The quoted price is in usual range. This lens is sharp comparable to 105/2.5. Very prone to flare, must need bulky hood on. The feel of manual focus is very poor. Not too heavy, and size very small. If need this range buy this lens. Color appears lighter.
I bought this lense about six weeks ago. I paid CAD$430 for it. It is one fast lense, but as already mentioned you DO need to use the hood. I find color and sharpness up to my 50/1.4 standard. It is very useful (for me at least) with 'light challenged' candids, night street shots and photos of my kids. This is my 'normal' lense and is usually mounted on my F90; though I use it extensively with my FM2 as well. Good luck and let us know how you make out with it. -Chris
I've owned this lens for about 10 years (non D version). It's sharp, and focuses very fast and accurately on my F100. There is very little distortion al all - it's very well corrected. I find the manual focus to feel pretty good, and it's easy to focus manually with it's big fast aperture. However, I also find that at F1.8 and F2.8, the DOF is so shallow, that being 85mm it's almost useless for most of my work. So the big aperture is a plus for the viewfinder image and easy focusing, but in practical terms, F4 is where you need to be for any DOF at all, and the lens is exceptionally sharp at that point (not always best for portraits). In short, it's almost too sharp sometimes for what most people buy it for, but that is of course, very subjective.
Ed, I was thinking of getting the 85 1.8. Do you have any experience using a difuser with your lens? I have been using an 80mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss medium format lens with a Nikon lens adapter and a Nikon Soft 1 difuser, on an F5. I miss the autofocus mode though as I have failing eyesite and I am taking pictures of people's faces so I need critical focus. One thing I notice when using the the Carl Zeiss, which is very sharp, is that the Nikon Soft 1 difuser makes the full frame facial images of children almost too soft. Since you stated that the 85 f/1.8 is almost "too sharp" for portrait work, I was wondering if you could comment regarding the effects a difuser has when using this lens on the overall look of the portrait.
I have read from some more learned ppl on here that soft focus filters' effects depend on how far the lens is stopped down. I believe the recommended aperture was f/8 or so. Perhaps you have your Zeiss stopped down too much or too little.
Just to clarify: I have no experience with soft focus filters. If I'm dead wrong, somebody please yell at me .
I have the 85mm AF1.8 and at first I had problems finding a diffusion filter that softened the image, but not too much. Then I read Steve Sint's book of tips for photographers in which he recommended using black wedding(?) veil material. It is perfect -- taking out small imperfections but still giving a relatively sharp image. And the cost is amazing -- I bought a yard of the 45" wide material for .77 and by cutting 6" x 6" pieces have had dozens of them for pennies. I simply take one and stretch it over the lens with a rubber band (unfortunately you can't use the lens hood and do this, but you couldn't with Cokin-type filters either). If one is lost or damaged no big deal.
I only paid 150$ last month for this baby It´s a great sharp lens. I use it on my F100 and focus is fast. It´s the non-D version and I have read it´s more sharp then the D-version - but I haven´t tested it myself.
I've used this one for about a year. I also have the 105 2.5 manual. I love the lens. I've noticed that if you use a soft filter and shoot a strobe portrait against a white background, you can get major flare---even with a hood. I mean-if the background is lighted two stops over the face zone. I am also using this lens as a walk-around street shooter with my F100--on aperture at 1.8. Very interesting background effects. I think it's an amazing lens at a very cheap price for quality of build and optics; in the AF version, the manual focus feels pretty nice. The lens comes with a deep hood which is necessary.
gmatrix, I note your use of the term 'deep' when refering to the 85mm/1.8 AF lense hood. I don't view my hood as being particularily 'deep'. What do you mean by that term? Have I been 'had' through being provided with a somewhat 'shallow' hood, I wonder? -Chris
Hi Chris. My 85mm 1.8 came with a hood that's a metal screw-in. It's an inch and a half deep and almost three inches across. It puts the front element about 2 inches from the edge of the hood. The front element is huge and not flare resistant--compared to, say, the old style manual Nikkors that were 52mm had recessed front elements. The more I use the 85mm, the more I like it.
#12. "RE: 85mm AF 1.8" | In response to Reply # 11
Sun 19-Aug-01 07:45 AM
Thanks for that information, 'gmatrix'. Your description pretty much describes my unit, so I guess I've not been had. I guess 2" in on a 3" diameter doesn't quite meet my definition of 'deep'. Thanks again. -Chris
I had one a while back & sold it. It focused fast but mine was noisy, more so than my other A/F lenses. It was a sharp lens but didn't care for the manual focus which is what I needed for portrait work. I much prefer the old manual 105 2.5 AI lens for portrait work. Tomas