I've read that between the 85mm f/2.0 or 85mm f/1.8, one is . . .
a soft focus lens, and the other is tack-sharp. But I can't remember which is which. Has anyone else run across this info, or better yet, verified it in use?
#1. "both are sharp lenses" | In response to Reply # 0f8bthere Basic MemberMon 27-Nov-00 01:06 PM
I have been using Nikons for a long time and there has never been a soft focus 85mm lens offered by the company since the SLR line began in 1959.
There has been quite a bit of debate on the performance of various incarnations of the 85mm lenses, but all were designed for general photography. I have used the two lenses that you mentioned, (assuming the f1.8 version is the manual focus model), and in terms of sharpness, they a pretty close. The f2.0 model is a tad less sharp at the maximum f-stop, but they are pretty close after about f4.0. The autofocus f1.8 is right between the two in performance. You could flip a coin and not make a bad choice.
In terms of soft focus, Pentax and Cannon have both offered soft focus 85mm lenses, so maybe you are confusing the brand.
#3. "RE: both are sharp lenses" | In response to Reply # 2jrp Charter MemberTue 28-Nov-00 12:55 AM
The Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.4D IF has been described as one with "natural perspective and superlative sharpness"; released in 1996, as the latest version of this legend.
On the other hand, the Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.8D is not an IF lens; however in fact it is also a remarkable lens, released in 1994.
The first Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 saw the light in 1964 and was later replaced by the 85mm f/2. The picture below was taken recently with one of those 85mm f/2, mounted on my trusted workhorse, the F4s.
There is a Nikkor AF 105mm f/2D DC, where "DC" stands for "Defocus Control", it has a ring which by turning it it can defocus either the elements in front of the focused plane or those behind as you might want. In any event it is not a 85mm.
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