
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Sandman
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      12-15-2012
In article
<(E-Mail Removed)>,
otter <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On Dec 15, 8:45*am, Sandman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > In article
> > <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> >
> > *otter <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > > > 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

> >
> > > 1/(focal length) is a common guideline. *Some people like to at least
> > > double that speed. *That guideline also only holds if you are
> > > positioned well and trying to be still, and doesn't take into account
> > > movement of the subjects. *If you notice, the first picture was at
> > > 1/60 which did not meet the 1/85 guideline. *The other pictures that
> > > you are happier with just met the guideline, in the case of the 50mm,
> > > and exceeded it by about 3X in the case of the 28mm, which you liked
> > > the best.

> >
> > All sounds logical to me, which of course means that you judge the
> > focus problems to be motion blur. I just didn't make that conclusion
> > myself, but when you put it like that, I have to concede that it would
> > make sense.
> >
> > > I think if you want to fairly judge this lens, you need to start with
> > > a good tripod, remote release, good light, and static subjects with
> > > high contrast edges. *Take some shots at 1/1000. *If the pictures are
> > > sharp, it is not the lens at fault, it is technique.

> >
> > Good point. These pics were not me testing the lens, it was a real
> > shoot and I just used these pics for reference for my disappointment.
> > I will use your suggestions to further test the lens during the next
> > shoot.
> >
> > --
> > Sandman[.net]

>
> I would do the experimenting BEFORE the next shoot. It could be a
> number of things, but you should figure out what the problem is before
> you try again with live models.


Right, but the 85mm is the "new lens" so my shoots are already mainly
done with the lenses I'm comfortable with and then I try the new one
out when I'm sure I have what I want.


--
Sandman[.net]
 
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Robert Coe
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      12-16-2012
On Sat, 15 Dec 2012 15:45:39 +0100, Sandman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: In article
: <(E-Mail Removed)>,
: otter <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
:
: > > 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
: >
: > 1/(focal length) is a common guideline. Some people like to at least
: > double that speed. That guideline also only holds if you are
: > positioned well and trying to be still, and doesn't take into account
: > movement of the subjects. If you notice, the first picture was at
: > 1/60 which did not meet the 1/85 guideline. The other pictures that
: > you are happier with just met the guideline, in the case of the 50mm,
: > and exceeded it by about 3X in the case of the 28mm, which you liked
: > the best.
:
: All sounds logical to me, which of course means that you judge the
: focus problems to be motion blur. I just didn't make that conclusion
: myself, but when you put it like that, I have to concede that it would
: make sense.

I'm dubious. Motion blur is usually directional, and I don't see evidence of
that in your pictures. My guess (and it's only that, obviously) is that it's a
misadjustment of the focus point. That's testable by taking pictures of a
three-dimensional scene wide open (to minimize DoF) and see whether the focus
point really is where the camera thought it was. If it isn't, back the lens
goes to the Nikon shop. (It's new, so it's still under warranty, right?)

FWIW, this opinion isn't a total WAG. I had the same thing happen to me with a
highly regarded Canon lens. I screwed up the first shoot I used it on, because
I stupidly didn't test it first. I was saved only because I was using two
cameras and the lens on the second camera was OK.

Bob
 
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Robert Coe
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      12-16-2012
On Sat, 15 Dec 2012 19:23:34 +0000, Anthony Polson <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:
: otter <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
:
: >On Dec 15, 8:45*am, Sandman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: >> In article
: >> <(E-Mail Removed)>,
: >>
: >> *otter <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: >> > > 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
: >>
: >> > 1/(focal length) is a common guideline. *Some people like to at least
: >> > double that speed. *That guideline also only holds if you are
: >> > positioned well and trying to be still, and doesn't take into account
: >> > movement of the subjects. *If you notice, the first picture was at
: >> > 1/60 which did not meet the 1/85 guideline. *The other pictures that
: >> > you are happier with just met the guideline, in the case of the 50mm,
: >> > and exceeded it by about 3X in the case of the 28mm, which you liked
: >> > the best.
: >>
: >> All sounds logical to me, which of course means that you judge the
: >> focus problems to be motion blur. I just didn't make that conclusion
: >> myself, but when you put it like that, I have to concede that it would
: >> make sense.
: >>
: >> > I think if you want to fairly judge this lens, you need to start with
: >> > a good tripod, remote release, good light, and static subjects with
: >> > high contrast edges. *Take some shots at 1/1000. *If the pictures are
: >> > sharp, it is not the lens at fault, it is technique.
: >>
: >> Good point. These pics were not me testing the lens, it was a real
: >> shoot and I just used these pics for reference for my disappointment.
: >> I will use your suggestions to further test the lens during the next
: >> shoot.
: >>
: >> --
: >> Sandman[.net]
: >
: >I would do the experimenting BEFORE the next shoot. It could be a
: >number of things, but you should figure out what the problem is before
: >you try again with live models.
:
:
: If lenses could post to Usenet newsgroups, there would be an AF-S
: Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 complaining that it had been purchased by someone
: who hadn't the faintest idea how to get the best out of it.
:
: A new 85mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor and a day's one-to-one tuition would have
: cost a fraction of the price of the 85mm f/1.4G **and** produced
: better results.

That's absurdly harsh. It's obvious from Jonas's Web site that he's a
competent photographer. The fact that he's having difficulty diagnosing a
problem with his lens doesn't mean that he doesn't know how to use it. For all
you or I know, the fault may lie entirely in the lens itself and not at all in
his skills or expectations.

Bob
 
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Sandman
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      12-17-2012
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Robert Coe <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> : >I would do the experimenting BEFORE the next shoot. It could be a
> : >number of things, but you should figure out what the problem is before
> : >you try again with live models.
> :
> :
> : If lenses could post to Usenet newsgroups, there would be an AF-S
> : Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 complaining that it had been purchased by someone
> : who hadn't the faintest idea how to get the best out of it.
> :
> : A new 85mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor and a day's one-to-one tuition would have
> : cost a fraction of the price of the 85mm f/1.4G **and** produced
> : better results.
>
> That's absurdly harsh. It's obvious from Jonas's Web site that he's a
> competent photographer. The fact that he's having difficulty diagnosing a
> problem with his lens doesn't mean that he doesn't know how to use it. For all
> you or I know, the fault may lie entirely in the lens itself and not at all in
> his skills or expectations.


While I agree that it was a bit harsh, I readily admit to hoping that
this is user error, since I expect this lens to be really great.

The suggestions has been poor lighting, which I agree with and I will
remedy that and try again. This would also lower the shutter speed and
the ISO which would help. "otter" illustrated this by saying that the
shutter speed should be at least 1/(focal length), which means that
the 85mm should have used 1/90 as shutter speed, but I used 1/60.
Again, that's working from the assumption that the focus problems are
motion blur - which is entirely possible.

The problem with "fixing" this with more light is that that is quite
possible by using the flash lamps (that were used as just lamps in
that shoot) as you know, actual flash units. But while this would make
the scene lighter, the studio would still be as dark as then when
acquiring focus, so I fear that this may not help as much as it
should.


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Sandman
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      12-17-2012
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Anthony Polson <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> >I would do the experimenting BEFORE the next shoot. It could be a
> >number of things, but you should figure out what the problem is before
> >you try again with live models.

>
> If lenses could post to Usenet newsgroups, there would be an AF-S
> Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 complaining that it had been purchased by someone
> who hadn't the faintest idea how to get the best out of it.


Cute

So, how does this "someone" go about to acquire the knowledge to "get
the best out of it"?

But I really hope you're right, that the problem is on my side of the
camera.



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