I really want to get an 85mmf1.4. I can get a mint AIS version for around 700USD or spend the extra 400 bucks or so and get a new D series AF one. I played around with the AIS on the camera, size was nice, manual focus was OK and can use the verification in the viewfinder to verify I am focused accurately. It is definitely slower than the AF version. I don't know how much of this is really an issue at this focal length. I would imagine it could be one when shooting wide open in low light.
I like the idea of saving some dough that I could put towards another lens down the line but am prepared to buy the AF version if the consensus is that this is the best way to go on the D700.
I look forward to your opinions.
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#1. "RE: 85f1.4 AFD or 85f1.4 AIS" | In response to Reply # 0blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 28-Dec-09 02:55 AM
With a lens like an 85/f1.4 you really have very little room for error on focusing, since the DOF is SO thin. I'd really recommend going with the AF model for this reason. I have - and use - a number of fast portrait lenses such as this (105/f2, 135/f2) and despite considerable experience I'm just not anywhere near as good as the AF systems, and it isn't only in dim light. It's in any light.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#2. "RE: 85f1.4 AFD or 85f1.4 AIS" | In response to Reply # 0Donald Kahn Registered since 16th May 2009Mon 28-Dec-09 03:23 AM | edited Mon 28-Dec-09 03:34 AM by Donald Kahn
Get the AFD. I sold most of my AIS lenses for $200 or less, and I would never consider buying another AIS lens. If you don't like your AFD lens, you could probably sell it for a few hundred dollars less than you paid, but very few of us would be willing to pay very much for an old AIS. If you do consider the AIS, I certainly wouldn't pay anywhere near that much money for that lens.
You can probably find a used AFD for about $900-$975, which would be a far better value.
Just my $.02, but worth at least a few hundred dollars in this case.
#3. "RE: 85f1.4 AFD or 85f1.4 AIS" | In response to Reply # 0xtrememac Nikonian since 05th Jan 2006Mon 28-Dec-09 06:21 PM
The sad thing is that technically the older 85mm 1.4 AIS lens was sharper than the new design. But the camera's viewfinders of today (and frankly my eyesight) are really not designed for MF lenses anymore.
So unless your subject matter allows you to go into liveview and zoom in for critical focus (and is therefore a static object), an MF 1.4 is pretty useless. The Zeiss 85 1.4 is terrific, IMHO better that the Nikkors, but suffers the same problem.
For most of us 85 1.4 is a portrait lens and humans are not static...case closed, you need AF.
The 1.4D lens is a nice bokeh machine, and if that is the reason you want it, it is great. The 85 1.8 is actually sharper but not as great in the bokeh department, but for less than half the price. Maybe food for thought.
K. J. Doyle